K-13 SKAGIT

I was born in 1972 and, together with Sequim (K-12), I am a senior female and matriarch of K pod.

I am also a busy mother of four!  My first calf, Spock (K-20) was followed by Scoter (K-25), Deadhead (K-27) and finally Cali (K-34).   I am also a grandmother to Comet (K-38) and Ripple (K-44).  Given I am 45 years of age, I may not have anymore children but I have a vital role as a mother and a senior member of K pod.

My family group, or matriline, will sometimes travel independently from the rest of the K pod and sometimes we travel with J pod.  However, we seldom separate from each other.  Sometimes we will spread out over several kilometers to increase our chances of finding food.  When we do this, we stay in touch with each other using various loud calls which are part of our common language.

Joanne Marks 

I am 59 years old. I am a Counsellor and a Herbalist with a background in Core Shamanism. I am creator and formulator of Fireweed Botanicals, a Vancouver Island-based small business since 2001, of wild and organic plant based healing, medicinal oils, salves and tincture products. They are harvested by me and my small team in co-creation with the consciousness of the plant communities we gather from, and the living land. Working with both the physical constituents and the subtle intelligence, plant spirit medicine, of plants and trees This level of relationship is at the heart of everything I do and engage with, in nature and my life. I love teaching in this field. I have a passion for photography, writing and I am a vocalist – a love of singing and working with sound. I am most at home in the wilds of nature, where I spend a lot of time, and also love growing and cultivating a garden. Community is important to me and supporting others in reuniting with their instinctual nature based self. I fundamentally believe all life deserves respect and habitat to thrive and evolve.

Since the day I first set foot on the west coast in 1983 I have had an unexplainable bond with J, K and L pod Orca whales.  As a younger woman, I kept up on all new discoveries and the photo identification process of these resident pods through the 80’s and into the 90’s. It was exciting to know that we on the west coast of Canada were leaders in the world on understanding and learning about Orca whales. J, K and L pod have been our teachers in this way. I’d shared about these magnificent, intelligent, family-oriented creatures with anyone who would listen. I mourned their deaths and celebrated their births. They are a part of us, like the Salmon thatthey need to survive on. They reflect back at us, the best parts of our human-ness, in how they care for each other and the social groups they foster and depend upon. We now know they are as intelligent as us if not more so and live as long as we do. They belong here in the Salish Sea. They are our neighbours, our brothers and sisters of the natural world we are all sourced from. The Salish Sea is life to all that live here. The Orca need us to take seriously the health and well-being of these waters, for all our sakes. I cannot imagine the world without these creatures. I want to celebrate them and bring as many others into that fold as possible, to care enough to implement change now for their preservation and survival. When I heard about the birthing of Orca Soundings from Briony Penn It called to me instantly, knowing I needed to be a part of this project for the Ocas, the Salish Sea and for humanity.