We Rise Again.
Tokitae was forcibly and brutally taken from the Pacific Northwest in raids during the 1960s and 1970s, that stole 45 Orca youth from our Southern Resident Orca population. Tokitae (Lolita) is the last surviving Orca taken in those raids. She is now 47 years old and Lummi Nation and others throughout the Pacific Northwest want her returned home.
In May 2018, Lummi House of Tears Carvers led by Master Carver Jewell James carved a totem pole that would travel across the country in May of 2017, to be a symbol of the efforts to bring Tokitae Home.
The Tokitae Totem Pole is returning home to the Lummi Nation and the Pacific Northwest.
Tokitae, herself, is not.
Even though the Miami Sequarium will not release her to come home, the Tokitae Totem Pole will return, carrying her Spirit with it. The Tokitae Totem Pole, on its trip home, will be stopping in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle and Bellingham.
Please attend and gather together to welcome the Tokitae Totem Pole home and show your support not just for Tokitae, but for the health and welfare for her Southern Resident families and the Salish Sea they call home.
The Lummi Nation invites your participation in a gathering at various stops on its way home, dedicated to the vision of Qwe lhol mechen, the Lummi word for killer whale which translates to “our people that live under the sea.” It is part of our Xa Xalh Xechnging (“sacred obligation”) to bring home from Miami Seaquarium the captive killer whale Tokitae and return her to her family.
The gathering is also dedicated to the survival and revival of her imperiled extended family—the Southern Resident Killer Whale population that live in our Salish Sea (Puget Sound) and rely on California coastal waters. The Salish Sea orcas are a sort of “miner’s canary” for the health of the sea and the wider ecosystem. Critically endangered, the threats they face range from climate change, starvation, toxic and sound pollution, oil pipelines and tanker traffic.
This journey is ultimately a vision of resilience, truth, belonging, and healing for the for Qwe lhol mechen and for us all in a troubled time from which We Shall Rise Again.
Homecoming Blessing Schedule below.
Footage and photos of each of the Homecoming Blessings
can be found on the Our Shared Responsibility Facebook page.
May 30 (Miami Circle Blessing)
May 31 (Miami Rally)
June 1 (Florida International University)
June 7 (Van Nuys City Hall)
June 7 (UC Irvine, arboretum)
June 8 (Topanga Community Center)
June 9 (California Academy of Sciences)
June 11 (Portland)
June 12 (Tacoma)
June 13 (Whatcom Museum, Bellingham)
June 14 (Coupeville)
June 15 (Seattle)