J-19 SHACHI

I was born in 1979 and am 38 years old.

My first baby lived only a few weeks. I was sad when she died! I carried her around for a week, hoping she would live. When I finally let her go, I spent much of my time babysitting young calves. Then on July 1, 2005, I had my second baby, ECLIPSE (J-41) and she is still living today.  I became a Grandmother when ECLIPSE had her first baby, NOVA (J-51) in 2015.

I am 44 years old and live on Salt Spring Island by way of Ottawa, Winnipeg, Nelson and Galiano Island.  I have 2 children, ages 15 and 19. My eldest son is a shape-shifter: born on Halloween as a girl, he now lives as a man about a block away from the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby. Both my kids have Metis heritage from the Red River area in Manitoba. I have been married to Gary, an Irishman, for 12 years ~ we eloped during a trip to Africa and have spent the past 12 years tripping back and forth between Salt Spring Island and the tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho.


This The West Coast was my home in dreams before I ever came to visit here. The emerald edge, as I call it, is a sliver that cuts right to my core, keeping me on a keen journey to balance protection and love with confrontation and defence. The orcas are weavers in this sea of stories, I feel their dance and song are the threads that hold the tapestry of this ecosystem together and whole. We bounce our well-being off of them: a sighting means that things are ok. We echolocate our hope off of the pods we see sounding through the waters of our home. If they are here, then we are home, too. Without their songs and stories who are we??

I am honoured to be paired with Shachi, a whale grandmother who swims as part of the J-pod through the Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands, Puget Sound and Vancouver/Vancouver Island. Shachi has been swimming these waters for 38 years and has 1 child, Eclipse.

The Kinder Morgan project could be the death knell of the J-pod, Shachi, and her entire family. For the love of Shachi, the ocean, this beautiful land and for future generations, I am standing up to speak on her behalf.