also known as Tokitae or Lolita

In the Lummi language, the term for killer whales is qwe ‘lhol mechen, meaning “our relations below the waves.”. The Salish Sea Campaign is working to bringing  the orca Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut out of the captivity and back home to the Salish Sea.  Once called Lolita, then called Tokitae, and now given the Lummi name Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut, she was violently taken from L-pod in 1970, and has been held at Miami Seaquarium ever since. In 2017, She still sings the L-pod family song her mother taught her when she was a baby (A recording of her singing this song was made at her Miami Seaquarium tank in the early 1990s. It has been identified by at least two experts as being the L-pod song). Lummi Nation passed a Motion to bring her home; in 2018, Lummi held a press conference in Miami to this effect, and later embarked on a Totem Pole Journey for Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut. In 2019, two individual Lummi women invoked the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and announced their intent to sue Miami Seaquarium if the Seaquarium would not agree to collaboratively work out a plan to safely bring Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut back home to her family in the Salish Sea. The Earth Law Center is now legal representation for the repatriation effort. The Whale Sanctuary Project is drafting a comprehensive operational plan, grounded in and guided by Lummi ancestral wisdom as well as science, to safely bring Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut home.

International Ceremonies and Solidarity

Videos from Central Asia, Nepal, Russia, Lummi Nation, the United States, Europe, and elsewhere will be posted soon in this collective, ongoing prayer and ceremony for Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut. Videos are also viewable on the “Ceremonies for Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut” Facebook Page. Please hold and share your own ceremony, and post to the Facebook page and/or send one to us at via email, DropBox, or WeTransfer.





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