Lummi will speak against proposed coal terminal


Lummi tribal members will speak about the tribe's opposition to the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point north of Bellingham on April 18th at the Odd Fellows Hall in Eastsound.

Ever since 2011, when SSA Marine began filing permit requests to build a new coal export terminal at Cherry Point, the Lummi Nation has been considering the potentially devastating effects on traditional native fisheries, as well as the desecration of the ancestral landscape and seascape at Xwe'chi'eXen. In 2012 a broad cross-section of Lummis gathered at Cherry Point to express their opposition to the project.

In August 2013, a group including Lummi leader Mr Jeremiah Julius visited Orcas to reiterate that message. That meeting also served to spread the word about plans to take a 22 foot totem pole on a journey to help raise the voices among diverse communities along the coal route from the Powder River basin of Wyoming, across Montana and Idaho, through Lummi territory in Washington State, and up to British Columbia. The totem was carved by Lummi master carver Mr Jewell James and the House of Tears carvers. Mr James will talk about his experiences among communities and tribes from coal fields to coast. Another journey is planned for the summer of 2014 that will bring together the issues of the tar sands, Bakken shale oil shipment and the shipment and storage of coal.

Mr Julius will speak about the historical and cultural significance of Cherry Point to the Lummi people. The Lummi Nation is a key player in the fight against the coal terminal, because an 1855 treaty and subsequent legal decisions guaranteeing preservation of tribal fishing rights have been upheld by the United States Supreme Court.

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