40-mile Walk held to Protect & Restore the Salish SeaTweet
Seattle, WA – From July 7th – 9th, water protectors in the Puget Sound region held a three day 40-mile walk from Seattle to the Port of Tacoma to raise awareness to numerous issues impacting the Salish Sea.
Last Real Indians reached out to several walk participants for comment on why they participated.
Paul Cheoketen Wagner (Saanich First Nations) event organizer
“Placing our prayers upon our Xexe Ten’oxw Sacred Mother for 3 days from Duwamish (Seattle) to Puyallup territories (Tacoma). We walked in prayerful step with drum songs, laughter, protocol, wisdom of elders and in solidarity with future generations with hundreds of participants to Protect our Salish Sea from Fossil Fuel Expansions such as Steelhead LNG in our Saanich Inlet, to stop Tacoma LNG-253 on Puyallups lands and waters, to support Lummi Nation with No LNG pipeline and to ensure that there will be No 1 million barrels of oil per day coming to our sacred shores via Kinder Morgan’s Trans-mountain Pipeline which they intend to trafficked across our Salish Sea in nearly 400 oil tankers.
The big work began at the end of the first day with the signing of the historic Tokitae Proclamation inside of the Duwamish Longhouse proclaiming that we will free our resident ancestral being Tokitae (aka Lolita) from 47 years of slavery and bring her home to her Orca L-Pod mother who still swims free in our Salish Sea and to Proclaim our Salish Sea as: Salish Sea Whale Sanctuary which has high potential of stopping the Fossil Fuel expansions in our Salish Sea.
On the second day we were blessed to have our dear BC Elder Rose Henry from Sliammon First Nations lead us in a water blessing ceremony at Saltwater St. Park where we then proceeded through the forest to be hosted by Saltwater Unitarian Church.
On the third day of our walk we eventually came across a Wells Fargo Bank so 70 walkers brought in 30 Water Protector Kulthlala’mechen (Orcas) & 10 Schay’nexw (Salmon) inside and shared a prayer song and words of wisdom for Divestment from Wells Fargo because of their funding of fossil fuel pipelines such as DAPL & LNG in Tacoma.
Then later that same day we held the worlds first Orca flash mob at a shopping mall on Hwy 99, singing the women’s warrior song we walked past the mall security and 2 police that where already at the main entrance then we stopped in the grand round to finish our prayer song and exited to continue our walk.
We sacrificed something for our grandchildren’s grandchildren but we gained so much strength from our ancestors and from each other during these 3 days of coming together as one human family to create a bridge to a livable future for all human people and non-human people in our Sche’ne (Salish Sea) and on our Xexe Ten’oxw (Sacred Mother Earth).”
Benita Moore (Lakota)
“The 3 day walk was initiated by Paul Chekoten Wagner. The walk was to bring solidarity and awareness to the fragility of our eco system in the Salish territory. It was to show solidarity to our orca, salmon, and all creatures on sea and land. We decided to walk with our Puyallup relatives on the 3rd day and greet them, inviting them to come onto their land. When the protocol took place, there was strong medicine exchanged and you could feel the ancestors were right there. It was almost surreal.”
Roxanne White (Nez Perce/Yakama)
“The Walk for Salish Sea was a three day 35 mile walk for Our Grandmother & the Sacred Salish Sea & Tokitae an Orca that has been captive from her Natural Habitat and hasnt had the Humain Rught to be amongst her own kind in her natural home the Salish Sea! We hope to make Saish a Sanctuary for Tokitae and Salmon and All that live in the Salish Sea. The walk was Long and Hot we had all age groups but it was astounding to me that many of our walkers were over 50 one man walked the entire thre days and he was 78 the youngest was 8yrs old. I myself was empowered to keep pushing forward as best I could even though I was in great pain Our Drums & Songs got me through! I sure missed you Brother but I know you were in Ceremony keeping us and our Grandmother in Prayer!!”
Roxy Murray (Assiniboine Sioux)
“Walk to protect and restore the Salish Sea was a 3 day walk in prayer to bring awareness to Tokitae’s captivity and to stand up against fossil fuel projects that are destroying the Salish Sea. This wall showed that we as Indigenous people will not stand idly by while our Mother is raped for profit.”
Photos from the Walk t Protect & Restore the Salish Sea
by Wakíƞyaƞ Waánataƞ (Matt Remle- Lakota)