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Bellingham Chamber of Commerce

December 27, 1949

Judge N. B. Johnson, President
National Congress of American Indians
Claremore, Okla.

Dear Judge Johnson:

This year the National Congress of American Indians is to meet in Bellingham. We are doing everything we can to assist the Lummi Tribe in working out details to make this one of the outstanding conferences held by your organization in many years. We are sure that every delegate attending the Congress will have one of the best times he has ever had and see some of the most interesting attractions during the conference.

Recently we called on Mr. Herbert John, Regional Secretary of the National Conference, and explained to him our views and thinking in regard to the date of the Congress. We find that it has been set up during the month of August. We drew to the attention of the Lummi people the disadvantage of this August date. You perhaps realize that the Lummi Tribe for the most part derives its income and living from the fishing industry. The month of August is the peak of the salmon run for the Upper Puget Sound. To hold the convention in August would therefore be a tremendous burden upon the host tribe, The Lummis and was far as that is concerned, for other tribes nearby who will assist in the entertainment and act as hosts for the Congress.

Mr. Herbert John informs us that the August date has been set up but we, as a Chamber of Commerce, are hoping that arrangements have not advanced too far to change the date. We beg to suggest that the first week in June - from June 4th to 8th, inclusive - would be the most desirable time to hold this conference. During June is the time of the strawberry harvest and this county is the largest producer of strawberries in the eleven Western States. We feel that this would be one of the outstanding attractions for the delegates on their visit to our community. At this time also we have perfect June weather, with long days and an abundance of wild and natural flowers. The countryside at this time of year would be the most beautiful.

Our principal reason for corresponding with you, however, is to try and adjust the date so that it will be more fitting and give a greater opportunity to the tribes on Puget Sound and British Columbia to attend the Congress without giving up their most valuable time during the fishing season.

We urge you and members of the official staff give this thought proper consideration. We are suggesting dates from June 4th to 8th, inclusive, because at that time there are no conventions scheduled for Bellingham. The balance of the month of June and a great
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