On the northernmost point of the continental Americas, Barrow is a small Native village of 4000 people, where the Iñupiat Eskimos camp on the Arctic Ocean ice every spring to hunt for Bowhead whales on homemade wood-framed rowing boats covered with seal skins.
This hunt dates to antiquity and is limited to a quota, based on whale population census. The pod is growing. The Iñupiat connection to the natural resources is essential to the community sense of identity.
Whaling is the foremost way where these American Natives express this connection because of the hunt’s communal nature and the whale sharing. Hunting is vital not only to the body, but to the culture and its preservation.
The Iñupiaq is taught not to deplete their renewable resources, but to treat land and sea as their garden. They are an example of sustainable community but are threatened by climate change.
Their garden is melting. Where will they go?