Our local grocery store is the water, said Shadrach Misanes, a Lummi fisherman. “We don’t realize how rich we are with the seafood out here.”

Looking for chum salmon under crisp, windy skies of an autumn late to arrive, Shadrach Misanes zigzags his boat away from shore, launching fishing nets into Lummi Bay, tucked in Washington’s northwest corner. With the lines set, Misanes, 28, waits for the buoys strung through the net to jerk. Seeing movement, he hurries over to pull a shimmering 5-pound fish from the water.

Until recently, Misanes’ catch would leave the Lummi Reservation, home to one of the original peoples inhabiting this coastline of the state’s coast. The seafood traditionally eaten by tribal members headed toward California or China where higher prices could be fetched. But this fall, some of Misanes’ salmon haul has stayed on the reservation, feeding neighbors as part of a pilot program that’s adding locally sourced food to the tribe’s food assistance program.



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