Controversy over the illegal desecration of a Cherry Point Native American archeological site omits a key fact: Cherry Point is still Lummi Indian land. While most mainstream media focuses on treaty fishing rights of Lummi Nation that would be impaired by the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, only Whatcom Watch in an article by Lummi scholar Jewell Praying Wolf James reveals the history of Cherry Point ownership.
Most significant, the Lummi people did not sign away Cherry Point in the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliot. Cherry Point was part of the original Lummi Reservation, not part of the lands ceded (not sold) under duress to the U.S. Government. Only in 1872 was Cherry Point illegally removed from the Lummi Reservation by Presidential Executive Order, in order for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to unlawfully sell the property to white squatters.
As one of the most important ancient Lummi village sites, Cherry Point ownership has been in dispute for 141 years.