I am 23 years old and one of four offspring born to Skagit (K-13). My siblings are Spock (K-20), Scoter (K-25) and Cali (K-34). I had my first offspring Ripple (K-44) in July of 2011.
I remember being six years old, riding BC ferries, and spending the entire trip gawking at the tourism brochures, picking up every whale-watching pamphlet I could get my hands on. I was absolutely fascinated by these creatures, and craved any opportunity to look at them. I had orca stuffies, orca stickers, orca colouring books, orca t-shirts: I had orca awe.
It’s 22 years later and though I’ve swapped out the brochures for Instagram accounts and orca awareness newsletters, my respect and wonderment for these marine mammals continues, stronger than ever. Many things have changed since I was six – I don’t have the stuffie anymore for instance– but my ferry-riding face remains glued to those windows practically willing a dorsal fin to glide out of the mystic green waters of the Salish Sea.
I can’t imagine a world where that sense of youthful magic, that sense of raw bewilderment ceases to exist. I will be a voice for the orca today, and all days, until the Salish Sea is rightfully returned to them.