In 2008, the decline of the Fraser River sockeye salmon was declared a commercial fishing disaster, according to the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.
In October 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded the first part of a National Emergency Grant, approximately $3.4 million, to the Lummi Nation to help the 300 tribal fishermen affected by fishing industry layoffs in Bellingham, Washington. Of the initial grant money, roughly $848,000 was released to serve about 300 workers struggling to make ends meet. Since then, additional fishermen have lost their jobs. An increment grant from the Labor Department of about $2.5 million will provide employment-related services to the total 443 Lummi fishermen who have lost their jobs or are without work.
“The additional federal funds awarded today to the Lummi Nation will enable these dislocated workers to continue to receive critical job training and placement services,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis in a statement. “This assistance will help qualify and connect these workers with jobs in growing local industries.”
This grant provides dislocated worker services such as literacy education, basic skills training, career counseling, resume writing, on-the-job training and preparation for professional certifications.
National Emergency Grants, part of the secretary of labor’s discretionary fund, are awarded based on a state’s ability to meet specific guidelines. For more information, visit http://www.doleta.gov/NEG/.