Politics Blog

Healing pole serves as rallying point for anti-coal movement

A healing pole created by Lummi carver Jewell James and the House of Tears carvers will be welcomed to Northwest Indian College Friday, Sept. 27 as part of a 16-day journey from Wyoming coal fields to British Columbia.

Events begin at noon with drumming and other ceremonial observances. Lummi fishermen as well as non-Indian supporters of the tribal position on the Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export facility are scheduled to speak.

After the ceremonies at the college , located at the east end of Kwina Road, the pole will be hauled to Cherry Point, near the coal terminal site, for a blessing ceremony scheduled for 5 p.m.

The event is not sponsored by the Lummi Indian Business Council, but some council members plan to participate. 

During the journey west, the healing pole and its creators have made a number of stops at other Indian nations to rally opposition to coal exports and coal trains.

On Tuesday, Sept. 24, an appearance on the state capitol grounds in Olympia drew a large crowd.

The sponsoring organization is the Native American Land Conservancy , an intertribal organization.

While Lummi Nation leaders have taken a strong public position against the Cherry Point terminal proposed by SSA Marine of Seattle, officials with the company and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have said that they are continuing to work with the tribe to see if issues can be resolved.