How Lummi Nation's Treaty Stand Beat Big Coal

How Lummi Nation's Treaty Stand Beat Big Coal
The Gateway Pacific coal terminal proposal at Cherry Point, WA elicited strong opposition from the Lummi Tribe, which argued that the terminal would violate treaty rights due to its proximity to Xwe’chi’eXen, an ancestral village site and fishing waters. (Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission photo)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bellingham, WA-based writer Ralph Schwartz, in a guest piece for the Sightline Institute, gives a stirring account of how Lummi Nation stood up against Big Coal to defend their treaty fishing rights--and won.

“This is a really good day,” said an emotional Cheryl Sanders, who met in special session with other tribal council share the news with the community. “These are happy tears. These aren’t sad tears.”

Sanders said she doesn’t fish but comes from a fishing family. Lummi Nation is said to have the largest tribal fishing fleet in the lower 48 United States.

“They taught us never to forget where we come from,” Sanders said. “Treaty rights aren’t for sale. Being on the water is medicine.”

Read the full story at Sightline Institute.

Learn about why Friends of the Columbia Gorge opposes coal export from the Pacific Northwest.

View All News & Updates