Coast Salish Speaker presentation

Submitted by the Lopez Island Library

The Lopez Island Library and the San Juan Islands National Monument are pleased to announce the date for the fourth and final speaker in the 2019 Coast Salish Speaker Series. On Thursday, August 22nd at 6:30pm at the Lopez Center for Community and the Arts, we welcome documentary filmmaker from the Lummi tribe, Althea Wilson. Wilson will be screening her film “Revitalizing Cultural Knowledge and Honoring Sacred Waters,” which documents the oral history of the Lummi people who fished and lived at the mouth of the Nooksack River. The film focuses primarily on life in the Lummi fishing villages on the banks of the Nooksack River between 1925 and 1967. The film’s intent is to contribute to the preservation of knowledge and to share the story of the Nooksack River, and its continued significance to the Lummi People, who still fish and hold sacred the land at the river mouth. Much attention has been paid to the significance of the Salish Sea to Coast Salish tribes, but less is known and acknowledged about what a spiritual, cultural, and life-sustaining resource the Nooksack River has been. The documentary was initiated as Althea Wilson’s capstone project for her Bachelor of Science in Native Environmental Studies at the Northwest Indian College in 2017. The program on August 22nd will include the screening of the 41-minute documentary film, and a conversation between Althea Wilson and other Lummi women featured in the film.

The 2019 Coast Salish Speaker Series is an inter-island educational project focusing on connecting the current residents of and visitors to the San Juan Islands with the Native history and ongoing cultural connections to this region. It is a collaborative endeavor amongst the Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Islands’ public libraries and the San Juan Islands National Monument. After her presentation at the Lopez Center, Althea Wilson will travel to San Juan and Orcas Islands to present at their respective public libraries. The Speaker Series is a project funded largely by the San Juan County Lodging Tax grant, and co-sponsored by the Friends of the Lopez Library and the San Juan Islands National Monument. For any questions about the series, please contact Malia Sanford at