When the Lummi Nation invited the public to witness their opposition to the Gateway Pacific Terminal project, I finally saw the proposed coal terminal site. I was in awe of the beauty of this place. I was struck by a sense of the sacred. This is a very special place with a lot of history. It's hard to put into words, for someone not tied to the shores like the Lummi tribe, why I would have such a reverence for this place, but I did. I listened to the elders as they spoke of this place, where 175 generations fished. They said the water is an important fishing area and is associated with the creation story of the tribe and the first salmon ceremony. I wonder about the impacts of the proposed coal terminal on Lummi fishing and also the damage the terminal will cause to this ancient, cultural, historical site. Will the proposed terminal at Cherry Point violate the 2007 United Nations declaration of the rights of indigenous peoples: that they have a right to maintain and protect their cultural, archeological and historic sites?
SSA Marine stated they are taking "special precautions" to protect the cultural resources on the site to ensure long-term access for Lummi members for ceremonial purposes. I think their ceremonies will feel violated when performed near an 80-acre, 60-foot-high, mile-long pile of coal. Why doesn't the state, through the Department of Natural Resources buy back the land and give it back to the Lummi Nation?