Lummi Leaders: No more lost lives over ferry use
"How many more lives must be lost for the convenience of so few?

For those who believe that the Lummi Nation has an obligation to lease tribal land to Whatcom County for the use of the Lummi Island residents and visitors, please try to see it from the perspective of the Lummi Nation and the Lummi Community where we grew up and have lived for decades.

In exchange for Lummi signing the Treaty of Point Elliot, the United States made many promises to the Lummi people in exchange for over 90 percent of the Lummi territory. The U.S. promised to reserve the reservation "for the exclusive use of the Indians," and the right to "hunt, fish and gather at our usual and accustom" places.

Whatcom County has operated the ferry at the current location without a valid lease. The tribe notified the county 10 years ago that the lease was not valid and have attempted to negotiate a lease that addressed our concerns. The 25-year term of the unapproved lease expires on February 14, 2010.

The most important of our many concerns is the safety of all people who travel Haxton Way, especially pedestrians. At Lummi's request, the county conducted a safety study, which confirmed the hazards that reservation residents face every day on Haxton Way."

Get the Story:
Henry Cagey and Richard Jefferson: Lummi leaders say ferry terminal must be moved (The Bellingham Herald 11/24)

Earlier Story:
Lummis object to Fairhaven Shipyard's new drydock operation (The Bellingham Herald 11/20)