The Makah, a tribe of ocean-fishing Indians on the northwest coast of USA, are attempting to re-estabilish their ancient whaling tradition. An outrageous notion from the point of view of enviromental protectionists and animal rights activists. The conflict has paradoxical features: traditional Indian way of life, often held up as a model for modern environmental awareness, suddenly becomes an opponent. The controversy grows and leads into a serious conflict by force. In spite of all opposition, the Makah finally catch a whale.