In the wake of the loss of a dear Friend 

Join us live on Instagram or on Facebook for the Celebration of Life today for Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut (Tokitae)

Despite copious amounts of testing, our live YouTube feed wasn’t so hot, so we pivoted! Thanks for bearing with the buffering, friends!

Last week the community was heartbroken to learn that Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut (Tokitae) died suddenly while still in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium. The Lummi Nation and many other partners have been actively at the forefront, fighting for Tokitae’s return home to the Salish Sea since 1970. We grieve Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut and recognize the pain that came from her captivity. Lummi Nation, Se’Si’LeHouse of Tears Carvers, and other partners guide our larger community in honoring Tokitae through a celebration of life this weekend. We hope to see you there in person and in spirit.

Eva Schulte, Executive Director, Friends of the San Juans 

Join the Lummi Nation, Se’Si’Le, House of Tears Carvers, and the Port of Friday Harbor Marina & Airport, at San Juan Islands’ Jackson Beach for a Celebration of Life for Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut (Tokitae/Lolita).

Sunday, August 27th
12 pm to 3pm 
Jackson Beach
San Juan Island

*Please note this is an alcohol-free event.

The community is welcome to this event of song, story, and ceremony for the great loss of this special being. Included will be a ceremony for the Story Pole that was recently placed at Jackson Beach, originally carved in honor of Tokitae by the House of Tears Carvers before the pole made the journey to Miami in 2018. The celebration of life will conclude with a potluck.

Please bring:

  • Your own chairs, plates, and cutlery for the potluck.
  • Large family-style food items to share (such as side dishes, bread, salads, etc.) 
  • Non-alcoholic beverages, such as bubbly water, seltzers, or juice to share.
  • Firewood donations are greatly appreciated! *Note: A fire permit was obtained for this event, and fire safety precautions will be taken.

Getting there and parking: 

  • Parking will be limited—please help reserve and prioritize parking for disabled persons, tribal participation, and event organizers. 
  • Please carpool, ride a bike, or get dropped off if possible. 
  • Jackson Beach is approximately 1.6 miles from the Friday Harbor ferry terminal. 
  • Beginning at 10:45, shuttles in Friday Harbor will run about every 20 minutes to Jackson Beach from the Memorial Park roundabout near the Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal.
  • Attendees traveling from the mainland can park at the Anacortes Ferry Terminal and take the ferry departing at 9:05 am, arriving in Friday Harbor at 10:10 am.    

Can’t join in person? 

The event will be live-streamed. Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut has touched many lives—join in spirit and ceremony to honor her life, legacy, and the many people who fought tirelessly for her return home to the Salish Sea. The live stream will begin Sunday, August 27th, at 12 pm here: 

Learn more about Tokitae in this encore episode of For the WildKurt Russo on the People Under the Sea
To honor Tokitae’s memory, For the Wild has rebroadcasted their episode, On The People Under the Sea, originally aired in October of 2018. “This conversation explores the powerful memory held by Southern Resident orcas, the threats they face from vessel noise, chemical pollutants, and declining Chinook salmon population, the health of the Salish Sea, and the efforts of the Lummi Nation to return Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut (also known as Tokitae/Lolita), from where she was being held captive at Miami Seaquarium, to her natal waters in the Salish Sea.”  Listen →

Friends of the San Juans was vital for the San Juan Islands’ protection in 1979 and it is still vital today.

Mike and Susan Krieger

members, Orcas Island