All Kwel' Hoy Events

This video profiles the activist science of the Watershed Institute, produced in the context of the 2018 exhibition Kwel’ Hoy: Many Struggles, One Front.

Developed by The Natural History Museum with the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation, Ramapough Lenape Nation, Watershed Institute, Princeton Environmental Institute and Center for the Humanities at CUNY Graduate Center, the exhibition connected the Watershed Institute’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.

More information: https://thenaturalhistorymuseum.org/events/kwel-hoy-many-struggles-one-front/

For more than a decade, the House of Tears Carvers and members of the Lummi Nation have traveled across North America with totem poles to raise awareness about threats to the environment and public health. As the poles travel, they draw a line between dispersed but connected concerns, and help to build 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.

Kwel Hoy’: We Draw the Line was a cross-country tour, traveling museum exhibition, and series of public programs uplifting Indigenous leadership in struggles to protect water, land, and our collective future. With this journey, the totem pole entered a museum for the first time. Charged with the stories of resilience they have picked up on their journey across the country, the pole connected the museum—and the museum public—to the living universe in which they are enmeshed.

More information here: thenaturalhistorymuseum.org/events/kwel-hoy-we-draw-the-line/

In this video, Master Carver Jewell James (Lummi) presents the House of Tears Carvers’ Totem Pole Journeys as a response to the challenges we face in our struggles for a just and liveable planet for all.

The Lummi Nation’s House of Tears carvers has created a tradition of carving and delivering totem poles to areas struck by disaster or otherwise in need of hope and healing. In 2013 the House of Tears Carvers began a yearly totem pole journey highlighting the impacts of fossil fuels across tribal lands throughout North America. These journeys raise awareness and strengthen and expand cooperation between tribes, intertribal organizations, faith-based communities, environmentalists and community leaders who oppose fossil fuel expansion projects.

“The totem pole journey does not draw a new line as much as it traces over one that already exists, making it visible. This line runs through the rocks, through the trees, through the sky, through the oceans. It is also a line that runs from the past to the present, and into the future.”


Narrated by Phreddie Lane of the Lummi Nation, this video was part of the exhibition Kwel’ Hoy: We Draw the Line, which launched at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in 2017.

More information: http://thenaturalhistorymuseum.org/events/kwel-hoy-we-draw-the-line/

“Despite the fact that entire nations have been built atop the idea that objects contained within museums represent dead cultures, there is a spirit that lives on in them that can never be extinguished. And this is what ‘Kwel’ Hoy: We Draw the Line’ is all about.”


In this promotional video, the Lummi Nation’s Phreddie Lane and The Natural History Museum’s Jason Jones introduce our first collaboration, Kwel’ Hoy: We Draw the Line, a cross-country totem pole journey and museum exhibition in 2017.

More information here: http://thenaturalhistorymuseum.org/events/kwel-hoy-we-draw-the-line/