Sii’am e ne schaleche
Our hearts are heavy with the loss of our Lummi Nation Chief Si’am Tsi’li’xw our respected elder, Oksale (teacher), relative, friend, and mentor. At the age of 75 our beloved Chief Tsi’li’xw, William (Bill) James, passed away on Monday, June 1, 2020 at his home, surrounded by his family. He was born in Bellingham, WA in 1944 to the late Frances (auntie Fran) James (Lane) and Norbert James Jr. Tsi’li’xw was recognized by the Lummi Nation as our hereditary Chief in 2010. He lived up to his responsibilities as our Chief every day, responding with kindness to each request for time, information, and guidance. He cared deeply for our Nation and our people. He dedicated his life to learning from his elders about our history, language, and our Schelangen (way of life). He knew the importance of capturing the life experiences and knowledge of our ancestors to pass down for generations to come to sustain our way of life. He considered Michael Lane and Laura Williams as his son and daughter. He is survived by numerous relatives and friends. Our loved one was a proud member of the Lummi Nation and proud descendant of the Duwamish people and Penelakut Kuper Island people. A funeral service will be held at Lummi Nation School at Blackhawk field on Friday, June 5, at 10:00am. Burial to follow at Lummi Nation Cemetery.