2016 Totem Pole Journey Archive

About the 2016 Totem Pole Journey

On August 23, the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation will begin a 5,000-mile trip across the western United States and Canada with a 22-foot long totem pole to bring attention to proposed fossil fuel terminals, oil trains, coal trains, and oil pipelines and the threat they pose to tribes and local communities.

TPJ-ready set go Almost ready!

The Totem Pole

The 22-foot western red cedar totem pole will be carved and donated by Master Carver Jewell James of the Lummi Tribe. The final destination will be Winnipeg, to bear witness to the need for all peoples to work together in the name of our common humanity and our covenant with Mother Earth. The totem pole will have a bald eagle with wings spread on top with a Medicine Wheel on its chest. Below it will be a buffalo skull and, below that, a wolf on one side of the pole and a coyote on the other. Below them will be an Indian Chief with a War Bonnet facing a Medicine Man and sharing a Peace Pipe with smoke rising from the pipe.

FROM THE LUMMI SOVEREIGNTY AND
TREATY PROTECTION OFFICE

Objectives: 

  • Strengthen and expand alliances between tribes, intertribal organizations, the faith-based community, NGO’s, and community leaders in the Pacific Northwest and Canada that are opposed to the proposed export of fossil fuels from the Oregon, Washington, and western Canada.
  • Educate the general public and shape the narrative on this issue through scheduled events and informational material, radio and television coverage, and social media.
  • Promote a “get out the vote” message, to include distributing informational material at the scheduled events.
  • Strengthen and expand the network of coalition partners to help address the issue of climate change.

Outcomes: 

1. Public Events: The Lummi Nation for the past three years has been cultivating relations and alliances across the PNW and Canada. This year’s journey will draw on, expand, and energize those alliances in what will, for several reasons, be the culminating year on this issue.

First, the journey follows the May 9, 2016 decision of the Corps of Engineers to deny the permit for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal terminal at Cherry Point based on its potential impacts on the treaty fishing rights of the Lummi Nation. While this may seem a victory, SSA Marine has announced it will appeal the decision.  Then regardless of the Corps decision on the appeal, it will likely head into the courts.  The outcome will have a significant impact on tribal and local communities.

Second, the new, and just as significant, threat to the Lummi and other tribes is the dramatic increase in fossil fuels from the Bakken oil fields in the United States and the Alberta tar sands oil fields that is now reaching a crescendo. Already, movement has begun for expanding existing oil and gas export industries and new proposals for pipelines that would run through/to Cherry Point.  If the proposed expansions are approved it could mean up to a tenfold increase in fossil fuel exports from Washington State and British Columbia. It would also mean a significant increase in oil trains and additional tanker traffic in the Salish Sea. The transport, storage, and eventual shipment to China of these products would create a major threat to environmental and community health, and to the way of life of the Native peoples across the region.  That story, too, needs to reach the largest possible audience.

Third, It’s critical to keep the issue before the general public given the legislative initiatives of the project proponents to circumvent the treaties.

Fourth, the journey will take place in the months before the 2016 election, the results of which will have a direct impact on the ultimate outcome of the fossil fuels export initiatives.

2. Shaping the Narrative: According to the most recent polls the public in the PNW remains divided on the issue of fossil fuels exports. Meanwhile, the project proponents are undertaking at the local and regional level a public relations campaign to support their fossil fuel export projects. It is important to keep shaping the narrative on this issue. The journey will serve that purpose through events that will include informational material to be widely distributed; through its media team that will facilitate interviews and articles in local and regional television and radio and; through social media outlets and the totem pole journey website..

3. Get Out the Vote: A key element of each event will be informational material about the 2016 elections, and where the candidates stand on the issue of fossil fuel export. This information will be made available at the events along with other information that will help generate participation in the 2016 election.

4. Coalitions on Climate Change: The campaign to defeat the fossil fuel projects has led to a powerful and unprecedented coalition of tribes, NGO’s, and the faith-based community across Canada and the United States. The Sovereignty and Treaty Protection Office of the Lummi Nation is committed to galvanizing this coalition and, after the journey, continuing the work with our partners to bring attention to, and help to address, the larger issue of climate change.

A Navajo Blessing
By Paul Anderson, Journey Photographer

Under a magenta infused darkening sky the Totem Pole was driven down miles of county and dirt roads until a house appeared nestled amongst cottonwoods. This was the home of a Navajo family – friends of the “House of Tears Carvers.”

After several minutes of greetings and the giving of traditional gifts, the Navajo man in the old form of the Navajo language blessed the Totem and prayed for the safety of the travelers.

Navajo Blessing


Changes to the original route were made for a planned gathering at the Camp of Sacred Stones on Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball in North Dakota. Blessing stops for Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) and Yakama (Washington, U.S.) were cancelled as their leadership will be joining other First Nation and U.S. Indian Nation leaders in Standing Rock from August 29-31, 2016

Several key people made this effort happen.  See who they are 2016 Totem Pole Journeyers

Dispatches from the Journey

Below are the links to each of the Blessing Stops along the Journey.

2016 Bellingham, WA Blessing Stop

2016 Tsleil Waututh First Nation – Vancouver, British Columbia

2016 Seattle, WA Blessing Stop

2016 Longview, WA Blessing Stop

2016 Sandpoint, ID Blessing Stop

2016 Missoula, MT Blessing Stop

2016 Billings, MT Blessing Stop

2016 Standing Rock Indian Reservation, S.D. Blessing Stop

2016 Eagle Butte, SD Blessing Stop

2016 Winnipeg, Manitoba Province, Canada, Where the Two Rivers Meet

You can also follow the Journey on Facebook at Our Shared Responsibility.


Photographer Nancy Bleck, who lives in Vancouver, is traveling along the Totem Journey this year, alongside Rueben George, Cedar Parker and Phil Lane. She has been shooting great photos for the journey and if you click the image below you can visit her site and see a gallery of images from a few days ago:

TotemPole


IN THE NEWS:
ARTICLES AND NEWS MEDIA COVERAGE

Read here for news media coverage of the Totem Pole Journey.

General Press Release:  2016 Totem Pole Journey Press Release

August 2016, FreeThoughtsBlog.com (Online):  Lummi Totem Pole To Be at Sacred Stone Camp

August 2016, USA Today (Online):  Tribe Travels 4,800 Miles With 22-ft Totem Pole

August 2016, Whatcom Watch (online), Bellingham, WA:  From Xwe’chi’eXen to the Place Where The Two Rivers Meet. Part of promotion for the Oil and the Salish Sea: From Fantasy to Non-Fiction event.

August 2016, WRAL.com (Online):  Totem Pole Journey

August 2016, Pechanga.net (Online):  The 2016 Lummi Totem Journey begins (with link to Cascadia Weekly article)

August 10, 2016, the ECOReport (Online): 5,000 MILE TRIBAL JOURNEY OPPOSING FOSSIL FUEL EXPANSION

August 21, 2016, Yahoo News, (Online):  Native Americans’ totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

August 23, 2016, Gazette.com (Online) Colorado Springs, CO:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest (slideshow)

August 23, 2016 Bellingham Herald (online), Bellingham, WA:  Lummi totem pole honors fight against oil, coal industries

August 23, 2016, Artesia News (Online), Artesia, NM:  Photo: In this Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016 photo, Matthew…

August 23, 2016, News 1130, Vancouver, British Columbia:  Totem pole traveling long way to protest pipelines

August 23, 2016, Daily KOS (online):  Lummi Nation Prepares Totem Pole Journey to Continue Highlighting Fossil Fuel Risks

August 23, 2016, Huffington Post (Online):  Lummi Nation Prepares Totem Pole Journey to Continue Highlighting Fossil Fuel Risks

August 23, 2016, Sierra Club Compass (Online):  Lummi Nation Prepares Totem Pole Journey to Continue Highlighting Fossil Fuel Risks

August 23, 2016, MyInforms.com (Online):

August 24, 2016, Cascadia Weekly, Bellingham, WA:  Q’al The 2016 Lummi Totem Journey begins

August 23, 2016, KTAR News, Phoenix, AZ:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 24, 2016, The Daily News (tdn.com), Longview, WA:  Lummi Nation bringing anti-coal sentiments, totem pole through Longview Friday

August 25, 2016, NBC29.com (Online):  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, KCTV5 News, Kansas City, KS:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, 4kmov.com, St. Louis, MO:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, 2News, Reno, NV:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, The Journal, Portland, OR:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, The Durango Herald, Durango, CO:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, WCAX.com, Burlington, VT:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, Bonner County Daily Bee, Sandpoint, ID, 5,000-MILE TRIBAL JOURNEY TO STOP IN AREA

August 25, 2016, Fox34.com, Lubbock, TX:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, NTV (Nebraska TV), Kearney, NE:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, 9&10 News, Cadillac, MI:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas, NV:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, Fox 5 KVVU TV, Las Vegas, NV:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, CBS46.com (Online):  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, Magic 106.5, Lubbock, TX:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, WVVA.com, Bluefield, WV:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, WQOW.com, Eau Claire, WI:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, KULR-8 News, Billings, MT:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 25, 2016, Missoulan, Missoula, MT:  Native Americans’ totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports

August 26, 2016, SF Gate News, San Francisco, CA:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, The Seattle Globalist, Seattle, WA:  Lummi Totem Pole Journey honors earth, celebrates Cherry Point victory

August 26, 2016, Lee Herald, Naples, FL:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuel protest

August 26, 2016, Washington Post, Washington, DC:   Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, The Big Story (AP News – Online):  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, Indianz.com (Online):  Lummi Nation sends totem pole to #NoDAPL camp in North Dakota

August 26, 2016, Naples Herald, Naples, FL:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, KTVZ.com, Bend, OR:  TOTEM POLE JOURNEY

August 26, 2016, KLTZ/MIX-93 (Montana News), Glasgow, MT:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, WLOX, Biloxi, MS:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

 August 26, 2016, WA UU Voices for Justice (Online):  Totem Pole Journey Stops in Longview

August 26, 2016, 14 News, Evansville, IN;  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, 12 WSFA, Montgomery, AL:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, OK:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, epb.Fiber Optics (Online):  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, U.S. News and World Report (Online):  Native American Tribe Hauls Totem Pole 4,800 Miles

August 26, 2016, Associated Press (AP – Online):  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, Holmes County Herald, Lexington, MS:  Tribe Trucks Totem Pole 4,800 Miles in Fossil Fuels Protest

August 26, 2016, abcNEWS, (Online):  Tribe Trucks Totem Pole 4,800 Miles in Fossil Fuels Protest

August 26, 2016, KNTU-FM 88.1, Denton, TX:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, 48WAFF, Huntsville, AL:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, The News Herald, Morganton, NC:   Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, Seattle, WA:  Lummi Nation raises environmental awareness by bringing totem pole to Capitol Hill

August 26, 2016, Kafe 104.1 FM, Bellingham, WA:  Lummi Nation trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, DemocraticUnderground.com, Kensington, MD:  Lummi activists bringing totem pole to Standing Rock

August 26, 2016, Shoreline Media Group, Ludington, MI:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, Lanier County Advocate, Lakeland, GA:  Tribe Trucks Totem Pole 4,800 Miles in Fossil Fuels Protest

August 26, 2016, KATU2, Portland, OR:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, Seattle Weekly, Seattle, WA:  Armed With Recent Victories, The Lummi Totem Pole Journey Heads to North Dakota

August 26, 2016, LEX18.com (Online):  Lexington, KY:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, KIT News Talk, Yakima, WA:  Tribe Trucks Totem Pole 4,800 Miles in Fossil Fuels Protest

August 26, 2016, The Globe and Mail, Toronto, Ontario, Canada:  Tribe travels 4,800 miles with 22-ft totem pole

August 26, 2016, WTVM.com, Columbus, GA:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, Live5 News, Charleston, SC:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, The Edwardsville Intelligencer, Edwardsville, IL:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, SRNNews.com (Online):  Tribe Travels 4,800 Miles With 22-ft Totem Pole

August 26, 2016, Hawaii News Now, Honolulu, HI:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, Weyburn Review, Weyburn, Saskatchewan Province, Canada:  Totem pole taken on journey in U.S. and Canada in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, Castanet, Kelowna, BC Canada:  Totem’s Journey of Protest

August 26, 2015, KGMI-FM790 (Online):  Lummi Nation trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 26, 2016, MetroCast, (Eastern seaboard):  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August, 26, 2016, The Derrick.com, Oil City, PA:  ribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 27, 2016, Bellingham Herald, Bellingham, WA:  Lummi totem journey is latest environmental protest by Native Americans

August 27, 2016, The Hindu, Portland, OR:  A totem pole’s journey across 7,700 km

August 28, 2016, The Register-Guard, Eugene, OR:  Northwest’s Lummi tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 29, 2016, KPAX.com, Missoula, MT:  House of Tears Carvers bring totem pole to Missoula

August 29, 2016, KPLU, Seattle, WA:   Opponents Of Fossil Fuel Exports Rally Around Lummi Totem Pole Journey

August 29, 2016, Broken Teepee, Superior, MT:  MISSOULA STOP OF THE 2016 TOTEM POLE JOURNEY

August 29, 2016, KNKX Public Radio, Seattle, WA:

August 30, 2106, Presbyterian Mission Agency, Louisville, KY:  Presbyterians join Lummi Nation to fight fossil fuel projects in the Northwest

August 30, 2016, OpEdNews.com (Online):  The 2016 Lummi Nation Totem Pole Journey is Under Way!

August 30, 2016, Censored News, (Online-blog):  Lummi, Yakama and Salish Arrive with Totem Pole in Standing Rock

August 30, 2016, Native News, (Online):  he Lummi Nation have arrived to stand with Standing Rock!

August 30, 2016, Presbyterian Mission Agency, Louisville, KY:  Presbyterians join Lummi Nation to fight fossil fuel projects in the Northwest

August 30, 2016, Lancaster Online, Lancaster, PA:  Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

August 30, 2016, InForum, Fargo, ND:  Totem pole, Washington state tribes join pipeline protest

August 30, 2016, Bismark Tribune, Bismark, ND:  Totem carries unifying spirit into protest camp

August 31, 2016, Sightline Institute, Seattle, WA:  “OUR VICTORIES ARE PREVENTING DECADES OF POLLUTION” Tarika Powell’s speech from the recent Lummi Totem Pole event in Seattle.

August 31, 2016, Newslea, (Online):  Native Americans take totem pole on peaceful protest, cross-country trip

September 1, 2016, Ricochet, (Online):  West coast First Nations bring solidarity to Standing Rock pipeline battle

September 2, 2016, Presbyterian Mission Agency, Louisville, KY:  Lummi Totem Pole Ceremony in Sandpoint, Idaho…. On to Standing Rock, North Dakota

September 2, 2016, Native News Update, Lummi Nation totem pole makes stop at Standing Rock Sioux encampment

September 3, 2016, Bismark Tribune, Bismark, ND:  ‘There’s no side trails for him’

September 4, 2016, CTV News, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada:  Totem pole arriving in Winnipeg signifies ‘powerful social movement for change’

September 4, 2016, Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada:  Taking totem on the road

September 5, 2016, CTV, Toronto, Ontario, Canada:  After 2,000 km journey, totem pole reaches Winnipeg to highlight pipeline fight

September 5, 2016, CBC News, Indigenous leaders welcome sacred totem pole after violent North Dakota protests

September 5, 2016, CTV News, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada:  Hundreds welcome totem pole to Manitoba with anti-pipeline message

September 5, 2016, Global News, National:  Sacred totem pole leads procession down streets of downtown Winnipeg

September 2016, MMC News, ‘Symbol of resistance’: Totem pole gift to Treaty 1 arrives in Winnipeg

September 5, 2016, Canada Live News, (Online):  Totem pole makes its way down Winnipeg’s Main Street

September 5, 2016, CTV News, (National):  After 2,000 km journey, totem pole reaches Winnipeg to spotlight pipeline fight

September 5, 2016, CJOB 680AM, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada:  Sacred Totem Pole Leads Anti-Pipeline March

September 5, 2016, ReportCA.net (Online):  After 2,000 km journey, totem pole reaches Winnipeg to highlight pipeline fight

September 5, 2016, CBC News Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada:  Indigenous leaders, pipeline critics to welcome sacred totem pole to Winnipeg

September 6, 2016, NVS24 Homepage, (Online):  Totem pole arriving in Winnipeg signifies ‘powerful social movement for change’

September 6, 2016, Mag-SeriesUSA, (Online):  Totem pole makes its way down Winnipeg’s Main Street

September 8, 2016, 350.org, (Online):  How a totem pole unites Indigenous resistance struggles across the continent