Memorial originally planned for baby Orca that mother Tahlequah carried for 17 days in grieving ritual, now additionally planned for 3-year old J50 (Scarlet).
WHAT: Memorial for J35 Tahlequah’s Baby and J50
WHEN: Friday, September 21 – Starting at 3:00pm – 7:00pm
WHERE: Occidental Square Park in Pioneer Square on the Traditional lands of the Duwamish Peoples, 117 S Washington St, Seattle, WA 98104. Procession to The Federal Building at 915 2nd Ave to begin at 5:00 PM calling for the removal of the Lower Snake River dams.
WHO: Opening by youth representative Blake Whitewolf Shelafoe and hereditary leader Ken Workman, with presentations, prayers and songs by Indigenous leaders and musical artist Dana Lyons.
Join us to grieve the loss of Tahlequah’s lost baby and the loss of 3-year old calf Scarlet in solidarity with the starving Southern Resident Orcas.
The death of Scarlet and the looming extinction of these Orcas is caused by the lack of food, pollution, overfishing, underwater noise, habitat destruction, and fish farms, according to the Center for Whale Research, which has studied these Orca for decades. A major cause of the decline of Chinook salmon–the major source of food for this population of Orcas–can be attributed to the obstruction of fish passage and blockage of miles of spawning habitat by the four lower Snake River Dams. A Fish Passage Center study shows a four-fold decline of Snake River spring/summer Chinook Smolt-to-Adult returns since the dams were constructed.
“It is our sacred responsibility to bring this population back from the brink of extinction,” stated Chiara Rose, Pacific Coast Representative for the Endangered Species Coalition. “This is a species that gives names to its babies. A species whose pods have returned to distinct underwater neighborhoods each year for thousands of years in the beautiful Salish Sea. They have their own language with distinct culture. There are solutions. How many more baby Orcas need to die before we implement them?”
Attendees will come bringing personal words, letters, pictures, drawings and thoughts to be added to the community altar which will be carried in the procession and placed in front of The Federal Building. Attendees are asked to come dressed in black and white to show Love for our Southern Resident Orcas.
Tahlequah is the mother who carried her deceased baby orca around the Salish Sea for 17 days in a historically unprecedented and incredibly moving ritual of grief. When the baby would fall her mother would nose dive and reach down to bring her dead calf’s body back to the surface. Now another calf in her pod, Scarlet, has died from starvation.
A diverse coalition of faith-based, tribal, student, climate, and conservation organizations are sponsoring this event, to see the full list of sponsors and to RSVP visit .
This memorial service is free and open to the public.