Canada | Environment | National

Lummi Nation sends totem pole on long trip to oppose coal project

Members of the Lummi Nation with the totem pole in Washington. Photo from Love MotherEarth / Facebook

The Lummi Nation of Washington held a blessing and send-off ceremony on Friday for the 2015 Totem Pole Journey.

Master carver Jewell James and the House of Tears Carvers created a 22-foot tall pole that will travel 1,300 miles through the United States and Canada. The 22-foot totem will raise awareness of the Gateway Pacific Terminal, a coal export project that would be built in the tribe's treaty-protected fishing areas.

The final destination is Montana, where the Crow Tribe and its partner plan to ship coal from the Big Metal Mine to the terminal. But Jewell said the journey was not about the another tribe's right to develop its own resources.

"It's not because we don't like the other tribes that have coal," Jewell said on a video posted by The New American Underground. "It's because coal has mercury and arsenic in it and we don't want it in our water."

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe is expected to accept the totem pole in a ceremony on Saturday.

Get the Story:
Native Americans’ totem pole journeys to oppose coal exports (AP 8/23)
Lummi Nation brings anti-coal campaign, totem pole through Longview (The Longview Daily News 8/24)
Northwest tribe sends totem pole on journey against coal (Al Jazeera 8/24)
Lummi Chairman: We Will Fight Coal Terminal ‘By All Means Necessary’ (Indian County Today 8/24)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Crow Tribe moves toward prosperity with coal project (08/17)
Crow Tribe and partner join coal export project in Washington (8/14)
Crow Tribe and Lummi Nation at odds over big coal project (07/21)
DOI includes Indian Country in stream protection regulation (7/17)
Alex Jacobs: Unlikely alliances advance agenda in Indian Country (06/15)
Native Sun News: Senate field hearing focuses on tribes and coal (04/16)
Sen. Daines to lead SCIA field hearing on coal in Indian Country (04/07)
Alaina Buffalo Spirit: Oppose coal for Northern Cheyenne Tribe (4/6)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee sets field hearing in Montana (4/2)
Lummi Nation told Crow Tribe about impacts of coal terminal (03/23)
Bill seeks to make Indian Coal Production Tax Credit permanent (03/13)
Lummi Nation submits more data in fight against coal terminal (03/06)
Native Sun News: Lummi Nation seeks halt to coal export project (01/27)
Tim Ballew: Coal terminal destroys Lummi Nation's way of life (01/08)
Washington Tribes: Pipeline project threatens Native way of life (02/17)
Winona LaDuke: Dirty coal taints Crow Nation and Lummi Nation (02/17)
KUOW: Treaty rights affected by coal terminal in Washington (11/27)
KUOW: Energy company damages historic Lummi Nation site (11/25)
Crosscut: Lummi Nation raises hurdles to big energy project (08/22)

Join the Conversation