American Indian Responses to
Environmental Challenges

Lummi Nation
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Meet the People

The Lummi refer to themselves as the Lhaq’temish, or People of the Sea. For centuries, their culture and survival have depended on the annual migrations of salmon.

Key Terms

  • BIA

    Bureau of Indian Affairs—as provided by the constitution of the United States, treaties, court decisions and federal statutes, the government agency that provides services directly to federally recognized tribes.

  • Boldt Decision

    Historic ruling issued by federal judge George Boldt in 1974 upholding the treaty-based rights of Washington’s Indian tribes to fish in accustomed places. The Boldt Decision assigned half of the annual catch to treaty tribes and limited fishing by non-Indians.

  • Gaff hook

    A tool consisting of a large metal hook with a handle or pole, used to pull in large fish.

  • Reservation

    An area of land reserved in treaty negotiations for the exclusive use of an Indian tribe.

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Explore: Territory Maps

Map of North America Map of Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest Historic Lummi territory in Washington state and British Columbia Today's Lummi reservation

Where the Lummi are Located

Puget Sound and the Northwest Coast: Puget Sound, located on the Pacific Northwest coast, is the traditional home to many Native peoples, including the Lummi Nation. It is a land and sea area rich in natural resources.

Historical Lummi Territory: Before the arrival of Europeans, Lummi lands included much of today's western Washington State and British Columbia, Canada. The Lummi travelled and traded across a much larger area than shown here.

Lummi Reservation: In the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott with the United States, the Lummi handed over most of their vast traditional territory. The treaty reserved about 20,000 acres for Lummi use.

North America
Northwest Coast
Historic Lummi
Lummi Today
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Try These Questions

How did the Lummi use the many cedar trees on their lands to meet their needs?
Cedar basket
A) They used the bark to weave baskets.
Shovel-nosed canoe
B) They used the wood to carve shovel-nosed canoes.
Cedar rope
C) They wove the bark into rope and fishing nets.
All of the above
D) All of the above
Read Article 5 of the Treaty of Point Elliott, then answer this question:
What rights does the treaty article guarantee to the Lummi?
A) Hunt, fish, or farm anywhere they choose
B) Fish in the places they have been accustomed to fishing
C) Take shellfish from people who have raised them
Read the text to the Lummi national anthem. What does the anthem tell you about Lummi culture?
A) There is a shared sense of purpose.
B) Lummi people are a nation.
C) Lummi people are proud of their heritage and community.
D) All of the above
Submit your answer

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Take Notes for Story Project


Take notes and save images to help answer these questions. Your images and notes will be saved to the Story Project where you can use them to create your own slideshow.