Celebrating Chris's Whale
Chris Apassingok is a 16 year-old high school student in the Village of Gambell, Alaska. Gambell is located on St. Lawrence Island 250 West of Nome.
In such an isolated environment, the people of St. Lawrence Island have been depending on the animals of the land and sea for sustenance. There is a store run by ANICA and another locally owned business. These 2 franchises provide groceries and everyday essentials. Due to inclement weather and high costs of shipping, these 2 stores are not always stocked. The cost of living in rural Alaska is a lot higher than metro areas.
For centuries, our people have been hunting whales and when one is struck, it is cause for celebration. The first whale of the season is shared amongst the entire community and stocks most peoples’ freezers. This food is highly nutritional and lasts a lot longer than food bought from the store.
Our people go out into the Bering Sea during the spring and catch whales. This is what is taught to the generation that comes after us. It is a way of living.
Chris has been brought up in a traditional lifestyle and provides food for the entire community and the surrounding communities. Recently he has brought home a 57-foot whale.
In this event, Chris, a 16 year old, child has been under fire by a group of people forcing their beliefs upon everyone around them.
There have been many unpleasant things said by one individual, Paul Watson. He opened by calling Chris a murdering bastard. Later on, he commented on how to find Chris through social media for others to attack. He has shared his photo and said this is where you find him and know that it’s him.
Chris a child with a heart of gold, has received numerous hate messages inspired by Paul Watson. He does not deserve this type of treatment for providing for his family, his community, those that cannot provide for themselves.
We are going to pursue legal action. I invite you to take part in finding justice for Chris.
Thank you for reading
I'm sorry Chris that you are going through this. Being a provider and an excellent hunter seems to be your strong suit. People in the lower 48 do not understand the subsistence lifestyle and the necessity for it. People are ignorant until they are educated. I am amazed that you are only 16 years old. We are all proud of you and your accomplishments. Hang in there Chris and the community of Gambell. -Corinne Trish
i am not a whale hunter myself as i am a vegetarian but i did not like how people treated this kid. especially since he is feeding his village. i wish people really understood how life is for inuits. like they live in places where plants do not grow and marine mammals are a source of food. plus they only take what they need. i can understand if this was some a-hole dentist who was killing lions in africa for fun and nothing else *cough* Walter*cough* but this is a young kid who is feeding an entire village over over 1000 people and then some. on behalf of the adults in the world, let me be the first so say that i am sorry this happened.
@Anneliese Varaldiev Um...did you even bother to read the description? That's not an option for them. Food is EXPENSIVE there. They cannot *afford* to go vegan. This is something they've done for survival for eons...and you're telling them to change their way of life because they don't fit your ideals. Back OFF. Now then. I'm sorry there are people in the world that don't seem to get why you're doing what you're doing, Chris. Please know there are also people that understand and are rooting for you every step of the way! Keep being a beacon of hope for your people!
not even gonna lie before i read this i just saw the picture and i was more than a little miffed, but before i jumped to conclusions i read the article with it. Those so called animal rights activists are wrong, this is the best use of hunting. Be proud of your kid, I hope Chris is proud of himself too, despite what people have said. He's not terrible for feeding his village, he's not terrible for not wasting the animal he hunted. I'm sorry I can't donate to your cause but I really hope you can take action against the people who have done this
Chris, you have a right to be proud for providing for your village. I'm so sorry that narrow minded crazy people have this need to tarnish such an amazing accomplishment. Hold you head high, young man! Besides- I'd love to see those crazy people last long enough innthe bush to even get to your village. I'm gonna assume that you are safe. In the end, it's not you, personally. It could be any one of your village or in all of Alaska. These are just sick lost people who don't know what to do with their feelings of powerlessness. I'm proud of you, and anyone who knows the smallest tiny bit about Alaska and what it takes to live there is proud of you too.
BTW ya'll, (especially movie producers) this is how you operate an outboard motor. Not with the right hand. (Apologies to left hand folks who might do otherwise). Seen too many instances, especially in movies great and bad, with ppl operating a outboard with their right hand. lol
I have been vegan for 17 years and must say I am deeply ashamed at the behavior of some in my community. Having the freedom and means to choose veganism is a rare privilege. Not to mention, there is a world of difference between hunting for sport and hunting for survival. Chris is a teenaged boy who did something incredible to provide for his whole community. Something most American adults would never have the courage or skill to do, even if they were desperate for a meal. Perhaps if the Paul Watsons and Annaliese Varaldievs of the world could spend even 60 seconds ruminating on that, they could find some genuine compassion in their hearts instead of the trite, showy "compassion" for animals they slather like puss all over social media. Mr. Apassingok, you are an awesome human. You and your family deserve to THRIVE and be joyful. I am deeply sorry for the awful attacks you have endured at the hands of such terribly misguided humans. Peace and blessings to you and your whole community ^_^
Paul Watson can get bent. Its not like he killed it and just left it to rot. He must feel like a BIG man picking on a sixteen year old who actually did right by his village and none of the whale is going to waste at all.
I am so sorry about how incredibly insensitive some people are. You are providing for not just your family, but your entire village and beyond! Not only that but you are continuing a centuries-old tradition! No one should ever shame that. That whale is an incredible catch, and you deserve all the praise and celebration you are due! Be proud!
Don't listen to the uneducated haters, people over in America are to domesticated to understand what its like to hunt for their own food, most of then wouldn't even dare say anything to you in real life
Go vegan! Let the whales live in peace.
CHRIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is Texas calling and read your story, thanks to Dallas Goldtooth. You, Chris, are AWESOME and have NOTHING to be ashamed of. Your keen hunting is going to feed your COMMUNITY and that makes you a blessing to the entire community and beyond. I am so very sorry that you have learned at an early age what the limitless boundaries of social media can do and how the pendulum can swing both ways. PLEASE, WRITE YOUR STORY. Share this around the world. You musn't allow people that do NOT put food on your tables to try and shame you. I know these are just words on more social media, but they do come from my heart straight to yours with all sincerity. Just love, brother. You are a strong young man and we need more like you. Please be a mentor to the youth. ADELANTE!!! Julia's Child
Keep up the great work and the cultural traditions of your people. It is admirable to see someone so young being able to provide for your entire village. I hope that the positive responses can drown out the negative ones and you will remain proud of your accomplishments.
Hi Chris I'm sorry people have turned you great accomplishment into a way to spread hate. Please don't let them get to you. Please remember your gifts and lis ten to those who love you. You did a great thing and helped many people. Stay strong in your traditions and know there are many people proud of you. Sending love from someone who survived thanks to the hunters and the elk who died to feed me.
Have you talked to a lawyer? Wasn't your story publicized in the news? Has a lawyer offered to take your case? What would such a case be? I'm a journalist- however bad the negative comments were- make sure you have a case before raising funds for 'Justice.' If raising funds to support your family- that needs to be made clear- I'd hate to see such a fine young man run afoul of fundraising laws- (if they exist)- I think you might consider writing your story- ❤️
Stay strong Chris. Don't worry too much about those who don't understand. And when those who don't understand try to change a healthy way of life... don't let them. Take this with you and teach it forward...
hi chris my name is doreen and im from new zealand...head up and be proud of what u do.dont let creeps and nastys tell you any diffrent.hang in there its going to be ok.
I wish i had some money to give to help support this cause. To the young man and his family and community, there are far too many who try to force their opinions on others. I hope you do not let this man get to you with his ignorance of your culture.
Congratulations to the young man for providing for his immediate and extended family/community. And preserving his heritage. People don't know how hard life can be in remote areas and don't understand a subsistence lifestyle or the necessity of one.