Challenging Racism

Lummi Nation planning commissioner Sharlaine LaClair, Democrat, will take on incumbent Luanne Van Werven in the general election for the 42nd district house of representatives in the Washington State legislature. In 2013, in her role as vice-chair of the Washington Republican Party, Van Werven facilitated money-laundering from the Cherry Point coal export consortium to the Tea Party-led PACs established by KGMI radio host Kris Halterman, who in 2012 and 2013 hosted Elaine Willman from CERA–the “Ku Klux Klan of Indian Country”–on her program Saturday Morning Live three times. Willman was part of the headline at the anti-Indian conference held in Bellingham WA on April 6, 2013, and stated “Tribalism is socialism, and has no place in our country!”

Note: For more on organized racism in Whatcom County, see Netwar at Cherry Point: White Power on the Salish Sea.

A Cultural Resurgence

Nisqually Canoe Journey, held near Olympia last week, represented 27 years of the revitalized Coast Salish practice of traveling the “saltwater highway” to sing, dance, feast and renew friendships between tribes in Washington and British Columbia. As Nisqually elder Cleo Frank remarked, “We have a whole generation now that were born into it and will never know a time when the canoe journey hasn’t been here.”