Lummi Totem Pole Journey: Draw the Line Against Coal Export

Written by Jessica Zimmerle
Outreach Coordinator for Earth Ministry 

Dear Friends of Faith,

The Lummi Nation have boldly said NO to coal export, and they are asking YOU to stand with them.

Over the last month, Earth Ministry has been partnering with the Lummi Nation in opposition to the construction of coal export terminals in Washington. My recent blog post entitled, “Sacred Lands, Sacred Waters,” describes the significance of Cherry Point, or Xwe’che’eXen, for the Lummi – how this land is the source of their spiritual connection to their living ancestors and how fishing in these waters are the source of their cultural lifeway.  

Jewell James and the Lummi House of Tear Carvers are known nationwide for their work in carving and delivering blessed healing totem poles to suffering communities, such as the one that stands in New York City for the children of all who were lost on September 11, 2001. They have now carved a healing totem pole, Kwel’hoy, meaning “we draw the line,” to raise awareness of their own suffering and unite all those who would be harmed by the construction of this terminal. Over the last week, the Lummi have traveled to Montana and back with Kwel’hoy along the entire path of the coal train tracks, stopping for blessings and ceremonies with other native tribes and community members.

I was fortunate to attend two stops along this journey, one on the lawn of the capitol building in Olympia and another at St. Leo Church in Tacoma. Both ceremonies were emotionally moving and extremely powerful. The Olympia ceremony was a beautiful display of native ritual as multiple tribes shared songs and blessings to support the Lummi. The presence and words of Billy Frank were especially inspiring as he is legendary for his activism in securing tribal fishing rights under the Bolt Decision of 1974. In Tacoma, the ceremony was graced by songs by the native youth drumming and singing group of Chief Leschi School and participation by attendees in a traditional cedar water blessing of the totem pole.


At both events, master carver Jewell James used the familiar phrase, “no means no,” to passionately declare that the Lummi have said no to coal, and that we must do the same. Directly addressing the faith community in Tacoma, James stated that “if you believe that God has given you this garden to protect, then it is your constitutional right to fight for it.” He emphasized the power of our words and actions; how we can reach millions if we all share this story and how important it is for us to implement our rights and advocate against coal from a moral, scientific, and legal standpoint. To do so, please contact the office of Senator Cantwell, the Chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, in defense of Lummi treaty rights: 

Phone: (206) 220-6400
or email Sally Hintz, Sen. Cantwell’s Northwest Regional Directory:

The final Washington stop for the Lummi Totem Pole Journey is at Cherry Point tomorrow, Friday September 27 from 5:00-6:30. After that, Kwel’hoy will be delivered to the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in British Columbia, who are also fighting to protect their own land from the devastation of oil pipelines. The gifting of this totem pole, and the journey it has undergone, unites all afflicted communities along its path with Native Tribes and First Nations in saying kwel’hoy, or “we draw the line” against coal export and tar sands pipelines. For more information about this final stop, please click here!

In peace,

PS: here is a great article about the Olympia stop!


Great Opportunity for PLU students

The Tacoma Entrepreneur Network (TEN) presents
Innovate! Create! 
Saturday, October 5 10-3
on the Puget Sound campus
Immerse yourself in entrepreneurship and innovative thinking at this intense and engaging competition. Students from PLU, UWT and UPS are put in cross-campus, interdisciplinary teams Saturday morning, then given a problem to address. You will work together to develop an innovative, creative solution—and pitch it to a panel of entrepreneur judges. Then (hopefully) win some of our great prizes ($100 gift cards to each member of the winning team, restaurant gift certificates for second and third place team members). You may view a 2.5 minutes film about the event at
We provide food, space, judges, mentors (short consults only!), prizes, and the problem. The problem you address is a secret. Last year it was obesity. The previous year it was solid waste. 
You provide your intelligence, time and creative thinking. Bringing a laptop or tablet is strongly encouraged. Please register at our website (–events.html) so that we know how many people to expect.
We hope to see you there!
Lynnette Claire
Lynnette Claire, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
School of Business and Leadership
University of Puget Sound

Sustainability Committee Meeting 9/11/13


Jenny Taylor, Saiyare Refaei, Jessica Sadler, Sara Patterson, Joe Bell, Chrissy Cooley, Rachel Haxtema, Tanya Ulsted, Gretchen Howell, Mercy Daramola, Wendy Robins, Kelly Kohlwes, Nick Lorax, Romey Haberle, Rose McKenney

 Appointed positions:

Treasure -Sarah (RHA Sustainability Director)

Secretary – Saiyare Refaei (Former Sustainability Fellow)

Jenny Taylor (President of GREAN Club) – Divestment from Fossil Fuels on Campus

          Plan for a Divestment Forum Oct. 14th , 4 pm

          Invite experts on various campus boards for a speaker panel

          Connecting with other campus club leaders

          Suggested by Dr. McKenney to talk with Dr. Kevin O’Brien and other professors, Dr. Susan Harmen, Dr. Mark Holmer, Dr. Katherine Pratt

          Contact Jenny via email or the GREAN email

          Jenny will be sharing a list of current or potential campus investments tied to fossil fuel companies

          Helpful to have a list of what Jenny needs from us

          Wendy Robins suggested the table top adds are free in The Commons and talk with Emily Peterson (ASPLU Finance Director)

          Chrissy Cooley suggested writing in the Mast for their new sustainability column

          Mercy Daramola suggested talking with RHA and RHC Sustainability Directors

Chrissy Cooley – Diversity Justice Sustainability (DJS)

          Subcommittees came together for the final draft of the report for the last academic year

          Recommend to reinstate committee to focus DJS

          Recommendation to get another VP

          Collaborating on a lot of events

          Part of 20/20 plan

Green Fees (Jenny Taylor)

          $30,995 Green Fees this year

          New matrix to apply for Green Fee Proposal on Sustainability webpage

          A couple left over proposal from CCES

o   VISTA position to start the Healthy Parkland Initiative (education about food security) – ask Joel Zylstra

o   (VISTA program 1-3 years to set up a strong partnership so that the community can sustain the program themselves)

o   Partners with Trinity Lutheran Church, Emergency Food Network, Franklin Pierce School District and local community gardens

o   For $5,000 dollars

o   What is the sustainability of this project in five years?

          Another proposal from business student Alex for an alternative spring break to make wells in Nicaragua (needs to contact Wang Center)

o    Asking for $5,500 to cover for the cost of making the well

o   Everyone who goes on the trip will pay for their way there and back

o   Additional advertisement costs?

          $1,500 asked for the Habitat for Humanity Build from CCES

o   well thought out plan

o   for transportation for class service learning experience on the site

          New compost buckets from Chrissy and Wendy


          Human Ecology and Food – Wendy, Rachel

          Carbon Offsetting/Onsetting –Gretchen, Tanya, Chrissy, Joel

          Experiential Learning – Dave, Wendy

          DJS – Mercy, Saiyare

          Green Fees – Jenny, Aiko, Sarah

          Outdoor Classroom – Nick,

          Green Fees—Sara, Jenny, Aiko


          (Jenny) upcoming Oct. 17th coal export terminal hearing at the Tacoma Convention Center

          (Saiyare) campus mural connecting with CCES, Sustainability, Residential Life, Art Dept. soon

          (Chrissy) unPlugged in October, film to be shown in each hall thanks to Aiko

          (Wendy) purchased 30 more composting buckets from a company in Tacoma, requesting Green Fees for a reimbursement, hopes of more off campus students can participate, connecting with pig farm to serve as feed and saves money, staff can take home a bucket too!

          (Rachel-CCES) Sept. 24th last day to volunteer at Mother Earth Farms, food drives in October (Oct. 19th game end of drive), Trinity Food Pantry open Tuesdays and Fridays

          (Nick) PLU Community Garden Workshop Sept. 20th, United Day way of Caring, 10 people from Microsoft coming to volunteer, some beds going to the Empty Bowl Campaign soon

o   I522 on ballot to label GMO Foods going up for election this November, rally in Sumner open house for discounted meals etc. this Saturday (email Nick for more details)