Category Archives: Culture

The Lummi People are Fighting to Preserve Their Heritage: Fishing

Like all Coast Salish tribes, the Lummi identify as ‘salmon people’… Yet over the past century, global warming, habitat destruction, pollution, shipping traffic and other factors have decimated the Pacific salmon population. So Lummi fishers have turned, with some reluctance, to crab and shellfish for sustenance and income.” T. Kim, The New York Times, Oct 23, 2021

Photographs by Damon Winter – The New York Times

Excerpt: Can This Tribe of ‘Salmon People’ Pull Off One More Win? By E. Tammy Kim, Photographs by Damon Winter, The New York Times, October 23, 2021

“One afternoon this August, I boarded the Salish Sea, a crabbing boat named after the inland ocean that gives the Washington State coastline its defining divot. Dana Culaxten Wilson, one of the most prolific fishers in the Lummi Nation, and his crew of two were on their final outing of a 30-hour ‘crab opening,’ a period approved for tribal commercial crabbing…Colorful buoys marking crab pots dotted the sound.

Dana Culaxten Wilson and his grandson pulling crab pots. Photo- Damon Winter

Mr. Wilson and his crew — his grandson and an old friend — used a pulley to hoist the pots, then shook their skittering contents into a bin; they sorted the red-orange heap and transferred larger crabs into a barrel for sale…Crab and shellfish have become important sources of income and sustenance for the Lummi as fish stocks have declined. Words like adaptation and resilience are often used to discuss our response to accelerating climate change. They also describe, and terribly understate, what the Lummi and other Native peoples have had to do to survive.

Photo-Damon Winter

Time and again, the Lummi have confronted existential threats and built broad, unlikely coalitions with environmental activists and white fishers…But there is always a new threat in the congested waterways of the Pacific Northwest: The tribe must now persuade the Canadian government not to expand a shipping port into the Salish Sea.

The Lummi do not use nets when fish show signs of distress. Photo- Damon Winter

Lummi citizens speak of life ‘pre-contact’: the land, community and traditions their ancestors enjoyed before colonization in what is now Washington and British Columbia. The bloody history of settlement broke up this way of life, but the Lummi did everything they could to retain their right to fish…The Lummi have done what they can to bring the salmon back.”

To Learn more about The Lummi visit Tribalpedia

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Vice President Kamala Harris Featured Speaker at 2021 NCAI convention

“Tribal leaders heard Harris’ and President Joe Biden’s commitment to tribal sovereignty that included a big announcement.” ICT-October 12, 2021

Vice President Kamala Harris gives speech at the 78th Annual National Congress of American Indians. in Washington DC Photo- Jourdan B. Begays, Indian Country Today. October 12, 2021

Excerpt: “Harris said the Biden/Harris administration is renegotiating the memorandum of agreement on Public Law 477. This plan was established in 1992 under President George H. W. Bush.”

See Vice President’s Harris’ speech here:

Read more about Public Law 477 here.

The Resistance of Celebrating Christopher Columbus Continues

“Christopher Columbus undoubtedly changed the world. But was it for the better?” History Editors, updated, October 9, 2020

Lovella Black Bear, left, holds a sign calling for the abolishment of Columbus Day during a 2015 demonstration for Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson:AP)


Excerpt: Why Columbus Day Courts Controversy,, October 2020 “More than 500 years after he ‘discovered’ the New World—kicking off centuries of exploration and colonization of the Americas—Christopher Columbus is honored with a federal holiday on the second Monday of every October.

However, as historians have continued to dig into the life of Christopher Columbus, controversy has arisen over continuing to honor the Italian explorer as a hero. Like many European explorers, Christopher Columbus encountered indigenous people throughout his voyages.

Spaniards enslaving the Native Americans. Universal History Archive:UIG:Getty Images

There are three main sources of controversy involving his interactions with the indigenous people he labeled ‘Indians’: the use of violence and slavery, the forced conversion of native peoples to Christianity and the introduction of a host of new diseases that would have dramatic long-term effects on native people in the Americas.

On his first day in the New World, he ordered six of the natives to be seized, writing in his journal that he believed they would be good servants. Throughout his years in the New World, Columbus enacted policies of forced labor in which natives were put to work for the sake of profits.

California Natives gather in front of City Hall to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day. October 14, 2019, Los Angeles, California. (Photo courtesy of Helena Tsosie)

Later, Columbus sent thousands of peaceful Taino ‘Indians’ from the island of Hispaniola to Spain to be sold. Many died en route…Eventually, his methods and actions caught up with Columbus. A number of settlers lobbied against him at the Spanish court, accusing Columbus of mismanagement…This historical record has cast Columbus’ legacy under a cloud of controversy. Protests at Columbus Day parades, efforts to eliminate him from classroom curricula and calls for changing the federal holiday have all followed.”

Additional Activities/Information

Indigenous Peoples’ Celebration

“Celebrate Indigenous art and culture at the Heard Museum. A visit to the museum is a perfect way to support American Indian artists, musicians, filmmakers, writers and chefs. Join us for this special day during which we honor the vitality, beauty and diversity of American Indian people.” The Heard Museum

9 Things to Do on Indigenous Peoples Day!

“Christopher Columbus did not “discover” America. Today, let’s remember and celebrate the Peoples who were here first!

“Over 130 states, cities and universities across the United States have voted to stop recognizing “Columbus Day” in favor of Indigenous Peoples Day, shifting the holiday’s focus from Columbus to the people he encountered in the New World and their modern-day descendants.”  Cultural

Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day!

“It’s time to move beyond the falsehoods of Columbus Day!”

“The United States is grappling with the legacy of slavery, systemic racism, and oppression. This requires us, as responsible citizens, to reflect on our own lives, and question our long-held assumptions. We need, furthermore, to intentionally support efforts to dismantle the stereotypes and bigotry ingrained in our country’s history and culture.” CommonWealthMagazine


Minneapolis March for Slain Boarding School Children

“On Friday, hundreds of people marched in solidarity as part of the boarding school survivor and victim memorial event in Minneapolis. Crowds marched through Southside neighborhoods to raise awareness of the legacy of boarding schools that is still felt in the American Indian community today.”  D. Thompson, September 25, 202

Participants hold signs in the Boarding School Survivor and Victim Memorial March in Minneapolis on Friday, September 24, 2021. (Photo/Darren Thompson for Native News Online.)

Excerpt: In Minneapolis, a March for Boarding School Victims and Survivors, By  Darren Thompson, September 25, 202

“The march was organized by the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center and sponsored by the Minneapolis American Indian Center, Tiwahe Foundation, Ain Dah Yung, the Lower Phalen Creek Project, and other American Indian community organizations in the Twin Cities area…Prior to the march, crowds met in the Little Earth neighborhood on Minneapolis’s Southside and listened to speakers share their experiences attending boarding school.”

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Native Book Tell What it Feels like Growing Up in the Inner City

“In a new memoir, Winnipeg environmental activist Clayton Thomas-Muller details what life was like growing up as an Indigenous youth in Winnipeg’s inner city.” Darrell Stranger, September 9, 2021, ICT

Novel- Life in the City of Dirty Water by Clayton Thomas-Muller. (Screen grab, APTN National News)


Excerpt:  Life in the City of Dirty Water ties together his stories of survival with his stories of defending lands against various pipelines.

‘There’s a lot there you know but it’s a story of my life. But you know it’s a shared experience I think that many Native people you know have gone through,’ Thomas-Muller said.

He faced family violence, poverty, racism and eventually ended up in juvenile detention.

This memoir details how he escaped from those troubles once he embraced his culture’s rituals and reconnected with the land…He hopes the book can help non-Indigenous people understand the hardships some Indigenous people like him face.

‘There’s a lot of things that people can do and I hope that Life in the City of Dirty Water inspires both Native and non-Native people you know to come together and understand each other, maybe a little bit more, have a little bit more empathy, little more kindness, and most importantly that it activates people and normalizes conversations about some pretty tough topics,’ he said.”

Life in the City of Dirty Water can be purchased wherever books are sold as well as online.

Navajo Nation Communities Have Increased COVID Spread…President Nez Takes Action

“The Navajo Nation on Monday reported 17 new COVID-19 cases, but no additional deaths for the second consecutive day…Based on cases from Aug. 13-16, the Navajo Department of Health has issued an advisory notice for 36 communities due to uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. NM, August 31, 2021

Excerpt:  36 Navajo Nation communities have uncontrolled COVID spread, New Mexico News, August 31, 2021

“President Jonathan Nez has said all Navajo Nation executive branch employees will need to be fully vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19 by the end of September or be required to submit to regular testing.

The new rules apply to full, part-time and temporary employees, including those working for tribal enterprises like utilities, shopping centers and casinos.

Any worker who does not show proof of vaccination by Sept. 29 must be tested every two weeks or face discipline.”

For more info Visit: The Navajo Nation Government

Category: Culture