Today on Parliament Hill, Members of Parliament and Senators were presented with made-in-Nunavut sealskin pins to wear in support of the sealing industry. This event was held in conjunction with the Northern Lights Trade Show, which is being held at the Ottawa Convention Centre.
“The Government of Nunavut is and will remain a strong supporter of the sealing industry,” said the Honorable James Arreak, Minister of Environment, who was on-site to present the pins. “Sealing in Nunavut is both humane and sustainable; in fact, there may not be a better example of sustainable resource use than the relationship between Inuit and seals, which has been ongoing for thousands of years. Populations of all seal species native to Nunavut waters are healthy and abundant.”
The Government of Nunavut operates a program to purchase ringed seal pelts from Nunavut seal hunters. The pelts are then marketed to national and international buyers. A growing number of seal bans in places like the European Union and Russia not only threaten the sealing industry, but also the livelihoods of our people living in remote Arctic communities.
“The Government of Nunavut is proud to have donated sealskin lapel pins, made by Nunavut craftspeople,” said Minister Arreak. “We are pleased with the Government of Canada’s strong stance in support of the sealing industry that remains a vitally important cultural, economic and subsistence activity in Nunavut and other coastal regions in northern and eastern Canada."
Seals that are hunted in Nunavut by Nunavummiut provide communities with a source of fresh, nutritious food, where this is expensive or unavailable. The replacement value of seal meat as a food staple in Nunavut is estimated to exceed $5 million annually. Seal pelts are useful by products of this subsistence hunt. They are sold to offset the costs of harvesting activities and the high costs of northern living.