Lummi Nation take on ferry chronology

Thanks to Jared for posting the Lummi Nation’s recent “Chronology of Lummi Island Ferry” and other recent documents and stories on the Bellingham Herald.  (Click here for links to 2 more Whatcom County documents from 1982 and 1982 re: Gooseberry Pt)

Now what’s needed is for some enterprising person (we can’t rely on anyone in the County gov. to do this) to add in all the missing pieces.  It’s said that history is written by ‘the winners’ — if we leave this As Is to become The Ferry Story, we deserve whatever we get.

One thought on “Lummi Nation take on ferry chronology

  1. 1998: The Lummi Nation notifies Whatcom County Executive that the parties should start
    negotiating terms for a new agreement, primarily because the 1988 lease agreement was not signed
    by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. County indicated that they would like to begin renegotiations of the lease during 2005.

    I was involved quite heavily during this period of time and can provide some of the inside politics that were going on at the time. After all “its all about politics”
    This was the first time the Tribe threatened publicly (herald) NOT to renew the lease. The discussion of the boat traveling to Fairhaven at the time would have impacted the least of the Tribes members (the children), however the Tribe did not realize that when the threat was conveyed.
    I met with Ron Cowan of the Ferndale School district and asked him what the financial impact to the school district would be if the Lummi Islands school tax revenue were to follow the ferry to Bellingham. Mr. Cowan informed me that the impact would be huge for the district but if would also impact the Tribe. Evidently at that time the Tribe was receiving a significant amount of money from the Ferndale school district. The districts revenue loss would have impacted funding of the Tribes education program had the ferry gone to Bellingham and the district lost the Lummi Islands tax base.

    Roger Lehnert (Ferndale Superintendent) had discussions with the Tribe in regards to the impacts and possibilities of the boat traveling to Fairhaven. Shortly after those discussions the Tribe said they would work with Whatcom County. Mr Kremen took credit for the Tribe backing down, but really he did dilly squat.
    It is my opinion that Mr. Kremen bumbled a great opportunity to leverage negotiations. It is my understanding funding for Tribes education system has changed. The ferry trip to Bellingham has an insignificant impact today in regards to funding of the Tribes educational system.

    Art Thomas

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