House of Tears carvers stop at Swinomish Reservation

Red Road to DC


BLESSINGS GIVEN AND RECEIVED –Elder and carver Doug James captures a touching moment of a blessing and healing ceremony at the Swinomish Reservation. Tribal youth representatives were invited up onto the trailer carrying the new House of Tears totem pole, to receive and give a blessing – which is one of the purposes of the Red Road to (Washington) DC stopover visits and events. – Photo by Robin Carneen

On Sept. 19, 2004, nearly 17 years ago, the House of Tears carvers from the Lummi Nation in Bellingham, WA delivered and dedicated “Freedom, Liberty & Sovereignty” to the Pentagon, one of three tragic targets for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. The Lummi delegation brought three cedar totem poles nearly 5,000 miles on a cross-country road trip to Washington, D.C.

This ceremony made a lasting impression on me as I watched in tears both times, as the totem poles were blessed before they left for the East Coast and when I saw them arrive in D.C.

All along the way they m...

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