Cherry Point

Forwarding racism: The Northwest Jobs Alliance

March 3, 2016  by Dena Jensen

nwja memo disclaimer

This is one of those stories that gradually unfolds to its stomach-turning conclusion. I will be walking you through it step by step, so bear with me.

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Members of Congress seek to undermine Lummi Nation’s request to the Army Corps for immediate GPT permit denial

Totem Pole at northern plains

The 22-foot western cedar totem pole, which features animals and symbols important to the Northern Cheyenne people was created by Master Carver and Lummi Elder Jewell James and the House of Tears carvers, of the Lummi Nation. The totem pole is a gift from the Lummi Nation to members of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe in southeast Montana as a symbol of solidarity between two tribes whose homelands are threatened by proposed coal export projects. A dedication ceremony for the totem pole was held on January 22, 2016, outside the Northern Plains Resource Council building in Billings, Montana, where the totem pole will stand until a more permanent home is found on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Photo courtesy of the Northern Plains Resource Council.

by Sandy Robson

Author’s note:  Today, one hundred and sixty-one years ago, the Treaty of Point Elliott was signed on January 22, 1855, by Isaac Stevens, then-Governor of Washington Territory, and by Duwamish Chief Seattle, Lummi Chief Chow-its-hoot, Snoqualmie Chief Patkanim, and other chiefs, subchiefs, and delegates of tribes, bands, and villages. 

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Elliott Treaty monument in Mukilteo, WA

In my endeavor to honor today’s 161st anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Point Elliott, this piece brings attention to the disturbing fact that, presently, certain members of Congress are dishonoring that very same treaty as they seek to undermine it. 

Treaty rights of the Lummi people are secured to them by the U.S. federal government in the Treaty of Point Elliott. Specific to treaty fishing rights, is Article 5 of the Treaty provides that, “The right of taking fish from usual and accustomed grounds and stations is further secured to said Indians in common with all citizens of the Territory. . .” (more…)

What Do Coal Port Interests’ Clear Choices Mean?

by Sandy Robson

News broke this past weekend in Whatcom County about a last minute coal terminal-funded PAC, formed by Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) applicant Pacific International Terminals LLC, to support Charter Review Commission-generated Props 1, 2, and 3, and to oppose citizen-proposed Prop 9, placed on the November election ballot, via ordinance, by the Whatcom County Council. The PAC is named Clear Ballot Choices (Pacific International Terminals, LLC). (more…)

Coal’s dark alliance defames Lummi Nation: Native American treaty rights under attack

by Sandy Robson

owens at panel

Brad Owens speaking at the June 22, 2015 NWJA-sponsored event, “Rebuilding the Middle Class: Working Families and Wages in Northwest Washington and the State,” in Bellingham, WA.

On her September 12, 2015 program, Whatcom Tea Party board member and host for the weekly “Saturday Morning Live” (SML) talk radio show on KGMI, Kris Halterman, interviewed Northwest Jobs Alliance (NWJA) President Brad Owens. Halterman’s program afforded Owens a platform to promote the same idea that NWJA previously purported in its August 20, 2015 letter to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works). That idea advanced by NWJA in the letter, is that there is “an apparent motive behind the Lummi Nation’s opposition to the Gateway Pacific Terminal project (and completion of the EIS process) not connected with treaty rights.” [italicized emphasis theirs] (more…)

Creating something out of nothing: Craig Cole and the Northwest Jobs Alliance

by Dena Jensen

I have been re-reading this September 11, 2015 article in The Bellingham Herald, “Lummi tribe says talk of Cherry Point land grab is a fabrication,” about the recent (and to me, thoroughly sickening) actions of the Northwest Jobs Alliance (NWJA) which is an advocacy group for the proposed 48 million ton Gateway Pacific coal terminal (GPT) at Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point). (more…)

Mayor Gary Jensen’s Coal-Fired Pants

By Sandy Robson
mayors pants 2After reading their 2015 Whatcom County Voters’ Pamphlet, some voters could wonder if Port of Bellingham Commissioner candidate Gary Jensen’s pants are on fire. Current Ferndale Mayor Gary Jensen’s candidate statement in the “Whatcom County Official Local Voters’ Pamphlet” seems to be an odd manifesto which contradicts the mayor’s actions. (more…)

DOW SAYS IT IS ABOUT GPT: CHARTER REVIEW COMMISSION AMENDMENTS 1, 3, AND 10

by Sandy Robson

[Updated October 7, 2015: Since the publication date of this article, proposed Whatcom County Charter Amendments 1, 3, and 10 have been placed on the November 2015 Whatcom County general election ballot as Propositions 1, 2, and 3 respectively. Also, the Whatcom County Charter Review Commission made revisions to amendments 3 and 10 since the publication date of this article. The link to a list of the charter amendment propositions on the November 2015 Whatcom County general election ballot is:  http://www.whatcomcounty.us/1553/Proposed-Amendments]
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Whatcom County Charter Review Commissioner Chet Dow

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