Home: The Salish Sea, the places we live here in western Washington and southwest British Columbia. Is home a place, or people? Is it houses, economy, family, trees, the sea itself? What do we hold on to when we fight for the places we love?
Threat: For decades, increasing amounts of fossil fuels have poured through our waterways, with yet more proposed. Just like the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Kinder Morgan Pipeline threatens waterways from BC to Washington; the Gateway Pacific Coal terminal would destroy tribal fisheries; and daily oil trains threaten disastrous derailment along the thriving shores of Skagit and Whatcom Counties, delivering toxic cargo to March and Cherry points while rolling across traditional Coast Salish territories. And all of it contributes to climate change, to sea level rise, to ocean acidification, and the eventual (possible) end of this place itself.
Resistance: Led by tribes and other local residents, resistance in recent years has been varied, deep, and creative. From rallies and concerts to political action to the Totem Pole Journeys, from the Kwel hoy’ ceremony in 2012 to nonviolent direct action in Everett, Bellingham, and during 2016’s Break Free, people who love this place have stood up to fight back against the threat to our home. What has that looked like? What can it look like? what does it mean for this place? And what does it mean about the kind of people that we are?
Future/Vision: The seas will rise, and accidents will happen. The only safe tanker, the only safe oil train, the only safe pipeline, is no tanker or oil train or pipeline at all. But what does it look like if we fail to stop catastrophic climate change? What will this place, our culture look like if we do find and implement a better, clean-energy way? Who will be here in a century or two to witness the resurgence of the salmon–or, perhaps, the Last Salmon?