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Kwel' Hoy: Many Struggles, One Front (April 24 Pennington NJ)

  • Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association 31 Titus Mill Rd Pennington, New Jersey 08534 (map)

@ The Watershed Center
31 Titus Mill Road Pennington, NJ 08534

Please join us for the opening of the exhibition Kwel’ Hoy: Many Struggles, One Front, a collaboration with Indigenous leaders and scientists that celebrates and connects communities protecting water, land, and our collective future.

The exhibition features a totem pole carved by the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation; an ever-growing stone altar initiated by members of the Ramapough Lenape Nation and added to by members of the public contributing stones and prayers for the water; and videos and graphics that map the fossil fuel ecosystem—encompassing land, energy, economics and culture. 

At this opening event, leaders from Lummi Nation and the Ramapough Lenape Nation will offer ceremony and songs. Members of the public are invited to bring a stone or rock to contribute to the altar. Speakers from The Natural History Museum, The Watershed Center, Princeton Environmental Institute, and Science for the People will offer brief remarks. A reception will follow, where visitors are invited to explore the exhibition inside. 

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The science is clear: to ensure a livable world, we must keep the vast majority of current oil, gas and coal reserves in the ground. Yet the fossil fuel industry continues to develop infrastructure across farmlands, fresh waterways, crowded cities and sacred sites. The byproducts of the fossil fuel ecosystem—from contaminated water to cancer clusters near petrochemical plants to climate-related wildfires, droughts and floods—are already felt around the world.

Over the last 6 years, the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation has transported a series of totem poles across North America to communities threatened or impacted by fossil fuel projects. As the pole travels, it draws a line between dispersed but connected concerns, building an unprecedented alliance of tribal and non-tribal communities as they stand together to advocate for a sustainable relationship between humanity and the natural world.

With this exhibition, the totem pole visits The Watershed Center—a science education and advocacy center outside of Princeton, New Jersey—connecting the science community’s efforts to protect the local watershed from the proposed PennEast Pipeline to the nearby Ramapough Lenape Nation’s struggle to stop the Pilgrim Pipeline, and the Lummi’s struggles to protect the waters of the Pacific Northwest from oil tankers and pipelines. 

The totem pole journey demonstrates that struggles are connected and in unity there is strength. Drawing a line in the sand, it joins communities together as one front in the collective struggle for a safe and sustainable future.


Kwel' Hoy: Many Struggles, One Front is one stop in a cross-country tour, evolving museum exhibition and public programming series. 

The exhibition was developed by The Natural History Museum--a mobile and pop-up museum led by artists, activists and scholars--with members of the Lummi Nation. Additional partners include the Ramapough Lenape Nation, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, Science for the People, Princeton Environmental Institute, and the Center for the Humanities at CUNY Graduate Center.


4/21: Kwel' Hoy: Totem Pole Journey comes to Ramapough Lenape land
4/24: Exhibit opening: Kwel' Hoy: Many Struggles, One Front 
5/1: Panel: Museums in a Time of Crisis
5/3: Panel: Science for the People