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Totem pole journey aims to empower communities to protect sacred places

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Posted at 3:39 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 17:39:28-04

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — This summer, the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation are transporting and blessing a 24-foot totem pole on a more than 2,000-mile journey from Washington state to Washington D.C. On Thursday they made did stop 96 at Shoshone Falls. The totem pole is in an effort to acknowledge the past and present injustices inflicted on the native peoples and to protect sacred places.

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For many, Shoshone Falls is just a tourist attraction but to the Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation, it’s a sacred place and they want it protected.

“Mother earth is crying out,” said Sul Ka Dube of the Lummi Nation.

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As the pole travels, it is meant to draw lines of the connection while honoring, uniting and empowering communities working to protect sacred places.

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“This was a sacred site,” said Sul Ka Dube. “That is what our totem pole journey, the Red Road to D.C. is about.”

This totem pole’s final destination is to the Nation's Capital, where it will be presented to the Biden-Harris administration.

“We stand up to protect our national monuments,” said Sul Ka Dube. “To protect your rivers, we are not doing this for ourselves, but we are doing it for your children for your grandchildren, and your great-great-grandchildren. “

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During its time at Shoshone Falls, the public was invited to bless and learn of the totem pole's meaning and journey.

“If we don’t change, Mother Earth is going to purify herself as she has done in ancient times,” Sul Ka Dube said.

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The Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation said the time is now to implement policies to protect, restore, and redefine the principles that shape land and water regulation in the United States.

“We got to bring unity back into our communities otherwise democracy is at stake,” said Sul Ka Dube.