2 new Washington ferries named Samish, Tokitae

2 new Washington ferries named Samish, Tokitae

Credit: Washington State Ferries

A ferry under construction at a shipyard on Seattle's Elliott Bay.

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by Associated Press

NWCN.com

Posted on November 13, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 13 at 3:30 PM

TACOMA, Wash. -- The Washington Transportation Commission has decided to name two new state ferries the Samish and the Tokitae.

The commission says the names selected at Tuesday's meeting in Tacoma keep the tradition of giving ferries regional tribal names.

Among the names that didn't float were Ivar Haglund and four other tribal names: Cowlitz, Hoquiam, Muckleshoot, and Sammamish. Haglund was founder of the Ivar's seafood restaurant chain.

The first of the 144-car ferries under construction will be named Tokitae, a greeting meaning "nice day, pretty colors." It's also the name of a Washington orca better known as Lolita at the Miami Sequarium.

Samish is a tribal word meaning "giving people."

More information on the ferry names from the transportation commission:

Tokitae:  The first of the 144-car ferries under construction will be named Tokitae. This Coast Salish greeting means, "nice day, pretty colors" and also is the name given to an orca whale 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 re-named Lolita. She is the last survivor of the 45 Southern Resident Orcas captured in Washington state during the capture era of the 1960s and 70s. Such captures were banned in Washington state waters in 1976.

Samish: The second 144-car ferry will be named Samish. The meaning of the name 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 Island. The tribe's historic lands have been inhabited for thousands of years by the ancestors of the Samish and their Coast Salish neighbors.

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