Kwel’ Hoy: Many Struggles, One Front

  • Apr 6, 2018

On display at The Watershed Institute, April – September, 2018.

The Journey Continues! Kwel’ Hoy: Many Struggles, One Front is the next stop in a cross-country tour, evolving museum exhibition and public programming series. As a collaboration with Indigenous leaders and scientists, the exhibit celebrates and connects communities protecting water, land, and our collective future.


The science is clear: to ensure a livable world, we must keep the vast majority of current oil, gas and coal reserves in the ground. Yet the fossil fuel industry continues to develop infrastructure across farmlands, fresh waterways, crowded cities and sacred sites. The byproducts of the fossil fuel ecosystem—from contaminated water to cancer clusters near petrochemical plants to climate-related wildfires, droughts and floods—are already felt around the world.

Over the last 6 years, the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation has transported a series of totem poles across North America to communities threatened or impacted by fossil fuel projects. As the pole travels, it draws a line between dispersed but connected concerns, building an unprecedented alliance of tribal and non-tribal communities as they stand together to advocate for a sustainable relationship between humanity and the natural world.

With this exhibition, the totem pole visits The Watershed Institute—a science education and advocacy center outside of Princeton, New Jersey—connecting the science community’s efforts to protect the local watershed from the proposed PennEast Pipeline to the nearby Ramapough Lenape Nation’s struggle to stop the Pilgrim Pipeline, and the Lummi’s struggles to protect the waters of the Pacific Northwest from oil tankers and pipelines.

The totem pole journey demonstrates that struggles are connected and in unity there is strength. Drawing a line in the sand, it joins communities together as one front in the collective struggle for a safe and sustainable future.

See exhibit page for more information.


4/21: Totem Pole Journey Event at the Ramapough Lenape Prayer Camp
4/24: Exhibit opening and Reception — Kwel’ Hoy: Many Struggles, One Front 
5/1: Panel Discussion: Museums in a Time of Crisis
5/3: Panel Discussion: Science for the People