Tagaq, who is from Nunavut, said Thursday she was notified that her account was being blocked for 24 hours after she shared a friend’s photo of a young man wearing the coat, along with the hashtags #eatseal and #wearseal.
Tagaq, a longtime defender of the Inuit seal hunt, said animal-rights activists and others who criticize the hunt are hurting a traditional and sustainable livelihood.
“The Arctic is a vast place. Groceries are terribly expensive. Many live in poverty,” Tagaq wrote in a message to The Canadian Press from Nuuk, Greenland, where she was preparing for a concert.
“We have no other resources other than non-renewable energy. We need to export something. We need to live. To pay rent.”
Hovak Johnston, the woman who made the coat, said Inuit use every part of the seal and fur would be discarded if not used in coats.
“Inuit are really good with reusing stuff and not wasting and making sure that we try to use everything that is good for the environment _not something that’s plastic or synthetic,” Johnston said from her home in Yellowknife.
Johnston said she made the coat for her teenage son, who posted the picture on Facebook and had the picture reposted by Tagaq, a family friend.
Facebook’s media relations office said it was unaware of Tagaq’s complaint and was investigating.
Tagaq, who combines throat singing with elements of alternative rock and ambient music, won the 2014 Polaris Music Prize for her album “Animism.” She has sparred many times online with opponents of the seal hunt.
When she accepted the Polaris prize, she again challenged opponents.
“People should wear and eat seal as much as possible because, if you can, imagine an Indigenous culture thriving and surviving on sustainable resources, wearing seal and eating it. It’s delicious and there’s lots of them,” she said in her acceptance speech.
“I really believe that if hipsters can make flower beards ‘in’, then you can do it with seal.”