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Lummi elder ‘Uncle Willie’ Jones dies at 74

Willie Jones, a longtime leader and member of the Lummi Indian Business Council, died Feb. 28, 2016. He was 74.
Willie Jones, a longtime leader and member of the Lummi Indian Business Council, died Feb. 28, 2016. He was 74. The Bellingham Herald

William “Willie” Jones Sr., a former chairman, vice chairman, and council member of Lummi Indian Business Council from 1977 to 2007, died at home Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016. Jones, whose tribal name was ChaT-ex ‘T, was 74.

Funeral services will be 6 p.m. Thursday, March 3, and 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 4, at the Lummi Nation Community Building, Wex’liem, 2334 Lummi View Drive.

Known widely as “Uncle Willie,” he helped create Lummi Nation High School and Northwest Indian College, where he earned an honorary degree in native science with a concentration in indigenous self-determination and education. He also taught the Lummi language once he re-learned it at the college.

A national leader in tribal sovereignty and self-governance, Jones was active in several sports, and was a canoe skipper for many years.

Dean Kahn

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