Totem Pole Journey 2015: Our Sacred Obligation

By Lummi Nation and the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Funding Successful. This project reached its goal before August 7, 2015.

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  • $13,789

    Pledged of $10,000 Goal

  • 159

    Funders

  • 0

    Followers

  • 0

    Hours to Go

This project will only be funded if at least $10,000 is pledged by August 7, 2015.

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This is it!  

The final day and again, we cannot find the words

to express our appreciation and gratitude at your generosity and your support!

For those of you who still want to donate, but have come too late for this funding effort, please go to the Totem Pole Journey website at totempolejourney.com.  There is a “Donate” tab that you can click on to continue funding the project.  Although our fundraising efforts are covering the costs of incidentals of the journey itself, it does not cover any of the expenses for the Pole itself and the carvers, especially Master Carver Jewell James, that have been for these past many months and will continue to diligently work on finishing the carving and the painting of the Pole.  Donations will be accepted throughout the Journey, so don’t feel as though you’ve missed out!  Follow us on the Totem Pole Journey:  Our Shared Responsibilities website (again, totempolejourney.com) and our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/totempolejourney.

There is a lot of excitement and energy is starting to run high.  Check out our Project Partner and Donors lists below and know it’s only the beginning!

See you on the road, if not in person, then in Spirit!!!

To All Our Many Friends and Relations!

from the Totem Pole Journey Carving, Travel and Route Organizing Crews!

 

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Thank you all for helping us to achieve our goal!!!  We are still continuing to accept donations to fund some additional crew members like Paul Anderson (photographer) and Fred Lane (videographer) and cover some other costs, so if you’re still inclined to support this event, please do so!!  Donations will be accepted through August 7th.

Words cannot express our gratitude for your generosity, your support and your love for this Earth and All Her Children.  Hope to see you all somewhere along the Journey route, if not in person, then in Spirit!!  

To All My Relations!

Deb Cruz
Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, Bellingham WA

Lummi House of Tears Master Carver Jewell James

Lummi House of Tears Master Carver Jewell James – photo by James Leder

“We kill the Earth as if we [have] a license to do it. We destroy life on it as if we were superior. And yet, deep inside, we know we can’t live without it. We’re all a part of creation and we have to find our spot in the circle of life. We’re concerned about protecting the environment as well as people’s health all the way from the Powder River to the West Coast. We’re traveling across the country to help unify people’s voices; it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are at or what race you are–red, black, white or yellow–we’re all in this together.”

~ Master Carver Jewell James

Each year for the past two years, tribal members, led by Master Carver Jewell James of the Lummi Nation’s House of Tears Carvers, 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.

Throughout the Pacific Northwest, Unitarian Universalist congregations have supported and participated in these Journeys and will do so again this year with a greater presence and in honoring their commitment given at this past General Assembly.

These journeys have reached millions of people through the mainstream and social media. 

Be part of helping this years journey touch even more lives.  

Totem Pole enroute to Tsleil-Waututh Nation in British Columibia, Canada - photo by Paul Anderson 2013 Totem Pole enroute to Tsleil-Waututh Nation in British Columibia, Canada – photo by Paul Anderson

Take up our sacred obligation by making a donation to support the Totem Pole Journey. Every donation is a vital step in the journey towards a harmonious relationship with our earth  and our Original Nations. Tax receipts will be given for donations over $75 by the Lummi Nation Service Organization.  Click fund on the right-hand side of the screen. 

2015 Totem Pole Journey: Xa xalh xechnging: Sacred Obligation

Update:  A new stop has been added to the Journey.  This stop will be at the Blackfeet Nation near Browning, Montana.  This stop will help in raising awareness and showing solidarity with the Blackfeet Nation in opposing any new fracking leases on Blackfeet land.  

“Since exploratory drilling started on the reservation a decade ago, several groups have emerged to oppose further development. Groups like the Blackfeet Anti-Fracking Coalition and the Blackfeet Headwaters Alliance are urging a moratorium on fracking, providing the public with updates, and organizing tribe members to protect their cultural and natural resources. “We want to partner with like-minded, like-hearted people to preserve our way of life, and to contribute to the dialogue of the human family, that we have one earth and that we all have a part in preserving it and also in protecting it and to make sure that the environment is able to support humankind and all other living beings,” said Lori [New Breast].” – “Blackfeet Women Defend Their Homeland

The 2015 journey (August 21-August 31) comes at a defining moment in our collective effort to defeat these fossil fuel export proposals. 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.

Unlike previous journeys the 2015 journey will focus events at key tribal communities. Tribes such as Lummi, Tulalip, Swinomish, Umatilla, Quinault, Spokane, and Yakama will play a decisive role in defeating the proposed projects, as will the peoples of Celilo Falls (on the Columbia River) and the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation of British Columbia, where the journey will begin. The journey will end in the territory of the Northern Cheyenne some of whose sacred lands would be devastated by the proposed coal mine at Otter Creek and the proposed Tongue River rail line. There will also be public events to be coordinated with the assistance of our friends and allies in the environmental, social justice and faith-based communities, at Bellingham (Washington), Longview (Washington), Portland (Oregon), and Billings (Montana).

People from all communities need to be concerned with the numerous adverse impacts that the proposed fossil fuel export projects will have. Affected communities will be subjected to environmental devastation to the air, land and water, major health concerns, economic losses and severe and dangerous disruptions of daily living. First Nations will be subjected to these as well, plus the loss of Treaty rights, cultural lifeways and the devastation and loss of traditional and sacred territories. All of us will be impacted by the imminent, hastening of climate change when these exported fossil fuels are consumed and the waste products are dumped into our air, waters and lands.

This year, the Journey is a prominent justice making component of the 2015 GA Public Witness, event that focused on climate justice, particularly as it applies to First and American Indian Nations across the U.S. and Canada.

Scheduled Journey Stops (2409 miles) as of June 14, 2015

Totem Pole as of July 14, 2015

Totem Pole as of July 14, 2015

 Tsleil-Waututh First Nation – Vancouver, British Columbia – August 22, 2015 

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 Lummi Nation/NGOs – Lummi Tribal Administration Office,  Bellingham, Washington – August 22, 2015 (pm)

 Blessing to be offered by Rev. Paul Beckel of the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

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NWIFC/Tulalip/Quinault/Swinomish – Marysville (Tulalip), Washington – August 23, 2015 (am)

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Unrecognized tribes/NGO’s – St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Longview, WA, 6:00-7:30 pm – August 23, 2015

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 Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fishing Commission/NGOs – St. Phillip Neri Catholic Church, Portland, OR, 5:30-7:30 pm – August 24, 2015

Welcome by Father Charles Brunick, St. Phillip Neri Catholic Church
Keynote Speaker:  Paul Lumley, Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission
Blessing to be offered by:

        • Jan Elfers, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (Oregon Chapter of Interfaith, Power and Light)
        • Brian Manning, Greenpeace
        • Rev. Katherine Jesch, First Unitarian Church of Portland
        • Stephen Quirke, Portland Rising
        • Laura Stevens, Sierra Club

 Umatilla/Yakama/Warm Springs – Celilo Falls, Oregon – August 25, 2015

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 Yakama Nation – Boardman Marina Park, Boardman, Oregon, 10:00 am -2:00 pm – August 26, 2015

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Spokane Tribe – Wellpinit, Washington – August 27, 2015

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*Updated:  Blackfeet Nation – Browning, Montana – August 28, 2015

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The Totem Pole is expected to be set in place: August 29, 2015, Northern Cheyenne, Lame Deer, Montana

 

2015 Totem Pole Journey Map as of July 15, 2015

2015 Totem Pole Journey Map as of July 15, 2015

The projected direct costs of this project is expected to be around $28,000. We are currently looking to raise $10,000 that would be used pay for the food and lodging requirements of the crew while they’re on the road ($8800 for 11 days for 8 people), and a portion of the truck rental for transporting the Totem Pole ($1200 about half the cost). If we are unable to raise the required amount of funds, journey crewmembers will have to be reduced and so will the number of stops along the Journey.

The Totem Pole Journeys are supported by a wide variety of faith, environmental, social justice and Tribal entities with their participation, some financial support and in-kind services. These supporting entities come from national, regional and local sources and vary from stop to stop along the Journey. They will include the Sierra Club, Re-Sources, Power Past Coal, Climate Solutions, Interfaith Power and Light chapters, individual faith communities including Unitarian Universalists, Friends, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and more. Local social justice and human rights groups also participate. The list of groups that become involved, whether through helping organize or showing there support by being present for each of the stops, is a long one.

St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, WA - photo by Paul AndersonSt. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, WA – photo by Paul Anderson

For each of the Journeys, a photographer and/or videographer is a member of the Journey crew. Photos, essays, musings, videos of the Journey get posted to the totempolejourney.com website (totempolejourney.com) and it’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/totempolejourney?ref=bookmark). Once the crew returns home, the videographer and other crewmembers develop films and slide shows that are then presented throughout the region. These post-Journey presentations will share with the greater communities, the responses and reactions of the Native and non-Native frontline communities around the stops, to the Totem Pole Journey and their concerns and ideas for action.

The Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship (hereafter, BUF) has been actively involved with Lummi Nation since 2005. Our relationship with Lummi Nation reached a turning point in the spring of 2013 when Lummi leaders requested our assistance in helping them bring their message of protecting Cherry Point to the greater community. On May 27, 2013 Lummi Council member Jay Julius and Lummi Elder Jewell James spoke to over three hundred people from 38 faith communities and over 46 social and environmental justice organizations. Since that time, BUF has been involved with numerous activities including supporting and assisting with the Totem Pole Journeys. BUF has reached out to social justice and environmental organizations and faith communities throughout the region. It has also reached out to UUs all across the U.S. and Canada, bridging individual UUs, UU congregations and UU organizations such as WA UU Voices for Justice, Northwest UU Justice Network, Commit2Respond and our General Assembly, to become involved not only in the Totem Pole Journeys, but also in supporting Lummi Nation and other Pacific Northwest Tribes in their struggles against the fossil fuel industry.

2013 Totem Pole Journey: “Kwel Hoy’: We Draw the Line”

In 2013, Master Carver Jewell Praying Wolf James carved a Totem Pole to stand as a sentinel to watch over the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation near Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. Under the banner of “Kwel Hoy: We Draw the Line,” the Totem Pole left Lummi Nation in Bellingham, Washington and went on a 1,200 mile journey as a symbol of solidarity with Tsleil-Waututh. The Journey represented the struggle of Lummi Nation’s protecting Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point, Bellingham, Washington) being targeted for the development of the largest coal export facility in North America with that of the Tsleil Waututh and other Canadian First Nations in their struggles to prevent the transport of tar sands by pipelines running through their lands. The Totem Pole stopped at several Indian and non-Indian communities throughout Montana, Washington and Oregon. The Journey visited communities in these states that would be adversely impacted by the various fossil fuel export projects proposed throughout the Pacific Northwest, and in the Interior, the mining projects that would fuel the exports.

2014 Totem Pole Journey: “Our Shared Responsibility: The Land, the Water, the People”

In September 2014, Master Carver James carved another Totem Pole that made a 6,000 mile journey under the banner of “Our Shared Responsibility.” This theme was adopted in honor of Billy Frank, Jr., a Nisqually Indian Tribal member who was a noted activist and revolutionary who had passed away in May 2014.

In an Opinion written in the Bellingham Herald, Master Carver James wrote: “We travel in honor of late elder, and leader, and guiding light Billy Frank, Jr., who would remind us that we are stewards placed here to live with respect for our shared, sacred obligation to the creation, the plants and animals, the peoples and all our relations. He guides us, still. Our commitment to place, to each other, unites us as one people, one voice to call out to others who understand that our shared responsibility is to leave a better, more bountiful world for those who follow.” This journey included stops in South Dakota, Montana, Oregon and Washington in the U.S. and in British Columbia and Alberta Provinces in Canada. The Totem Pole now resides as a sentinel in the territory of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation being severely and adversely impacted by tar sands extraction. 

Individual UUs from all across the Pacific Northwest in the U.S. and in the British Columbia and Alberta Provinces in Canada either participated or supported the efforts. 

How does your project claim Unitarian Universalism?

We have four Principles that speak directly to what the Journey stands for: the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity and compassion in human relations; the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all and most important of all: our respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. We also have our “Sources of our Living Tradtion” which affirm and promote direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder affirmed in all cultures; words and deeds which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil, loving our neighbors as ourselves, heed the guidance of reason and the results of science and celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature. It is in participating in this Journey, that we as UUs can exercise our Sacred Obligation, called out for in our Principles and our Traditions, in putting out a call to honor and respect diverse cultures, speak out and defend the right for these cultures to exist and flourish, to find and strengthen our common bonds to each other and to preserve and protect the Earth and all it’s Gifts for all of us and all our children.

How is your project claimed by Unitarian Universalism?

This project will be claimed by Unitarian Universalists all throughout the region and on a national level as well. Members of the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship will be part of the overall organizing team that will be recruiting other UUs at each of the stops along the route to either help in organizing Blessings in their areas, attending the Blessings and encouraging other faith communities and social justice and environmental organizations to participate. UUs around the region will also be encouraged to host post-Totem Pole Journey events. UU networking organizations will like Commit2Respond, WA UU Voices for Justice, OR Voices for Justice, Northwest UU Justice network and others will also be invited to participate in attending and promoting this event and carrying it’s messaged beyond the Journey itself. Fundraising for this project will be initiated at General Assembly as part of the justice-making component to the Public Witness event, sponsored by Commit2Respond, a coalition of Unitarian Universalists and other people of faith and conscience working for climate justice.

Endorsements
None
Project Partners

Here’s a list of our partners so far and the list is growing!!  Please check out our list of donors as well!  Thanks to all of you and your efforts to support this effort!

Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, British Columbia, Canada

Lummi Nation, Bellingham, WA

Tulalip Nation, Marysville, WA

Quinault Indian Nation, Taholah, WA

Columbia River Inter-tribal Fish Commission, OR

Warm Springs Confederated Tribes, OR

Celilo Peoples, the Dales, OR

Yakama Nation, Toppenish, WA

Spokane Tribe, Wellpinit, WA

Northern Cheyenne, Lame Deer, MT

RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Bellingham WA

Belllingham Unitarian Fellowship, Bellingham, WA

First Unitarian Church of Portland, Oregon

Columbia Riverkeeper (States of Oregon and WA)

Sierra Club (States of Washington and Oregon)

Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon

350PDX.org

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Longview, WA

Interfaith Advocates of Longveiw, WA

Landowners and Citizens for a Safe Community, Longivew, WA

St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, Portland, OR

South Sound Rising Tide, Portland, OR

Greenpeace (States of WA and OR)

Portland Rising, Portland, OR

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Although the full organizing team has not been formalized as yet, regular partners in these events include Lummi Nation, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship (Bellingham, WA), RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Sierra Club, Earth Ministry and Power Past Coal. Once the stops are firmed up, partners at each of the stops will be recruited from those areas and have included such groups as the area First Nations communities, Friends of the San Juans (WA), National Wildlife Federation, Northern Plains Resource Council (MT), Climate Solutions (WA), Greenpeace, Episcopalians, Western Organization of Resource Councils (MT), Friends Societies, Columbia Riverkeeper (OR), performers and artists, and yes, even area politicians, and so many more. We expect greater participation from UUs in both the U.S. and Canada.

 

 

Partner Congregation
Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship
Other Partner
None
Covenantal Relationship
None
Project Service Area
USA
Documents and Files
None

Updates

Update #0 (2015-07-22)

1 Comment

  1. Sharlaine Washington, Lummi Nation Service Organization

    In our rush to meet the August 7th deadline, the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship processed a donation on behalf of UU Congregation of Whidbey Island for $450. We did err and put the donation in our name. So please note below the $450 donation recorded as being from BUF is actually a donation that was made by UUs of Whidbey Island.

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  1. Kathleen
    $25
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    $100
  4. Bruce Hostetter
    $100
  5. Marilyn Mayers
    $30
  6. kay Sardo
    $50
  7. Theresa Sumoge
    $25
  8. anonymous
    $10
  9. anonymous
    $50
  10. Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship
    $450
  11. Anonymous
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  12. Anonymous
    $15
  13. Judith Akins
    $15
  14. Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
    $861
  15. k.c. sulkin
    $20
  16. Carmen TenEyck-McDowell
    $100
  17. Beth Hartwell
    $20
  18. John Reinke
    $25
  19. Marilyn Mayers
    $40
  20. Anonymous
    $20
  21. Samuel Bledsoe
    $15
  22. Marcia Marks
    $35
  23. Caroline Minto
    $100
  24. Ann Wilby
    $10
  25. Lori Ragona
    $100
  26. Lee Willis
    $25
  27. David Perk
    $200
  28. Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship
    $260
  29. Kaye Werner
    $100
  30. Carol McMillan
    $2,000
  31. Vince/Dianne Foster
    $75
  32. Alyce Werkema
    $50
  33. Catherine McIntyre
    $35
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  76. Anonymous
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  77. Wendy Courtemanche
    $110
  78. Patti Santangelo
    $25
  79. Lyman Griswold
    $25
  80. Susan McBain
    $50
  81. Lisa Dekker
    $100
  82. Gary Piazzon
    $200
  83. Michael Hurwicz
    $15
  84. Sharon Abreu
    $15
  85. Anonymous
    $100
  86. Katherine Jesch
    $100
  87. Anonymous
    $100
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    $50
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    $100
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    $100
  91. Suzanne Harris
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  92. Pat Kahn
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    $100
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  95. Karen Bloomquist
    $10
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    $25
  97. Howard & Barb Harrison
    $30
  98. Douglas Throp
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  99. Kaitlyn DK
    $10
  100. Gail Forsyth-Vail
    $100
  101. Jeremiah Schwartz
    $25
  102. Phyllis Shacter
    $100
  103. George Lawrence
    $100
  104. Alfred & Harriet Arkley
    $100
  105. Judith Kasper
    $100
  106. Mary Rhine
    $50
  107. George Beeler
    $50
  108. Kara Black
    $50
  109. Sandy Shipley
    $30
  110. Jesse Ford
    $100
  111. William Jennings
    $100
  112. Diana Richardson
    $50
  113. Claudia Keith
    $50
  114. Sue Phillips
    $150
  115. Isa Werny
    $50
  116. Anonymous
    $20
  117. Judith Wallin
    $25
  118. Debra Leschyn
    $10
  119. Dick Jacke
    $100
  120. Anonymous
    $25
  121. Linda Fels
    $100
  122. Keri Bradberry
    $50
  123. Nancy Berry
    $50
  124. John Hilke
    $100
  125. First Parish in Needham GA Delegates Catie Scudera
    $150
  126. Barbara Nelson
    $50
  127. Lily Mashkova
    $100
  128. Gudrun Matthaus
    $25
  129. Anonymous
    $100
  130. James Michel
    $25
  131. Joanne Leovy
    $100
  132. Carol Doehne
    $50
  133. Brock Leach
    $100
  134. Kate Lore
    $100
  135. Ann and Helena Zawaski/Lee
    $50
  136. Barbara Ford
    $200
  137. Margaret Allen
    $50
  138. Anonymous
    $1,400
  139. Suzanne Willis
    $25
  140. Melanie Davis
    $50
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    $25
  142. Laura Wagner
    $100
  143. James VanderWeele
    $50
  144. Margaret and Jordan Young
    $25
  145. Chip Sharpe
    $200
  146. Kevin Allen-Schmid
    $10
  147. David Zenner
    $15
  148. Margaret Boccard
    $10
  149. Anonymous
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  150. Susan J Christie
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  151. Keith Kreycik
    $25
  152. Merrill Carter
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  153. Karen Tobin
    $50
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  156. Deborah J. Cruz
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  157. Tandi Rogers
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  158. Beth Brownfield
    $100
  159. Sean Barron
    Sean Barron
    $25

This Project has ended. No more pledges can be made.