Point Roberts 1930

This article at Saltwater People Historical Society has a nice collection of photos from when salmon were plentiful and mail was delivered by boat.


On Our Own Terms

While reconciliation is all the buzz with Canadians, restitution is the agenda of the Heiltsuk First Nation of the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. With 700 generations of accumulated knowledge of how to live well–without polluting industries–the Heiltsuk people have formed a ‘rich cultural, social and spiritual relationship’ with their territory.

As Heiltsuk Nation member Saul Brown states,

The times of government officials deciding solutions for Indigenous people, without Indigenous involvement, are over. We have taken it upon ourselves to define the parameters of “turning things around and making them right,” on our own terms.

Cowboys vs Indians

The American West–home to the Cowboys vs Indians psychodrama–is mustering for a final confrontation, this time over the looming extinction of the iconic Pacific salmon. While the original conflict featured action-packed, blood and gore slaughter of millions of bison and massacres of the Indigenous peoples whose lives depended on them, this time around it is a slow-motion train-wreck.

As major salmon stream polluters such as the Farm Bureau and Cattlemen’s Association–along with state attorney generals and white newspaper owners–line up to attack the treaty rights of Northwest Treaty Tribes like the Swinomish, the apathetic citizenry is being asked to take sides.

Will so-called progressive moral authorities speak out, or maintain silence out of fear?

Burnaby Battle Lines

Indigenous leaders across Canada stand in solidarity with B.C. First Nations protesting against Kinder Morgan in Burnaby today. Mohawk, Lakota, Dakota and Cree join Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, Secwepemc and Ktunaxa activists at the Indigenous ‘watch house’ on Burnaby Mountain, where they will defy the court injunction that threatens their inherent title to traditional territories used for gathering food and medicine.

KGMI–Voice of White Supremacy

KGMI Radio–the Northwest ‘voice of white supremacy’–actively promotes racism targeting local Mexican migrant farm workers and Northwest Treaty Tribes. This is in violation of their federal license to broadcast, and they should be held to account.

In the 1990s, the hate radio station adjacent to the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana lost its license to broadcast when its license was revoked following a human rights campaign and formal complaint. The same could be done in Washington.

For a detailed accounting on KGMI racism, see my Center for World Indigenous Studies six-part special report: Anti-Indian Movement on the Salish SeaWise Use Terrorism in Whatcom County, 2013-2017, as well as Sandy Robson’s A Tea Party by any other name.

BP Dirty Deal

BP Cherry Point, and its heavy crude predecessors, have been a dirty deal from day one. From the 1972 Cherry Point oil spill–believed to contribute to a 92% decline in local herring stocks–to the air pollution of today, the Cherry Point oil refinery now proposed for expansion has led the way in violating the federal Clean Air Act.

Seattle Port Commissioner Fred Felleman puts the behavior of this recidivist offender in historical context. As he observed in 2015, Dirty fuel exports darken NW’s Earth Day.

Northwest Human Rights

It seems to me that a human rights convergence is taking place, in which the interests of Mexican laborers, American Indians, and environmentalists form the core of resistance to Tea Party fascism in Whatcom county. All that’s missing is leadership, which will not come from moral authorities, but rather from citizen journalist efforts to illuminate the mutual interests of those targeted by the fascist movement in the Pacific Northwest.
In my opinion, a Northwest Human Rights Network is coming. Toward that end, it is important to first understand the elements of successful social engagement. The key elements are communication, leadership, purpose and research. Absent each of those elements, nothing lasting can be achieved.
Communication says You Are Not Alone.
Leadership means taking civic responsibility.
Purpose gives you a reason for coming together.
Research tells you what your opposition is up to.
Thanks to the extensive research by activist scholars and citizen journalists, the fascist movement has been exposed. Now it is time for fascism to be opposed.
That entails confronting the promoters of hate through the formula for success: Research, Education, Organizing and Action. Whining is for losers.