Netse Mot 2021-Call to bring Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut Home
2021 will focus on the return of Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut (Tokitae/Lolita) to the Pacific Northwest from Miami Seaquarim in Florida. In the 1970s Southern Resident Orca youth were forcibly and violently taken from their pods and shipped out to aquariums and parks all over the world. Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut (Tokitae/Lolita) was taken to Miami Seaquarium where she is the last surviving Orca youth taken. Lummi Nation has been trying for decades now to have her returned but Miami Seaquarim is refusing to release her. In 2019, two Lummi women, Squil-le-he-le and Mah Tahs working with Earth Law Center, invoked the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and announced their intent to sue Miami Seaquarium if the Seaquarium. To date (April 2021), Miami Seaquarim is still refusing to release Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut. Squil-le-he-le and Mah Tahs are calling upon us to respond as well.
- For individuals, they are asking that we sign the petition established by Earth Law Center that is collecting signatures to go to Miami Seaquarim and its parent and affiliates—Palace Entertainment and Parques Reunidos Servicios Centrales SA.
- For groups and organizations, they are asking that we sign a request to Governor’s Inslee (WA) and Brown (OR) and BC Premier John Horgan to sign a proclamation to support the efforts to bring her home. Please sign by 24 May 2021. We’d like to present it to the Governors in June during Orca Action Month.
- We are also being asked to reach out to other Indigenous connections we may have and invite them to sign the Indigenous Statement of Solidarity. The request also includes a video of ceremonies in solidarity. If you have connections with an Indigenous group, please ask them to contact Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More info can be found at sacredsea.org or our other webpages on the Totem Pole Journeys dedicated to her at https://juustwa.org/program-areas/issues/first-american-indian-nations/our-work/totem-pole-journeys/tokitae/ and https://juustwa.org/program-areas/issues/first-american-indian-nations/our-work/totem-pole-journeys/tokitae/tokitae-totem-pole-returns-home/
Join the UUA GA’s Indigenous Rising and Netse Mot 2020 together in one action! – POSTPONED. Stay tuned we will be rescheduling.
We have two converging programs that can mesh really well together if you choose to participate. For those of you who are not UUs, you are welcome to participate – our doors are always welcome and we encourage you to join us in solidarity.
The UUA General Assembly (GA) will have a significant focus on Indigenous issues as it is the 400th Anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower in New England (GA will be held in Providence Rhode Island in June). Currently, there are efforts are underway to raise funds for a scholarship fund to help UUs bring their indigenous allies to GA. The UU Ministry for Earth (UUMFE) is requesting help in funding this scholarship by having an event to screen the film ” The Condor and the Eagle” ( https://www.uumfe.org/resources/world-water-day/). They are asking that each congregation show the film and help to raise at least $300.00. This donation will be divvied up 3-4 ways:
- Film screening fees to the filmmakers (to support a Spring & Summer screening tour),
- Bringing The Condor & The Eagle‘s filmmakers and protagonists, and other UU Indigenous climate justice partners, to the UUA General Assembly in Providence, RI, June 24-28th, 2020,
- Establishing funding for UU Indigenous solidarity and partnership in 2020 through the Create Climate Justice initiative, &
- [If applicable] supporting an existing local Indigenous partner organization (your community would distribute these funds directly to the local partner and send the remaining funds to UU Ministry for Earth to distribute)
UUMFE is requesting that the film be shown on March 22nd in support of World Water; however, I have an alternate suggestion of showing the film sometime during the week of the 16th, before March 21st and here’s why.
(Cancelled due to COVID) – On March 21st, those of us who planned and participated in the “Netse Mot: One Heart and One Mind for Xw’ullemy (the Salish Sea)” last September in Blaine, are planning another Netse Mot event for March 21st on the North Steps of the Capitol in Olympia. We are still in the planning stages but the event, right now, is tentatively scheduled for 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Our plan is to have several Indigenous Leaders speaking at this event from British Columbia, Washington State and Alaska. Since Lummi Sovereignty and Treaty Protection Office is organizing this event, there will be a strong Lummi presence, but also the presence of other Tribes/Nations to be named later. More details will come as the organizing team moves forward.
It’s my suggestion that UU congregations and organizations show the ” The Condor and the Eagle” the week of the March 16th to provide the backdrop and help set the tone for the Netse Mot event. Invite someone from the your local indigenous community to speak at your screening. For those congregations who are willing to share some of the funds raised (as stated by UUMFE above), please do so. If you don’t have a Tribe/Nation or indigenous community or organization to contribute to, please consider contributing to Netse Mot (details at sacred sea.org – you can also get update info on the Netse Mot event here).
If you decide to show the film, please send me the date and time and the info on any guest speakers that you organize so I can get it up on the JUUstice Washington website, calendar and Facebook page and I’ll send the listing out to this group again.
Netse Mot 2019
The Netse Mot event was well attended and a livestream video of the event can be found at STAND.earth‘s Facebook page. Not sure what the official count was, but we ran of out patches and sign-in sheets which meant we had nearly 400 people on the pier and in the water.
Many thanks to all the volunteers! Special thanks to Marilyn Mayers of East Shore Unitarian Church for helping with the welcome table and climbing up on a storage unit to help hang the Tokitae Totem Pole Journey Mural along with the Steve Duckett and the employees of Star Fish, Inc. Special thanks also goes to Judith Kasper, Mary Alden, Betty Scott, Marian Beddill and Mike and Drew Betz from the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship for their many roles and many hands in helping make the event possible!
Watch for a new page that’ll have more info, photos and links to videos of the event.
Event Protocols (Please read before attending the event, especially those of you who will be attending on the water).
September 27, 2019
Blaine Marine Park, Fishing Pier
272 Marine Dr, Blaine, WA 98230
Please save the date and include this as the concluding event for the other events being planned for Climate Action Week and the Season of Creation at the end of September. Netse Mot: One Mind for Xw’ullemy (the Salish Sea) is a gathering, led by the Tribes/Nations of the Pacific Northwest, to call attention to the imperative to restore and protect the Salish Sea.
Gather on Fishing Pier of the Blaine Marine Park at high tide for speakers, and a demonstration of unity.
If you have a boat – Tribal or non-tribal, fishing or leisure, big or small, Canadian or American– gather on the water at the border. If you don’t have a boat, canoe or kayak, join us on land! More information on cultural and vessel protocols will be posted soon, so keep checking back here or at Sacred Sea: For a Living Salish Sea.
BRING OR WEAR RED.
More details will be coming soon so save the date! See program updates here and more information here on what are the most critical issues impacting the Salish Sea and ways you can respond to make the necessary course correction.
Netse Mot: One Mind for Xw’ullemy (the Salish Sea)
The name of the Salish Sea may be a new one, but Her Story is an ancient one; one that has spanned the generations of countless millennia. Her Story is a wide one, reaching well into the northern shores of British Columbia to the south into the Puget Sound and west to the convergence where Her waters meet the Pacific Ocean. Fed by the Pacific Ocean, our mountains and our inland tributaries, She cradles our islands and caresses our western shores. She is the feast upon which we feed, the place upon where we live, work and play.
Her Story carries us to distance places upon wave and wake, better known to fisherman, sailors, pullers and sea captains. Yet Her Story is softly whispered in the winds that fill our sails and to our children exploring Her rocky shores. It is a Story told by the trees and the rivers, the salmon and the bear. It is a Story that encompasses the richer history and highways of the ancient peoples and the newer, sadder stories of the arrival and settlement of newcomers. It is a Story sung by our Orcas.
Her Story is changing. Where once She received prayers of praise and gratitude, Her Story is now dominated with verses of violence and degradation. It is one that is fading away in the mists, from our minds and from our hearts. Soon, Her Story will be no more.
“This garden that we were blessed since the beginning of time, it always came back. We’ve been farmers of the sea since time immemorial. And now we are faced with the struggles that not only we face today but the orcas are facing today. So we need to step up. We are at the point right now where we don’t have much time . . .This is a battle for the soul of Xw’ullemy, the Salish Sea.”
~ Jay Julius, Tribal Council Chairman, Lummi Nation
On September 27th at the conclusions of Climate Action Week and interfaith’s Season of Creation, Lummi Nation will be leading Netse Mot: One Mind for Xw’ullemy, an international and intertribal event that calls attention to the critical state of the Salish Sea, beloved by our Native and non-Native communities here in the U.S and in Canada. The goal of the event is to demonstrate the impact an international collaboration under the leadership of the Tribes/Nations, empowered by the support of environmental and social justice organizations and the faith community, can have in addressing the many of challenges the Salish Sea. Some of these challenges are the assaults on Tribal/National sovereignty, rights and cultural continuity. They are the impacts of climate change and of air/land/water pollution. They are the impacts of vessel traffic and fossil fuel, mining and other hazardous material industries. They are the declining marine wildlife populations like our Southern Resident Orcas and Chinook Salmon. And there are more.
“The border with Canada doesn’t separate the life in the waters . . . If we want to restore and protect it, we all have to be better stewards . . . extend to the Salish Sea the same kind of courtesy you extend to the house that you live in . . . That’s what being a steward means, really, taking care of the house that you live in.”
~ Bert Webber, Professor Emeritus,
Huxley College, WWU
Join us, on land or by sea, as we gather together as an international coalition of Tribes/Nations, NGOs and the faith community raising one united voice to restore, protect and preserve the Salish Sea, for all life connected to it and its future generations. Special guest speakers will share words and wisdom to show us why and how to keep the Xw’ullemy alive, to preserve Her Story and Her being. Bring or wear red to show our solidarity and commitment to the Jewel of the Pacific Northwest–the Salish Sea.
“As Billy Frank said . . . we need to ‘point the canoe in a different direction’ than we did seven generations ago. We need to paddle together in a way that is intelligent and efficient, and we need to paddle hard.”
~ Coast Salish Gathering: The Future of the Salish Sea: A Call to Action, 2009
Together, we can point the canoe in the right direction.
Septebmber 27, 2019
Blaine Marine Park, Fishing Pier, Blaine, WA
For more information follow these websites: https://sacredsea.org.