Jay Julius

Jay Julius

Event set for Sept. 27 at Blaine waterfront

WHATCOM ­— The Lummi Nation is inviting others to join in an event, by land or water, at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, at the Blaine fishing pier/public boat launch “to protect our Salish Sea homelands and our community, including the salmon and qwe ‘lhol mechen (orcas).”

It has become “a sacred obligation” now to do this, according to a press release.

“We are all children of the Salish Sea. We need to step up. We are at the point right now where we don’t have much time. This is a struggle for the soul of the Salish Sea,” said Jay Julius, tribal council chairman of Lummi Nation.

The gathering near the Canada/U.S. border is “to show that an international line does not divide us, just as it does not divide the waters, the air, the orcas, or the salmon of Xw’ullemy (the Salish Sea).”

Tribal, non-tribal, First Nations, Canadian, American, fishers, elders, children, families, youth are all invited to show they are Netse Mot (of one mind) when it comes to protecting the sea and its life, Julius said.

Tribal and First Nations leaders will address this question: What should be done to heal the Salish Sea? Environmental groups and faith organizations will be represented. The Blackhawk Singers will perform and the nearby waters will be blessed.

Attendees are encouraged to bring red and wear red.

More details are online at www.sacredsea.org.

This is the position of the tribe: “Our qwe ‘lhol ‘mechen (resident orcas) face extinction, our salmon runs are endangered, and the Salish Sea is increasingly threatened by unchecked human development. Climate change, ramped-up marine vessel traffic and other stressors on the Salish Sea ecosystems necessitate immediate action, rather than endless deliberation. Tribal nations, NGOs, faith-based organizations and communities are coming together to protect our orcas and our home.”