Lummi Nation | KNKX

Lummi Nation

April Kowalski and Kendra Mylnechuk Potter meet for the first time since Kendra's birth in the Grove in Portland, OR in August 2016.
Brooke Swaney

They’re known as "the lost birds" – Native children who were adopted out of their tribal communities and placed with white families. Nearly 400 of these adoptions took place from 1958 to 1967 through a federal program called the Indian Adoption Project.

The ripple effects of that history is told in a new documentary about a mother and daughter with ties to the Lummi Nation, as they seek to connect with their Native identity.

Courtesy of Humanities WA

Washington has a new state poet laureate. Rena Priest officially took the mantle in a ceremony Wednesday evening, hosted at the Lummi Nation, where she is from.

Rena Priest, a member of the Lummi Nation and a Bellingham writer, has become the first Native American poet to serve as Washington state’s poet laureate.

Water moves through a spillway of the Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River near Almota, Washington. It is one of the four dams on the lower Snake River, which advocates have argued should be removed to provide better habitat for Chinook salmon.
Nicholas K. Geranios / The Associated Press

Tribal leaders from Washington and Oregon are calling on Congress and the Biden administration to remove the four dams on the Lower Snake River.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

She will be home in 2020.

That was the word from members of the Lummi Nation who have not given up on their efforts to free the captive Southern Resident orca some call "Lolita" from her cement tank at the Miami Seaquarium. A nonprofit law group has now joined the fight, bringing new legal tactics to the battle.

An orca is seen swimming free in the Salish Sea.
Photo by Katy Foster

UPDATE, Feb. 27, 2020: The Whale Sanctuary Project that was considering sites in Western Washington and British Columbia has announced it will not be setting up here anytime soon. It has chosen to start its work in Port Hilford, on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia. That location will be primarily dedicated to rehabilitating beluga whales that are retiring form marine parks and aquariums.

Raynell Morris, left, director of the Lummi Nation’s Sovereignty and Treaty Protection Office, listens as Lawrence Solomon (second from left), secretary of the Lummi Nation’s Business Council, announces the new name for the Southern Resident orcas.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Earlier this summer, the Lummi Nation came to Seattle and launched a campaign to protect and revitalize the Salish Sea. The tribe is based near Bellingham, at the heart of that body of water, which extends from Puget Sound to Desolation Sound in Canada and out past Vancouver Island into the Pacific Ocean.

A beachside ceremony during the Paddle to Lummi at Stommish Grounds on Saturday, July 27, 2019, near Bellingham, WA.
Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

Five days of inter-tribal festivities wrapped up over the weekend as the 2019 Paddle to Lummi came to an end. This year, nearly 100 canoes made their way to the shores of the Lummi Nation’s Stommish Grounds near Bellingham, for a celebration of unity and common causes.