Monday, October 13, 2014
Friday, October 3, 2014
Inter-faith statement of solidarity with Lummi Nation
Respect for sacred places is intrinsic in most religious traditions, often at places where a sense of the divine was manifested or experienced. Sacred sites for Christians in Jerusalem include the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the traditional site of Jesus’ burial and resurrection. For Muslims, there is the Dome of the Rock where the prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven. For Jews, there is the area associated with the second temple including the Temple Mount.
There are countless examples on all continents. Buddhists hold as holy the places where Buddha was born, enlightened, and died. The Ganges River is sacred to Hindus. Shinto shrines throughout Japan are used for the safekeeping of sacred objects as well as marking sacred spaces. Phiphidi is part of a network of sacred sites in South Africa. Right here in Whatcom County the Lummi Nation’s sacred sites are thousands of years old.
More recently, sites in the US are considered sacred where there have been mass deaths including Gettysburg in PA, Hawaii's World War II Memorials, and Ground Zero in NYC, which have pivotal meaning for a whole nation.
Cemeteries are hallowed places for Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and Muslims. Hindus burn their dead and pour their ashes into the sacred Ganges River. Even among the secular there are the burial places of historical heroes and of fallen soldiers. Sacred are the memories of loved ones who have passed from this life. There is a strong moral presumption to oppose disrupting any of these sites and the sacred meanings attached to them.
We are deeply indebted to the Lummi and other indigenous peoples for reminding us that we are part of a living, dynamic cosmos. Creation has a dignity and purpose that goes beyond human quests for economic gain. We violate this when we refuse to accept the limits of Creation and our responsibilities to it, or when we are complicit in practices that result in the further destruction of the wellbeing of the creation for all.
We pray for help to see this beloved garden in the same way as our Lummi neighbors do—as sacred ground, sacred water, sacred air, mother of us all.
Thus, as people of faith, we stand in solidarity with the Lummi Nation in opposing any developments that disrupt their sacred lands and waters at Cherry Point.
August 14, 2013 For further information, contact Deb Cruz (email@example.com ) or Rev. Karen Bloomquist (firstname.lastname@example.org)
TO HONOR THE LUMMI NATION'S
SACRED LANDS AND WATERS OF CHERRY POINT
WHEREAS - The Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship affirms and promotes the inherent worth and dignity of all people, the goal of world community with equity, peace, liberty and justice for all, and the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part; and
WHEREAS – We recognize the Lummi Nation as the descendants of one of several original First Nation communities inhabiting, for many, many generations, the land and waters of this area, now known as the Salish Sea; and
WHEREAS - That the First Nations’ cultural tenets include the preserving, protecting and promoting their way of life and how that means protecting the land, waters, plant life, air and animals who share it and upon which they depend; and
WHEREAS – The First Nations’ right to reserve the use and protection of those lands, fresh water, the ocean nearby, and the natural products and resources which may be derived from those places is a right that is guaranteed by conscience, treaty and law; and
WHEREAS – We recognize how vulnerable these gifts of natural resources are and how easily they can become exploited, severely harmed and depleted by forces who do not share First Nations’ worldview; and
WHEREAS – That urban and industrial occupation and use of those historical lands and waters, will destroy the natural remains of those tribal histories, and cause unrecoverable losses; and
WHEREAS – We further recognize the Lummi Nation know the lands and waters of Xwe’chi’eXen (known to us as Cherry Point) to be sacred lands and waters associated with their Creation Story, known to them as “the home of the ancient ones,” are the ancestral burial grounds for their People and they have a promise and duty to protect and preserve these sacred spaces; and
WHEREAS – The Lummi Nation have a history of opposing development of their cultural, historic and spiritual lands and waters, known to them as Xwe’chi’eXen, Cherry Point.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT - The Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, a caring and spiritual organization, pledges its support to the Lummi Nation in protecting their sacred lands and waters based on our Unitarian Universalist Principles; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT - We propose and support the rejection of all industrial, commercial and residential uses of the remaining natural lands and waters on and adjacent to Cherry Point; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT – We will encourage members to request that the current legislative bodies with jurisdiction over all industrial, commercial and residential uses of the remaining natural lands on or adjacent to Cherry Point, rule that such uses are not and shall not be permitted; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT - We will encourage members to request that the current legislative bodies with jurisdiction over all industrial, commercial and residential uses of the remaining and connecting waters near Cherry Point, including the rivers and creeks, the nearshore and the offshore waters, rule that such uses are not and shall not be permitted, except for the use of potable water for consumption by the people, on and near such waters, so long as such use does not harm or threaten the existing natural community’s reliance on the same resources; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT - We will actively encourage our membership to engage in activities and events, supported by the Lummi Nation, that could prevent or assist in deterring significant damage to these sacred lands and waters on and adjacent to Cherry Point; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT - We will actively encourage our membership to engage in activities and events, supported by the Lummi Nation, that will work to educate the surrounding community as to the importance of preserving and restoring the lands and waters on and adjacent to Cherry Point.
by the Social Justice Committee of Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship
on the date: 5th of May, of the year 2013.
by the Annual General Meeting of the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship,
on the date: 19 May, of the year 2013