Rubin Komangapik, an Inuk hunter, and his hunting partner Yoanis Menge manage a co-operative named Reconseal. They provide seal meat and skin to southern Inuit groups so that urban Inuit can have access to traditional staples like seal meat, arctic char, and caribou. Along the way, the two hunters share cross-cultural hunting techniques and worldviews with each other.
Based on the best available science, the Canadian government and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) support the sealing industry. Seal meat has a big market in Asia, particularly China, and Komangapik and Menge believe it will someday become a homegrown food staple. Even in Canada, changing public opinion of western seal markets is a big challenge.
Both Komangapik and Menge agree that living in cities makes it easy to disconnect from nature. When someone is on the land, they experience a whole other reality.
‘We’re not in igloos anymore’: Seal Summit wraps with hope for a growing market for Inuit hunters