Skip to content

15th Annual Vine Deloria, Jr. Indigenous Studies Symposium 

May 17 & 18, 2019

All Our Relations: Relationships, Reciprocity, Rights, and Resistance

“Redefining natural resource management as relatives.”

2019 Keynote Speaker:


Tsi’li’xw  Chief Bill James

Tsi’li’xw is a Master Weaver and Lummi Nation’s Hereditary Chief. His uncles, born in the later 1800s, were his earliest guides on ancestral wisdom. Through subtle means, they taught him how to interpret the everyday banal as sacred by listening to the world. From this listening place, the land, the sky and sea unfolded as the “Ancient Ones”.

Tsi’li’xw’s mother, Fran James came from a long line of basket weavers and has been one of the most well-known weavers of the Pacific Northwest. Together, Tsi’li’xw and Fran inspired many young people to take-up basketry, and are credited with reviving and continuing the traditional weaving skills of the Lummi people. Their work can be found in many art and museum collections, including Seattle’s Burke Museum. In 1991, Tsi’li’xw and Fran were awarded the Peace and Friendship Award from the Washington State Capitol Museum for their contributions to Lummi culture.

As the keynote, Chief Tsi’lixw will engage with the theme of the ‘All My Relatives’ and discuss the importance of the relatives under the water, the Blackfish or Orcas.