Native American Tribes Use Art To Promote Preservation


The country’s National Mall will be a little more colorful starting today to remind some of the country’s indigenous communities to preserve their history.

Home Secretary Deb Haaland welcomes a totem pole sculpted by sculptors from the Lummi Nation.

Organizers hope this is a reminder to ensure that tribal communities are included in decisions about their lands and resources.

“The 21st century is a great time to reestablish these consensual relationships because Mother Earth is in crisis,” says Judith LeBlanc, director of the Native Organizers Alliance.

As part of the “Red Road to DC” tour, organizers are bringing a totem pole honoring sacred indigenous places as a gift to President Joe Biden urging him to immediately protect sacred sites. The totem pole crossed the country, stopping in places and resources threatened by development and infrastructure projects.

Lummi Nation’s House of Tears Sculptors have traveled 20,000 miles across the country from Turtle Island this summer, performing over 115 blessing ceremonies during the #RedRoadtoDC Totem Pole Journey. The trip aims to bring people together, along with attention and action, to support frontline Indigenous communities working to protect their sacred lands and waters from mining and closure.

The totem pole and tens of thousands of signatures and stories were presented at a ceremony on the National Mall.

From now on, the totem pole will be on display in front of the National Museum of the American Indian until July 31, where an exhibit of the House of Tears Carvers’ totem journeys is on display.

The tour is sponsored by the Native Organizers Alliance, Se’Si’Le, the Natural History Museum, the National Congress of American Indians and IllumiNative.

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