Northern Canadians snap #sealfies in social media movement

About 30 people gathered in Iqaluit to shoot a pro-seal hunting #sealfie.

Ellen DeGeneres can stick her selfie where the sun doesn't shine.

That is the underlining message behind a movement gaining momentum among Canada's northern communities, which has taken umbrage with the American entertainer's apparent opposition to the country's seal hunt.

DeGeneres recently donated $1.5 million to an American group that protests Canada's seal hunt after snapping a celebrated "selfie" photograph during the Oscars. In response, Canadians are posting their own photos in support of the seal hunt.

The images are cheekily refered to as "sealfies."

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DeGeneres made waves recently when the Oscar host posed for a "selfie" with celebrities such as Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. The photograph became to most-tweeting message in the history of Twitter, and, in exchange, Samsung gave DeGeneres $3 million to donate. DeGeneres donated half of that to the Humane Society of the United States, an animal rights group that opposes Canada's seal hunt. The donation upset many northern Canadians, including 15-year-old Killaq Enuaraq-Strauss, who posted a heartfelt appeal to DeGeneres on YouTube.

The issue grew more heated last week when Canadian singer Tanya Tagaq posted an image of her child posing next to a dead adult seal. In the photo, blood can be seen on the rocks between the child and the seal carcass, prompting a public backlash.

The attacks included personal insults and threats against Tagaq, as well as calls for her child to be seized.

“It became quite hurtful,” Tagaq told CBC News. “Right now, actually there's a woman who has my picture up on her Twitter and the things that people are saying about myself and my baby. It's just complete harassment. It's not OK.”

But the backlash to that backlash may have created something even more interesting - a public rally by those who support the northern seal hunt.

CBC's Northern bureau has been collecting "sealfies" posted by supporters of the seal hunt. And many more are posting pictures online.

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There has so far been no official response from DeGeneres, but that is frankly besides the point. The #sealfie campaign has brought together a group of like-minded Canadians who are publicly celebrating a part of their culture.

Regardless on your personal stance on the seal hunt, that's something to be inspired by.

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