Lummi tribal matriarchs Raynell Morris and Ellie Kinley both worked for Lummi Nation’s Sovereignty and Treaty Protection Office and fought to protect Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point) from what would have been North America’s largest coal-export facility. Now, as leaders of the nonprofit Sacred Sea, they are spearheading the Salish Sea Campaign, including the effort to rematriate the last remaining captive Southern Resident orca.
We know the killer whale who lives in a small concrete tank at the Miami Seaquarium as Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut. Trainers and activists call her Tokitae, while her stage name is Lolita. She has been held captive since the summer of 1970, when men with a $100 “take” permit, speedboats, nets, and explosives surrounded about 80 Southern Resident killer whales in Penn Cove on Whidbey Island, just north of Seattle. The men hauled out seven young ones, including Sk’alich’elh-tenaut, while their parents cried out nearby.
In June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates zoos and aquariums, inspected Miami Seaquarium and found that Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut lives in unsafe and unhealthy conditions. We are working wi... Read more