Date: Tue, 9 Mar, 1999
An open letter to all Indian Nations
I once was proud to say I have indian blood in me. Now as the Makah's have gone to a decision of killing, I am ashamed of it!
I can no longer stand behind any Indian decisions, after the stupidity of the Makah's choice of total ignorance of the history of the indians to defend nature, and to do only what was necessary to survive.
Indian integrity is now non-existent, at the hands of Makah actions. I call ALL native American Indians, from our entire continent, to denounce the Makah's actions.
As I see it, this is the beginning of the downfall of the integrity of all Indian Nations. One bad apple spoils the whole bunch, and in many ways. The Makah's have started the spoil.
All Indians must come together to speak out, in peaceful ways against the choice the Makah's have made. It is not only destructive to all Indians, it is also the dumbest decision I have ever heard made. There will be loss of life, for the Makah's, as they are showing the lack of know how and ability to do this, and can not come to an agreement on how, or if or even why.
All the great Indians of the past choose to represent those things in rituals which were done by forefathers, rather than to do the actual hunts. Whale hunting in the fashion in which the Makah's plan (about the only thing they have agreed on is using a canoe), is at the very least "Stupid". We have many books and records of whale hunts and the results, with ships being destroyed by whales, many lives being lost, and with this decision it seems it can only have been thought up by a bunch of drunks sitting around bragging, and without any knowledge.
To prove this, we must look at the history of the whaling Indians. They in no way went unskilled on a whale hunt, all were forced to hunt smaller fish in the same fashion to gain the skill for many years before being allowed out on a whale hunt! Today's Makah's never hunted whales, this destroys the integrity of the Indian knowledge for all Indians.
It would be my choice to use a large boat to tow a whale model along a shoreline, with groups in canoes staging the event close enough to shore to be seen and observed by all who choose to watch. This In my eyes, eyes of years and of wisdom, is the only option.
Now is the time for all Indians to publicly denounce this activity, or to sit back and be grouped into it and loose your integrity!
J. Veggin Sr.
Whales in Danger Information Service