OUR MISSION |
To safeguard the bowhead whale and its habitat, to defend the Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Rights of our members, and to preserve the cultural and traditional values of our communities.
As the Inupiat and Siberian Yupik Eskimos living in the villages along the Arctic coast of Alaska, we have been hunting the bowhead whale for thousands of years. Since time immemorial, whaling has been at the center of our culture and traditions. We are spiritually bound to the bowhead whale and it to us.
WE ARE THE PEOPLE OF THE ICE WHALE
The traditions of our ancestors remain at the center of all we do. As the world changes, we adapt to protect these traditions. This includes co-management of the bowhead harvest, improving the efficiency and humaneness of our hunt, mitigating the impacts of increasing marine vessel traffic, and navigating the international political arena of whaling at the International Whaling Commission.
Our leaders are the honored whaling captains from each of the eleven whaling villages represented by the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission. Strongly rooted in tradition, AEWC leadership utilizes the guidance of our respected elders in developing innovative approaches to issues that threaten our subsistence hunting rights.
Since its formation in 1977, the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission has been advocating for the subsistence rights of our eleven whaling villages. Our advocacy extends from our local hunting grounds to an international stage where politics now play a role in our ability to feed our families and continue our traditional practices.