Tuesday, September 19, 2017 This Week's Paper
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Now more than ever, honest conversations around the issue of race and racism is needed. With high profile police shootings of people of color, as well as rhetoric from the new presidential administration regarding the Latino, Black and Muslim communities, thoughtful response from the Tacoma communities of faith is being mobilized.
Personal stories are a way to engage people, educate others and bring a human face to an issue that is difficult to talk about. An interfaith, intergenerational and multiracial coalition has organized the second of a series of storytelling events on Tacoma’s Hilltop.
“TELLING OUR OWN STORIES: Stories of How Race Has Affected Me” is the second installment of a series of storytelling conversations presented by Conversations Around Race, a coalition of four Tacoma-area Christian churches and a Buddhist temple. Led by both clergy and laypersons, this action committee has worked together for six years.
“TELLING OUR OWN STORIES: Stories of How Race Has Affected Me" will take place on Friday, Feb. 3, at the Tacoma Urban League Building, 2550 S. Yakima Ave., Tacoma, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free admission, refreshments will be served. Ric Rios, Latino immigrant, will be the host and storytellers will include Sheikh Pasha, local Muslim leader; Kimi Irene Ginn, African American businesswoman; and Andrea Garcia, Latina immigrant.

Treaty tribes across Washington today announced their emphatic opposition to a bill that attempts to reverse the recent expansion of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.
Tribal leaders from the Lummi Nation, Tulalip Tribes, Makah Tribe, Nisqually Indian Tribe, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Spokane Tribe of Indians, and Cowlitz Indian Tribe all testified at a hearing on the bill (SB 5171) in Olympia on Jan. 24.
“This bill not only attempts to circumvent our treaty rights, but it attempts to undo the thoughtful, deliberate process and decision reached by the Commissioner of Public Lands,” said Timothy Ballew II, chairman of the Lummi Indian Business Council. “We strongly oppose this new legislation, which would harm our people and culture.”
The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Parks held a hearing Jan. 24 on the bill, which is sponsored by Senator Doug Erickson of the 42nd district. The bill would rescind the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) decision this month to expand the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve in Bellingham by 45 acres.
Announcing the expansion Jan. 3, former Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said expanding the reserve was in the best long-term interest of Puget Sound, Columbia River and the people of Washington.
Prior to its decision, DNR received more than 5,000 comments in support of expanding the reserve; only 10 were submitted opposing.
The expanded reserve includes an area that was previously intended for the Gateway Pacific Terminal, a project that in May was denied permitting by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because of the adverse impacts it would have on the Lummi Nation’s treaty fishing rights.
“Senate Bill 5171 jeopardizes Washington treaty tribes’ rights to fish in usual and accustomed places,” said Melvin Sheldon, chairman of the Tulalip Tribes. “We applaud DNR’s decision to honor our treaties, and we stand united with our fellow tribes in opposition to this legislation.”

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