Seal hunting is integral to Inuit culture, not only is it important for food supplies and material necessities; it also plays a central role in social life and identity. Monetary income is indispensable for survival in the contemporary world and as such, profits from sealskin sales have become essential for many Inuit families serving as a sustainable means of participating in the global economy. However, intense anti-sealing activism undertaken by high profile NGOs and celebrities since the 1960s have promoted an indiscriminately negative image of this industry. As a result, consequent bans on sealskin products implemented by the EU caused the sealskin market to collapse, which had devastating effects on Inuit communities.
By portraying the quiet anger of Inuit hunters and artisans, as well as the engagement of younger generations, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril raises her voice through filmmaking and social media to confront the preconceptions around Inuit sealing that are affecting her people’s very subsistence and to gain back their place in the global economy.