Weekly Wednesday Weaving Workshops at Hibulb

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

The Hibulb Cultural Center and Museum hosts a lineup of classes that teach the Tulalip and Marysville communities about the traditional lifeways of the northwest Indigenous Peoples. Such classes include drum making, carving, beading, traditional flute demonstrations as well as storytelling and poetry nights. A series of classes that regularly attracts newcomers are the Weaving Gathering Workshops where participants learn how to weave an assortment of items including cedar baskets, loom blankets and regalia such as headbands, hats, neckties and purses.

The workshops are taught in an open-forum style class setting that encourages attendees to work on personal projects and visit while mastering the art of weaving. In preparation for the annual Treaty Days Commemoration, a group of dedicated weavers have been working persistently, meeting each week since December, to create headbands to gift to the speakers as well as the floor and table managers during the ceremony.

All ages are welcome to attend the weekly weaving sessions. The museum also invites weavers of any skill levels to participate during the gatherings. Cedar kits are available for purchase to help beginners get started.

“They’ll show anyone interested in learning, especially little kids. They’ll make little roses and small baskets with them,” says Hibulb Cultural Center Education Curator and Tulalip Weaver, Lena Jones. “It’s a place where people have the room and space to create whatever they want.”

The workshops are held every Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Hibulb Cultural Center Classrooms. For additional information please contact the museum at (360) 716-2600.

After suffering first L, Hawks bounce back with three Ws

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Heritage boys basketball team opened the season undefeated with a (9-0) record. As they powered through the NW1B league, so did league foe Cedar Park Christian (11-0). This set up a battle of the unbeaten on January 5 at Francy J. Sheldon gymnasium.

Cedar Park proved during the game that their bigger, stronger backcourt was able to keep Heritage off the boards and prevent them from attacking the basket. The Hawks had lots of difficulty manufacturing points in the 1st half and trailed 13-34 at halftime. In the 2nd half, the Hawks got back to running and playing their style, but their deficit was too large. Their winning streak was snapped with a 43-60 defeat.

Coming off their first loss of the season, the Hawks responded by putting up a season-high in points when they whooped Shoreline Christian, 87-53. They followed that up with a 70-32 blowout win over Providence Classical Christian.

Next up was rival Lummi Nation, in a home game played on Tuesday, January 16. With the gym packed full of fans for both sides, the environment was prime for a competitive game. Lummi came out with a solid game plan of slowing down the pace of play to throw the Hawks off their game. It worked over the first three quarters. The Hawks are so accustomed to playing up-tempo and using their combination of speed and athleticism to get transition buckets that Lummi’s slow, methodical pace gave them fits.

At the end of the 3rd quarter, the game was tied at 34-34. In the 4th quarter, the Hawks were finally able to bust the game open with their senior players leading the offensive charge. Josh Iukes hit two clutch 3-pointers and Nashone Whitebear scored 8 points in a four-minute frenzy, giving Tulalip the momentum to take home victory. Up by several baskets, Tulalip focused in on Lummi’s key scorer and prevented him from scoring down the stretch.

When the final game buzzer sounded, the Hawks had earned a hard fought 52-40 W. Josh led the Hawks in scoring with 13 points, while Nashone, Jr. Shay, and Rodney Barber each added 10 points.

The Hawks look to keep getting better in their half-court sets, as a looming matchup with Cedar Park on January 26 will surely go a long way to dictating who wins the NW1B crown. Next up for the Hawks is a road game at Lopez before returning home on Tuesday, January 23, for Senior Night versus Grace Academy.

Lady Hawks continue to soar

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The 3-game losing skid to begin the season has been all but forgotten for the Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks, who are currently in the midst of an impressive 10-game winning streak. During the streak, the Heritage squad has been employing a lethal two-pronged attack led by senior forward Deandra Grant owning the painted area and senior guard Keryn Parks attacking from the perimeter.

As the season has progressed, so have the shooting touches of guards Georgie Randall and Deachae Jones. With the role players accepting larger roles and knocking down clutch shots when Deandra and Keryn are double-teamed, the Lady Hawks have been dominant.

That dominance was on full display on January 5 when Heritage obliterated Cedar Park Christian, 68-9. The girls followed up with a 57-28 hammering of Shoreline Christian on January 9. Then archrival Lummi Nation came to town on Tuesday, January 16.

Lummi always plays Tulalip tough, and for a Lady Hawks team blowing out opponents left and right, a competitive game was much needed. In the 1st half, Lummi’s outside shooting took advantage of the Heritage zone defense and kept the game close. Leading by only 6 points at halftime, 32-26, the girls now had an opportune time to shift their game into the next gear.

In the 2nd half, Tulalip moved the ball exceptionally well and got lots of open looks from their key players. Deandra and Keryn did their work inside, while Georgie and Deachae knocked down big shots from long-distance. The team defense locked in on the Lummi shooters and did a much better job of contesting their jumpers. Heritage’s engaged play led to a 22-7 run spanning the final two quarters, allowing them to pull away for a 69-49 victory.

Keryn led all scorers with 21 points, Deandra added 20 points, and Georgie chipped in 18 points.

“At halftime, we talked about how Lummi was double teaming me and Keryn whenever we had the ball,” explained Deandra, who finished with a game-high 21 rebounds. “In the 2nd half, once we figured out how to play through those double teams by passing it around the perimeter, they couldn’t stop us. We picked up our pace and got more intense, too, which is how we want to play.”

“It’s always a rivalry with Lummi,” added Keryn. “They have some really good players who make us compete harder, which pushes me to do better. It’s been awesome seeing other girls raise their play, too. Georgie scoring 18 points was clutch for us. She’s a sharp shooter and the more we can get good looks for her, the better.”

The 20-point win over Lummi is just another in a series of blowouts the Lady Hawks have been notching during their 10-game winning streak. They will play one more home game on Tuesday, January 23, versus Grace Academy that will double as Senior Night.

Tulalip prepares for Treaty Days

“We honor the good intentions our ancestors had for us in negotiating and signing the treaty. I encourage young folks to listen to their elders when they talk about the treaty and our sovereignty. Understanding the treaty will help you understand the influence it has in every aspect of our lifeways. It accepts the fact that our people have the right to organize themselves, protect our way of life, and care for our resources. Our tribes have significant control of, and rights to, important natural resources such as fishing. As our language and culture become stronger, we are able to help others understand how to take care of the earth and one another.”
– Lena Jones

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Numerous northwest native nations including tribal leaders of the Snohomish, Lummi, Swinomish and Suquamish people met with Washington Territory Governor Isaac Stevens one hundred and sixty-three years ago this January 22. During this gathering, the Coast Salish people would sign the Point Elliott Treaty, which granted the United States Government an enormous area of land for white settlement that now makes up Washington’s King, Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties. The treaty also established the Tulalip, Port Madison, Swinomish and Lummi reservations. In exchange for ceding such a large portion of land, the tribes reserved the right to fish on their usual and accustomed grounds.

Tribal communities would face difficult years after the signing of the treaty, including the boarding school era. Fifty years after the signing of the Point Elliott Treaty of 1855, the Tulalip Indian Boarding School opened. Native children were forced to attend these schools to learn to live the new westernized lifestyle. The institutions were established to ‘civilize’ the Indigenous population, but while in the boarding schools the kids were often punished, physically and mentally, for speaking their traditional language and practicing their spiritual and cultural traditions.

During these times the U.S. Government outlawed traditions such as songs, dances and language that the Coast Salish tribes practiced for generations. Longhouses were demolished and modern day houses were erected on the reservations. The people were to learn the ways of agriculture to become farmers.

The people of the land were in the middle of forced assimilation when the last hereditary chief of the Snohomish, William Shelton, stepped in to save his people’s heritage. By convincing the right people, including the Tulalip Superintendent and the Secretary of Interior, to build a longhouse in Tulalip, William created a way for the tribes who signed the Point Elliott Treaty to practice their traditional ways of life once a year. William informed U.S. Government officials that the people would be celebrating the anniversary of the treaty, which they did. However, this short amount of time was often used to teach the younger generations their culture that seemed to be slipping away at an alarming rate. The annual gathering became known as Treaty Days, as the yearly potlatch often extends into the early morning of the following day. Though the horrific boarding school era has since passed and the practice of traditional lifeways are no longer punishable by law, the annual Treaty Days’ commemoration is still celebrated every January at the longhouse overlooking Tulalip Bay.

As the Tulalip community prepares for the 104th Treaty Days Commemoration on Friday January 19, 2018, a handful of Tulalip tribal members took a moment to reflect on the Point Elliott Treaty of 1855 as well as Treaty Days.

“I think it’s a responsibility that keeps passing down from generations of those who actually signed the treaty. And also living on the reservation and protecting those rights that were reserved for us as well as the spiritual and cultural way of life. I think that we have the responsibility to revisit the treaty all the time so we know we are keeping our younger people abreast and informed as much as possible. Because we gave up a lot in the treaty to keep our sovereignty to be able to determine our own future and our own direction in our tribal path.” – Ray Fryberg

“The Point Elliott Treaty is important to me because it has to do with our tribal rights and how we live.” – Image Enick

“Treaty Days is a commemoration of the signing of the 1855 Point Elliott that affected the coastal tribes. At this time, we remember and acknowledge our ancestors that signed the treaty and reflect on the importance of that treaty, who we are as a people and how to continue our way of life.”
– Inez Bill

“The treaty is literally my livelihood. We fight for our rights every day, fighting to keep our treaty rights. I want my kid’s kids to come out here and be able to exercise their treaty rights. Not everyone has to be a fisherman, but it should be there if they want to exercise it.”
– Brian Green

“The treaty is important because it talks about our history and it connects me with my ancestors.”
– Deandra Grant

Early Learning Academy Hosts Executive Function seminar at Parent Café 

Parent Lynzi Raya and son at the BJTELA Parent Café. The two-day workshop taught the importance of executive function skills in early childhood development.

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Recent studies show that executive function skills begin to develop in children between the ages of birth to five. Although executive function skills aren’t fully developed until the age of twenty-five, the foundation for these skills are strongest when trained at a young age.

You might be wondering, what are executive function skills? By definition they are a set of cognitive processes that are necessary for cognitive control of behavior, selecting and successfully monitoring behaviors that facilitate the attainment of chosen goals. In other words, they are skills we use day-to-day to manage our lives and accomplish our goals. Executive function skills include impulse control, working memory, organization, task initiation, metacognition, stress tolerance, time management, planning/prioritization, emotional control, response inhibition and sustained attention.

The Betty J. Taylor Early Learning Academy hosted a two-day workshop informing parents about executive function skills on January 10 and 11. During the Parent Café, attendees were treated to snacks and beverages while viewing videos showing studies of executive function skills in early childhood as well as a presentation by ECEAP Manager Stephanie Pitman.

“I wanted to give a presentation on executive function skills because so often parents are concerned about their kiddos not knowing the ABC’s, their colors or shapes. But really for true life success, they need to have impulse control, working memory and mental flexibility. That is the basis for all other learning in the future,” says Stephanie.

During the training the parents openly talked with one another about these skills and how they pertained to their children, asking and offering parent-to-parent advice. At the end of the seminar the parents took a quiz in which they learned a little bit about their personal executive function skills strengths and weaknesses and discussed how to improve them.

“This class taught me that it’s the little things that are taught over time. I think it’s important because anything you can do to help better your children is great,” expressed Early Learning Academy Parent, Mary Cameron Perillo.

“It’s more engrained when you can get them [during ages] birth to five,” states Stephanie. “Executive function is what they’re going to have to learn in life. I may not need to know my colors or algebra in my daily life but I am going to have to know how to get along with others. I am going to have to know how to exercise impulse control and how to deal with stress. Adults use this every day, that’s the skills we need for lifelong success.”

For more information, please contact the Betty J. Early Learning Academy at (360) 716-4250.

Q&A with Tulalip Liquor Store Manager, Carrie Ann Fryberg

By Micheal Rios

Carrie Fryberg is Manager for the Tulalip Liquor Store, which is conveniently located off of I-5 exit 199 right next to Marine Drive Chevron and Quil Ceda Creek Casino. We recently asked Carrie about her tenure in the liquor sales industry and her vision going forward.

Q: What are some of the essential things you’d like people to know about you?

A: First off, I am proud to say that I was born and raised here on Tulalip. I’ve lived here my entire life. I’m married to a wonderful husband, William Mclean, Jr., and we’ve shared a life together for 25-years now. Together we have three children, Kesha, Nico, and Martie. I’ve also raised three step-children, Anthony, Lloyd, and Kandace.

Q: What is your favorite cultural activity?

A: Stick Games! My family and I travel all around to the tribes in the Pacific Northwest to play Stick Games. In fact, I’ve ran the annual Stick Games Tournament we have here at the Tulalip Amphitheatre for the last five years.

Q: How did you get into the liquor store business?

A: Well, back in 2002, I was working at the Health Clinic and looking for a career change. Then in October 2002, I accepted a position as Shift Supervisor for the liquor store. That position stuck for 12 years, until I was promoted to Manager in May 2014.

Q: In your 16-years at the Tulalip Liquor Store, what is the biggest change you’ve seen?

A: Adding Chevron to our parking lot is definitely the biggest change. It brought a lot more traffic into our area and helped boost our sales. We took a significant hit in sales when the State approved liquor to be sold in grocery stores, so building the Chevron and sharing a parking lot has helped offset those losses.

Q: Tell us a little about the staff you manage.

A: My team is made up of 17 and a half members. I always add in that half because we have a grounds maintenance worker that half his salary is paid for by the liquor store. My team includes 15 cashiers/shift supervisors and a maintenance lady. Janet Williams and Naomi Moses have worked here with me nearly the entire time I’ve been here. There’s a strong feeling of us as a family because we’ve grown close to one another.

Q: When it comes to moving product, what are the three most commonly sold bottles?

A: R&R Whiskey, Monarch Vodka 80 proof, and Fireball. People love Fireball!

Q: What is your vision for the Tulalip Liquor Store?

A: My vision includes getting a remodel/upgrade to our store, so we can be refreshed and have a new look. This would help attract new customers and help the store fit in better with all the newer businesses in our area, which equals better revenue and possibly new product.

Q: How would you describe your 16-year tenure with the liquor store?

A: Well-spent and adventurous. Adventurous in the sense that when you work right next to the “Q” Casino for so long, we’ve definitely seen some crazy things. I love the people who I work with because everybody works as a team. I’m a lifer, so hopefully, one day, I’ll be retiring from here because there’s no place else I’d rather work.

Tulalip students engage in hands-on, experimental learning

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Excitement was hard to contain at the Greg Williams Court on the night of December 20, 2017. Though it was merely five days until Christmas, the holiday spirit appeared to take a backseat as the youth of the Tulalip community participated in a fun, educational evening at the first Family STEAM and Literacy Night, hosted by Tulalip Youth Services.

STEAM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering Arts and Mathematics is similar to the popular learning curriculum, STEM, implementing the arts as an additional area of study.  Variations of the STEAM program are currently being used in schools across the nation; however, local schools such as Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary and Tulalip Heritage High School continue to follow the STEM program for the time being. By bringing the STEAM experience to Tulalip, families participated in creative, experimental activities and the kids had a blast while doing so.

“STEM was created to engage more students in learning and gaining hands-on skills,” explains, Jessica Bustad, Tulalip Youth Services Education Coordinator. “I feel that adding arts into what was originally STEM is important. Most of what we do in school and also in the workforce requires creativity. Art can be found in each of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields. In my opinion, to add it, to give it more power and recognition helps us all keep the creativity we have inside. Each child and adult learns differently and the larger variety of opportunities we offer, the better.”

The event kept the future leaders busy with several interactive activity stations such as an assembly line, where the kids took apart and reassembled ballpoint pens. Another popular activity was the cup tower station. A small group formed amongst the youth who worked together to make an extreme tower, so tall the kids were barely visible behind their structure.  Laughter and surprised expressions such as ‘woah’ and the occasional ‘wait, how’d you do that?’ were heard from the youngsters as they experimented together, eagerly bouncing from station to station. And drawing the largest crowd was a hands-on art project presented by the Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett.

“Today we are creating a nature-scape,” explains Jennifer of the Creative Arts Department at the Imagine Children’s Museum. “We use recycled materials and other items found in nature to create a scene, like a diorama, found in nature and today we’re focusing on the winter season.”

The children used cotton balls and various items to construct snowy sceneries, which they viewed under a black light to give their diorama a more dramatic, chilling winter look.

The first fifty kids who arrived at the event received free beanbag chairs. The Scholastic book fair was part of the event and Youth Services gave everybody in attendance a free book.

“We want to encourage reading and learning together as a family at home,” says Jessica. “We also want to show that learning can be fun, that there’s different ways to learn and also that studying doesn’t always have to be so stressful. We have to empower our children to be explorers of their own interests. It is our duty to encourage them to find and research all of the possibilities for their future.”

The STEAM and Literacy Night was a success. Tulalip parents and kids are already inquiring about the follow-up to the action-packed, hands-on learning event, to which Youth Services promises there will many more during the new year.

For more information, please contact Youth Services at (360) 716-4909.

Reunited and it feels so good

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

“My mom never felt like she fit into life, into society, so finding her family, it instantly made sense to her. My mom always knew she was Indigenous,” explains April Shannon.

Fifty-two years ago April’s mother, Stephanie Colon, was adopted by a family who moved from Washington to Colorado. Though she spent nearly her entire life living in Colorado, Stephanie knew she was adopted for the majority that time. Stephanie, now fifty-three, has raised children of her own, including April, and currently lives in Colorado Springs. A few short months ago, April received a message from her cousin Kenzie that would lead to many answers that Stephanie always wondered about.

Rewind twenty-years ago to when Rosalie ‘Rosie’ Topaum accepted a new position with the Tulalip Tribes Enrollment department. While getting acquainted in her new position, she noticed that there were a few missing tribal members, including Stephanie and her sister Michelle.

“The story I heard about these two was the mother just took them away. I would try here and there to find out where they were, but we had no social security numbers so the searches were always a dead end,” says Rosie, now Tulalip Enrollment Manager.

“But this spring I was in the ID room, which normally I am not, when the brother [Jeff Reeves Sr.] to [Stephanie and Michelle] came in and said he was adopted out. A light bulb went off – they also must have been,” exclaimed Rosie.

Rosie and her team immediately began a new search for the sisters. She contacted the Bureau of Indian Affairs to access adoption records and learned that the girls were adopted by separate families and that Michelle grew up locally, in Woodinville, and had three sons. The records also showed how to get in contact with Michelle’s kids, Corey, Kyle and Keyth McGrath. However, Rosie also learned the unfortunate news of Michelle’s passing back in 2015.

Finding Stephanie would require a little more research. Rosie looked throughout all the social media sites with next to no luck. She then took her search to BeenVerified.com, a website which helps companies research customers, prevent fraud and reach new clients. Through this site Rosie found that Stephanie’s adopted mother, now ninety-years young, had a Facebook account. Rosie eventually stumbled upon somebody with the same last name as Stephanie’s adopted name, Allen.

“My cousin Kenzie, from the adopted family, contacted me because a lady randomly contacted her through Facebook asking if she had an aunt Stephanie,” April explained through a small fit of giggles. “She ended up giving me Rosie’s number and I called her, just to kind of feel the situation out for my mom. When I told my mom, she was like ‘no way, this can’t be true.’ Because in today’s society there’s so many scams out there that you’re just not sure.”

April, who gladly spoke on behalf of Stephanie due to hearing difficulties over telephone conversations, stated that Rosie was extremely helpful and sensitive when telling Stephanie about Michelle. Stephanie, who never knew she had a biological sister, found the news ‘heartbreaking,’ according to April. However, through the bad news, Stephanie learned that she has nephews living in the Pacific Northwest. Together, Stephanie and April spoke with their new-found relatives over the phone for hours. Stephanie also took the opportunity to speak with her biological father, Tulalip tribal member Joe Reeves, for the first time.

After the whirlwind of emotions, the laughter and tears over many phone calls, Stephanie, April, Kyle, Corey and Keyth agreed to a reunification ceremony with Joe and his wife Terry, as well as Stephanie and Michelle’s biological mother, Carol. The ceremony, arranged by Rosie and the Enrollment Department, was held at the Hibulb Cultural Center Longhouse on Monday, December 18, 2017. Each family member was blanketed during the ceremony and the reunion also featured a little history of the Tulalip tribes, about the culture, traditions and heritage.

“We got to meet my mom’s biological dad, my grandpa Joe,” April recalls. “Which is awesome and interesting because you wait your whole life to meet somebody and words can’t completely explain the emotion and feeling when you’re in that moment. You feel all kinds of crazy things. It wasn’t necessarily the same connection with her biological mom. But from what we know, it wasn’t a lack of trying, it was just being young and not completely prepared. And she seems to be okay with that and ready to move forward in life.

“For my mom, it was really just a gratifying moment because she never felt like she fit into her adopted family. This experience really changed her. She’s always been a positive person, thinking everything will always work out and that things will be okay. Now, there’s a lot more confidence and assurance in what she does. It was just a beautiful, powerful, moving experience.”

Due to the enrollment requirements, April and her cousins are not able to enroll as Tulalip tribal members. However, April plans to accompany Stephanie during her ventures to Tulalip as they become more acquainted with their heritage and culture.