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Celebrating seals

Carol Tootoo of Iqaluit, Nunavut, at the Sealing Industry Dinner May 17 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. Over 10 designers from Nunavut, Nunavik and Labrador set up pop-up stores at the event to show off their seal products and advocate for the Canadian sealing industry. © NACA

Canada celebrated its first National Seal Products Day May 20 this year. The bill proposing the national day passed into law on May 16.

National Seal Products Day acknowledges that the cultural significance of seal is tied to the economic well-being of sealers. The date of May 20 was chosen because it coincides with European Maritime Day, which celebrates and supports Europe’s maritime industry.

Inuit play an important role in promoting seal as a sustainable product.

“We participate in the sealing economy, from all our communities, our hunters, our seamstresses, everyone who eats seal meat. Everyone is a part of that sealing economy,” says Natan Obed, the president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.