Subsistence Harvest

Subsistence harvest is an exclusive right of Aboriginal peoples within the range states through the 1973 Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears. Hunting in the Arctic is not a hobby or a luxury; for many Inuit and First Nations people it is a necessity. Inuit have relied on species like caribou, ringed seal, and polar bear as sources of sustenance for millennia. Even in today’s revenue-based econ­omy, people still depend on hunting as an essential, relatively low-cost alternative to store-bought items, and a much-needed source of nutrition and revenue. The income generated from selling a polar bear hide is often reinvested into hunting equipment and supplies, such as gas, snowmobile repairs, and a host of other necessities that enable Inuit to continue subsistence hunting.