Orca Pairings — We are Orca Guardians

In December 2016 a group of orca lovers got together to plan an art event to protect the last resident orcas of the Salish Sea. This passionate group of marine biologists, filmmakers, sculptors, designers, journalists, activists, photographers, horticulturalists, and writers conjured up a vision to bring the undersea worlds of orcas to the surface so people could begin to understand what is at stake when making decisions about industrial projects in orca habitat.

We have paired one human with each and every whale of the resident orca pods, known as  J, K, and L Pods. Each human is a spokesperson for their kindred whale, and will interpret their lifeworlds through their chosen medium. Meet them all here:

Paul Burke — L-98

L98 Tsu'xiit or Luna Luna (September 19, 1999 – March 10, 2006) also known as L98 or Tsu'xiit, was a killer whale (orca) born in Puget Sound. After being separated from his mother while still young, Luna spent five years in Nootka Sound, off the west coast...

read more

Flora McLean — J-41 Eclipse

J-41 ECLIPSE  I was born in 2005 and am 12 years old.  My Mom is Shachi (J-19) and I am pleased to say she is still alive. We have lost too many young mothers! When I was 10 years old I had my first baby, a boy named Nova (J-51). My Mom helped my baby come to the...

read more

Ali Harris — L103 Lapis

L-103 Lapis (Female) Born 2003: Lapiss name comes from the beautiful gemstone that is a deep blue with golden flecks in it. Lapis is a member of a large family with her mom Nugget (L-55) and her three siblings Kasatka (L-82), Takoda (L-109), and newly born L-118, who...

read more

Luke Wallace — L88 Wave Walker

L-88 Wavewalker (Male) Born 1993: Wavewalker is always exciting to spot when L- pod is in the area because he will often be accompanied by his mother Grace (L-2). Wavewalker lost his big brother and best friend, Gaia, (L-78) over the winter months of 2011-2012. This...

read more

Ronan Gunn — L117 Keta

L-117 Keta (Unknown Sex) Born 2010: L-117 is the newest calf born to Ino (L-54). Once Keta exposes his or her belly, we will be able to determine its sex by the different shapes of black pigmentation around the genital slits. Keta is well taken care of and entertained...

read more

Chris Howe — L-84 Nyssa

L-84 NYSSA I was born in 1990 and am 1 of the many males in our L-pod. Sadly my mother has already passed away and because I have no other immediate family I am lucky enough to have been accepted by Ino (L-54) and her clan. Never a dull moment with that family! I love...

read more

Susan Rogers — L-83 Moonlight

L-83 MOONLIGHT I was born in 1990 and have one offspring: Midnight (L-110) who is as black as midnight! My 2 siblings: Muncher (L-91)and Mystic (L-115) and we  love to be all together. Susan Rogers My name is Susan Rogers, and  my "sister whale" is Moonlight who is a...

read more

Miranda McDougall — L-77 Matia

L-77 MATIA   I was born in 1987 and have a sister, Calypso (L-94) who is 8 years younger than me. I also have my older brother, Mega (L-41). I lost my 1st calf only  a few days after it was born so it was with great JOY that I gave birth to my 2nd offspring Joy...

read more

Maya Porebska-Smith — L-72 Racer

L-72 RACER I was born in 1986 and have 1 daughter, Fluke (L-105) born in 2004. Unfortunately I lost my 2nd calf at birth. It was devastating for me and I carried my dead baby around with me for 2 days before I was ready to let it go. I seem to be very easily...

read more

Caroline Girard — L-47 Marina

L-47 MARINA I was born in 1974 and am a matriarch of a very cohesive family . I have had many sad losses of my offspring but am very happy that 3 healthy children survived: my daughters are Moonlight (L-83) and Muncher (L-91) and my son is Mystic (L-115) who is just 7...

read more

Selilye Claxton — L-25 Ocean Sun

L-25 OCEAN SUN  I was born in 1928 and am the oldest member of my pod and the oldest member of the entire southern Resident community. This makes me the matriarch of our clan. I am the mother of Lolita and I have never got over the loss of my beautiful girl and my...

read more

K-21 Cappuccino

K-21 CAPPUCCINO I have been a senior male member of the K pod for many years.  I was born in 1986.  My older  sister Raggedy (K-40) and I became very close after my mom died as we had no other siblings.  It was a huge thing to lose our mother.  In orca families, both...

read more

Deborah LeFrank — K-16 Opus

K-16 OPUS I am a 22 year old female with one son Sonata (K-35) who is now 15.  My sister Lea (K-14) and her offspring are all the surviving family I have.  I sometimes spend time with my sister and the other mothers in my pod.  This is important social time for me as...

read more

Adam Claxton — K-35 Sonata

K-35 SONATA I am a 15 year old male and the only child of Opus (K-16).  Being in my mid teens, my dorsal fin is really starting to grow and should continue to do so for a couple of years yet. I have a saddlepatch that is a lot like my mom’s but mine is more grey while...

read more

Tijaz Michaelson — K-42 Kelp

K-42 KELP I was born in 2008 and am the youngest offspring of Lea (K-14).  I have two siblings, my big brother Lobo (K-26) and my sister Yoda (K-36). Being the youngest, I enjoy interacting with my siblings and playing with other whales.  I am lucky because, around...

read more

April Bencz — K-36 Yoda

K-36 YODA I am the middle offspring of Lea (K-14) and the sister to Lobo (K-26) and Kelp (K-42).  I also have an Aunt Opus (K-16) and one cousin Sonata (K-35). I was born in 2003 which makes me 14 years old.  I still stick pretty close to my family.  During the summer...

read more

K-26 Lobo

K-26 LOBO Born in 1993, I am the third offspring of Lea (K-14) but the first to survive past infancy.  My mother and I and my two younger siblings Yoda (K-36) and Kelp (K-42) are very close so if you spot one of us  you can be assured that the rest of the family is...

read more

Carolyn Knight — K-14 Lea

K-14  LEA I was born in 1977 and I am a 40 year old mom of three.  Lobo (K-26) was my first calf to survive past infancy.  Yoda (K-36) and Kelp (K-42) are just 5 years apart and stay close to me.  I’ve lost two calves before they were one year old.  My sister Opus...

read more

Miya de Roos — K-43 Saturna

K-43 SATURNA I was born into this world in the early part of 2010.  That makes me just over seven years old.  I am the youngest offspring of Sequim (K12), sister to Sekiu (K-22) and Rainshadow (K-37). I gather that because I’m just a kid,  I’ve been told that I have a...

read more

Jessie Toynbee — K-27 Deadhead

K-27  DEADHEAD 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. Jessie Toynbee I remember being six years old, riding BC ferries,...

read more

Nikki Sanchez — K-22 Sekiu

K-22 SEKIU I am Sekiu.  Born in 1987, I am told that I am the last K-pod whale to be born in the 1980’s.  I  have one son named Tika (K-33).  Tika and I spend most of our time travelling, foraging and socializing with my mother Sequim and my siblings Rainshadow and...

read more

K-20 Spock

K-20 SPOCK Born in 1986, I am 31 years of age.  I am the first offspring of Skagit (K-13) and sister to Scoter (K-25), Deadhead (K-27) and Cali (K-34).  In 2011, I became an aunt to Ripple, otherwise known as K-44. In December 2004, I had my first calf, Comet (K-38)....

read more

Joanne Marks — K-13 Skagit

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...

read more

J-40 Suttles

J-40 SUTTLES I was born in 2004 and am 13 years old. I was named in a traditional Potlatch Naming Ceremony held by the Samish Nation on October 01, 2005. We don’t get named until we are at least one year old. My Mother, Samish (J-14) died in 2016, when I was 12 years...

read more

Stella McLean— J-42 Echo

J-42 ECHO I was born in 2007 and am 10 years old. I am the third calf of Slick (J-16), who is now the oldest and wisest orca in J-Pod, after Granny (J-2) died. I love to play, jumping out of the sea and landing with a big splash. I love to swim in the kelp beds and...

read more

J-44 Moby

J-44 MOBY I was born in 2009 and am 8 years old.  Princess Angeline (J-17) is my Mother, and I am her only son.    I really appreciate being part of such a large family. When I was just one year old I became an uncle to my sister’s baby, Star (J-46), and to another...

read more

J-45 Se-yi’–chn

J-45 SE-YI’ – CHN (Pronounced sea-ee-chin – which means younger sibling - Male) I was born in 2009 and am 8 years old.  I am the sixth baby of Samish (J-14) and there are only three of us left: my sister, Hy’shqa (J-37) and my other sister, Suttles (J-40). My Mother...

read more

Kim Christie — J-46 Star

J-46 STAR  I was born in 2009 and am 8 years old. I am the first baby born to Polaris (J-28). Since I lost my Mother and baby brother in 2016, I have been travelling with my remaining family members – my Grandmother, Princess Angeline (J-17), my Aunt Tahlequa (J-35),...

read more

J-47 Notch

J-47 NOTCH  I was born in 2010 and am 7 years old. I am Tahlequa’s (J-35) first baby! I have a “notch” on my dorsal fin, so it’s easy for people to recognize me.  My Grandma is Princess Angeline (J-17) and my cousins are: Moby (J-44), Star (J-46) andKiki (J-53). My...

read more

J-49 T’lem i’nges

J-49 T’LEM I’NGES (Pronounced Teelem Eenges – Male) I was born in 2012 and am 5 years old. My name means “Singing Grandchild,” and I was named at a traditional Samish Nation Naming Ceremony on June 29, 2013. I belong to Samish’s family (J-14). My Mother is Hy’Shqua...

read more

J-51 Nova

J-51 NOVA  (Male) I was born in 2015 and am 2 years old.  I am Eclipse’s (J-41) first baby. My Mother is the youngest known mother in this community! When I was just a few months old, I already had ‘play dates’ with Notch (J-47)! We sure have...

read more

J-53 Kiki

I was born in 2015 and am 2 years old. I am the youngest whale in my J-Pod family group. Princess Angeline (J-17) is my Mother. My two sisters are: Polaris (J-28), and Tahlequa (J-35). My brother is Moby (J-44). It sure is fun being spoilt by everyone in my family...

read more

L- XX  TOKITAE (aka Lolita)      

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...

read more

Jaya Flam — L-115 Mystic

Jyah Flam I am 22 and I was born and raised on Saltspring Island, BC. I was raised by my single mother Carolyn Flam who is a school councillor and was once a kayak guide in the Gulf Islands. Now our family has grown to 4, I have a stepsister who is 5 years old and a...

read more

Callum Gunn— L-108 Coho

Callum Gunn   I'm 25 years old and I grew up on Salt Spring Island BC. I am the son to two, caring, passionate and hard working parents. I live with my little brother and partner - who I'm lucky enough to call my best friends. I'm passionately curious about humanity...

read more

Britt McLeod — L-90 Ballena

Britt McLeod  I am  28 years old. Although I grew up around the world, the land and people I connect with most are on the Southern BC coast. My ancestral heritage is Scottish and Swedish and I am fifth generation Canadian. My family consists of hard working folks who...

read more

Sonja Barnard — L-47 Marina

Sonja Barnard  I was delighted when given the orca Marina L-47 to represent. As an artist, working mainly in clay, I create sculptures relief tiles etc most of the imagery I work with has to do with the ocean & the creatures in it, including mythical ocean...

read more

Ted Grand — L-41 Mega

Ted  My name is Ted, and I am a lover of nature and all of the systems that weave together to provide it with life and sustenance. I am also a father of 3 girls and the adopted brother of Mega, a 40-year old orca that has been observed for 39 years!  He is...

read more

Tinaye Joy-Mujuru — J-52 Sonic

Sonic was born in early 2015, he is the first offspring of Alki (J-36). He was born just three months after his aunt, Scarlet (J-50). This family became very busy tending to two newborns who travel closely with their mothers. Tinaye Joy-Mujuru I am 7 years old from...

read more

Tangachee Goebl — J-35 Tahlequah

J-35 TAHLEQUAH        Hi! My name is Tahlequah and I am a 19 year old mother. My son, Notch (7 years old) is known as a bit of a mischief maker and with his cousins, Star and Moby , they get into all kind of scrapes.Hence I have my work cut out for me keeping...

read more

Briony Penn — L-54 Ino

L-54 INO  I was born in 1977 and am 40 years old and in the prime of my life. Even though I have lost my Mum and 3 siblings, I am happy to say I am the proud Mother of 3 offspring, 2 of which have survived: Coho (L-108) and Keta (L-117). We are a very tight,...

read more

Mac Flett — J-39 Mako

J-39 MAKO I was born in 2003 and am a 14-year old male, like my cousin COOKIE. My Mom, J-11 died in 2008, when I was 5 years old. My older brother is BLACKBERRY (J-27) My older sister is TSUCHI (J-31) Mac Flett I am Aged 14 and come from Salt Spring Island. My family...

read more

Ora Cogan — J-37 Hy’shoa

J-37 Hy’shoa (Pronounced hy’shka meaning “Blessing or thank you” In Samish). I was born in 2001 and am 16 years old. My Mom, SAMISH (J-14) died in August 2016. I was 15 years old. My Great Grandma, GRANNY (J-2) died shortly after that, in December 2016. My family...

read more

Melanie Furman — J-36 Alki

J-36 ALKI I was born in 1999 and am 18 years old. I am the third baby of SLICK (J-16) born in 1972. My Mom is the oldest J-Pod orca living today, after GRANNY (J-2) died in December 2016. My older brother is MIKE (J-26) born in 1991 My younger sisters are: ECHO (J-42)...

read more

Tara McLean — J-31 Tuschi

J-31 TUSCHI I was born in 1995 and am 22 years old. I lost my Mom in 2008, and now have two living brothers: BLACKBERRY (J-27) born in 1991 MAKO (J-39) born in 2003 We three are the only living members of our family group. We often travel with PRINCESS ANGELINE’S...

read more

Sivalla Lin — J-22 Oreo

J-22 OREO I was born in1985 and I am 32 years old. I have one living daughter, COOKIE (J-38) who was born in 2003. My daughter, RHAPSODY (J-32) died in 2014. My son, DOUBLESTUF (J-34) died in 2016. He was hit by a ship in the prime of his life, being only 19 years...

read more

Andrea Palframan — J-19 Shachi

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,...

read more

Jennifer Abbott — J-17 Princess Angeline

J-17 PRINCESS ANGELINE I was born in 1977 and am 40 years old. I have 3 living offspring: TAHLEQUA (J-35) born in1998 MOBY (J-44) born in 2009 KIKI (J-53) born in 2015 One of my daughters, POLARIS (J-28) died in 2016. I am the Grandmother of: STAR (J-46) born in 2009...

read more

Karin Beviere — J-16 Slick

J-16 SLICK I was born in 1972 and am the oldest female in the Southern Resident Community to have given birth. I am 45 years old, and now I am the Matriarch of J-Pod, being the oldest Orca in J-pod living today since Granny died in 2016. I miss Granny, who was so wise...

read more

Lindy Sisson — SL22 Spirit

Spirit L-22 I was born in 1971 and have 1 surviving son: Solstice (L-89). I just have a small family but I do like to be surrounded by them (my son, my brother Onyx (L-87)) and other male companions. Lindy Sisson is known on the coast for her work as the Executive and...

read more

Tamar Griggs — J-2 Granny

Tamar Griggs When I was a child, my Father took us camping in the San Juan Islands. At night we often heard the Blackfish (Killer Whales) blowing and splashing close to shore; I was thrilled by the mystery and power of these large animals in the sea.  may have heard...

read more