Dear Peta : what the seal means to the Jerry Cans
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Subjectanimal rights groups; ethnographic film; Inuit culture; Inuit music; selective tradition; The Jerry Cans
A fundamental part of being Inuit today means being a person who hunts and for whom sealing serves as a sharing paradigm that involves family and social networks (Wenzel, 1987). This worldview conflicts with those of animal rights groups such as PETA, who consider all killing of animals morally wrong. This thesis provides a much-needed glimpse into the Inuit point of view over the tension between modern and historical cultural beliefs/values over the role of the seal, and in doing so, what it means to be Inuit today. The Jerry Cans are a modern musical group from Nunavut who maintain a strong sense of being Inuit, which entails relationship with the land and the seal in particular. Through its focus on the meaning of the seal to contemporary Inuit, this thesis incorporates ethnographic film and phenomenological interviews to show one aspect of modern Inuit culture.