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Greenlanders, Whales, and Whaling

Sustainability and Self-Determination in the Arctic

Whaling has been central to the life of Greenland’s Inuit peoples for at least 4000 years, but political, economic, technological, and regulatory changes have altered this ancient practice. Richard A. Caulfield reveals these impacts first by analyzing Home Rule and its success in Greenland, and then by looking at whaling’s place in the contemporary Greenlandic economy and its evolving co-management regime. What emerges from his investigation is an intricate web connecting traditions of indigenous peoples, the promises and pitfalls of co-management, the influence of international whaling policies, the complexities of sustainability, and the power of culturally determined views shaping relationships between humans and their environment. Caulfield finds that controversy over whaling often arises from conflicting idea systems, rather than disagreement over biological resource management. Understanding the ways Greenlanders and outside interests have defined and negotiated these conflicts "gives us more than just an insight into how indigenous peoples are coping with a changing world," he writes. "It also provides us with a sense of the challenges we face as well."

219 pages | 6 x 9

Sociology: General Sociology


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