Published Sep 24, 2014Following criticisms of Tanya Tagaq's Polaris Music Prize acceptance speech targeting PETA for allegedly opposing indigenous seal hunts, the Canadian throat singer has now responded by questioning why the focus was placed on those comments and not the issue of missing aboriginal women addressed in her gala performance.
Tagaq took to her Twitter account today (September 24) to discuss the controversy stirred up by Monday night's (September 22) acceptance speech, in which she vouched for seals as a "renewable resource" and exclaimed, "fuck PETA."
While the animal rights agency criticized her speech, calling Tagaq "ill-informed," the singer suggests the focus of the night should have been put on the names of hundreds of murdered and missing women presented during her performance. This reflected, among other things, the ongoing debate concerning the Canadian government launching a national inquiry on missing indigenous women.
"I had a scrolling screen of 1200 missing and murdered indigenous women at the Polaris gala but people are losing their minds over seals," she posted. "Seals are no more important than cows. If you are going to protest, make sure there are no slaughterhouses near your city first."
PETA's statement had the agency pointing out that its protests have left out indigenous hunting practices, instead focusing attention on the commercial aspects of slaughtering seals.
PETA was surprised by Tanya's ill-informed rant because we've never campaigned against the indigenous hunt. Our fight is — and always has been — against the East Coast commercial slaughter, which is run by white people who bilk Canadians for millions in tax dollars in order to prop up the non-existent seal trade. The international bans that PETA has successfully lobbied for, such as in Europe, exempt indigenous hunts. Tanya should stop posing her baby with a dead seal and read more.
The photos PETA brought up in its statement allude to Tagaq's "Sealfie" campaign, a spring-launched social media campaign in which she described herself as an "Inuit seal meat eater," praised "ethical, humane" fur use, and uploaded a picture of her baby daughter posed beside a dead seal.
Revisit Tagaq's gala performance below at the 3:22:00 mark.