The ulu knife, traditionally the handle is made from caribou antler or walrus ivory. The blade was made of slate, until metal was introduced during the Fur Trade.

December 3rd, 2013, 10am

The Canadian Fur trade is an important part of our history. Over the past 20 years the Fur Trade has been under fire from a number of organizations that have wanted to do a way with the trade. An ugly example of this would be PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) this group wants us to stop wearing furs, and lately has started a campaign for people to stop eating meat. They have hired movie stars sports heroes and singers all across the world to send their message out. Their media ads are uncomfortable and in your face, and staged for a shocked response. PETA is represented by people like Paul McCartney and his former wife Heather Mills, who arrived in Newfoundland in 2009 to stop a seal hunt. They shot a cruel video of men clubbing seals, ignoring the fact that this practice is not part of todays hunting methods for the First Nations of Kutchin and Kaska. They had their human rights grievously violated. They were never consulted or given the opportunity to explain the importance of the seal hunt to their culture. Does Mr. McCartney realize that they are not attacking a company but that they are attacking a culture? The campaign for people to stop buying furs has hurt the fur tables and fashion houses for sure, but the most damage has been to the Aboriginal people of Northern Canada. The hunting and trading of furs have been part of First Nations people lives and culture for thousands of years. They have been trading furs, leather, shells and corn all over North America. The seal pelt was a very valuable item for trade. The pelt repels water and wind, and is is highly prized for boots and mittens. PETA and groups similar to them are doing is taking away important aspects of their culture which contributes to further loss of language and other cultural connections. Fortunately, there is still a desire for some seal items, but this is not aiding the First Nations since other interests are making the trade and getting the profits from what should be their traditional rights. The especially unfortunate part of this sorry tale is that these rich activists like Paul McCartney by not considering a peoples culture have robbed these peoples of future opportunities for financial growth and continue to almost literally make war on their culture.

Joanne and David Wade said thanks.

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Barbara Shaw-Ings

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