Last modified: 2010-11-06 by rick wyatt
Keywords: lummi | washington | native american |
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image by Donald Healy, 13 January 2008
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Lummi - Washington
Located in northwest Washington State is the Lummi Reservation, home to the Coastal Salish Lummi people. They share this 7,678-acre homeland with the Nooksack Nation, another branch of the Coastal Salish (NAA, 285). The Lummi number about 1,000 and have lived there for hundreds of years, developing - along with their Salish cousins - a culture rich in art and design that recalls their sophisticated heritage of coastal seamanship (ENAT, 164-166).
© Donald Healy 2008
Their flag reflects a tradition among the Coastal Salish Nations to unite their distinctive art with their long association with the fishing industry (Letter, Cu-Se-Ma-At [Cathy Ballew], 16 June 1995) [see Quinalt, Upper Skagit].
The white flag has "LUMMI NATION" across the top and "TREATY OF 1855" across the bottom, all in black. The violations of that treaty, signed by most tribes in what today is the state of Washington, led to the long Yakima Wars. The black-edged oval seal of the Lummi people, centered on the flag, depicts an eagle in traditional Salish style in black, white, yellow, and red (seal provided by Squoi Quoi, Lummi newspaper). Central to many Native American cultures, these colors recall the four cardinal directions and are frequently associated with the four races of mankind [see Miccosukee].
A closer examination of the eagle, a symbol of strength and freedom, reveals a compelling reference to the traditional fishing lifestyle of the Lummi. Its upward-pointing wings form two Salish-style orcas, or killer whales, for centuries an important food source for the Lummi and an equally important focus of their tribal fishing heritage.
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 13 January 2008