Yakima Herald Republic, September 23, 2013
By Kate Prengaman
TOPPENISH, Wash. — On a chilly Sunday morning, about a hundred members of the Yakama Nation gathered to bless a totem pole symbolizing tribal opposition to coal-transport projects proposed for the Northwest.
The totem pole is traveling across the West to raise awareness about the potential impact of the coal projects on tribal life. Currently two are under state review — one at Longview and another at Cherry Point near Blaine, close to the Canadian border.
The pole, which stands 18 feet tall, was made by the House of Tears Carvers from the Lummi Nation, situated next to the proposed Cherry Point export terminal. They named the totem pole Kwel hoy’, which means “we draw the line.”
“We know the tribes of the Northwest have stood up and said no to the coal going through,” Lummi carver Jewell James told the crowd assembled under a tent outside Legends Casino. “It’s impossible to mitigate the damage, that’s why we have to prevent it.”