Below is an abstract from a research paper conducted by Danita Burke, a J.R. Smallwood Foundation Fellow, Center for War Studies, University of Southern Denmark. It was published by The Northern Review Journal number 51 in 2021.
Greenpeace’s early work in the anti-sealing movement in the 1970s–1980s is a complex legacy for the organization to navigate.While Greenpeace Canada withdrew from the anti-sealing movement in 1986 and expressed regret for the impact of its actions on Inuit, the extent of the long-term damage caused by the anti-sealing movement, and Greenpeace’s controversial track record in it, motivated Greenpeace Canada to articulate a more robust public apology to Canadian Inuit in 2014.This commentary outlines a case for Greenpeace to continue its path of reconciliation for activities undertaken during the anti-sealing movement and to apologize to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. Particularly, the commentary calls for an apology to sealers, their families, and their communities, and to First Nations and Inuit people from the province, for Greenpeace’s role in inflicting and promoting forms of violence, stigma, and cultural hatred, and in undermining Indigenous rights in the province.
The full document (PDF) can be downloaded and read here
This paper is informed by archival research from the Center for Newfoundland Studies (CNS) collected in spring and summer 2020, and from secondary research from the Ferriss Hodgett Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN). Special thanks to Colleen Field for her help, and that of her colleagues, with data collection at the CNS, and to Nicole Holloway of the Ferriss Hodgett Library, Grenfell Campus, MUN for their assistance accessing library resources during the COVID-19 access restrictions. e research is supported by a JR Smallwood Foundation Fellowship.