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Contesting LeviathanActivists, Hunters, and State Power in the Makah Whaling Conflict$
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Les Beldo

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226657370

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226657547.001.0001

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This Fishery Will Be Managed

This Fishery Will Be Managed

(p.107) Four This Fishery Will Be Managed
Contesting Leviathan

Les Beldo

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explore an affinity that many Makah people recognize between local conceptions of the environment and the utilitarian, quantitative ontology of the state, reflected in avibrant local discourse that suggests Makah leaders were prepared by their traditional and spiritual teachings to contribute as fisheries managers. Complicating the anthropological view that modern resource management inevitably undermines the authority and legitimacy of traditional ecological knowledge (so-called), this chapter examines how and why many Makahs feel they are able to merge their knowledge and mastery of the federal management system with more traditional, spiritual discourses on whaling, effectively utilizing both registers in pursuit of their political aims.Because of the moral consonance between the two ways of seeing whales—each viewing whales, in the most abstract sense, as killable resources—Makah leaders have been able to pursue federal legitimacy in the form of resource co-management without disrupting or undermining the spiritual and ontological commitments of Makah whalers, while still mostly pushing back against the persistent misrecognition of the noble ecological Indian.

Keywords:   management, bureaucracy, morality, fisheries, traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), noble ecological indian, state power, National Marine Fisheries Service, technocracy

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