Cowlitz Country News - Archives - Lummi
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January 2014

Lummi: Northwest Tribe Opposes Coal Terminal, But How Hard Will They Fight It? - One out of every ten members of the Lummi Nation has a fishing license. Ancestors of the Lummi, or “People of the Sea” as they are known, and other Salish Sea peoples have fished the waters surrounding Cherry Point for more than 3,000 years. Today Lummi tribal officials are sounding the alarm about the impacts the Gateway Pacific Terminal could have on the tribe’s halibut, shrimp, shellfish and salmon fishery, which is worth a combined $15 million annually.

Lummi: New Children's Book by American Indian Author Keith Egawa Explores Traditional Native American Teachings - Illustrated by siblings Keith and Chenoa Egawa, Tani's Search for the Heart is the story of a young Native American girl exploring the mystery of one’s purpose and place in the world.

Lummi: Coal Exporter Disturbed Native American Burial Site Near Bellingham - Three summers ago, the company that hopes to build the largest coal terminal in North America failed to obtain the permits it needed before bulldozing more than four miles of roads and clearing more than nine acres. It also led to the disturbance of a site from which 3,000-year-old human remains had been removed — and where archeologists and tribal members suspect more are buried.

Lummi: Cherry Point Ownership - Controversy over the illegal desecration of a Cherry Point Native American archeological site omits a key fact: Cherry Point is still Lummi Indian land.

December 2013

Lummi: Tribal member gets 10 years for rape - A Lummi tribal member accused of sexually assaulting a guest in his home while her children were present has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Robert Dewey Johnson was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Seattle for aggravated sexual assault.

Lummi: Bellingham seeks agreement with Lummi Nation on new park walkway - The city is trying to work out environmental issues with Lummi Nation in order to clear the way for construction of an over-water walkway between Boulevard Park and a new park planned for the Cornwall Beach area to the north.

Lummi: Tim Ballew reelected chairman of Lummi Indian Business Council - Tim Ballew was reelected to a second one-year term as chairman of the Lummi Indian Business Council at a general council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 5. After each general election of council members, the full 11-member council meets to elect the president and other council officers for the year. They cast secret paper ballots.

Lummi: Feds approve trust status for 80 acres near I-5 owned by Lummi Nation - In a move that has potential implications for the future growth of both Bellingham and Ferndale, the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs has approved trust land status for 80 acres of property at Slater Road and Interstate 5 that is owned by Lummi Nation. In the past, the site has been widely viewed as a likely location for retail development. But in a Tuesday, Oct. 29, interview, Lummi Indian Business Council Chairman Tim Ballew said the tribe has no immediate plans for it.

Lummi: Native American elders offer a simple message for healing the Earth - We may have a number of technological solutions to our problems at our disposal, but what good are they without respect for natural laws?

October 2013

Lummi: Tribal Carver Takes Giant Totem Pole On "Healing" Journey - Right now there is a 22-foot-long totem pole on the back of a truck heading up I-5 from Seattle. It's come all the way from the coal mines of Montana's Powder River Basin and will finish its journey north of Vancouver, B.C. The totem pole represents tribal opposition to coal exports in the region. There are 2 proposed coal terminals in Washington and one in Oregon. The largest one could be built next to the Lummi tribal lands north of Bellingham, Washington. The coal would arrive by train and then be shipped to Asia.

Lummi: Healing pole rallies coal opponents - A healing pole created by Lummi carver Jewell James and the House of Tears carvers will be welcomed to Northwest Indian College Friday, Sept. 27, near the end of a 16-day journey from Wyoming coal fields to British Columbia.

Lummi: Feds still see wiggle room in Lummi Nation position on Washington state coal terminal - The Lummi Nation's position on the Gateway Pacific coal terminal seemed crystal clear in a July 30, 2013, letter to Col. Bruce Estok, district engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Seattle. Despite the letter, Muffy Walker, Army Corps of Engineers regulatory branch chief in Seattle, said the Corps still doesn't see Lummi Nation's position against the project as firm enough to stop her agency's review process.

Lummi: Failed Treaty of Point Elliott Promises Spotlighted in - This was James “Smitty” Hillaire’s debut as a stage actor, and yet he emoted anger, frustration and pain like a pro. “We don’t like to call it acting,” Hillaire said. “We’re trying to tell a story, a story that hasn’t been told ... A lot of people didn’t realize why we’re still fighting for our rights today. It’s still going on.”

Lummi: Native, non-Native cultures meet in Potlatch Symphony - During a Tuesday afternoon rehearsal of an improvisational new work called “Exchange,” held at Seattle Symphony’s Soundbridge music center, Native American musician Swil Kanim — a violinist and member of the Lummi tribe — begins the piece with a passionate tremolo.

Lummi: Coal port faces huge obstacle in Lummi opposition - Lummi master carver Jewell James is taking another ceremonial totem pole on a long trip, but this time it won’t be going as a healing pole — like those he carved for the three 9-11 sites — this pole is a political and cultural statement aimed at the export of coal from ports in the Pacific Northwest. The pole is taking shape only a few miles from the proposed site of the largest coal terminal in the region, at Cherry Point north of Bellingham on Georgia Strait.

Lummi: Nation ask Federal government to deny permits for dry goods terminal - The Lummi Nation has asked the federal government to deny permits for a dry goods terminal in Cherry Point near the tribe’s fishing grounds. The Gateway Pacific Terminal would span 1,500 acres on Puget Sound near Bellingham with three docks to export coal overseas by boat.

Lummi: Tribe may hold winning card in Cherry Point coal export dispute - The Lummi tribe said that it will send a letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers opposing the granting of a permit for the proposed Gateway Pacific coal export terminal at Cherry Point in northwest Washington a move that could derail the project. Mr Merle Jefferson director of Lummi Nation Natural Resources said that “The tribe is sending the formal letter with notice of its opposition. The tribe has a strong position, based on treaty rights.”

Lummi: Cherry Point coal terminal faces opposition - The Lummi’s July 30 letter to the Army Corps of Engineers voicing their “unconditional and unequivocal” opposition to the Gateway Pacific Terminal project at Cherry Point is significant and laudable. The tribe’s opposition has a strong legal basis to stop the project because of its likely interference with treaty-guaranteed fishing rights.

Lummi: "Everything is Connected" - The People vs. Coal Exports in the Northwest - During a press conference announcing the broad scope of the EIS, the Army Corps of Engineers said that they had not heard that the Lummi Nation opposed the project, stunning many observers. This was a strange and confusing statement from the Army Corps, given the powerful public testimony by Lummi leadership at the Cherry Point hearings, several pages of public comments by the Lummi Nation on the scope of the EIS, a resolution passed by the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians opposing this export project and others, and multiple news stories, including this gripping image of tribal members from the Lummi Nation ceremonially burning a symbolic check last year to demonstrate their opposition to the project.

Lummi: Native oysters make a comeback - Kwiaht researchers have relocated over 200 mature native Olympia oysters from Fidalgo Bay in Anacortes to Fisherman Bay on Lopez as the first stage of state-approved recovery of this ecologically important and tasty bivalve in San Juan County. The transplants are the offspring of oysters collected on Lopez over a decade ago by the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, spawned out in the Lummi Indian Nation shellfish hatchery, and seeded in Fidalgo Bay as a habitat restoration project of the Skagit County Marine Resources Committee. Meanwhile, wild Olympia oysters disappeared from the San Juan Islands.

August 2013

Lummi: Even without terminals, coal trains will cross WA - Turns out the Lummi Tribal Council protest against coal trains was for naught. While the proposed terminals may not be built, the coal trains will still roll. Comment: Distressing as the use of coal is, Andrea Rossi's "cold fusion" one megawatt power plants, manufacturing of which has already begun in the U.S., will eventually make all other forms of power generation in most situations obsolete. No more dams, no more nuclear, no more solar, wind or natural gas, and no more coal.

Lummi: Tribe, Ferndale resume talks on Slater Road retail - Officials from the city and Lummi Nation are back at the table, negotiating a complicated agreement over retail development on land the tribe owns in the south end of the city. Talks stalled after the Lummis rejected a sales-tax sharing agreement passed by the Ferndale City Council on May 15. They were revived after the Lummis gave the city a counterproposal May 31.

Lummi: School kicks off graduations in Whatcom County - High school graduations in Whatcom County started Thursday, June 6, with commencement ceremonies for Lynden Christian and Lummi Nation schools.

June 2013

Lummi: Retail plans for Slater on hold as Ferndale, Lummi Nation fail to reach agreement - Lummi Nation was on the verge of jump-starting major retail development along Slater Road but canceled the possible sale of 25 acres to a major retailer because the tribe and the city of Ferndale failed to reach agreement on how to divide sales tax revenue.

Lummi: Ferndale to consider deal that would end land dispute with Lummi Nation - City officials and Lummi Nation are pursuing an agreement to protect the city's tax revenue and the tribe's interest in properties it owns at the south city limits.

Lummi: Washington tribes battle youth suicide - Suicide stalks Indian Country, claiming more lives of native youth than those in any other population, not only in Washington, but nationally. State Department of Health statistics released this month show that in Washington, the rate of suicide among native youth from 10 to 24 years old was more than double the rate of any other ethnic population.

Lummi: Silver Reef, Ferndale chamber to host border expo - A cross-border expo next month will feature more than 60 vendors and two educational sessions aimed at cross-border business and real estate investment. The event, put on by the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce and Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa, takes place from 2 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 6. It is free to attend.

Lummi: Attracting business clients a key factor to latest Silver Reef expansion - The Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa has taken a steady approach to growth, and officials believe the latest expansion is an important next step for bringing business into Whatcom County.

Lummi: Lummi Master Weaver Fran James Walks On - Love was the common thread in everything Fran James did, whether serving her faith, hosting an unexpected guest, passing on a teaching, or weaving a basket, hat, robe or shawl.

Lummi: Tsawwassen man faces up to five years in U.S. prison for fishing in what he calls traditional territory - In October 2011, Steven Stark and his deckhand were arrested by U.S. border agents while collecting crab traps in Boundary Bay, the body of water east of the point. Stark argues that the closeness of that relationship means that TFN should fall under a 19th-century treaty that grants various Puget Sound tribes, including Lummi Nation, the right to fish in their traditional territory.

May 2013

Lummi: Nation mourns Fran James, elder and weaver - James, a renowned weaver who shared her skills with her Lummi Nation community and many others, died April 28 at 88. She was widely known as "Auntie Fran."

Lummi-Swinomish: Swinomish Tribal Member Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Second-Degree Murder - Kevin S. O’Leary, 55, an enrolled member of the Swinomish Indian Tribe was sentenced today in United States District Court in Seattle to 20 years in prison and five years of supervised release for second-degree murder

Lummi: City, state and tribal leaders band together to oppose coal terminal - A group of 15 city, tribal, county and state officials are joining together to oppose exporting coal from Western Washington.

Lummi: Tribal member sentenced to 8 years for killing infant daughter - Chief U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman sentenced Lawrence V. Tom Jr., 23, for killing his 6-month-old daughter during a rage over her crying.

Lummi: Shellfish effort aims to reduce pollution in Whatcom County waterways - Washington Department of Ecology inspectors are taking water samples and identifying sources of fecal coliform bacteria in Bertrand Creek watershed to clean up pollution that could sicken people and is threatening Lummi Nation shellfish beds in Portage Bay.

April 2013

Lummi: Nike N7 Ambassador Temryss Lane, Lummi, Featured Guest on Sent Off Soccer Podcast - Former professional and Team USA soccer player and current on-air personality for both Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports Network Temryss Lane, Lummi Nation, joined Nick and "Jersey" George on this week's Sent Off Soccer podcast.

Lummi-Nooksack: Tribes waiting for answer to key Whatcom water rights question - Local Indian tribes sought federal legal action to clarify critical Whatcom County water rights issues more than 18 months ago, but so far there has been no response.

Lummi: Native Americans march against coal trains - Two-hundred Native Americans and their supporters marched through Seattle during Thursday night’s rush hour to protest proposed coal trains that would pass through the city on their way to a shipping terminal planned to be built near Bellingham. The group called "Idle No More" represented several tribes who support the Lummi Nation, which opposes the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal because they say it would hurt the environment.

Lummi: Council prepares to deed Semiahmoo wastewater plant to Lummi, addresses noise issues in council chambers - Ancient tribal burial grounds seem to be the city of Blaine’s nemesis. After a site was inadvertently excavated during construction of a wastewater treatment plant on Semiahmoo spit in 1999, the council struck an agreement with the Lummi Nation that the property would be deeded to the tribe as soon as it was no longer needed. That time has come.

March 2013

Lummi: Tribal Fisherman Sees Coal Threat Looming - Jay Julius is a fisherman and a member of the Lummi Nation tribal council. Lummi people have lived on the shores of Puget Sound north of Bellingham for thousands of years. Not far from their reservation lies Cherry Point, the proposed site for the largest coal export terminal in North America.

Lummi: Nation seeks trust status for Ferndale land - Whatcom County and the city of Ferndale are opposing the Lummi Nation's move to win trust land designation for 80 acres of land it bought last year along Interstate 5.

Lummi-Suquamish: Skipper gets 30 days for BUI, $16K in restitution ordered - The penalties start with 30 days in jail for a Suquamish man in the wake of a high-speed boating collision that left one man with a shattered pelvis, another with a broken shoulder and several others scrambling for safety after being catapulted into the waters of Wasp Passage in July, 2011. On Jan. 18, Henry Theodore Jackson, Jr., 44, pleaded guilty in San Juan County Superior Court to one count of boating while under the influence, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

February 2013

Lummi: 2 Lummi members sentenced in killing of third - The U.S. attorney's office in Seattle says 25-year-old Johnathan Casey Phair was sentenced Friday to five years in prison, while 22-year-old Dezi-Ray Thomas Louie received four years, both for involuntary manslaughter.

January 2013

Lummi: 2 tribal members sentenced in killing of third - The U.S. attorney's office in Seattle says 25-year-old Johnathan Casey Phair was sentenced Friday to five years in prison, while 22-year-old Dezi-Ray Thomas Louie received four years, both for involuntary manslaughter.

Lummi: Flash Mob To Support Canadian Tribes Hits B'ham - Members of the Lummi Nation and other local tribes crowded the Bellis Fair Mall in Bellingham Monday, Dec. 24, to show support for Canadian tribes in their struggle over land rights. The Canadian government is voting on a major budget bill that could violate First Nations' treaty rights for land and water use.

Lummi: Nooksack man charged in ax murder of 67-year-old tribal member - A Nooksack man was arraigned in an ax murder case Thursday, Dec. 20, after a federal grand jury indicted him with killing a 67-year-old man at a home on Lake Terrell Road.

Lummi: Nation will act to protect heritage, fishing - We hear in Gateway Pacific Terminal's public relations campaign about the promise of jobs. We are no strangers to promises. What we know is true, is that the fishing industry supports many families at Lummi and throughout Whatcom County. The Lummi Nation has the largest native fishing fleet in the United States, with more than 450 boats employing at least 1,000 tribal members, contributing millions of dollars to the local economy. We know it is a sustainable source of income and that it is part of our heritage.

Lummi-Swinomish-Tulalip: At Public Meeting Seattle Shows Strong Opposition To Gateway Pacific Terminal - “If this does go through you’ll witness firsthand what happened in the 1700s, 1800s…,” said Jay Julius, Chairman of the Lummi Tribe. “You will see rape in the first degree of our treaty and it’s not acceptable.” Leaders from the Swinomish and Tulalip tribes also spoke out against the terminal, alongside a local fisherman and several local politicians – including Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine and State Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle.

December 2012

Lummi-Swinomish: Tribal member pleads guilty to smothering wife with pillow - A member of the Swinomish Tribe pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle to second-degree murder for smothering his common-law wife with a pillow earlier this year. Kevin S. O’Leary, 55, admitted that on June 7 he killed Valerie Jefferson, a Lummi tribal member, wrapped her body in a blanket and hid it under the bed before it was discovered five days later, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Lummi: Man pleads guilty in death of baby daughter - Lawrence V. Tom, a Lummi tribal member who was frustrated by his baby daughter's crying, squeezed her head between the bicep and forearm of his right arm. The 6-month-old died in May of skull fractures and brain bleeding.

Lummi: The US Coal Industry Wants to Boost Exports to Asia – Native American Tribes Stand in the Way - The Lummi have traditionally kept a low profile and declined to get openly involved in the political controversies of their white neighbors. But now tribe members are taking center stage in a fight that they believe is about the very existence of the fish that is so central to their traditional way of life. The battle is over a proposal to build a coal-export terminal at Cherry Point, an industrial port area just north of the town of Bellingham and adjacent to the Lummi Reservation.

Lummi: Coast Salish hosts second annual winter arts festival - The Lummi Gateway Center will continue its second annual Coast Salish Winter Festival arts and crafts market on Saturday, December 8 and 15. Handcrafted gifts and artwork will be available for sale by the artists during the festival at the Gateway Center’s location.

November 2012

Lummi: Diana Bob Elected President of Northwest Indian Bar Association - Diana R. Bob, Lummi, has been elected president of the Northwest Indian Bar Association for 2012-13. Bob is a staff attorney in the Lummi Nation Office of the Reservation Attorney in Lummi Nation, Washington.

Lummi: Homicide victim identified as Kenneth Joseph - A 67-year-old man was killed by blows to the head at his home on Lake Terrell Road, the Whatcom County medical examiner announced after an autopsy Wednesday, Oct. 24. The victim, Kenneth L. Joseph, had lived at the light-blue home at 4667 Lake Terrell Road for decades. No suspects have been arrested after he was found dead by a relative about 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Lummi: Coal port debate packs Squalicum High School - Close to 2,000 people came to Squalicum High School on Saturday, Oct. 27, to participate in a public meeting called to identify public concerns about the Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export pier proposed at Whatcom County's Cherry Point. Two representatives of Lummi Nation got the testimony off to an impassioned start. Lummi Indian Business Council member Jay Julius said tribal leaders have been advised to wait until the coal port proposal gets scientific study before taking a stand, but he said that was not necessary. "Science is respected by our nation, but we have our own knowledge and teaching," Julius said. "Lummi Nation says no. ... I am personally a fisherman as my great-great-great-grandparents were fishermen ... long before the arrival of science."

October 2012

Lummi: Tribe to NW Coal Producers: 'Don't Tread on Us' - The Lummi Indian tribe has lent their voice to a growing coalition, including environmental groups and green-minded politicians, in opposing plans by SSA Marine for a huge Gateway Terminal coal export terminal at Cherry Point in Bellingham. The Lummis are fearful that shipping millions of tons of coal through northern Washington will have a deleterious impact on their fishing rights and irrevocably damage religious and sacred sites, such as Cherry Point, if the coal should spill.

Lummi: Boy Whose Recovery Was Decreed a Miracle Attributed to the Help of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Travels to Rome to Meet the Pope - On Sunday, October 21, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha will be canonized at the Vatican as the first American Indian saint in the Catholic Church. Jake Finkbonner, who is of Lummi tribal descent, and his family–mom Elsa, dad Donny, sisters Miranda and Malia–are traveling from their Ferndale, Washington home to Rome for the ceremony.

Lummi: Tribe takes on Puget Sound coal plan - Tribal and non-tribal fishermen on Monday lined up their boats on their unified opposition to plans for a coal export facility at Cherry Point. A plan to ship coal from Montana and Wyoming to the site near Ferndale for export overseas is currently being studied. Both groups are concerned the plan would increase train traffic that would disrupt the daily lives of citizens. They also worry the increased shipping traffic on the water could increase chances of a major accident and spill in the productive crab and fishing area.

Lummi: Ferndale family heads to Rome for canonization of first American Indian saint - The Sandy Point boy who nearly died when flesh-eating bacteria invaded his face and whose recovery was decreed a miracle attributed to the help of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha will be in Rome when she is canonized as the first American Indian saint in the Catholic Church. Jake Finkbonner, who is of Lummi tribal descent, and his family - mom Elsa, dad Donny, sisters Miranda and Malia - will meet Pope Benedict XVI and be honored during that trip, which will include receiving Holy Communion from the Pope at the Oct. 21 Mass.

Lummi: Tribe joins the opposition to Whatcom coal port - Elders of the Lummi Nation announced opposition Friday to a proposed export terminal at Cherry Point north of Bellingham, an industrial port area that remains a point of contention for Native Americans and proponents of development on the site.

Lummi: Leaders come out against Gateway Pacific coal terminal project - Leaders of the Lummi Nation made it clear they are opposing the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal project and that it's time to work together to protect the natural and cultural heritage of the Cherry Point area.

Lummi: Two Whatcom County men plead guilty to fatal stabbing case - Two Lummi Nation members who fought with a third tribal member and stabbed him to death pleaded guilty Monday, Sept. 24, in U.S. District Court in Seattle to involuntary manslaughter. Johnathan Casey "Otter" Phair, 24, and Dezi-Rey Thomas Louie, 22, pleaded guilty to the Dec. 17, 2011, stabbing death of 22-year-old Lamar Felipe James at a home at 2953 Smokehouse Road, on Lummi tribal land.

Lummi: Burning opposition to coal trains - Hundreds of tribal members from the Lummi Nation gathered Friday to announce the tribe's opposition to development of a facility at Cherry Point in Whatcom County to ship coal brought by train from the Powder River Basin. They ceremonially burned a check on the beach to make a statement that no amount of money could buy their support for a project that would destroy their village and burial sites on the property.

September 2012

Lummi: Whatcom County Democratic National Convention delegates ready to move 'Forward' - As they prepared to head home Friday, Sept. 7, Whatcom County's delegates to the Democratic National Convention summed up their post-convention excitement with one idea: Forward. Teresa Taylor-Oliver, a registered Lummi tribal member and delegate for the first congressional district, said the most important part of the convention for her was getting the opportunity to network and share ideas for future policies with other delegates. "I was asked to share a position paper at the Native American caucus at the state convention that addressed changes we hope to see on the national level," Taylor-Oliver said.

Lummi: Meetings in Bellingham set on new addiction treatment on Lummi Reservation - The public will have two opportunities to comment on a new treatment program on Lummi Reservation for opiate addiction that includes an opiate-based medicine. Two hearings will take place Tuesday, Aug. 28, on the use of Suboxone, a semi-synthetic opiate that reduces the symptoms of dependence on commonly abused opiate painkillers, such as heroin and oxycodone.

August 2012

Lummi: Nation's wetlands bank could speed up development off the reservation - Lummi Nation has launched a wetlands preservation system that could help to speed up the process of getting development permits for anything from new homes on the tribe's reservation to larger projects elsewhere in Whatcom County - possibly even the Gateway Pacific Terminal project proposed for Cherry Point.

Lummi: Some Whatcom council members want Lummi Nation, Ferndale to help pay for Slater roadwork - Some Whatcom County Council members say Lummi Nation and the city of Ferndale should help pay for an intersection improvement project that will benefit them. "I think this is a majorly beneficial project to Ferndale and to the Lummi Tribe for their casino, and before we just write a check for 600 grand, we ought to think about that," council member Ken Mann said during a July meeting. The nearly $2 million project to install turn lanes along Slater Road at Imhoff and Ferndale roads is one of the projects on the county's draft six-year transportation improvement plan.

July 2012

Lummi: Man Jailed In Homicide Investigation On Lummi Res. - A man is jailed on murder charges over a month after authorities found a body in an apartment on the Lummi reservation. Jail records show the Lummi Nation Police Department booked 55-year-old Kevin O’Leary into the Whatcom County Jail early yesterday morning on investigation of homicide.

Lummi: Lummis rally to support tougher domestic violence law - Native American women who live on a reservation can't always get the legal protection they need if a non-native spouse or partner becomes abusive, tribal officials said Tuesday, June 26, during a rally and march here. The rally attracted about 30 participants who marched to support changes in the federal Violence Against Women Act that are meant to curb violence against women on Indian reservations.

June 2012

Lummi: Dances, canoe races celebrate Lummi tradition at Stommish Water Festival - Forty-two canoes reversed themselves near the southern tip of the Lummi Peninsula, the halfway point of the men's singles canoe race. That's where the water was choppiest - so choppy, David Williams had to bale a couple gallons from his cedar strip canoe. With no time to lose, he kicked at the water, splashing it out, and kept paddling. A couple hundred strokes to the left, a couple hundred strokes to the right, and he wound up winning the race at the Stommish Water Festival on Saturday, June 16, the third day of the annual Lummi event. Canoe racing holds an important place in Indian culture. And Williams, a 29-year-old Nooksack Indian Tribe member who lives just down the street, trains along this same beach four times each week.

Lummi: Labor Department $2.5 Million Increment Grant To Assist Lummi Fisherman Laid Off in Washington State - In 2008, the decline of the Fraser River sockeye salmon was declared a commercial fishing disaster, according to the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. In October 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded the first part of a National Emergency Grant, approximately $3.4 million, to the Lummi Nation to help the 300 tribal fishermen affected by fishing industry layoffs in Bellingham, Washington.

Lummi: Blaine sewer work uncovers Lummi burial site - Crews digging as part of a sewer project uncovered an American Indian burial site but stopped work before human remains were damaged. Lummi Nation decided to hold a ceremony and rebury the remains in place, as opposed to moving them and reburying them elsewhere, Blaine Public Works Director Ravyn Whitewolf said.

Lummi: Tribe celebrates first salmon of season - As drummers beat out a slow, throbbing rhythm, four young men wheeled the first salmon of the season into the Lummi High School gym Thursday, May 31, for the ceremony that honors the annual return of the fish that has brought sustenance to the tribe for uncounted generations. The spring chinook salmon sat atop a small cart wrapped in a red blanket and covered with cedar fronds. A procession of Lummi children followed, matching the rhythm of the drums as they shook rattles and clicked small wooden paddles together.

May 2012

Lummi: Tribe to expand successful affordable apartment complex - Growing demand for affordable apartments has prompted the Lummi Nation Housing Authority to pursue funding to add 66 units to a residential complex completed a little more than a year ago. The 72-unit complex was fully occupied within "a couple months" of completion in January 2011 but did not fully meet the housing demand, said Tom Black, the tribe's housing development planner.

Lummi: Father Arrested For Homicide Of 6-Month-Old Daughter - A baby on the Lummi Indian Reservation is dead, and her father is arrested for murder. Whatcom County Medical Examiner Gary Goldfogel says 6-month-old Casey Tom died Sunday from inflicted head injuries, and he’s listing the death as a homicide. Goldfogel reports the father, Lawrence Tom, was arrested following the death, and Lummi Tribal Police and the FBI are investigating.

Lummi: Lummi Nation Makes $900,000 Charitable Donation to Community Organizations - The Lummi Nation recently poured $900,000 in charitable donations into the local and greater Washington economy. Since 2002, the Lummi Nation has given more than $5 million dollars in community contributions to surrounding community and organizations. On May 1, the the tribe hosted a reception at its Silver Reef Casino, Hotel and Spa to honor the the tribe’s community contributions.

Lummi: Lummi Indian Business Council donates nearly $1 million to local groups - This year, the Lummi Indian Business Council made $900,000 in donations to nearly 40 groups throughout Whatcom County, according to a spokesman for the tribe.

Lummi: Actress, activist shares stories with Northwest Indian College students - Q'orianka Kilcher came to speak at Northwest Indian College as an activist, Tuesday, April 24.

April 2012

Lummi: Seattle World's Fair featured 'story pole' created by Lummi carver Joseph Hillaire - Citizens of Bellingham are familiar with the centennial totem pole that stands outside Whatcom County Courthouse. Carved by Lummi artist Joseph Hillaire in 1952, it tells the story of the meeting a century earlier between Lummi natives and pioneer settlers Russell Peabody and Henry Roeder. Less well known is that Hillaire, who lived from 1894 to 1967, was commissioned to carve a totem pole for the Century 21 Exposition, the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.

March 2012

Lummi: Bellingham Police still hoping for leads to find missing man, woman - Bellingham Police are still searching for a tribal elder who vanished in January, as well as a woman who has been missing for more than a week. Police are looking for new leads to find Robert D. "Bobby" Johnson and Gwendolyn Rainbolt, both of whom were last seen in downtown Bellingham. Johnson may be suffering from early-stage dementia, while Rainbolt needs to take medication for her mental health, according to police.

Lummi: New Boxing Club Reviving the Sweet Science on Lummi Reservation - Boxing continued at Lummi into the 1980s before involvement waned. But the new Damon-Lummi Boxing Club is helping to revive the sport on the reservation, thanks to the advocacy of (Henry "Penny") Hillaire. They believe boxing can build champions not only in the ring, but in life. “You make better decisions when your body is in condition,” Hillaire said.

February 2012

Lummi: More Blaine wastewater conveyance contract amendments on the way - The City of Blaine is looking at shelling out almost $43,000 more than expected to complete a sewer line project that will connect the Semiahmoo area with Blaine’s main water treatment facility. Once completed, the city will be able to close the Semiahmoo treatment plant and return most of the property surrounding the plant to the Lummi tribe.

Lummi: 101 acres off Lummi Bay set aside for salmon habitat - To complete the acquisition of conservation rights on the properties, and to make habitat improvements, Lummi Nation will contribute $350,000 and the Salmon Recovery Funding Board will add another $125,000, Ecology spokesman Curt Hart said.

Lummi: At Northwest Indian College, It’s Rocket Science, as Students Apply Learning to Competing - The clichéd exhortation to "reach for the stars!" has taken on new, practical meaning as students at Northwest Indian College (NWIC), located within the Lummi Nation, in Bellingham, Washington prepare to compete this year in NASA’s University Student Launch Initiative.

Lummi: United States v. Milner - The 2009 case of United States v. Milner demonstrates important common law principles related to tidal boundaries. It also offers interesting insights into the law and the balance courts try to strike in deciding the law. The struggle for balance as it relates to private property rights and the rights of society as a whole are clearly demonstrated in this case.

Lummi: Pictures by photographer illustrate Coast Salish traditions - See photographs that document the ceremonies and traditions of Coast Salish people and hear from the photographer herself during Bellingham's monthly Downtown Art Walk, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3. Maxine Stremler, a photographer and member of the Lummi Nation, will exhibit a collection of her work during the event at the CedarWorks Gallery.

Lummi-Stillaguamish: Ecology partnership awards save Puget Sound wetland habitat - The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has secured seven federal grants totaling $5.7 million to help protect or restore 960 acres of marine wetlands and connected freshwater and upland habitat areas in Puget Sound. To accomplish the acquisitions, Ecology is working in partnership with the Lummi Nation, Stillaguamish Tribe, Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group, North Olympic Salmon Coalition, Whidbey Camano Land Trust, Mason County, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

January 2012

Lummi: Jake Finkbonner Beat a Flesh Eating Disease, Earns Inspirational Youth Award - Jake Finbonner, Lummi, an 11-year old of considerable inner strength and courage, will be receiving the Seattle Children’s Inspirational Youth award today at the 77th Annual Seattle Sports Star of the Year banquet. Jake’s story became international news. When the Vatican learned that the Finkbonners had prayed to Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, they sent investigators to the hospital to learn more about Jake’s story. This was when doctors told the investigators they had no clear medical explanation for Jake’s recovery. These findings were forwarded to the Congregation for Causes of Saints, and now, the Blessed Kateria Tekakwith is the first American Indian to be certified a Saint by the Catholic Church.

Lummi-Nooksack: BBWSD manager calls for local solution to tribal water rights issue - With two local native tribes seeking a federal determination on possession of local water rights, the general manager of the Birch Bay Water and Sewer District (BBWSD) is calling for a solution from within Whatcom County. Earlier in January, representatives from the Nooksack and Lummi tribes sent letters to the U.S. Department of the Interior requesting a federal court decision over what water rights the tribes have within the state. The tribes say six years of negotiations over the extent of their water rights have stalled, and they are asking the Department of the Interior to take the state of Washington to court over the issue.

Lummi-Nooksack: Tribes seek federal suit to resolve long-simmering Nooksack River water rights issue - Lummi Nation and the Nooksack Indian Tribe are seeking federal court intervention to settle Nooksack River water rights issues that affect both the city of Bellingham's water supply and the availability of irrigation water in parts of Whatcom County. Both tribes have sent letters to the U.S. Department of the Interior asking the federal agency to file a lawsuit against the state of Washington. The tribes want a federal judge to spell out the extent of their water rights.

Lummi-Nooksack: Tribes seek federal support to resolve Nooksack basin water rights conflict - Six years of multi-party water rights negotiations in the Nooksack basin of Whatcom County have been suspended while the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Indian Tribe seek federal support to quantify their water rights. At issue is how much water should remain in various reaches and streams of the Nooksack River, and how much should be available for other uses. The tribes have asked the U.S. Department of the Interior to file a lawsuit that will result in a declaration of their treaty-reserved water rights and protection of those rights.

December 2011

Lummi: Second suspect arrested in Lummi Nation slaying - A second suspect has been arrested in the stabbing death of a Lummi Indian reservation resident last week. Dezi-Ray Thomas Arnez Louie, 22, was being held without bail Sunday, Dec. 25, at the King County Regional Justice Center in Kent. Louie was named as a suspect last week in connection with the Dec. 17 stabbing death of 22-year-old Lamar Felipe James during an apparent drug deal at 2953 Smokehouse Road on the Lummi reservation. Because the slaying was on tribal land, the FBI is assisting in the investigation.

Lummi: One arrested, one sought in stabbing death on Reservation - Police have arrested one of two men suspected of stabbing a man to death on the Lummi Reservation this weekend. The other suspect remained at-large as of Tuesday evening, Dec. 20.

Lummi: Unidentified man dies from stab wounds in possible homicide on Lummi Reservation - Initial reports suggested the man was stabbed multiple times near Lummi Shore Road after 11 p.m. and somebody tried to perform CPR on him, but no further information about the location or time of the stabbing was available from Lummi Nation police as of Saturday afternoon.

Lummi: Nation raises its profile on coal port plan - Lummi announce their intention to be a major player in studies dealing with development of the West Coast's largest coal-shipping port north of Bellingham at Cherry Point.

Lummi: Bellingham gospel choir hosts musical benefit for Roosevelt Elementary - Tribal members to perform on Friday.

Lummi: Lummi Nation reviewing proposed deep-water port terminal

Lummi: Silver Reef Casino bomb threat turns out to be laptop

Lummi: Man Arrested In Silver Reef Casino Bomb Scare

Lummi: Nation buys 80 acres that Whatcom County considered for new jail

November 2011

Lummi: Blackfeet Tribal Member Sentenced for Sex Abuse of a Minor at Lummi Tribe Elementary School

Lummi: 6-year sentence for molestation at Lummi school

Lummi: Using Ancient Wisdom To Improve The Future

Lummi: Lummi wins regular-season finale by forfeit

October 2011

Lummi: The Lummi Healing Totem Pole Carries Stories of Traditional Medicines and Practices

Peoples of the Northwest Coast: Their Archaeology and Prehistory : Extending some 1,400 miles from Alaska to northern California, America's Northwest Coast is one of the richest and most distinct cultural areas on earth. The region is famous for its magnificent art--masks, totem poles, woven blankets--produced by the world's most politically and economically complex hunters and gatherers.
Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest: This collection of more than one hundred tribal tales, culled from the oral tradition of the Indians of Washington and Oregon, presents the Indians' own stories, told for generations around their fires, of the mountains, lakes, and rivers, and of the creation of the world and the heavens above.

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Rod Van Mechelen, Publisher & Editor, Cowlitz Country News

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