Makah delegation in D.C. faces marine mammal panel

WASHINGTON D.C. – Makah tribal officials were grilled on Thursday by the federal Marine Mammal Commission about last Saturday’s unauthorized whale hunt.

“They had some real pointed questions on the details of what transpired, the process in the Tribal Council and possible charges the whalers will be facing,” said Micah McCarty, a Makah Tribal Council member.

Makah tribal officials flew to Washington, D.C., this week to confirm to the congressional delegation and other federal officials that the killing of a gray whale in the Strait of Juan de Fuca was without the permission of the Makah Tribal Council.

Makah representatives also emphasized on Thursday that it was a high-powered sporting rifle that was used in the unauthorized hunt, not a machine gun, McCarty said.

The Associated Press erroneously reported worldwide shortly after the whale was wounded Saturday that it had been shot with a machine gun.

McCarty said when a “political buzz word” such as machine gun is used, it creates an image that Native American reservations are lawless.

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