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Time for southern resident orca Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut (Lolita) to come home!

“Southern resident orca named Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut by Lummi Nation members has retired from performances as Lolita at Miami Seaquarium, renewing Lummi-led Sacred Sea’s hope she can be repatriated to the Salish Sea. Credit: Miami Herald file
  • Editor’s note: Long time Yelm Blog readers have known I have been an advocate to return Lolita to her pod here in the Pacific Northwest.

Time for southern resident orca Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut to come home!

+ The Olympian: Lummi matriarchs say healing the Salish Sea begins with bringing home their orca relation

“Sacred Sea, led by enrolled Lummi Tribal members Raynell Morris and Ellie Kinley, continues to advocate for the repatriation of the orca Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut from her concrete tank in the Miami sun back to her cool, dark home waters of the Salish Sea.

“‘Now that she’s not performing three times a day, not having to do tricks for food, she can get the best care and be her best self,’ said Morris, vice president of the Sacred Lands Conservancy known as Sacred Sea.

“More than 50 years since her capture at Whidbey Island’s Penn Cove, southern resident orca Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut (pronounced SKAH-lee-CHUKH-tah-NOT) — known by her stage name of Lolita and as Tokitae by others — has been retired from performances at Miami Seaquarium.

“For now, she will remain at the park in Miami, which has been acquired by MS Leisure Company Inc. — an entity of Cancun-based The Dolphin Company — on the condition that she and a dolphin in her tank will not be exhibited.

“With the new license prohibiting The Dolphin Company from using her in social media or to generate revenue, hope is renewed that she can be repatriated home [to the Pacific Northwest.],” by Natasha Brennan, who covers Indigenous Affairs for Northwest McClatchy Newspapers. Read more

+ The Olympian: Tribal members, community offer prayer and cedar for the return of orca – “When you smell this, you’re home,” said Sacred Sea Vice President Raynell Morris.

Posted by Steve on March 22, 2022 at 12:01 am | Permalink

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