“We Draw The Line” Totem Pole Journey Starts in Montana’s Otter Creek Valley

from Wildlife Promise

We Draw the Line

On September 18, 2013, Northern Cheyenne tribal members, local ranchers, conservationists and community members from the Otter Creek valley and Ashland, Montana will gather to support the Lummi Nation in their efforts to stop the largest coal port in North America, the proposed Gateway Pacific coal terminal on their sacred landscape, Xwe’chi’eXen in Washington state.  The Otter Creek valley is a fitting location since it is the site of the largest proposed coal mine in the country.

After leaving Otter Creek, the Kwel hoy’ Totem Pole journey will follow the coal train route through Indian Country, up to Xwe’chi’eXen.  The journey will conclude in British Columbia, where the totem pole will be placed in the homeland of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, demonstrating unity with the Canadian First Nations’ position opposing the transport of Tar Sands by pipelines across their territories.  There, the totem pole will be met by Tribes and First Nations that have travelled from all direction.  The Totem Pole will be placed as a means of  reinforcing the message: Kwel hoy.’

Lummi Totem Pole carved by master carver Jewell James (House of Tears Carvers). Photo copyright Paul K. Anderson

Lummi Totem Pole carved by master carver Jewell James (House of Tears Carvers). Photo copyright Paul K. Anderson

The House of Tears Carvers and a team of support people and witnesses will accompany the Totem Pole on its 1,200 mile long journey. At each event, Tribal members, non-Tribal local citizens, elected officials, and the press will be invited to attend.

The totem pole will be blessed by tribes all along the journey, and will serve as a symbol uniting the tribes, small towns, and cities opposed to the project. The journey will be covered by local, regional, and national press, and will help unite these communities and raise up the voices that believe in the message of our sacred obligation.

All are invited.

Tentative Schedule of Event at Otter Creek and Lame Deer (subject to changes)

10:00 a.m. – Event participants and observers arrive at the Otter Creek site (directions below).

1:00 p.m. – Arrive at the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Building for people to view the totem who couldn’t make it to Otter Creek

2:00 p.m. – Lummi continue on their journey for event in Missoula, Montana

Directions to the Otter Creek event from Lame Deer, MT

1. Take Highway 212 East toward Ashland. 21 miles

4. Drive through Ashland.

5. Take right on Otter Creek Road (about 5 miles from Ashland)

6. Drive 13 miles on Otter Creek Road until you see sign for 15 Mile Road. Signs will be up directing you to site of event.

Help Fund the Journey Here

Go to the Totem Journey Website Here

Photo of the Lummi Totem Pole. Photo copyright Paul K. Anderson.

Photo of the Lummi Totem Pole. Photo copyright Paul K. Anderson.

Northern Cheyenne, local ranchers, Amish and conservationists gather to view proposed Tongue River Railroad route near the Otter Creek Coal Tracts in southeastern Montana. Photo by Beth Raboin

Northern Cheyenne, local ranchers, Amish and conservationists gather to view proposed Tongue River Railroad route near the Otter Creek Coal Tracts in southeastern Montana. Photo by Beth Raboin