CCF/FCMA Members, the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, hosted two events promoting seal products earlier this month: on May 17th at the St. John’s Confederation Building and on May 22nd at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. These events, in line with National Seal Product Day, were an opportunity to share information and advocate for the sealing industry and the sustainable hunt.
The Craft Council worked with all the related departments and ministers to set up the day, and had designers on site for ministers and MP’s to talk to and support the sealing industry. The events gave context to and direct examples of seal products, supported by craftspeople and their work, to showcase the prevalence of this traditional material in art, culture and the economy.
The day was recognized in the House of Commons by Labrador MP Yvonne Jones, who spoke to it’s importance: “Inuit and coastal communities across Nunavut, Atlantic Canada, and Quebec have relied on seal and seal products for sustenance and survival for millennia, and continue to do so to this day. Seal day is about recognizing and honouring the historical, social, cultural, and economic contributions that seals represent for our communities. It is a day when we can recognize and counter narratives about the seal harvest that seek to delegitimize the practice, as these have had devastating impacts on our indigenous and coastal communities. Supporting a culturally sensitive, sustainable, and humane seal harvest, I believe, is just one step on our path to reconciliation with all Canadians who depend upon this resource.”