Disclaimer: My only relationship with the Makah tribe consists of having enjoyed their hospitality on numerous occasions.
(map, right, courtesy of the Makah Nation – click to enlarge)
–Ed Claplanhoo, Makah tribal elder, member of the tribal whaling commission
The statement above is from a Seattle Times article which does a pretty good job of presenting several of the differing viewpoints on the incident of September 8, when five members of the Makah tribe fatally injured a California grey whale in a criminal act that has been loudly condemned by the group angered the most:
The Makah tribal council denounces the actions of those who took it upon themselves to hunt a whale without the authority from the Makah Tribal Council or the Makah Whaling Commission.
We are a law-abiding people and we will not tolerate lawless conduct by any of our members. We hope the public does not permit the actions of five irresponsible persons to be used to harm the image of the entire Makah tribe.
That hope is vain, as the Makah know well. Hence the immediate dispatch of a delegation to DC in an attempt to repair the damage.