Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Polar Bear Controversy

Indianica began as a furrier business 25 years ago. It has since grown tremendously into a Native craft and Inuit art gallery which offers a range of gifts and fine art objects for the casual tourist and seasoned collector alike. When possible, we support native owned businesses and pay native artists directly for the work we carry in our gallery. We take pride in sharing what we can of native culture with whomever is interested enough to step through our doors.We offer everything from Canadian souvenirs, hand crafted moccasins, dreamcatchers, birch baskets, traditional clothing, soapstone sculptures and fine silver jewellery.

We also sell ... polar bears.

Full mounted polar bears and polar bear skin rugs have long been items of great interest to both our Canadian and international guests. More often than not, customers in our gallery react with awe, admiration and the question " it REAL?"

Yes, they are real. Yes, you may take a photo. And, yes, they are for sale.

Occasionally these questions are followed by another, very important point: "Is it legal to hunt and sell polar bears? Aren't they endangered?"

Each year, a specific number of hunting permits are issued in indigenous communities in Canada to legally hunt polar bears. Many bears come from Nunavut, an area where polar bear populations are not currently at high risk of endangerment or extinction. Some believe the hunting permits and sale of polar bear skins actually provide revenue for communities in which very few sources of industry or export exist.

More information about polar bear populations in Nunavut is available from CBC in an article dated May 28, 2010 HERE

It is indeed a sensitive and controversial topic and we invite all view points to be taken seriously. Sensitivity to both Indigenous communities and contemporary climate change concerns are valid and needed to view the topic objectively. We invite you to visit our gallery to learn more!

79 Rue St. Paul Est
Montreal, QC

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