On the last day of August, East Shore was again honored to welcome the Lummi House of Tears Carvers. The occasion, the one stop they made in King County, marked the day they set out on their Leonard Peltier Totem Pole Journey to Washington DC where they were scheduled to arrive September 12th. There they pleaded for the release of Leonard Peltier, a long time American Indian Movement activist, who has been in federal prison since 1977.
East Shore members and the wider community warmly welcomed the Totem Pole crew–Jewell James, Freddie Lane, Doug (James) and Siamel’wit and Junior and youngsters, Junor and Ronnie. 14 foot totem pole, created by Master Carver Jewell James, conveys sacred images as well as symbols of federal violence against the Lakota at Wounded Knee in 1890 and again in the 1970s. The images vividly portray the continuing violence experienced by tribal communities to this day.
The indigenous Connections team gives thanks to all who shared in this ceremony: Amanda Alice Ulluhan for the opening prayer and for leading us in song and to Kari Ann Hailey and Arthur Knapp for the special songs they shared. To numerous East Shore members who helped with set-up, food prep and serving and clean-up. To all who took time to come and learn! To Pamela She-Monster who stepped in to regale the audience with native tales as we awaited the arrival of our Lummi friends. To Janice Zahn, Bellevue City Counselor, for coming and expressing her support for the Lummi on their journey and for events like these which help build inter-community relations.
The Indigenous Connections Team raises their hands to all who came and shared their time with our Lummi friends! And to all who couldn’t come, but were there in spirit!
by Marilyn Mayers