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Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Dec. 5, 2023

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Lummi Nation will honor orca Tokitae


BELLINGHAM—Lummi Nation will honor the orca known as Tokitae who died in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium in August with private traditional ceremonies in Bellingham Bay this weekend, tribal officials said Wednesday in an emailed statement.

Tribal members traveled earlier this week to the University of Georgia in Athens, where Tokitae’s body was taken for a necropsy, “to culturally and traditionally prepare Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut’s (Tokitae’s) ashes for her journey home,” the statement said.

Orca in the Pacific Northwest are central to the culture of the Coast Salish tribes that include Lummi Nation, who revere the orca as an ancestor.

Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut was the last southern resident orca held in captivity, at Seaquarium in Miami, where she was known as Lolita.

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