2013 Totem Pole Journey: Petition

Kwel hoy’ / We Draw the Line

I am signing this petition because I, too, draw the line.  I oppose coal export from Cherry Point/Xwe’chi’eXen. The Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT)  would negatively affect communities all the way from the mines in the Powder River Basin to the Salish Sea. The transportation requirements –hauling the coal by train and then shipping it on bulk carriers–  pose numerous threats to livelihoods, economies, sacred landscapes, treaty rights, environments, public health and regional identity.

Lummi Nation is at ground zero of this struggle, as the proposed GPT coal port would be built directly on and operate through sacred lands and waters. Xwe’chi’eXen is a burial ground: it is, for Lummi Nation, like Arlington or Jerusalem. It is spiritually and culturally unacceptable to disrupt and degrade this landscape .

Further, the fisheries and treaty rights of all Coast Salish tribes are at risk by proposed coal export. The Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve hosts important fisheries and provides vital habitat for herring, salmon and crab.  Treaties are “the supreme law of the land” and must be honored.

Coal mining devastates the earth,fugitive coal dust contains toxic heavy metals, and coal combustion causes sickness and death in people and ecosystems alike. Carbon emissions from coal burning contribute to climate change, the risks and damages of which are scientifically proven. It is morally unacceptable to engage in behavior that causes and will continue to suffering on a grand scale.

Therefore, I stand with Lummi Nation, with the Coast Salish peoples, with all the Tribes along the proposed coal transportation corridor in protecting their sacred landscapes and treaty rights. I stand with the ranchers and farmers, the fishermen,  the businessmen, the taxpayers , the parents and children, the people of faith and all others who oppose GPT on economic, quality of life, public health, natural resource, cultural, moral and sacred grounds. We draw the line.