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Posted on: September 20, 2022

Native Artwork Dedication Ceremony on Bellwether Plaza

The Port is hosting a dedication ceremony for a Double Thunderbird story pole exhibit created by Jewell James, Head Carver with the Lummi Nation’s renowned House of Tears Carvers studio. The dedication ceremony will be held from 1-2 pm on Thursday, September 22 at the Bellwether public plaza located behind 23 Bellwether Way in Bellingham.  

The Double Thunderbird includes three individual story poles connected into an archway with carvings and paintings of animals and symbols which relate morality stories teaching humans how to behave responsibly and with integrity, and have spiritual meaning to many Coast Salish people.

The Port installed the Double Thunderbird to celebrate the unique cultural heritage of our region and create a vibrant community gathering place.

The Raven and Salmon story pole tells the story of why Salmon Woman gifted her children to the Coast Salish people during a time of starvation provided they always honor and respect the sacrifice of the salmon children. 

The Bear and Steelhead story pole tells the story of why chinook, coho, sockeye and pink salmon return to their spawning grounds to die, but not steelhead reminding us to act with great care and intention with the beings who share this earth with us. 

The Thunderbird story pole tells the story of how disrespectful Xwlemi children angered the great and powerful Thunderbird who then refused to continue to help the Xwlemi people and instead released frogs near their village whose songs still keep people up at night as a reminder of the errors of their way. 

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