Lummi tribe begins cross-country campaign to free killer whale 'Tokitae'

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. -- Members of the Lummi Nation night began a 9,000-mile, 25-day journey to Miami Wednesday night, transporting a 16-foot killer whale totem pole with them.

There will be events in several cities as part of its Salish Sea Campaign. The tribe says this is a journey about the trauma and resilience of a killer whale -- Tokitae, also known as Lolita. They call Tokitae's home in the Miami Seaquarium a "cement prison."

READ: Miami Seaqurium's response to the calls to free Lolita>>>

The tribe's public awareness campaign's aim is to return Tokitae to her native waters in the Pacific Northwest, with a "period of careful rehabilitation and rejoin her mother and family for whom she still calls out nightly and who's songs she still remembers."

If you'd like to see the totem pole, it will be traveling through Washington, Oregon and into California. Then it will cross the southern tier of states and down the Florida Peninsula. Here's the schedule as provided by the Lummi tribe.

May 10th - Seattle,  6-8 p, El Centro de Raza.

May 11th- Portland, Oregon.  6-8p, First Methodist Church.

May 12- Redding, California. 10:30a - Noon, Ecotrust Headquarters.

May 13- Los Angeles, California. (Private, invitation only event).

May 14- San Diego, California. 6:30-8:30 p, Mulholland Tennis Club.

May 15- San Diego, California. A blessing event from 5-8 p hosted by the Kumeyaay Tribes.

May 16- El Cajon, California. All day, Sycuan Cultural Center.

May 19- Austin, Texas. Sweat/evening event, no times or location specified.

May 20- Houston, Texas. Morning event from 9a to Noon, no location specified.

May 26- Miami, Florida. 10:30a - Noon, Miami Circle.

May 26- Miami, Florida. Evening event, Florida International University.

May 27- Miami, Florida. 9a to Noon, Virginia Keys Park (near Miami Seaquarium).