Our Shared Responsibility


FRIENDS of the San Juans and San Juan Island National Historic Park are hosting a Totem Pole Blessing

Friday, August 29, 7:00-8:00 pm at English Camp, San Juan Island

The totem pole is one of the oldest forms of North American storytelling. Today, it still serves to remind us of our place within nature, our responsibility to future generations, and our connections to each other and to our communities.

Carved by Lummi Nation Elder and Master Carver of House of Tears Carvers, Jewell James, the Totem Pole’s journey highlights native and nonnative communities whose culture and livelihoods are threatened by coal, Bakken oil and tar sands oil exports. The pole’s journey will extend 2,500 miles — from Minneapolis MN, west to Bellingham WA, and finally northeast until it reaches Peace River, in the heart of Alberta tar sands territory. The inaugural blessing of the Totem Pole Journey 2014 was held at the Lummi Nation near Bellingham on August 17.

The blessing ceremony on August 29 on San Juan island will incorporate Native American traditional values and knowledge, as well as a cross-cultural dialogue with the broader community about what’s at stake with fossil fuel extraction, export, and consumption.

We islanders have a special opportunity to demonstrate our solidarity, since all of us are impacted in some way by the export of fossil fuels. Here in the Salish Sea, our shared waters are under threat from the possibility of a major oil spill — a disaster that would forever impact our islands’ environment and economy.

There will be a free shuttle to the event that departs Friday Harbor ferry landing at 6 p.m. and returns at 8:30 p.m. Please call to RSVP for the shuttle at (360) 378-2319 or e-mail julie@sanjuans.org.

For more information: