I attended the Lummi Nation ceremony responding to the proposed deep-water shipping terminal at Cherry Point. Much of what was said was spoken in native language, which I don't claim to understand, followed by a partial translation. What follows is my impression of what was meant by the ceremony. Others may have understood it differently. Their impression is no less valid than mine, if different. This is not meant to be an objective report. I found the ceremony to be dignified, spiritual and moving. I was grateful to have been invited.
The proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point is wrong because it is spiritually wrong. It denies the meaning of our history and the beliefs of our ancestors. It ignores the values of our culture and risks resources that rightfully belong to our children. It is wrong because it threatens the health of our land, our water and the air we breathe. We depend upon the salmon and this project threatens our fishing. It is wrong because it offers the Lummi Nation a promise of money in exchange for giving up our integrity. We reject the promise of money, no matter the amount. We are a community, both the Lummi Nation and our guests from nearby who share our concerns. We must stand together in order to protect the earth, the water and the air. We must protect the peaceful nature of our community and not allow this threat to divide us.