Northwest UU Justice Network

Coast Salish Totem Pole and Story Board Dedication Aug. 25 on San Juan Island

Introduction: Shirley Williams, and her partner Troy Olsen, have created an amazing program for Coast Salish youth. On August 25 from 2-6 p.m., Coast Salish families from Lummi Nation and WSANEC Nation (on both sides of the 49th parallel) will be dedicating, on behalf of all people, a Reef Net Captain Totem Pole and two Salmon Story Boards to the San Juan Island National Historical Parks 100th Centennial Anniversary. This ceremony will be held in the spiritual site of their ancestors’ 600-800 foot long house at Pe'pi'ow'elh, now known as English Camp.

There are many costs to make this event happen and contributions are gratefully accepted. This is a unique event, and is a pivotal time and action for all people in the Salish Sea bioregion to continue leadership towards community healing and ecological protection. THIS IS IMPORTANT!

TWO WAYS to DONATE: Read about this important work below and by following the second link also.

1. "gofundme" link:

2. follow the link below to make a reservation to attend the dedication on Aug 25, 2 pm, English Camp on San Juan Island and to make a donation. (click green box below picture, top right) to help cover costs of food and lodging for youth, families, and elders.

FROM SHIRLEY: (go to second link above for more details)

Hy'shqe to Salish Sea Studies Institute, Western Washington University for supporting the Spirit of the Sxwo'le - Community Healing in the Salish Sea through the Friends of the Salish Sea Newsletter! As respected elders have said, the first part of any healing process is to know who you are and where you come from and as neuroscience, epigenetics, and research into adverse childhood experience and resilience is now showing, memory is stored in DNA.

As our hearts, minds and spirits are pure in this request, WE ask if you might be willing to help us spread the word to those who may be willing to help with this historical event for our Coast Salish people. And if you find it in your heart to keep the momentum through a donation and your name, it would be sincerely appreciated. Hy'shqe - Thank you. This work is intended to bring healing.

Your acknowledgement to honor our Coast Salish territories is greatly appreciated! "The protection of these lands in the San Juan Islands will maintain their historical and cultural significance and enhance their unique and varied natural and scientific resources, for the benefit of all Americans." Presidential Proclamation--San Juan Islands National Monument.

Shirley Williams
Community Medicine RN
Troy Olsen
One of Many Reef Net Captains in Spirit


I am writing to share this exciting legacy work that families from Lummi Nation and WSANEC Nation are doing to honor and uphold their Chi'lange'lth (inherent birth rights) and heal through the natural, cultural and historical restoration to the Salish Sea

The carver of the Reef Net Captain pole is Charles Elliott, a member of the T'sartlip First Nation living in Brentwood Bay on Vancouver Island. The carver of the two Salmon Story Boards is Jewell Praying Wolf James -- a lifelong activist towards preserving native cultural sites and rights and master Lummi carver.

Families from Saanich and Lummi are preparing to deliver the pole from Vancouver Island to San Juan Island ceremonially via the ancestral saltwater highway, using a barge (which they are currently seeking access to) and two traditional canoes from Lummi and WSANEC… This is a great opportunity to support a native family owned non-profit doing its work on behalf of the Salish Sea and all her inhabitants.

"As the Chi'lange'lth is superseding treaties in First Nation territories (Lousie Mandell, Q.C. First Nation Aboriginal & Treaty Rights lawyer) and as our treaties and public trust doctrines are two essential tools to help protect our environment (Mary C. Woods, Environmental Law Scholar), we envision people practicing their treaty rights and inherent birth rights and in doing so, offering a measure of protection and sustainability that can be modeled across the United States and Canada as they also work with their community with one mind.” Shirley Williams, WE - One Mind for the Purpose of the Work.

Bert Webber
Salish Sea Studies Institute, Western Washington University



Williams, S., Olsen, T., & Webber, B. (2016). Coast Salish Totem Pole and Story Board Dedication Aug. 25 on San Juan Island. Retrieved from


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