Orca Song an evening of hope for endangered orcas
On May 24, I was blessed to attend Orca Song, an evening of heartfelt music, storytelling, and activism in honour of our local resident orca whales, produced by The Mother Rising Collective.
A magnificent mobile of 75 felted orca whales hung in the room. Each whale, carefully adorned with accurate markings, hung suspended in its family group. One whale, Lolita (or Tokitae) was separated from the others, imprisoned in a glass bowl, representing his home at Seaworld. This exhibit was a grave reminder of just how few southern resident orcas are left. The topic was heavy, but the room was filled with hope.
Dr. Paul Spong, who has studied local orcas for 40-plus years, expressed that these peaceful beings are capable of emotion, humour, and an extraordinary level of communication, which we are just beginning to understand. No aggression exists in their large matrilineal communities. Our resident orcas are endangered and dying due to a lack of food (primarily chinook salmon), a loss of habitat, and our heavily trafficked and polluted oceans. If we want our grandchildren to have the honour of learning from these highly intelligent creatures, it’s time to step up as the stewards of our ocean. If nothing else, let’s start by leaving the chinook in the ocean. It’s a luxury for us, but a necessity for the orcas.
I feel humbled and deeply grateful to the mothers who feel it’s their duty to educate, empower, and create the world they wish to see for their children. Thank you to these beautiful women for the love and sweat they poured into Orca Song and for the ripples they have spread through our community.