British Columbia’s Attorney General has proclaimed June as Orca Awareness Month in British Columbia! That means the proclamation appears on the Attorney General’s website. Its then up to citizens who care, to generate some excitement! (Thanks to Graphic FX for the excellent banner, developed from my “conceptual” sketch!)
Events are scheduled in Oak Bay and the City of Victoria by organizers in each of those municipalities.
At the Victoria City Council meeting May 26, 6:30, the Mayor will read and acknowledge the Attorney General’s Proclamation, and I will address council for a few minutes on behalf of Granny and the SRKWs, and the transients – but especially the SRKWs!
Saturday June 4, 9 am at the beautiful Songhees Wellness Centre, in the Board Room: Master carver and Songhees elder Clarence “Butch” Dick will present a powerpoint on the history of the Lkwungen people and the Wellness Centre’s inception and journey to reality, along with some thoughts on the orcas who have lived alongside the Lkwungen people for millennia. Around 10 am, tea, coffee, juice and birthday cakes for the baby orcas who have made it to 1 year old, and remembering one who didn’t make it.
Life is challenging for the babies with the high toxin offload from mom, and the ongoing difficulties with finding Chinook salmon (their preferred food), ever increasing ship and boat traffic noise in their home waters, sonar bursts fro military exercises and exploration, and pollution.
On Saturday June 11 I will be downtown with individual letters you can sign to Arle Capital and Palace Entertainment, who own the Miami Seaquarium where L pod Lolita has been imprisoned since her capture in the Penn Cove captures in 1970. I will stamp and mail them! The letters urge Palace Entertainment and parent company to allow Lolita Tokitae to retire to a sea pen in the San Juan Islands, her family’s home waters.
Additionally, in Oak Bay, on Saturday June 11th at 1:30 pm at Oak Bay United Church hall, the issues will be discussed by MPs Elizabeth May (Federal Green Party) and Randall Garrison (Federal NDP, who has tabled a Motion in Parliament for a recovery plan for resident orcas), and North Saanich and Islands MLA Gary Holman, who promotes Marine Conservation Area status for Georgia Strait. Deborah Dickson will explain the Salish Sea Biosphere Initiative, and Dr. Jason Colby, Associate Professor of History at UVic, will discuss the changing human relationship with orcas in the Salish Sea and the importance of international protection strategies.
Saturday June 18 is FernFest, and Orca Month BC (Victoria) will have a table there, with orca hats (paper; you make them), information, letters to sign, stick on tattoos, a few copies of Granny’s Clan, and Fragile Waters dvd for sale, Orcas In Our Midst Volume 3 by donation, and more.
And – we have a ferry of our own to be on the water with the Washington State ferry MV Tokitae: the Salish Orca!
Re: “Whale of a design for ferry art,” March 30.How wonderful to see Darlene Gait on the front page on Wednesday with her winning Salish Orca design for B.C. Ferries. This is particularly exciting news as June will be proclaimed Orca Month in B.C. Events are planned for Oak Bay and Victoria to celebrate the initial Orca Month B.C., with the focus especially on the 84 remaining endangered southern resident fish-eating orcas in J, K and L pods, that swim by Victoria. Some Victoria activities will be synced with Washington state’s 10th Orca Month, in celebration of these fascinating, intelligent, family-bonded and linguistically complex beings, who have inhabited these waters for millennia. Watch for notifications on Facebook: Orca Month B.C. Congratulations, Darlene Gait. The Salish Orca will be a beautiful sight on the waters, reminding us of the care we owe to these beings of the sea. ~ Diane McNally, Victoria
Washington State has been observing Orca Month annually , with the 10th year coming up! We’re pleased to join hands (and pec fins) across the waters this June!