Canoe laying upside down.
Red Canoe Canoe racing at the annual Makah Days celebration in Neah Bay honors ancient practices, for which red cedar canoes provided a vehicle to fish and travel. © Cameron Karsten


The Nature Conservancy in Washington Statement Regarding Makah Whaling Rights

Media Contacts

The Nature Conservancy applauds and supports NOAA’s decision to allow the Makah Tribe to exercise its treaty rights to engage in whaling under the treaty of Neah Bay. The Nature Conservancy has a steadfast commitment to support tribal rights. We recognize that whaling is fundamental to the Makah Tribe’s society and culture. We also note that the relevant science demonstrates that Makah whaling activity would not represent a risk to the Pacific Coast Feeding Group of Eastern North Pacific gray whales.

Supporting the rights of the Makah and other Indigenous Peoples around the world is core to The Nature Conservancy’s values and supports good stewardship of our natural resources. The Makah Tribe has waited patiently for more than two decades to exercise their reserved treaty rights and preserve their cultural and spiritual identity. We fully support efforts of the Makah Indian Tribe to resume their traditional, ancestral and spiritual practice of whaling


Mike Stevens 

Washington State Director

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. The Nature Conservancy is working to make a lasting difference around the world in 77 countries and territories (41 by direct conservation impact and 36 through partners) through a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on X.