Kwel’ Hoy: We Draw the Line!

Oct. 25, 2017 - Mar. 25, 2018 Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Exhibition by the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation and The Natural History Museum

@ The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, October 2017 – March 2018

Kwel Hoy’: We Draw the Line is a cross-country tour, traveling museum exhibition, and series of public programs uplifting Indigenous leadership in struggles to protect water, land, and our collective future.

For the last five years, the House of Tears Carvers and members of the Lummi Nation have traveled across North America with a totem pole to raise awareness about threats to the environment and public health. As the pole travels, it draws a line between dispersed but connected concerns, and helps to build an unprecedented alliance of tribal and non-tribal communities as they stand together to advocate for a sustainable relationship between humanity and the natural world.

In this exhibition, the totem pole enters a museum for the first time, where it has been paired with a collection of artifacts collected along the route of the Totem Pole Journey. Charged with the stories of resilience they have picked up on their journey across the country, they connect the museum—and the museum public—to the living universe in which they are enmeshed.

Linking the museum in a chain of solidarity with Indigenous Peoples across the country, this exhibition stands as a powerful bridge between the museum of natural history and the communities that are working hardest, in the words of the American Alliance of Museums’ Code of Ethics, “to foster an informed appreciation of the rich and diverse world we have inherited….[and to] preserve that inheritance for posterity.”

During the 6 months the exhibition is on display at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, a series of public screenings, discussions, workshops and tours with The Natural History Museum’s mobile museum bus will explore local efforts to protect the environment, public health, and local cultures — connecting history to the present, and the museum to the world beyond its walls.



About The Natural History Museum

Established in 2014, The Natural History Museum is mobile and pop-up museum initiated by Not An Alternative, a collective of artists, scientists and scholars. Named in The New York Times and ArtNet’s “Best in Art in 2015” round-ups, the group’s work has been widely exhibited in museums nationally and internationally.

About the Lummi Nation

The Lummi, also known as Lhaq’temish, or People of the Sea, are the original inhabitants of Washington’s northernmost coast and southern British Columbia. 

Booking Inquiries

For more information about booking this exhibition at your venue please email info {at}


Pole Blessing Ceremony

Oct. 25, 2017 - Oct. 25, 2017 Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA

Acclaimed master carver Jewell Praying Wolf James (Lummi Nation) and Doug James (Lummi Nation) of the House of Tears Carvers will take part in a totem pole blessing ceremony led by Faith Spotted Eagle (Yankton Sioux), marking the openings of the ICOM NatHist conference Museums in the Age of Humanity and the new exhibition Kwel’ Hoy: We Draw the Line.

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Museum Luncheon with Tribal Delegation

Oct. 24, 2017 - Oct. 24, 2017 Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Founders Room

This luncheon will bring a delegation of tribal leaders involved in the exhibition together with museum staff in town for the conference, and students and faculty from the University of Pittsburgh Museum Studies Program. 

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Lummi Totem Pole Journey in Pittsburgh

Oct. 23, 2017 - Oct. 23, 2017 Carnegie Museum of Natural History

For the first time the Totem Pole Journey will come to Pittsburgh. Join us in this unique, Indigenous-led event that will thread together our hearts and minds because what moves us is also what motivates us.

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Lummi Totem Pole Journey in Portland

Oct. 17, 2017 - Oct. 17, 2017 The Breathe Building, 2305 SE 50th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97215

Our struggles are connected. Learn about the Lummi’s ongoing fight to protect their land and people and how this ties together with local fights we face like the Jordon Cove LNG proposal.

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Lummi Totem Pole Journey in Vancouver, WA

Oct. 16, 2017 - Oct. 16, 2017 Vancouver Community Library

The totem pole is coming to Vancouver! Join the blessing ceremony, hear of the ongoing efforts and issues, and explore local issues, like Tesoro’s proposed oil by rail facility.

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Lummi Totem Pole Journey in Tacoma

Oct. 15, 2017 - Oct. 15, 2017 Foss Waterway Seaport 705 Dock St, Tacoma, Washington 98402

Join us in this unique, indigenous event that will connect us all to the local fights we face, like PSE’s proposed LNG facility, with information about how to get involved.

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Lummi Totem Pole Journey in Seattle

Oct. 14, 2017 - Oct. 14, 2017 University Congregational UCC: 4515 16th Ave NE, Seattle, Washington 98105

This tour, Kwel’Hoy, We Draw the Line!, will celebrate victories, commemorate alliances, and prepare for the coming battles as we work together for the protection of mother earth.

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#PeoplevsOilGas Summit Field trip

Nov. 19, 2017 - Nov. 19, 2017 Pick up from the conference

As part of the People Vs. Oil and Gas Summit taking place in Pittsburgh from November 17th to the 20th, there will be a field trip to the museum to visit the Kwel’ Hoy: We Draw the Line exhibit.

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Panel: Ways of Knowing the Anthropocene

Oct. 25, 2017 Carnegie Museum of Natural History

This panel will feature museum professionals and Indigenous leaders invested in bringing together scientific and Indigenous voices and ways of knowing.

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