Lummi Totem Pole To Be at Sacred Stone Camp.


The Lummi Nation of Washington held a blessing and send-off ceremony on Thursday for the 2016 Totem Pole Journey.

Master carver Jewell James created a 22-foot tall pole that will travel 5,000 miles to raise awareness of the impacts of fossil fuel development in Indian Country. One of the first stops will be the Camp of the Sacred Stones near Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

“We need to be heard as many people and one voice,” James of the House of Tears Carvers said in a press release announcing this year’s journey. “We need to let them know they cannot in the name of profits do this to the people, the water, the land, and to the future generations. We will never give up. They must not pass!”

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe established the Camp of the Sacred Stones to protest the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, which comes within a half-mile of the reservation. The pole is expected to arrive at the site on Tuesday, August 30, before departing on Friday, September 1. This year marks the fourth Totem Pole Journey It comes after the Lummi Nation successfully defeated a coal export terminal on its treaty territory in Washington.

You can read more at, and the Journey’s route is here. Support Sacred Stone Camp. Legal Fund Help. Support Native YouthSign the Petition. Sign urgent petition.

New Stories: Dakota Access: Stars From Hollywood to Washington Support Water Protectors.

Important Message from Keeper of Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe.

When Man Changes the Land, It Is Changed Forever.


  1. says

    Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

  2. says

    I do not quote Marx disrespectfully; indigenous religions look more attractive and less destructive only comparatively. The catholicism of the spaniards was not much different than the fairly similar religion it displaced from the inca. I think that the Indigenous peoples have suffered greatly and, personally, do not wish to accord their religion a preferred place -- it, too, has suffered great oppression, in its portion.

  3. says

    Well…Religious belief, custom and traditions vary from tribe to tribe, we all don’t believe the same things, and that’s fine. Indians don’t much care about such differences.

    That said, I’ve given up trying to explain to non-Indians. There are stories I’d love to post about, but I won’t, because the majority of people who read FTB and similar, would laugh, jeer, point fingers, yell hypocrite and all that shit. In English, ‘sacred’ implies religion, god, and a profane. There is none of that in Oceti Sakowin (Lakota/Dakota/Nakota), nor is any of it part of the other Nations I’m familiar with. ‘Prayer’, uh, well, it has no resemblance to any of the Western kinds. We sing, we dance, we honour, and we offer. It’s us who are obligated to this earth, this earth is our responsibility. From our point of view, that is our purpose, it’s why we are here, to honour and protect our earth, and all that is on it.

    I don’t know how to explain any of this well, because there are no counterparts in English, and no comparisons, either. It’s not ‘religion’ in any Western sense. I don’t think Marx is applicable, either. Religion is something that spreads, it’s something that proselytizes and is proselytizable (not a word, I know). Various Indian beliefs and traditions are not like that at all.

  4. Patricia Phillips says

    Beautiful. I followed the coal terminal news a bit, because at one point in that process there were plans to rebuild an old rail network to Coos Bay (my old home town) for a coal export terminal. Luckily that plan seems to have died. The LNG plant proposal for the north spit of Coos Bay, however, is not 100% dead. Veresen is trying to restart that process.

    I’ve been to the Lummi reservation once, in 1999 for a weaving conference. Their reservation is right on the coastline, and it is an amazingly beautiful place.

  5. says


    I’ve been to the Lummi reservation once, in 1999 for a weaving conference. Their reservation is right on the coastline, and it is an amazingly beautiful place.

    Oh, lucky you. I’ve never been, and I know little about Lummi culture. I’d welcome the opportunity to learn.

    Veresen is trying to restart that process.

    Oh, of course they are. I really wish people would start listening to us.

  6. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I’ve been to the Lummi Reservation twice, but both times were very short -- more passing through than anything, though I did stay the night both times. Much of the Oregon coast is beautiful, in and outside Lummi territory. Though I’m in Canada now, Oregon will always be home and I’m doing every thing I can to preserve ex-pat voting rights to help keep it beautiful.

  7. says

    I certainly don’t understand, nor do I try to.
    I also reject request to respect (whatever) because it’s mysterious.

    Mystery is my favorite food. :)

  8. Crimson Clupeidae says

    Marcus, it’s one thing to admit you don’t understand. It’s another to say you don’t even try, yet you still want to judge them, and judge them from the exceedingly narrow minded view of an outsider (white guy?) who knows little to nothing of the culture.

    The beliefs of the tribes are quite varied, but at the same time, they have a lot of common themes (in my very limited experience and reading), but what they call sacred, holy, and the whole idea of religion is completely different than anything in the western world. (As is much of the indigenous belief in other remote areas, like S. America and Australia).

    I admit, my reading/study of them is very limited, but one thing I did understand, is how poorly our language handles much of the ideas of cultures that are so different.

  9. says

    CC @ 9:

    I admit, my reading/study of them is very limited, but one thing I did understand, is how poorly our language handles much of the ideas of cultures that are so different.

    Truth. English absolutely sucks when it comes to translation. All the translated words come pre-loaded with heavy baggage which is completely Western concepts. Like when I tried to explain ‘sacred’ and ‘prayer’. They are lousy words, which don’t describe any Indian belief. As I said upthread, Indians absolutely do not look to proselytize in any way, the complete opposite, actually. A lot of tribes have closed their traditional ceremonies because of non-Indigenous people learning just enough to go out, be a plastic shaman, and rip people off. It’s bad enough this happens even after ceremonies and other traditions have been closed to non-Indigenous peoples. Look at how much sweat lodge has been abused, and all those abuses have fuck all to do with the actual ceremony.

    Belief does not automatically equal religion, either. I believe there are no gods, but that doesn’t make me religious. I believe all kinds of things, none of which make me religious. I do believe I have an obligation to our mother earth, and I do believe I need to protect and defend this earth. If that makes me religious in someone’s eyes, so be it.

    I was very hurt by Marcus’s response, after I thought about it a long while, but that sort of response isn’t exactly new, either.

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