Oregon Coal Export Permit Denied, Unlikely Allies Turn Focus to Washington

Sierra Club's picture
Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Lummi totem pole journey unites tribes, faith leaders across western states and provinces
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Kurt Russo, trip coordinator: frkvalues@aol.com / 360.961.4554
Meg Matthews, meg.matthews@sierraclub.org / 206.291.5942


SEATTLE, Wash. -- In the battle over coal export proposals, tribal nations and communities have played a significant role. Now that the state of Oregon has denied Ambre Energy’s permit application for its proposed coal export terminal in Boardman, attention is shifting back to two proposals in Washington state. And members of Washington’s Lummi tribe are gearing up to lead the fight, along with their unlikely allies, the West’s Christian faith leaders.


What: The Totem Pole Journey, endorsed by the Lummi Nation, unites opposition to fossil fuel projects by native and nonnative communities. The 2,500 mile binational trip includes a stop in Seattle, a city that would be impacted by increased coal and oil rail traffic. During this highly visual event, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Bishop Greg Rickel, and Lummi elders will give short talks. All who attend will be able to interact with a colorful 19-foot-high totem pole that symbolizes the very real power of Western communities to stop coal exports in their tracks.


When: Friday, August 29, 2014.

10-10:20 a.m.

Lummi elders available to chat with media. Media are welcome at all parts of the ceremony.


10:30-11 a.m.

Outdoor welcome, community totem blessing and drumming


11 a.m.-noon

Ceremony and brief remarks by King County Executive Dow Constantine, Bishop Greg Rickel, Lummi elder and House of Tears master carver Jewell Praying Wolf James


12:30 p.m. Totem departs for Anacortes before embarking on Canadian leg of trip


Where: St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave East, Seattle Wash., 98102


  • Jewell James, Head Carver, Lummi House of Tears Carvers

  • The Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia

  • King County Executive Dow Constantine



Images are available at: http://totempolejourney.com/. All images credit Fred Lane.




Lummi and Yakama statements on Ambre Energy’s permit denial

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. In the testimony of Master Carver Jewell James, the totem itself is not sacred -- it is only when it is touched and shared by many communities standing together that the totem becomes a lasting part of our memories and a symbol of our resistance. www.totempolejourney.com

Copy this html code to your website/blog to embed this press release.


Post new comment

5 + 7 =

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Page execution time was 2606.86 ms.

Memory usage:

Memory used at: devel_init()=2.13 MB, devel_shutdown()=22.62 MB.