A Totem Pole story | FRIENDS of the San Juans

FRIENDS of the San Juans’s benefit is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Camp English.  - Contributed photo
FRIENDS of the San Juans’s benefit is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Camp English.
— image credit: Contributed photo

FRIENDS of the San Juans is hosting a public introduction and benefit in support of “Our Shared Responsibility: A Totem Pole Journey” at English Camp on San Juan Island at 7 p.m. Friday.

This is a special opportunity for community leaders, people of faith and local activists to learn more about this year’s journey and how they can stand with the Lummi community in support of their work to stop the Gateway Pacific coal terminal and fossil fuel exports that threaten sacred tribal sites.

Lummi Nation Elder and Master Carver of House of Tears Carvers Jewell James carved the Totem Pole – its journey highlights native and nonnative communities whose culture and livelihoods are threatened by coal, Bakken oil and tar sands oil exports. The trip will extend 2,500 miles from Minneapolis, Minn. west to Bellingham, and finally northeast until it reaches Peace River, in the heart of Alberta tar sands territory.

“We’re honored to be showing our solidarity with all nations and people that are impacted in some way by the export of fossil fuel. Here in the Salish Sea, our shared waters are threatened by an oil spill which could impact all of our lives,” said Stephanie Buffum, FRIENDS of the San Juans’ executive director.

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

The event 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.

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.

Call to RSVP at 360-378-2319 or email

For more information visit


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