Exhibition by the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation and The Natural History Museum
Kwel’ Hoy: We Draw the Line is a cross-country tour, traveling museum exhibition, and series of public programs that uplift Indigenous leadership in struggles to protect water, land, sacred sites, and our collective future. The Lummi, also known as Lhaq’temish, People of the Sea, are the original inhabitants of Washington’s northernmost coast and southern British Columbia. Since 2014, members of the Lummi Nation have traveled across North America with a totem pole to raise awareness about threats to the environment and public health. Each journey builds an unprecedented alliance of tribal and non-tribal communities who together advocate for a sustainable relationship between humanity and the natural world.
The 2021 version of this exhibition was launched at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian to conclude the Red Road to DC: a totem pole journey for the protection of sacred places, which traveled from Washington State to Washington D.C., visiting many sacred and historic places under threat from dams, climate change, and resource extraction.
From the Salish Sea to the Snake River, Chaco Canyon to the Black Hills, Anishnaabe lands in Minnesota to Standing Rock in South Dakota, the totem pole carries the spirit of the lands it visits, and the power and prayers of those who encounter it. As the pole traveled, it helped build alliances between Native and non-Native communities. Concluding with an exhibition at the world’s largest museum complex, the journey aimed to enlist the Smithsonian as an amplifier and an ally of the Red Road to DC, inviting all of us to take a stand with those who are leading the movement to protect sacred places.
Red Road to DC: A Totem Pole Journey for the Protection of Sacred Places
As record-breaking heat waves and floods ravage our continent, we join members of the Lummi Nation for a coast to coast expedition, transporting a 25-foot, hand-carved and painted totem pole from Washington State to Washington D.C., visiting many sacred and historic places under threat from dams, climate change, and resource extraction.read more...