Makah Tribe Case Analysis Paper Example

Paper Type:  Case study
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  594 Words
Date:  2022-07-07

Yes, it is correct for someone outside their group, like us - the students, to comment on their case since morality is not an issue which is limited to a particular tribe or group of people. Notably, both animals and humans are important for coexistence; hence any of them should be accorded freedom of existence. That is, both of them deserve a right to live. Makah Native American tribe grounded its cultural existence on the gray whale. To them, whales were forms of nourishment which were also used for attire and creation of fine handcrafts, and most importantly, they were used to discipline members of the society especially the youths. It is in this context that the tribe is arguing that the level of indiscipline like alcoholism has leveled up in the region due to the fact their cultural practice of whaling has been halted by environment activists (Whelan-Berry & Berry, 2018).

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It is appropriate for nonmembers of the Makah tribe to evaluate the morality of the Makah whale hunt. First, in terms of right both whales and members of the Makah community have the right to live. However, in this case, the rights of the gray whale have been violated to an extent that at one point they were listed under the names of endangered species. This means that the rate at which they were killed threatened their existence and this was immoral. Notably, it is wrong to kill animals for pride claiming to use it for continuity of a tribe when there is no scientific proof about the claim. Although their might be medication benefits of gray whales just like other animals, it is advisable to use such creatures in a manner that ensure their existence is not threatened. The Makkah people may claim that whaling a part of their customs and individuals outside that tribe may not understand emotions and views. However, just to inquire, is it right for these people to connect killing of animals with culture? The bigger point is that Makah people have not been whaling for the last 70 years and nothing has happened to this population except unproven claims that most youths are now alcoholic because they have not been practicing their tradition inappropriate way.

On the other hand, it is also important to respect cultures and norms of other tribes in the context that they do not interfere with normal activities of others. That is, so long as Makah tribe is right, they should be allowed to continue with their cultural norms. Hegel (2015) defines the term right as essential normative guidelines about what is allowable of people or owed to individuals as per some social convention, the legal system, or ethical theory. Socially, they have been practicing this tradition for two millenniums. Legally, the Treaty of Neah Bay in 1855 protects the Makah rights to whales.


The underlying factor is that so long as Makah people can practice their tradition without threatening the existence of gray whales, they are allowed to continue. In that regard, it is correct for someone outside of their group, like us the students, to comment on their case since morality is not issues left for particular people to talk about. Notably, what the Makah tribe has created among themselves are particular norms, which adults and the loyal followers of the tribe do not want to diverge from.


Hegel, G. W. F. (2015). The philosophy of right. Hackett Publishing.

Whelan-Berry, K., & Berry, G. R. (2018). CHANGING FROM THE PRESENT TO THE PAST: THE MAKAH INDIAN WHALING CASE. The Journal of Business Inquiry, 3(1), 36-48.

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