Totem Pole Journey this Spring

Save the dates: Lummi Totem Journey this June

Totem Pole Journey

This spring, the Lummi Nation will undertake the Annual Totem Pole Journey to honor the captive orca, Tokitae, and bring attention to the plight of the Southern Resident orca population, and the need to repair and restore the Salish Sea. Tokitae is a Southern Resident orca that was brutally captured 47 years ago. The Lummi believe she is asking them to help bring her home to the L-pod, where her mother is now the matriarch.

According to our Lummi traditional teachings, the Southern Resident Killer Whales are connected to my people through bonds of kinship. What happens to them, happens to us. Our term for them is qwe ‘lhol mechen, which means, ‘our relations under the waves.

Lummi totem journey, photo by Paul K. Anderson.
Lummi Totem Journey, photo by Paul K. Anderson.

The journey with the 15-foot-long qwe lholmechen (Killer Whale or orca) totem pole will begin at the University of Florida, which is currently hosting the Lummi exhibit, Whale People, Protectors of the Sea, and then to Miami for three days of events to continue to pressure Seaquarium to release Tokitae (May 30 - June 1). Events will also take place in Los Angeles (June 7 - 8), San Francisco (June 9), Portland (June 11), Seattle (June 12), and at the Lummi Reservation near Bellingham (June 20 - 22). For updates and information, please email or visit 

Watch film trailer for The Orca Oracle, now in production: