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Healing Totem Pole to be blessed at Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion-Sept 13

For Immediate Release - August 31, 2011
Healing Totem Pole to be blessed at Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion-Sept 13

Jewell Praying Wolf James


UW Libraries Media Contact: A.C. Petersen
Libraries Communications Officer
(206) 543-9389

Non-Seattle Media Contact
Inquiries about totem journey, NIH or NLM exhibit
Adam Shapiro


More Information

NLM / NIH blog

Totem journey and the installation site in Bethesda

National Library of Medicine


Healing Totem Pole to be blessed at Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion
September 13, 11:00a.m.
Totem will travel by truck to National Institutes of Health campus Bethesda, Maryland

September 13, 11am at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion, a totem pole carved by Jewell Praying Wolf James of the Lummi Nation will be blessed as it embarks on a cross-country journey to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where it will be installed as part of a new National Library of Medicine (NLM) exhibit, Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness, opening October 6.

The event is free and open to the public.

The NLM exhibit, Native Voices, will examine concepts of health and medicine among contemporary American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawai'ians.

The totem pole and two benches have been created by renowned artist Jewell Praying Wolf James – of the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation near Bellingham, Washington – who also carved and transported healing totem poles to the 9/11 sites in New York, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania.

The totem pole will begin its journey from the Lummi Nation in Washington State on September 12, and will be blessed by eight Indian Nations during its three-week journey across the continental U.S. to Bethesda (see schedule below).

September 13 agenda of events at Fisher Pavilion, Seattle Center

10:30a.m. coffee and refreshments

11:00a.m. remarks by distinguished guests

  • Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., Director, National Library of Medicine
  • Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson, Dean of University of Washington Libraries
  • Ralph Forquera, Executive Director, Seattle Urban Indian Health Institute
  • David Oreiro, member of the Lummi Nation

11:30a.m. blessing of totem

  • Kauila Clark, Traditional Healer, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, Oahu, Hawai’i
  • Ted Mala, M.D., Director of Tribal Relations and Tribal Healing, Southcentral Foundation, Alaska
  • Jewell James, Head Carver, House of Tears Carvers, Lummi Indian Nation, Washington

12:00 noon  buffet Reception

The Journey

The journey across the United States is sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) in partnership with the UW Libraries and the Native American Land Conservancy,   

Totem journey schedule:
Sep 12 - Lummi Nation (WA)
Sep 13 - Seattle Center (WA)
Sep 15 - Flathead Reservation (MT)
Sep 19 - Standing Rock Reservation (ND)
Sep 20 - Fort Totten (ND)
Sep 21 - White Earth Reservation (MN) 
Sep 22 - Ho-Chunk Reservation (WIS) 
Sep 24 - Chicago (ILL) 
Sep 26 - Onondaga (NY) 
Sep 28 - Mohegan Tribe (CT) 
Sep 30 - Arrow Park (NY)  
Oct 5 - Bethesda (MD)   

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