BELLINGHAM, Wash. — For generations the Noland family has led a troubled life on the Lummi Indian reservation here. The Nolands have struggled with alcohol, painkillers and, more recently, crack. Seven family members are now jailed, several for dealing drugs, on and off tribal land.
Their experience has been repeated hundreds of times on this sprawling, desperately poor reservation of 2,000 Lummi, where addiction and crime have become pervasive. It is the reason that the Lummi tribe has turned as a last resort to a severe and bygone punishment, seeking to banish five of the young men in jail and another recently released. It is also the reason for evicting Yevonne Noland, 48, the matriarch of the Noland clan, from her modest blue house on the reservation, because her son, a convicted drug dealer, was listed on the lease.