On Aug. 18, Tokitae, the last of the captured Southern Resident orcas, died at Miami Seaquarium just as plans were underway to return her to a sea pen in the Salish Sea. She was estimated to be 57 years old. On the weekend of Sept. 9-10 there will be two events to honor and remember her.
On Saturday, 4-6 p.m., join Tacoma student Nateli Sanderson for a South Sound memorial for Tokitae. This event, sponsored by Foss Waterway Seaport with support from Orca Network, will include information and displays about Tokitae, presentations from Nateli and Orca Network staff, opportunities for attendees to share memories and thoughts, and a waterside ceremony to honor Tokitae and her family.
On Sunday, 5-7 p.m. in Coupeville, join Coast Salish Elders Rosie Cayou James and Bill Bailey for the first in a series of salmon ceremonies to honor Tokitae. Additional dates and locations will be announced soon. The ceremony will take place near the Whale Wheel at the corner of Front and Alexander streets in downtown Coupeville, on the shores of Penn Cove where Tokitae was captured 53 years ago. They request that everyone wear black and white. There will be cedar available to place in the water during the ceremony, but feel free to bring your own if you would like. The evening will also include words from Howard Garrett and Susan Berta of Orca Network and Mayor Molly Hughes of Coupeville. This event is sponsored by Orca Network, Town of Coupeville, Port of Coupeville, Coupeville Chamber, Friends of Ebey’s, Ebey’s Landing Trust Board, Penn Cove Water Festival, and so many people who love Tokitae and want to remember and honor her.
The Orca Network hopes to livestream both events for those who cannot attend in person.