Saturday, 22 August – LUMMI NATION, Bellingham, WA:
Blessing ceremony at the Tribal Administration Center, 2665 Kwina Road, Bellingham
Lummi Hereditary Chief Tsi li xw (Bill James)
Jewell James, Master Carver, Lummi Elder and Journey Lead
Doug James, Lummi Elder and Journey member
Freddy Lane, Lummi member and Journey member
Matt Petrynie, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities
Roxanne Murphy, Bellingham City Council and Nooksack Tribal member
San Olson, President of Friends of the San Juans
Lummi Elder Floyd Warbus
Rev. Paul Beckel, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship
Rev. Charis Weathers, ECHOES
Heading South . . .
We are on the road south! Thanks so much to everyone who came out to the Lummi Blessing ceremony tonight at the Lummi Tribal Center. Everyone was surprised by the outpouring of support and energized by the love and concern we all share for our communities and ecosystems when it comes to these proposed coal mines and export facilities. We have a wonderful media team on the journey, Paul Anderson doing photography, myself (Matt Fuller) doing audio/radio recordings and, of course, the indomitable Freddy Lane filming and doing video interviews. Please stay tuned here on the site for updates and multimedia content. See the schedule to find out where you can come meet our caravan on our way out to Lame Deer, MT and the Northern Cheyenne. Freddy also invites everyone to follow along on his facebook for timely updates from the road! (right now he has some pictures and video up from the Totem Blessing at Lummi).
Interviews with Lummi Chief Bill James and Matt Petryni of RE Sources
Here are two videos from the blessing and ceremony at the Lummi Tribal Center on Saturday, August 22nd, 2015:
Lummi Chief Bill James:
Matt Petryni (of Re-Sources and Power Past Coal):
The Blessing by Rev. Paul Beckel, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship
First I want to say thank you for the generosity you’ve just shown by contributing financially to the totem pole journey. And I’ll note that at the top of this pole is carved a symbol of the four directions, which reminds us that there will be different stages in our lives when we will have different ways to be generous. Some of us can do more financially and others can carve poles, or share this message by showing up, speaking up, or singing. As the terrible forest fires nearby remind us, as the death of three firefighters remind us, there are countless ways to act to protect our mother earth, let us be grateful for these opportunities.
And now, as we gather today we invite among us an atmosphere, a spirit you might say, of respect. Because a trial is at hand — a trial against indifference, and lack of vision.
Spirit of respect be with us as a cloak against indifference…indifference that allows us to waste what is precious and to neglect what is blessed.
Together today we say that this totem pole is blessed. Not because it has roots in an ancient culture, not because it is beautiful, and not because of a fancy ritual. The totem pole is blessed because it embodies the spirit of respect which somehow has called us together today so that we might recommit to live harmoniously with all of its components: cedar, animals, fish and water.
The totem pole is blessed because it represents something in each of us…a tremendous power to restore the bonds between and among ourselves…it represents a tremendous power to restore the bonds between ourselves and the global ecosystem on which we depend for life.
The totem pole, set now to go out on its journey, is blessed because it shall startle us into paying attention. May it do so today as we touch and gaze upon it. May it do so in the days to come when we remember the commitments we make now to mother earth and to one another. May it startle, provoke and bring awe to all who encounter this talisman on its journey.
And may the spirit of respect that now dwells among us be carried forward, so that even as we go our separate ways, it might surround and strengthen us. And even as the totem pole travels thousands of miles, to be touched by thousands of grateful, respectful hands…even then may it come back home with its aura of blessedness magnified one thousand fold.
For ultimately this totem pole becomes blessed in its journey which represents a new vision and inspires us to take action together to heal the world.
Blessing Photos by Deb Cruz, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship