FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

MEDIA CONTACT:
Christina Claassen, Marketing & PR Manager, Whatcom Museum
(360) 778-8936
cmclaassen@cob.org

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Orca Tokitae Totem Stops at the Whatcom Museum on its Journey Home to Lummi Nation

The Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, WA will host the Lummi Nation’s Orca Tokitae totem pole on Thurs., June 13, 6 p.m. -8:00 p.m. at Old City Hall, as it journeys back home after traveling across the country.

Making stops along the West Coast, hundreds will gather at various venues in support of the Lummi Nation’s mission to bring their beloved Orca Tokitae back to her native waters and family in the Salish Sea. Tokitae is the last surviving orca whale taken from the Salish Sea 40 years ago and remains in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium. The Totem Pole Journey from Miami to Seattle calls on the Seaquarium to take action now in planning the release of Tokitae to the Lummi Nation, and for all people to make a commitment to restore and protect Tokitae’s family and the home she knows as the Salish Sea.

The Tokitae totem will be parked outside of Old City Hall on 121 Prospect Street for the community to see. Beginning at 6:00 p.m., guest speakers, including the Whatcom Museum’s Executive Director Patricia Leach, Mayor Kelli Linville, and Representatives Debra Lekanoff (42nd District Washington State Legislature) and Sharon Shewmake (40th District Washington State Legislature) will share the importance of this journey. Lummi House of Tears carvers Jewell James and Doug James will speak and share a song, and Lummi Council Member Fredrick Lane will emcee. Additional performances by Lummi student poet Duran Jefferson, poet Rachael Andersen, singer songwriter Dana Lyons, and singer Julie Trimmingham will be included. At the event, the Lummi will announce a new name for Tokitae in a centuries-old tradition. The evening will end with a procession outside of Old City Hall to the totem pole for a blessing offered by local faith leaders.

Event Details:

What: A free homecoming event in support of Lummi Nation’s Totem Pole Journey to call for the return of their beloved Orca Tokitae and a call for a commitment to restore and protect her family and the Salish Sea they call home.

When: Thursday, June 13, 6 – 8:00 PM

Where: Whatcom Museum Old City Hall, 121 Prospect Street, Bellingham, WA 98225

Participating Speakers & Performers:

Patricia Leach, Whatcom Museum Executive Director or Elizabeth Joffrion, Whatcom Museum Foundation Board President

  • Lummi Council Member Fredrick Lane
  • City of Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville
  • Rep. Sharon Shewmake, 40th District Washington State Legislature
  • Rep. Debra Lekanoff, 42nd District Washington State Legislature
  • Lummi House of Tears Master Carver Jewell James
  • Lummi House of Tears Carver Doug James
  • Lummi Nation Student Poet Duran Jefferson
  • Poet Rachael Andersen
  • Singer-Songwriter Dana Lyons
  • Singer Julie Trimmingham
  • Voices for the Salish Sea
  • Rev. Charis Weathers (Echoes Lutheran)
  • Rev. Paul Beckel (Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship)
  • Rev. Jaco Ten Hove (Unitarian Universalist)

More Information:

 

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