Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bellingham Bound

Tomorrow I am taking a bunch of high schoolers on a trip up to the Lummi reservation outside Bellingham, Washington for a week of service and learning about tribal culture. This means no blog posts for a week (it would be rude to sit there typing after I have forbidden them from using their own electronic devices during community time). It will likely, however, provide some rich fodder for contemplation once I return.

The Lummi are a people with a deep connection to the sea. They had a historically vibrant canoe culture that they have taken remarkable strides to reclaim in recent years. They have many of the same problems that characterize reservation communities across the nation, but their residence in the far north of Washington state has introduced for them some additional issues of imposed national boundaries and disrupted networks of affiliation (other borderland tribes have dealt with similar issues). Too often their stories are not told; their experiences are not understood; their existence is invisible to "mainstream" society. Here's hoping it is a week of illumination for 9 great kids (and 2 brave [crazy?] chaperones).

So: more later.

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