Our Sacred Obligation, a documentary by Lummi filmmaker Freddy Lane, tells the story of the 2014 totem pole journey, and Lummi Nation’s efforts to unite communities in opposing fossil fuel export on the Salish Sea. Traveling from the Wyoming coal fields to Vancouver, British Columbia, the traditional totem pole — created by Lummi master carver Jewell James — is a symbol of support for First Nations opposed to expansion of crude oil and bulk coal shipping through Coast Salish territory.
Of interest to the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians — as they battle big oil and big coal — are two new posters at Public Good Project, that highlight the organized racism of fossil fuel export on the Salish Sea, between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Gateway Pacific Terminal Hall of Shame profiles the promoters of the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point, site of Lummi Nation’s salmon and crab harvest, as well as ancient village and burial ground.
Gateway Pacific Terminal Timeline chronicles the connections between the Tea Party, CERA (the “Ku Klux Klan of Indian country”), and the GPT consortium.
Sandy Robson’s November 2014 article on fearmongering by fossil fuel export developers, i.e. SSA Marine, Peabody Coal and BNSF Railroad, raises a couple questions. One is why no local media is reporting on this, and another is why the Washington Secretary of State hasn’t censured their PACs for distributing misleading communications to influence elections.
Sandy’s January 2014 article at Whatcom Watch shined a light on these PACs and their collaboration with fossil fuel exporters in money-laundering to influence elections. It also illuminated their connection with the Tea Party and KGMI radio, both of which assisted CERA (“the Ku Klux Klan of Indian country”) in promoting inter-racial discord aimed at the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, which opposes fossil fuel export in their traditional territories. As noted at IC Magazine, capitalizing on fear is what the developers do best.
Drumming up resentment against Native Americans and environmentalists is established practice by Wise Use propagandists, and has a particularly violent past in the Greater Seattle area, as reported by Robson in her October 2013 article at Whatcom Watch. As noted in an article at NWCitizen in February 2014, Robson and Whatcom Watch were threatened by coal export consortium PR man Craig Cole. As reported at IC Magazine in February, the politics of land and bigotry has a long history in the Salish Sea region.
This document on GPT is well done. Of note to tourism and fisheries is the fact that wind-blown coal dust from the uncovered coal stockyard (five half-mile long, six-story high piles) would coat all Birch Bay in corrosive coal dust. The stormwater runoff from these piles would generate millions of gallons of toxic waste water (containing mercury, arsenic and uranium) into the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve, all of which — due to tidal currents — would end up in Birch Bay.
Black beaches, toxic clams and crabs, will be the normal operating consequences of GPT–without a shipping accident.
Lummi Nation of Northwest Washington state is leading the fight by Coast Salish First Nations in Washington and British Columbia against the fossil fuel industry’s plan to turn their waters into a fossil fuel gateway. In Treaty Rights and Totem Poles, Amber Cortes reports on the unified front of tribes and allies against Big Coal and Big Oil that Lummi schelangen (way of life) represents.
League of Women Voters opposes expansion of crude oil shipping on the Salish Sea, including BP at Cherry Point, and Kinder-Morgan at Burnaby.
On June 16 at Wexliem House, the Lummi Nation community welcomes an evening with Winona LaDuke in a Sacred Talk, sharing experiences of North American communities impacted by energy development. As part of the Stommish Sacred Summit, an evening with the foremost inspirational speaker from Native America is the chance of a lifetime opportunity for young and old. Advance registration requested.