Lummi Nation lead carver Jewell James works on the final details on Monday of a nearly 25-foot totem pole to be gifted to the Biden administration from the Lummi Reservation near Bellingham. The pole, carved from a 400-year-old red cedar, will make a journey from the reservation past sacred indigenous sites before arriving in Washington, D.C., in early June. Organizers said the totem pole is a reminder to leaders to honor the rights of Indigenous people and their sacred sites. (Elaine Thompson/The Associated Press)

Lummi Nation lead carver Jewell James works on the final details on Monday of a nearly 25-foot totem pole to be gifted to the Biden administration from the Lummi Reservation near Bellingham. The pole, carved from a 400-year-old red cedar, will make a journey from the reservation past sacred indigenous sites before arriving in Washington, D.C., in early June. Organizers said the totem pole is a reminder to leaders to honor the rights of Indigenous people and their sacred sites. (Elaine Thompson/The Associated Press)

Lummi Nation totem pole making journey to Biden

The Associated Press

BELLINGHAM — A totem pole carved at the Lummi Nation from a 400-year-old red cedar will begin a cross-country journey next month, evoking an urgent call to protect sacred lands and waters of Indigenous people.

The journey, called the Red Road to D.C., will culminate in early June in Washington, D.C., The Seattle Times reported.

The expedition will start at the Lummi Nation outside Bellingham and will make stops at Nez Perce traditional lands; Bears Ears National Monument in Utah; the Grand Canyon; Chaco Canyon, N.M.; the Black Hills of South Dakota; and the Missouri River, at the crossing of the Dakota Access Pipeline, where thousands protested its construction near Native lands.

This fall, the pole will be featured at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. A special exhibition was developed by The Natural History Museum and House of Tears Carvers at the Lummi Nation, which is gifting the pole to the Biden administration.

Head carver and Lummi tribal member Jewell Praying Wolf James said he and a team ranging in age from 4 to 70 carved the pole beginning this winter.

They carved the pole one figure at a time, led by spirit, inspiration and dreams, James said. The figures include Chinook salmon, a wolf, a bear, an eagle diving to Earth, and even a child in jail — a reference to children presently incarcerated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

More in News

“Silent Moment” is one of the photo stories Sequim artist and educator Marina Shipova has created through her work. She was chosen as the Art Fellow for the City of Sequim’s “Sequim Understory” project to help convey Sequim’s story to residents. It coincides with a potential project at the northeast corner of the Sequim Avenue/Washington Street intersection. (Photo courtesy of Marina Shipova)
Sequim live for feedback on downtown Sequim corner

Artist chosen to share photo stories

Peninsula virus cases hit plateau

Health officers still urge caution

Rachel and Daniel Shyles were among nearly 30 people to attend a COVID-19 popup clinic at Barhop Brewing and Taproom for a free beer to go along with a free vaccine. Rachel got her second shot of Moderna vaccine on Saturday. Daniel said he already had two inoculations. The service was provided by the Clallam County Health and Human Services department. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)
Free beer with vaccine

Rachel and Daniel Shyles were among nearly 30 people to attend a… Continue reading

For the first time in a year, the Tuff as Nails rowing team took the Blue Streak for a sun-splashed spin in Port Townsend Bay on Monday morning. Coming back in are Nikki Russell, facing front at left, Barb Hager and Christine Edwards; on the other side of the boat are Mari Friend and Zoe Ann Dudley. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Back on the water

For the first time in a year, the Tuff as Nails rowing… Continue reading

Port Townsend Police Chief Thomas Olson started work last week. Some of his goals include getting the department more involved with the community and increasing the diversity among officers. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)
Police chief starts position

Olson working on community connections

Clallam County eyes equity agenda

Broadband one area identified

Drug overdoses skyrocket in state amid COVID

More people in Washington state died of drug overdoses in… Continue reading

Peninsula numbers leveling, but state cases may take a few more weeks

Super-spreaders blamed for 135 infections, official says

Traffic delays scheduled Thursday on U.S. Highway 101 at Bagley Creek

Work crews will be placing six 81-foot girders across… Continue reading

Most Read