The Case for a Greenpeace Apology to Newfoundland and Labrador




Newfoundland and Labrador, Greenpeace, Sealing, Inuit, Apology


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.

Correction Notice: This article was updated August 23, 2021, to include the Roswell, 1977 reference, which was inadvertently omitted from the reference list in the originally published article.

Author Biography

Danita Catherine Burke, University of Southern Denmark

J.R. Smallwood Foundation Fellow, Center for War Studies