Living

Lummi Reservation

Estrella Russell, 15, left, and Leanard Morris, 16, make necklaces outside Lummi Nation's Wexliem Community Center. The center features tribal wood carvings, including totem poles and frogs. “Wexliem” means “place of frogs.” Weddings and other gatherings are among the events held at the center, 2300 Lummi View Drive.
Estrella Russell, 15, left, and Leanard Morris, 16, make necklaces outside Lummi Nation's Wexliem Community Center. The center features tribal wood carvings, including totem poles and frogs. “Wexliem” means “place of frogs.” Weddings and other gatherings are among the events held at the center, 2300 Lummi View Drive. LUKE HARRIS THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

OVERVIEW

Lummi Reservation is the home of Lummi Nation and an estimated 6,600 residents. The tribe has more than 3,600 enrolled members, not all of whom live on the reservation.

The reservation covers the peninsula bounded by Lummi Bay on the west and Bellingham Bay on the east, plus Portage Island and Sandy Point peninsula. When established by the Point Elliott Treaty of 1855, the reservation covered 20,000 acres. Today, about 12,000 acres are under Indian control.

Fishing has long been a dominant activity, now supplemented by Silver Reef Casino. The reservation is also the proud home of Northwest Indian College, and the new Lummi Nation School.

HISTORY

The annual Stommish Festival was begun by Lummi veterans of World War I to honor tribal members returning home from service from World War II. The festival, with canoe races, games, barbecued salmon and singing and dancing, was first held on the west side of Gooseberry Perry. Later, Edith and Victor Jones donated a larger parcel along Hale Passage for the festival.

SCHOOLS

Lummi Day Care & Child Development Center, Lummi Nation School (kindergarten through high school), Northwest Indian College, Skyline Elementary, Eagleridge Elementary, Mountain View Elementary, Vista Middle, Horizon Middle, Ferndale High, Timber Ridge High.

Districts: Lummi Nation School, www.lumminationschool.org; Ferndale School District, www.ferndale.wednet.edu.

PARK

Lummi Stommish grounds.

QUOTE

“My family on both sides were leaders in the community, and we were taught that we have a duty that our families were committed to helping the community. It’s a duty on our part to remember that.”

Jewell James, lifelong resident of Lummi Reservation

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