Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Q'al: Bellingham Totem Pole Morning Blessing Ceremony

August 23, 2016

9:00 am

Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship
1207 Ellsworth St., Bellingham

On Tuesday morning at 9:00 am there will be the first Blessing stop of the Totem Pole Journey.  All are welcome to attend and share, with the Totem Pole and the Journey crew, your blessings, grief and hopes.  

This year’s theme is rooted in Q’al.  It means “Belief” in the Lummi language.  It is a fitting title for the 2016 totem pole journey.  The journey, the fourth in four years, will unite tribes and communities all along the 4,865-mile, 18-day journey with the totem pole.  It is belief that helped defeat the various coal port proposals over the past three years.  And it is belief that is needed now as we continue opposing the onslaught of deadly and toxic tar sands and Bakken oil that would be transported by rail and shipped out of ports in Washington and British Columbia. The 2016 journey will not only help to inspire the belief that is needed to win, again, but also be a call for diligence, vigilance, and unity as tribes and communities across the PNW and western Canada stand up for their families, the land and water, and future generations.

The sacredness of the Totem Pole is heightened when imbued with the prayers and messages by many people of many communities, sharing and standing together in a moment of unity at each of the Journey's Blessing stops.  From these acts of unity, the Totem Pole, Master Carver Jewell James says, becomes a lasting part of our memories and a symbol of our resistance against those forces that would destroy those things that we all hold as so very precious and on which we all depend on for our very existence.  

When the Totem Pole finally reaches its home in Winnipeg, it will embody the voices and prayers of thousands of people throughout the U.S. and Canada.  At the place Where the Two Rivers Meet, it will stand as yet another sentinel, watching over the Land, the Waters and the Peoples.

Come, offer up your voices and prayers as the Totem Pole and its crew, begin its Journey of Q'ay in the work of today and hope for tomorrow.

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