The House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation, hailing from Washington State, stopped at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy on June 5 on a cross-country “Red Road to DC” tour.
They are traveling with a totem pole that is scheduled to be delivered to the White House this summer and will be displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
The ceremony in Gilroy highlighted the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, who are opposing a proposed 320-acre sand and gravel mine on land known as Juristac, four miles southeast of Gilroy.
An Environmental Impact Report for the Sargent Ranch Quarry Project is being prepared before county officials consider a conditional use permit for the project. The draft EIR is expected to be released to the public in late 2021, according to county staff.
The Amah Mutsun say the project is proposed on the spiritual center of tribal territory and the former site of frequent ceremonial gatherings.
The 24-foot pole, carved from a 400-year-old cedar tree, depicts many issues and stories of significance to Indigenous communities such as missing and murdered Indigenous women, the protection of rivers and salmon runs, and family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border.
To follow the totem pole’s journey, visit redroadtodc.org.