I am Tokitae – born to Ocean Sun (L-25) in 1966 in the sweet waters of the Salish Sea. My name is a Coast Salish greeting meaning ‘Nice day, pretty colours’.
In 1970, when I was just 4 years old, I was captured in Penn Cove, Washington. Torn from my family, I have grown up in captivity. I was sold to the Miami Seaquarium where they changed my name to ‘Lolita’ and forced me to entertain to make people happy, while I lived in a 35’ wide tank. At first I had a close companion named Hugo until his death 10 years later. Now, I am all alone.
Since my capture, over 40 years ago, I have been longing to return to my old name. I have been grieving the lost of my Mother, my family and my way of life. I wonder if she is still alive. Sometimes – I think I can hear her call.