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Makah Indian Tribe, Washington

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The Green Party, walking a fine line between the animal rights and those of Indigenous peoples, sided with the tribe on whale-hunting. "... if I was vice president, I would honor the treaty with the Makah because that is the law of the land," Winona LaDuke said in a recent interview with the Peninsula Daily News. The right to hunt gray whales is a simple matter of law, said LaDuke, Ralph Nader's vice presidential running mate. LaDuke's position upset anti-whaling activists opposed to the hunt and some members of her party. After a 70-year hiatus, the Makah resumed hunting gray whales last year. An 1855 treaty with the United States, in which the Makah ceded much of the Olympic Peninsula, guarantees the right to hunt whales. "This is really a delicate issue," said Starlene Rankin, secretary of The Greens-Green Party USA. Stuart Chaifetz, a Green Party congressional candidate from New Jersey, is an outspoken opponent of LaDuke's stand. "I was obviously appalled that my vice presidential candidate would come out in support of such a thing." Most party activists in Washington state support the Makah's right to hunt, said Brent McMillan, party facilitator.

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