2015 Totem Pole Journey Archive

It is an honor and a pleasure to announce the 2015 totem pole journey, led by Master Carver Jewell James of the Lummi Nation’s House of Tears Carvers. Please join us in supporting this year’s journey. Each year for the past two years, tribal members have carved and transported totem poles thousands of miles to raise public awareness and strengthen opposition to the export of fossil fuels from the west coast of the United States and Canada.

Working in close association with other tribal governments, environmental organizations as well as the faith-based community, these efforts have helped shape the public debate and understanding of what is at risk with the proposed fossil fuel exports.  These journeys have reached millions of people through the mainstream and social media. The 2015 journey (August 21-August 31) comes at a defining moment in our collective effort to defeat these fossil fuel export proposals.

Click here to support this powerful journey.

The Corps of Engineers will likely decide in mid-to-late August whether or not it will agree with the Lummi Nation and deny all permits for the Gateway Pacific Terminal Project. Meanwhile, the project proponents are engaged in a public relations campaign to sway public opinion married to efforts to influence the Corps through elected officials in Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Washington, D.C.  The 2015 journey will play an important role uniting opposition to the fossil fuel export projects, empower the general public with information, send a strong and united message to agencies and elected officials, and strengthen local, regional, and national networks and alliances.

The 2015 Our Shared Responsibilities Totem Pole Journey

Unlike previous journeys the 2015 journey will focus events in places of worship and in key tribal communities. Pope Francis, in his recent 184-page papal encyclical Laudato Si, issued a sweeping condemnation of the “relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment and the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology and political shortsightedness.” The central theme of his message was “our shared responsibilities” to the Creation and to each other. This is also the theme of the 2015 totem pole, and one that goes to the heart of opposition to the proposed extraction, transport and storage of fossil fuels in the Pacific Northwest. We will be holding events at places of worship during the journey to build on this interdenominational message of our shared responsibilities in the faith-based community.

We will also be stopping in major urban areas (Spokane and Portland) and are planning for events at tribal centers in British Columbia, Bellingham, Seattle Area (Tulalip), Longview, Celilo Falls, Yakama, and, finally, the Northern Cheyenne reservation. The journey is scheduled to end in the territory of the Northern Cheyenne whose sacred lands would be devastated by the proposed coal mine. We must raise a total of $29,791 before the departure date of August 21, 2015, so please consider stepping up to support this powerful journey.

You can make a tax-deductible donation to the 2015 Totem Pole Journey here.

Dispatches from the Journey

Below are links to photos, videos, notes and audio recordings for each of the Blessings on the way to Northern Cheyenne.

Click here for Audio Podcasts and Radio Archives (via KVWV and Hollow Earth Radio)

Words and Images at the end of the Journey, by Dr. Kurt Russo

In the News:  Articles and news media coverage of the Journey

17 November 2015:  Environment 360, Not on this Land:  A Western Tribe Takes a Stand and says No to Big Coal

23 September 2015:  East of Billings Blog, Billings, MT It Changes Everything

22 September 2015:  Earth Island Journal, Berkley, CA,  Sacred Lands vs King Coal

21 September 2015:  Billings Gazette, Billings, MT, Northern Cheyenne officials reject coal railroad plans

18 September 2015: Commit2Respond Blog, Unitarian Universalists Join Lummi Nation For Totem Pole Journey

1 September 2015: The Last Best News, Montana, Totem pole unites tribes in opposition to coal projects

2 September 2015:  Billings Outpost, Billings, MT, Totem Aims at Coal

29 August 2015:  The Missoulian, MT, Coal export protesters gather in Missoula to bless totem pole

28 August, 2015:  Seattle News, Seattle, WA, The Lummi Nation Is Lawyering Up For a Big Fight Over Coal Exports

28 August 2015:  KPAX8 News, Missoula, MT WA tribe hopes totem gets people involved over coal shipping issue

28 August 2015:  Montana Public Radio, Totem Pole Coal Protest Draws 100 In Missoula

28 August 2015:  Hood River News,  Hood River, OR, Totem pole gift journeys through Gorge

27 August 2015:  Bellingham Herald, WA, Lummis done talking, call for decision on coal port

27 August 2015:  The Compass, WI, Pope’s encyclical cited as totem pole blessed on way to coal mines

26 August 2015:  East Oregonian, OR, Totem pole journey makes stop in Boardman

26 August 2015:  Hood River News, Hood River, OR Lummi Totem visits Hood River

26 August 2015:  National Catholic Reporter, Pope’s encyclical cited as totem pole blessed on way to coal mines

25 August 2015:  Catholic Sentinel, Church hosts anti-coal rally Totem pole blessed on way to coal mines

25 August 2015:  Spirit in Transition Blog: Valerie Chapman Blog

25 August 2015:  Tulalip News, Is this the world that we want to leave to our children?

25 August 2015:  Indianz.com, Lummi Nation sends totem pole on long trip to oppose coal project

24 August 2015:  Marysville Globe, ‘Love the earth’ message behind totem’s blessing (slide show)

24 August 2015:  Arlington Times, ‘Love the earth’ message behind totem’s blessing (slide show)

24 August 2015:  TiyouspayeNow, Jacqueline Keeler Blog

24 August 2015:  Indian Country Today, Lummi Chairman: We Will Fight Coal Terminal ‘By All Means Necessary’

24 August 2015:  Daily KOS, Unique Update Added–The Tribes battle the Proposed Coal Export Trails

24 August 2015:  AlJazeera America, Northwest tribe sends totem pole on journey against coal

24 August 2015:  TDN.com, Lummi Nation brings anti-coal campaign, totem pole through Longview

23 August 2015:  Talking37thDream, The Summer of the Red Sun and Another Totem Journey From Lummi Nation in Whatcom County / 2015

23 August 2015:  NewsShine, Lummi Nation totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

23 August 2015:  ImTribune (Lewiston Tribune), Lewiston, ID, Totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

22 August 2015:  KOMO News, Lummi Nation totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

22 August 2015:  BroadStripe, Millersville, MD, Native Americans’ totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

22 August 2015:  NZ Herald (New Zealand), Native Americans’ unusual protest targets coal exports

21 August 2015:  KULR News, Billings, MT Native Americans’ totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

21 August 2015:  ArchyNews, Native Americans’ totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

21 August 2015:  Times Union, Albany, NY, Native Americans’ totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

21 August 2015:  The Washington Times, Washington, D.C., Native Americans’ totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

21 August 2015:  HeraldNet, Everett, WA, Lummi totem travels Canada to Montana to oppose coal exports

21 August 2015:  SunHerald, Gulport, MS , Native Americans’ totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

21 August 2015:  kentucky.com, Native Americans’ totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

21 August 2015:  Bellingham Herald, Bellingham, WA, Native Americans’ totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

21 August 2015:  KMAS New Radio, Shelton WA, Native Americans’ totem pole journeys to oppose coal exportsNative Americans’ Totem Pole Journeys To Oppose Coal Exports

21 August 2015:  Corvalis Gazette-Times, Native Americans’ totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

21 August 2015:  SFGate, San Francisco, CA, Native Americans’ totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

21 August 2015:  Noisy Waters Northwest, 2015 Totem Pole Journey to Otter Creek begins / Facebook post, Coal Stop

21 August 2015:  ABC News, Native Americans’ totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

21 August 2015:  Associated Press, Native Americans’ totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

20 August 2015:  Portland Tribune, “Lummi Nation leads tour through Portland to highlight opposition to coal export facility

20 August 2015:  CascadiaNow!, Congratulations to the Lummi Nation on the beginning of their 2015 Totem Pole Journey!

19 August 2015:  Idaho Conservation League, Totem Pole Journey Tells Stewardship Tale

5 August 2015:  Cascadia Weekly, “Montana Mischief