Jewell speaks for a few minutes prior to the event at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church in Portland, OR
Yesterday was another powerful and moving day, as we held a Blessing Ceremony and handed the totem pole off at an ancient gathering site alongside the Tongue River on rancher Clint McRae’s property. Lots of passionate words and there was a tremendous amount of solidarity across the local “divides” of ranchers and indigenous communities. We have not had great internet connectivity for video and audio the last couple days, but please stay tuned for a lot of new material to be posted in soon. I think you will find a lot of it really inspiring and hopeful it will move you and motivate you the way it has for so many people we have met along this journey. Don’t forget that Freddy Lane has been posting a lot on his personal facebook and that you can find a lot of video from this journey over at this youtube channel.
We’ve reached our destination here in Northern Cheyenne country and had a powerful day stopping by Lame Deer, MT and resting/preparing for tomorrow, when we will hand the totem pole over for its next journey. (Community members will be touring the totem around the area for a couple weeks before raising it here in SE Montana, home of the Tongue River, Otter Creek and the proposed new coal strip mine).
As Freddy, Paul and I sort and edit through our pictures, video and audio, I wanted to remind you that Freddy has been posting a lot of short videos of moments and reflections of the journey on his personal facebook. Here are a few of my favorites he has shot but please do head over to his facebook for much more. The first video below is one I shot after Freddy and I recorded a passing 1.5 mile coal train outside of Livingston, Montana. We have seen countless coal and oil trains along this journey and can only hope that our efforts will ripple out and help our broader communities put an end to the proposals for these fossil fuel megaprojects in the region.
FRI Aug 28, 2015 * Livingston, MT * Freddy Lane filming a coal train
SAT Aug 29, 2015 • Ashland MT • Doug James retouches up the totem pole while the Seahawks are playing.
FRI Aug 28, 2015 • MISSOULA, MT • Totem Pole Blessing
TUES Aug 25, 2015 • Hood River OR • Update and arrival
LIVE from Tulalip Bay • SUN Aug 23rd, 2015 • Jewell James and Deborah Parker
We have one last event today, here in Missoula, and then turn our attention to the Northern Cheyenne in Lame Deer, Montana.
We are on the cusp of changing seasons, and we must focus and concentrate on the final phase of this journey.
All along the route friends and strangers have greeted us, broken bread with, shared their thoughts and feelings, and celebrated the arrival of and the meaning of this totem pole.
We have been moving from event to event (often twice a day ) so that it is easy to forget that we need to laugh together. Yesterday after the Spokane event, Jace Bylinga of the Sierra Club took us out to lunch and the next thing we were all laughing at stories that Jewell told.
Master Carver Jewell James speaks to the interfaith congregation in Spokane at the blessing and ceremony for the 2015 Lummi Totem Pole Journey.
It has been so wonderful to meet so many of you on this journey, as you come out to help bless and give energy to the Totem Pole and its travelers as this caravan makes its way to the communities of the Northern Cheyenne. We had a powerful gathering today at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Spokane (see audio below) and are looking forward to todays gathering here in Missoula (see the schedule for details). We hope you have all been appreciative of the pictures, audio and video we have been sharing. For those of you who have had the chance to come visit the journey in person, please let us know if you would want to share your thoughts and reflections here on the site, we would love to have your contribution to this story!
The Yakima Nation hosted us yesterday in a private event. During that time we were included in a blessing ceremony with 7 drums and impressive singing. I will write more later- wanted to have some images up this morning. We appreciate the Chairman taking time to share salmon with us. 40,000 acres have been on fire on their land and many people are out on the line try to quench the conflagration.