• Blackfish Lessons on Environmental Sustainability, Food, and Indigenous Culture

      Swensen, Thomas (2017-09-11)
      This essay, “Blackfish Lessons on Environmental Sustainability, Food, and Indigenous Culture,” examines Yup’ik interventions into understanding the place of human-nonhuman animal relations in regard to ecological sustainability. In lending consideration to Indigenous culture, the first part of the essay explicates the Yup’ik way of living, the Yuuyaraq, and its relationship to the environment. Then the essay turns toward two Yup’ik stories about blackfish, John Active’s “Why Subsistence is a Matter of Cultural Survival: A Yup’ik Point of View” (2001) and Emily Johnson’s “Blackfish,” taken from The Thank-You Bar recorded performance (Johnson, 2009), that speak to the imbrications of Indigenous culture and the environment.