Hollywood sexpot Pamela Anderson may have called the seal hunt “an embarrassment to Canada,” but Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Mary Simon is proud of the federal government’s efforts to maintain the trade of seal products with China.

On January 12, Ottawa and respective provincial and territorial government leaders inked a trade deal with China for seal products. The deal is particularly important to the Inuit for the sale of sealskin products.

“I commend our Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Gail Shea, and her officials, for recognizing the significance in solidifying partnerships and supporters for our seal market by signing a trade agreement with China on the import of Canadian seal products,” said Simon.

Since the ban on seal products within the European Union (EU) in 2009, the Inuit of Canada’s north, along with other Inuit in Greenland, have had no choice but to sue the EU because of what Simon describes as “an unjust and immoral seal products’ ban.”

Though the EU is currently working on a law would exempt seal products from Canada’s Arctic Inuit community because they are traditional hunters, it has yet to have any impact.

According to a press release, Simon also said “the size of the Chinese market and rapid growth of the Chinese economy makes this particularly good news for Inuit and our interests in expanding our market opportunities for sealskin products. I’m pleased that the Chinese government has seen through the myths and distortions that have been widely disseminated by animal rights extremists in other parts of the world, such as Europe. We want to create a stable and secure future for our seal hunters.”