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Lummi Nation - Totem Pole Journey - Spokane

Reclaiming the Sacred and Protecting Xwe’chi’eXen from Coal

What
When Sep 20, 2013
from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Where Spokane, WA - TBD
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Reclaiming the Sacred and Protecting Xwe’chi’eXen from Coal

Learn more and receive updates @ totempolejourney.com

The House of Tears carvers of the Lummi community has created a tradition of carving and delivering totem poles to areas struck by disaster or otherwise in need of hope and healing.

Now it is Lummi Nation’s own sacred landscape, Xwe’chi’eXen, that needs hope, healing and protection. The most imminent threat to this sacred landscape and to treaty rights associated with Xwe’chi’eXen comes from a proposal to build North America’s largest coal port: the Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Lummi Nation - We Draw the Line

THE JOURNEY

The Kwel hoy’ Totem Pole journey,  September 15-29, 2013, will start in the Powder River Basin and follow the coal train route through Indian Country, up to Xwe’chi’eXen.  The journey will conclude in British Columbia, where the totem pole will be placed in the homeland of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, demonstrating unity with the Canadian First Nations’ position opposing the transport of Tar Sands by pipelines across their territories.  There, the totem pole will be met by  Tribes and First Nations that have travelled from all direction.  The Totem Pole will be placed as a means of  reinforcing the message: Kwel hoy.’

The House of Tears Carvers and a team of support people and witnesses will accompany the Totem Pole on its 1,200 mile long journey. At each event, Tribal members, non-Tribal local citizens, elected officials, and the press will be invited to attend.

CONNECTING THE PEOPLES OF THE WEST

One primary goal of the journey is to connect tribal nations along the coal corridor.  Tribal Nations innately understand and honor the need to protect sacred landscapes and treaty rights.  Uniting the Tribal Nations is important for this particular issue and for Tribal communities that would be affected by coal transport and export.

The proposed coal rail line and port brings very different cultural communities together in a common cause. The proposal has unique ramifications not only for Tribal Nations, but also for communities all along the rail lines and shipping lanes that would be affected by coal export. Communities, commerce, livelihoods, public health, tourism, agriculture, fisheries, air and water safety, natural resources, quality of life would all be adversely impacted. In asking for blessings and strength from communities along the coal transportation corridor, the Kwel hoy’ Totem Pole brings together the Peoples of the West. People of many faiths can stand united in protecting the sacred, and people of many traditions can support honoring treaty rights and the traditional livelihoods they ensure. People from all affected communities can stand against this project.

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