The Lummi Stommish Water Festival, in Lummi, Washington, a three-day festival that celebrates the Lummi Indian Nation’s veterans, is June 10 –12.
Events include a pow wow, war canoe races, carnival, royalty pageant, Sla-hal bone game tournament, Stommish Idol, and the Kwina Mile, a one-mile run to determine who is the “world’s fastest Lummi.”
The Stommish Idol judges will be Suzette Amaya, Kwakwak’wakw/Cree/Nisga’a/Coast Salish, of Samaya Entertainment; and First Ladyz Crew, a group of First Nations singers from lower mainland British Columbia.
Stommish was first celebrated after World War II to honor returning service men and women, but is now an annual gathering and celebration of Northwest Coast First Nations. Veterans are still honored each year.
According to the 1945 book “Indians in the War,” by the U.S. Department of Interior Office of Indian Affairs, two Lummi soldiers were killed in action in World War II: Charles Schultz Jr. in France and John H. Kittles in Italy. Five were injured: James R. Alexander in France, Howard A. George in Germany, Benjamin W. Hillaire in Germany, Anthony Jefferson in France, and Bert H. Jefferson and Forrest L. Kinley in the Philippines.
Alexander, a private first class, received the Silver Star. Bert Jefferson, a sergeant, and Pfc. August L. Smith, each received the Bronze Star. Staff Sgt. Earl M. Thomas received the Air Medal.