Ryan Zinke

Press Release: Whatcom County Citizen calls for House Committee on Ethics Investigation into Congressman Ryan Zinke

March 16, 2016 | Press Release, Coal Stop
Whatcom County Citizen calls for House Committee on Ethics Investigation into Congressman Ryan Zinke 

(Bellingham, WA) March 16, 2016 – Today, Blaine, Washington resident Sandy Robson, sent a certified letter to thezinke official photo United States House Committee on Ethics, calling upon the committee to open an investigation into Congressman Ryan Zinke (R-MT), for potentially violating the United States House of Representatives Code of Official Conduct.

News media in Billings, Montana and Bellingham, Washington, reported that Congressman Zinke had sent a March 15, 2016 letter to Glenn Fine, the Acting Inspector General at the Department of Defense (DoD), asking for an official DoD investigation into Colonel John G. Buck, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Seattle District, relating to his responsibilities on the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT).

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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. 

elliot-plaque

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…)