As indicated by archaeological evidence we have always trapped fox. But it was not until the early 1900’s that fox trapping was introduced as a commercial activity that enabled us to create an income from selling fox pelts. Trapping was an activity that encouraged hunters to spend time on the land and it did not require developing new skills or knowledge. By the late 1920’s trapping had become an essential element that was quickly integrated into our way of life. The income earned from trapping was used to purchase things we needed like tea, flour, ammunition, and even the large wooden boats.

In the early 1960’s income from fox trapping was supplemented by the money that was earned from selling the seal skins that we did not use for clothing or other purposes. The hunting of seals has always been the core of our food gathering economy, so selling the skins was simply an added benefit. When the anti-sealing lobbyists succeeded in bringing about the European Economic Community sealskin boycott in 1983, this source of income was lost. Of course we must continue to hunt seals for food and this has created a surplus of skins that no longer provide income. This situation has created economic hardships throughout the Arctic.
Inuit Tapirisat of Canada

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