Politics Blog

Here's full text of Lummi Nation statement on Cherry Point cultural site

Last Friday, in response to my inquiry, Lummi Nation issued a three-paragraph statement explaining the tribe's position on a proposed fixup of the Cherry Point coal terminal site where unauthorized land-clearing took place in 2011.

In this report published Sunday, Jan. 19,  I focused on the final paragraph, in which the tribe indicates its leaders have no plans to give their stamp of approval to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit that must be issued before SSA Marine or its contractors can revisit the site for reforestation and other work.

I have been asked to publish the full statement. Here it is:

"The entire Cherry Point area is significant to the Lummi people. Cherry Point is nearly adjacent to the Lummi reservation. Lummi's cultural history of Cherry Point has been known for decades, both by Lummis and by cultural resources professions.

"Western Washington University used to operate a field school at this exact property. When Washington state enacted laws to protect cultural resources, Cherry Point was the first area in Whatcom County to be protected by those laws. These types of laws are supposed to be protective, not reactive after damages.

"In 2011 there were impacts to cultural properties. The Lummi Nation determined not to enter in an agreement to mitigate the damage based on the principle that monetary value cannot be placed on our cultural history."