On August 11, the Alice McKay Room at the Vancouver Public Library was vibrant with young and old coming together to ask for more protection for the Southern Resident Orcas. Their letters to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans were folded into origami Orcas while poets Miranda Pearson, Barbara Pelman, and Marlene Grand Maitre read from the poetry anthlogy, Refugium: Poems for the Pacific, also published by Caitlin Press.
Latash Maurice Nahanee, Squamish Nation Elder, opened the event, welcoming everyone to Squamish territory, and sang a traditional whale song with his wife, Delia. One of the highlights was the puppet show and parade presented by puppeteers Lillian and Rob Ireland, Suzuki Elders.
I read from Whale in the Door, and sang my songs about Howe Sound, as well as my grieving song for Tahlequah, the Orca Mother who had been carrying her dead daughter for 17 days. We were all inspired by her sorrowful journey. The next day, Tahlequah let the body of her decomposing baby fall to the bottom of the ocean. Many thanks to the wonderful people at the library who believed in this event.
My Song for Tahlequah: