WWU requests funding from Whatcom County Council for Longhouse
Whatcom County Council is considering a request from Western Washington University for $75,000 in funding for the creation of a traditional Coast Salish style Longhouse.
The council unanimously offered verbal support for the project at their meeting Tuesday, Feb. 22. Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu said it is up to the council to approve an upcoming proposal to use the heritage building fund to fulfill the request, which will likely happen in March.
“We, meaning Western, are the only university on the I-5 corridor that at present does not have a cultural gathering place for Indigenous people. This Longhouse — House of Healing — will have a powerful impact, I believe, on the recruitment and retention of Native students and it will promote cultural sovereignty and a sense of place and belonging for Native students, faculty and staff and for our neighboring Tribal communities,” WWU President Sabah Randhawa told the council.
The Longhouse has garnered endorsement from Lummi Nation, Nooksack, Samish, Jamestown S’Klallam, Stillaguamish, Suquamish and the Swinomish Tribes, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and the city of Bellingham