By Lummi Nation
May 9, 2016
Lummi Nation responds to U.S. Army Corps’ decision on Gateway Pacific coal terminal Tribe praises Corps’ decision to uphold treaty rights by denying permit Bellingham, Wash.— The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) announced its decision today to deny Pacific International Terminals' application to build North America’s largest coal export terminal in the Lummi Nation’s treaty-protected fishing waters off Cherry Point. The statement below from Tim Ballew II, chairman of the Lummi Indian Business Council, can be quoted in full or in part.
This is a historic victory for treaty rights and the constitution. It is a historic victory for the Lummi Nation and our entire region. We are pleased to see that the Corps has honored the treaty and the constitution by providing a decision that recognizes the terminal’s impacts to our fishing rights. This decision is a win for the treaty and protects our sacred site.
Our ancient ones at Xwe'chieXen, Cherry Point, will rest protected. Because of this decision, the water we rely on to feed our families, for our ceremonies and for commercial purposes remains protected. But this is more than a victory for our people; it’s a victory for treaty rights. Treaty rights shape our region and nation.
As tribes across the United States face pressures from development and resource extraction, we’ll continue to see tribes lead the fight to defend their treaty rights and protect and manage their lands and waters for future generations.
The impact of a coal terminal on our treaty fishing rights would be severe, irreparable and impossible to mitigate. Today’s victory is monumental and the Corps followed a fair process defined by law to make the right decision. The Corps has honored the treaty between Lummi and the United States. We will always fight to protect Xwe'chieXen.