Our original idea for our podcast title was “podcast” because… pod…. whales.

I loved that name. I still love that name.

Fortunately, my company had a student intern at the time who suggested that as clever as the name was, it was absolutely unsearchable and no one would ever be able to find the show.

We needed a new name and because I worked for The Tyee… named for a type of salmon. And The Walrus… named for you know… And a great new publication had just launched called The Narwhal we thought… The Orca. Nope. Oddly, that name was never in the mix. I think we considered Making Waves… which we have used since. Check it out.

The podcast was originally created to tell the stories I was finding out from the people I’d met while researching my book, The Killer Whale Who Changed the World. That book opens with a quote from my favourite artist, Bill Reid, that is embossed under his statue of an orca located outside the Vancouver Aquarium: “Above all else is God. Above God is the killer whale.”

The statue’s name: Skaana… The Haida word for orca. And the name of the orca who inspired Greenpeace to save the whales.

Skana (one a) was the name of the first orca displayed at the Vancouver Aquarium back in the 1960s and she was the orca who convinced scientist Paul Spong to approach Greenpeace about broadening their mission from fighting to stop nuclear testing to fighting for whales.

After Spong introduced Greenpeace leader, Bob Hunter, to Skana he had a new mission and Greenpeace became Greenpeace.

One of the earliest members of Greenpeace, Paul Watson, told me that he, Hunter and other early Greenpeacers used to tell people who wondered why they risked their lives to save whales that “they worked for Skana.”

Rayne and I loved the idea of being able to honour those original Greenpeace missions by being able to say the same thing… and honouring Skana – the first orca I ever met, who didn’t just inspire Greenpeace, but inspired my love affair with whales.

And staying with the spelling that Bill Reid used meant the podcast and the book had the same starting point: “Above all else is God. Above God is the killer whale.”