Proposed Name: “Tokitae”
Lead/ Sponsoring Entities: The Orca Network
Meaning/ Significance: “Tokitae” is a Coast Salish
greeting meaning “Nice day, pretty colors”, and is also the name given to an
orca captured at Penn Cove, near Keystone, in 1970. Tokitae was brought to a
marine park in Miami 40 years ago, where she was put into service as an
entertainer, and named Lolita. She is the last survivor of the 45 Southern
Resident orcas captured in WA state during the capture era of the 1960s and 70s.
Such captures were later banned in Washington State waters in 1976.
Proposed Name: “Kennewick”
Lead/ Sponsoring Entities: City of Kennewick
Meaning/ Significance: Kennewick has several native meanings: “winter
paradise”, “winter haven,” “grassy place” and “grassy slope.” The name Kennewick
comes from the Indian name Kin-i-wak. Kennewick was the gathering place for
Native American peoples of the Chemnapums, Nez Perces, Walla Wallas, Yakamas,
Cayuses, Wanapams, and Umatillas. Kennewick, located along the banks of the
Columbia River, has been a major transportation artery since 1811, when fur
traders began exploring the northwest. By the 1860s steam-driven riverboats
ferried men and their freight up the Columbia.
Proposed Name: “Cowlitz”
Lead/ Sponsoring Entities: Cowlitz Indian Tribe
Meaning/ Significance: The Cowlitz tribe provided key
assistance with pioneer transportation and commercial activities in what some
historians refer to as the Cowlitz Corridor which linked the Columbia River
valley with South Puget Sound communities long before Washington Territory was
established. The Washington Territorial Legislature honored the tribe by naming
one of our earliest counties for them. This county includes a broad flood plain
located at the mouth of the Cowlitz River at the Columbia River that was a swamp
in pre-European settlement days which some authorities believe was the source
for the meaning of the name Cowlitz, which is “capturing medicine spirit.”
Proposed Name: “Samish”
Lead/Sponsoring Entities: Samish Indian Nation
Meaning/ Significance: “Samish” is the “giving people” in proto-Salish origins. The Samish Indian Nation has held a deep-rooted respect for the traditions of sharing with its neighbors. The Tribe’s historic area ranges from the mountain tops of the Cascades westerly along the hills, woodlands, and river deltas, arriving at the far western shores of the San Juan Islands.