When native women came on board ship to do domestic chores, they learned new ideas about personal hygiene, which helped to prevent disease. On the other hand, new diseases were introduced by the whalers, such as pleurisy, a lung disease, colic, which affects the digestive system, and small pox, which can quickly wipe out an entire population.
All societies go through change, whether influenced by outside forces or changes from within the society itself. In the case of the native populations of the North and South Pacific during the 19th century, many of the changes were the result of the American and European populations' need of resources, and many of the Americans and Europeans they encountered were whalers.
There is no doubt that the native peoples would have changed over time, but the types of change and the affect of those changes on the native populations was overwhelming influenced by people outside of, rather than within, their societies: missionaries, traders and whalers.
Library of Congress