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The Whatcom Museum will host the Lummi Nation’s Orca Tokitae totem pole on Thurs., June 13, 6-8:00 pm at Old City Hall, as it journeys back home after traveling across the country. Making stops along the West Coast, hundreds will gather at various venues in support of the Lummi Nation’s mission to bring their beloved Orca Tokitae back to her native waters and family in the Salish Sea. Tokitae is the last surviving orca whale taken from the Salish Sea 40 years ago and remains in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium. The Totem Pole Journey from Miami to Seattle calls on the Seaquarium to take action now in planning the release of Tokitae to the Lummi Nation, and for all people to make a commitment to restore and protect Tokitae’s family and the home she knows as the Salish Sea.
The Tokitae totem will be parked outside of Old City Hall on 121 Prospect Street for the community to see. Beginning at 6:00 pm, guest speakers, including the Whatcom Museum’s Executive Director Patricia Leach, Mayor Kelli Linville, and Representatives Debra Lekanoff (42nd District Washington State Legislature) and Sharon Shewmake (40th District Washington State Legislature) will share the importance of this journey. Lummi House of Tears carvers Jewell James and Doug James will speak and share a song, and Lummi Council Member Fredrick Lane will emcee. Additional performances by Lummi student poet Duran Jefferson, poet Rachael Andersen, singer songwriter Dana Lyons, and singer Julie Trimmingham will be included. At the event, the Lummi will announce a new name for Tokitae in a centuries-old tradition. The evening will end with a procession outside of Old City Hall to the totem pole for a blessing offered by local faith leaders.