Learning skills to last a lifetime

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

On Friday, May 19, nineteen Native students were honored with a graduation banquet at the Kenny Moses Building for their commitment to training for a better tomorrow. The nineteen students, nine of whom are Tulalip tribal members, were the latest cohort to complete an intensive fourteen-week pre-apprenticeship construction trades program offered by our TERO Vocational Training Center (TVTC).

As far as we know, the program, which is managed by the Tulalip TERO department, is the first and only state and nationally recognized Native American pre-apprenticeship program in the country. The program is accredited through South Seattle Community College and Renton Technical College, while all the in-class, hands-on curriculum has been formally approved by the Washington State Apprentice and Training Council.

The three-month program provides curriculum that teaches a variety of construction trades and skills that can last a lifetime. Upon completion, the graduate’s dedication to a better future is rewarded with a wide-range of new employment opportunities now available to each graduate as they navigate the construction trades career path. In addition, students are trained and awarded certifications in flagging, first aid/CPR, and OSHA 10-hour safety training. Graduated also have received certification on three pieces of lift equipment, specifically the scissor lift, boom lift, and industrial fork lift. Upon completion of the program students are ready to safely enter the construction work environment and demonstrate everything they’ve learned.

“The TVTC program is a remarkable opportunity. I have learned so much throughout my 14-weeks, from building foundations to framing to electrical work to sweating pipe,” says Tulalip tribal member and TVTC graduate Rocky Harrison. “The staff and instructors are really there for the students and do their best to help everyone and make sure we all progress as a group. It has honestly been one of the best learning experiences of my life. The TVTC program is more than just a school, it’s a pathway to a better life. A life with a career, a life with choices.”

Under the supervision of instructors Mark Newland and Billy Burchett, the students constructed three tiny houses for their final class project. These houses, which are approximately 120-square-feet in size, are being donated to homeless families located at a homeless village in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. The insulated houses will be a major upgrade for their soon-to-be residents as they offer electricity, heat, a much safer environment and, most importantly, a measure of stability for their new residents.

“TVTC works with Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI). To date we have built 15 Tiny Homes for this organization, which donates all supplies required. This has saved TVTC thousands of dollars as these house are used for training purposes, and lumber that was previously purchased for class is no longer needed,” explains TERO Coordinator Lynne Bansemer.

This Spring session also had a very big impact on the Tulalip community, making key contributions that have left an imprint on several reservation areas.

“This was a very cohesive group of students. They were always kind and respectful to each other. As far as contribution to the community, this class has led the way. They did more community projects than any class before them,” asserts TVTC instructor Mark Newland. “This group built 28 cedar benches for the Long House, a bunch of great-sized planter boxes for the Medicine Wheel Garden at the Health Clinic, and even more planter boxes that are now located outside the Youth Center. They also built two storage sheds for the Early Learning Academy.”

The TVTC construction trades pre-apprenticeship program is a unique, nationally known model that supports tribal members from sovereign nations across the United States. The program is not dependent on tribal hard dollars. In fact, zero hard dollars are used to fund it. Instead, due to the dedication and commitment of so many individuals the TVTC program continues to grow and gain more recognition while being funded by the graciousness of the Tulalip Charitable Fund, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, DOT’s Ladders of Opportunity Grant, and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Pass Grant.

Since the Fall of 2013, when TERO took over the program, 127 students have graduated the pre-apprenticeship program. Of those 127 graduates, 52 have been Tulalip Tribal members, and 13 have either been Tulalip spouses or parents. That’s 65 graduates from Tulalip and 62 fellow Native Americans from all over the region who have opted to train for a better tomorrow and complete the construction training program.

TVTC has seen an increasing number of persons who balance a full-time job while attending the training program. This term they had seven students who came to training every day that held full-time jobs as well. People want more, and they are seeing the path to obtain it.

Among this graduating class is 22-year-old Robert Sloss, a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. Only a few short months ago, Robert was unemployed and living on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming when his girlfriend’s grandma told him about the Tulalip construction program she’d recently heard of. Figuring it was worth a shot, Robert found the application online and submitted it the next day.

After being accepted into the program, Robert packed up a few personal belongings and drove from Wyoming to Tulalip to begin his new journey. For four-months, while taking the TVTC program, he rented a camper at the Lake Ki RV Resort located 20-minutes north of Tulalip. Robert had never been to this area before and knew no one. Now, he says he’s made a lot of friends, loves this area, and looks forward to many new opportunities.

“I’m so happy to have graduated from the program. My immediate plans are to head home for the rest of my stuff, then move back to Washington and hopefully find an apprenticeship,” says Robert. “The past four-months have been such a great experience for me. Over the course, I learned so much, gained so many skills, and made come cool friends. I’m looking forward to a career as a carpenter or iron worker.”

For more information on Tulalip TERO’s TVTC program or to inquire about admission into the next pre-apprenticeship opportunity, please contact Lynne Bansemer, TERO Coordinator, at 360-716-4746 or visit TVTC.TulalipTERO.com

Promoting overall wellness for our youth

Article by Micheal Rios; photos by Micheal Rios and courtesy of Sarah Sense-Wilson

Promoting the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health of today’s youth, especially teenagers, is largely a labor of love. It’s difficult enough getting them to give their social media accounts a break, put their cellphones away, and actually focus on educational activities, let alone holding their attention long enough to get them to interact in a group setting. Yet, it is in the commitment to our youth, to their well-being and personal growth that brings about positive changes in lifestyle, relationships, and overall wellness.

Enter the Tulalip Tribes 5th Annual Wellness Conference and its dedicated day, May 16, to promoting overall wellness to our community’s youth.

“Our youth flourish when provided guidance, tools, resources, and encouragement. They thrive when we set good examples of self-care, and live by example. Our individual and collective actions are always far more meaningful and impactful when we are embracing challenges, and having an open mind for learning and taking the time to nurture healthy relationships,” eloquently states Sarah Sense-Wilson, Wellness Conference Coordinator. “I believe our conference really embodies these values and the presenters and workshop leaders exemplify traditional and cultural values we want our children and youth to follow.”

Approximately 90 students from Heritage High School, Marysville-Pilchuck High School, Totem Middle School, and Marysville Middle School were shuttled to the event hosted within the Tulalip Resort Casino’s Orca ballroom. The adolescent youth were treated to a large and healthy buffet-style breakfast after filling out their registration cards and putting on a name tag. As they settled in keynote speaker Layha Spoonhunter (Eastern Shoshone, Northern Arapaho, Oglala Lakota) took center stage.

Layha is a youth consultant, motivational speaker, Two Spirit Native citizen, and vocal advocate for Two Spirit people. He provided honest, open and engaging discussion on LGBTQI (a common abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersexed community), Two Spirit, and Allyship advocacy.

Layha describes Two Spirit as a “person who has both masculine and feminine identities.” He says it is a spiritual term that encompasses Native culture, language and history. His expertise and experience as a youth spokesperson and advocate for Native youth empowerment bridges differences and strengthens relationships among groups of community members. Layha offered his story as an example for other young LGBTQI and Two Spirit individuals to express themselves and embrace their identities.

“Build an environment of fairness and openness within your community. Stand up against stereotypes and racism. Stand up against bigotry and discrimination,” resounded Layha to his largely youth audience. “Take pride in your identity and use it to make positive change.”

Following the keynote address, the youth were given the choice of three interactive and experiential based workshops to attend. The three diverse workshop presenters were specifically chosen for their ability to reach our Native youth in a variety of ways.

Credentialed Native American mental health specialist and award-winning artist LisaNa Red Bear offered her workshop attendees the opportunity to create a mural art project. Participants engaged in three experiential learning art exercises that support a better understanding of complications associated with smoking. The hands-on creative art project was a hit, as the Native youth’s artistic abilities shined.

“We see an amazing level of creativity expressed by youth who engage in artistic activities. When they allow themselves to imagine and sit still long enough to allow that creativity to flow through them, the results can be awe-inspiring,” reflects LisaNa on the impact of her art mural workshop. “Young people have creativity inside them, innately, and it just depends on whether or not it’s nurtured or repressed.”

Grammy award-winning artist Star Nayea led a Project R.I.S.E Up workshop. She empowered the youth to create video vision statements that involved creating handheld signage decorated with personalized cultural artwork. Participants then took turns filming their own P.S.A. style videos. Star’s unique ability to reach youth and engage them in expressing their ideas, thoughts and feelings led to some amazing video production both individually and collectively. The youth offered messages of hope, vision and inspiration for believing in yourself and living a drug free life.

“Kids just want to know that we, as adults and teachers, are legit. They want to know that we are there for all the right reasons, that we care about them, and that they can thrive from the knowledge and experience we offer,” says Star. “It’s so important for their voices to be heard and for their faces to be seen as they speak the words. It’s one thing to have thoughts and a whole other thing to rise up and share those thoughts, to inspire. In making the P.S.A. videos they help to inspire one another and their community.”

The third workshop option was called In the Spirit of the Story. The tradition of storytelling is a way of passing down, teaching vital lessons, and of course entertainment with a purpose. Gene Tagaban (Tlingit) is an incredibly skillful, knowledgeable and talented storyteller who led this workshop. Using story as a medium for empowerment and self-expression, Gene connected with participants in a deep and meaningful way which transcends all generational differences. The power of storytelling was illuminated through his interactive workshop as a tool for teaching, healing and growing.

“Offering our youth a range of different interactive workshops was intentional and purposeful. We are always wanting to reach our youth for supporting their interests and appeal to their generational issues,” explains Sarah on the importance of workshop variety when working with youth. “Community wellness requires positive action, not passive existence. Some have to work harder because we are up against more barriers, walls, and obstacles. Nonetheless, we have a responsibility to ourselves, our youth, and our community to strive to do better and be better.”

Concluding the youth wellness day was a very special Native Hoop Dance

performance by Tulalip tribal member Terry Goedell. Several youth were brave enough to join Terry on stage and receive a tutorial on hoop dancing basics.

There’s a popular saying in Native communities, “be careful in the decisions we make today as they will impact the 7th generation – our grandchildren’s grandchildren, grandchildren.” Respect for this wisdom continues to guide events like the annual Wellness Conference, where a commitment to preparing Native youth for a brighter future is on full display.

It’s for the kids! 19th Annual Boys & Girls Club Auction

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

During the evening of Saturday, May 20, the Tulalip Resort Casino’s Orca ballroom was home to the 19th Annual Tulalip Boys and Girls Club Auction. The annual fundraising event is all about giving donors and community members the opportunity to take action for the benefit of countless kids and support the Tribes’ local Boys and Girls Club.

‘The Club’, as it’s affectionately been dubbed by the hundreds of children who attend daily, is a safe place where children can just be kids. At the Club, children make relationships that can last a lifetime, are exposed to healthy food choices, and create an abundance of happy memories.

“In an uncertain world the Boys and Girls Club is fortunate to be able to be that rock and stable foundation that so many of our children long for,” states Rochelle Lubbers, Auction Chair. “The hard working leadership and staff at the Club continue to explore dynamic ways in which to expose our children to diverse activities to nourish their spirts and minds. With a focus on safety, healthy body movement, and culture the Club is enriching the lives of children every day.”

The Tulalip Boys & Girls Club is the first club of its kind to be built on tribal land in Washington. Established in 1995, 2017 marks twenty-two years of commitment to the community. The Club promotes the health, social, educational, vocational and character development of boys and girls. Through before and after school programs, it aims to help young people improve their lives by building self-esteem, developing values, and teaching skills during critical periods of growth.

Serving as a model for those working to improve the lives of young people in the surrounding communities, the Club is the primary beneficiary of the annual fundraising auction. With each auction building off the success of the previous years, the Club has not only been able to sustain services, but to complete much needed campus expansions that add additional learning and activity space. Funds raised from this year’s auction will make it possible to add a 4,000ft2 extension to the Club that can serve as a teen-oriented, multimedia room.

“Across the country it’s very difficult to get these teens to re-engage after they’ve aged out of the Boys and Girls Club, so what we want to do is get them their own addition to our Club,” said Marlin Fryberg Jr., Director of the Tulalip Club, to the auction audience. “We’re trying to get those kids back into a safe facility. With your generous donations we’re going to do that.”

There were over 600 caring and generous people in attendance this year. With such an amazing turnout to support the kids came some thrilling fundraising numbers. $53,000 was raised for Kids Kafé, which is an essential part of the Club’s services. This year, Kids Kafé served hot meals and healthy snacks to approximately 385 kids each day, 2,500 meals per week, and 123,000 meals per year.

In total, a record breaking $432,000 was raised at the 19th annual auction.

“The auction is really about building relationships with the community and continuing to build upon the strong foundation of support we have with the Tulalip Tribes and the Tulalip Resort Casino,” stated Terry Freeman, Assistant Director of Development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County. “Our goal remains to create more and more partnerships off the reservation to achieve our goals on reservation. Thanks to our tribal leadership team, we continue to meet and exceed this goal. This year’s auction and the record amount of funds raised goes to show that it’s so much bigger than just an auction, it’s a signature event for people giving back to the kids.”

On behalf of the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club, the Tulalip Tribes thanks everyone who contributed to the success of the 19th annual auction. The outpouring of support received each year from sponsors and volunteers is quite overwhelming. As in years past, the funds raised from the auction will ensure that our club not only continues to provide, but improves upon, quality programs in a fun, safe and positive environment for kids to attend.

Family Voices: Building Support to Achieve Goals

Family Voices facilitators Ashley Tiedeman and Sasha Smith.

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Family Haven recently introduced a new program to the Tulalip community known as Family Voices. The program implements the WrapAround process while catering to Tulalip youth and families. Initially introduced nationwide in the 1980’s, WrapAround is a four-phase process that helps struggling individuals and families set, define and achieve personal goals by setting up proper support systems, or teams. These teams consist of two types of support, natural support (friends and family) and professional support (counselors and/or therapists), who work together to ensure clients remain steadfast on achieving their goals and also that the entire team is on the same page, much like a multidisciplinary team.

Family Voices is open to all tribal members from the Tulalip community and works primarily with youth facing adversity, around the age of thirteen and older, who are in the system or are frequently truant from school; as well as families who are looking to reconnect, heal and rebuild together.

The program empowers their clients by allowing them to create their own team, comprised of the various trusted members who will assist them throughout the process, such as beda?chelh caseworkers, school counselors, coaches, friends, parents and siblings. By creating a team, the client is held accountable and has the ability to consolidate multiple meetings, which would normally be held on various days throughout each week, into a few meetings per month. The meetings allow the support team an opportunity to find ways each member can assist the client achieve their goals and meet deadlines as well as continue to promote positive vibes and encouragement.

Family Voices facilitators, Sasha Smith and Ashley Tiedeman, explain that the program focuses on the client’s interests and strengths while setting goals. For example, if a client is interested in art or music, the facilitators encourage them to use their creativity as a tool or outlet to reach their ambitions.

“That’s what our position is – to bring everyone together but also make sure the client is getting listened to and that their voice is the one leading the WrapAround process,” said Ashley. “The really cool thing is, especially for clients who are working with multiple programs, they often have people telling them what they need to do. Family Voices is the exact opposite of that. We ask, ‘what does the client want in their life?’  Then we bring in all these people that are saying what they can and cannot do. And often for the first time, they get to listen to the client’s needs, allowing us to meet half way and get things done, but still make sure it’s done with the client’s say-so and make sure it is getting done their way. Because it can be tough having people tell you what to do all the time.”

The program’s length varies as the WrapAround process is client-driven and based on the individual’s goals and needs. Clients typically utilize the program until their personal goal is met. Currently Family Voices has clients on WrapAround plans from nine months up to three years. The team meets on a regular basis, wherever the client is most comfortable such as schools, homes and even Starbucks – initially around twice a week, switching to monthly meetings around six months into the process.

Sasha states, “We are here to guide rather than tell [the client] what to do and make sure they are being heard and supported.”

For additional information about the program please contact the Family Voices Facilitators Sasha Smith (360) 716-4404 or Ashley Tiedeman (360) 716-5719.

Jazz Therapy: Preservation Hall Legacy Jazz Band visits Tulalip community

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

As the last note of their second set was hit and spit valves were emptied, trumpet extraordinaire, Gregg Stafford, approached the microphone at the Francis J. Sheldon Gymnasium. He graciously thanked the audience of middle and high school students for the standing ovation he and his fellow band members of the Preservation Hall Legacy Jazz Band were receiving. The traditional six-piece New Orleans jazz band recently traveled to Tulalip to perform and speak with the youth of the community about jazz history, culture and the importance of keeping traditions alive. During their week-long visit the band performed for over 4,000 students at schools within the Marysville School District including Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary, and Heritage, Getchell and Marysville-Pilchuck high schools.

After the much deserved cheers and applauds began to quiet down, Gregg informed the students that the band would be answering any questions the students had for them. The kids asked a variety of questions ranging from who is your favorite jazz singer to more complex questions regarding mutes, tempo and time signatures. Inevitably, a student asked ‘how long have you guys been playing?In this moment Gregg, along with trombonist Fred Lonzo, clarinetist Louis Ford, pianist Lars Edgrean, bassist Richard Moten and drummer Joesph Lastie Jr collectively grinned as Greg looked at his watch and responded ‘oh about twenty-five minutes now.’ Laughter filled the entire room, most notably from the band.

Those small joyful moments, within the twenty-five-minute jazz set, where the entire room is smiling ear to ear, sharing laughter with one another and getting lost in the music is the reason Tulalip Tribes Employee Assistance Counselor, Jessica Talevich, brought the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to the Pacific Northwest.

Tulalip Tribes Employee Assistance Counselor, Jessica Talevich (right) dancing to the band during their performance at  the Hibulb Cultural Center.

Nearly two years ago, after witnessing the band live in their native New Orleans and once again in Seattle a week after, she discovered the band offers outreach work to high schools nationwide. In the wake of tragedy amongst the Tulalip-Marysville community, Jessica consistently witnessed division as several messages from ‘talk-based’ outreach programs missed their mark and constantly reminded community members of their hard times.

In an effort to change the cycle and promote healing, Jessica and the Tulalip Tribes partnered with the Marysville School District to bring the unique outreach program to the community.

“They just exude so much joy,” exclaimed Jessica. “The history of New Orleans is built on tragedy. From the early days of illness’ and diseases killing off many people, to the whole city burning to the ground and being rebuilt, and slavery is a whole other aspect. And then there’s instance after instance of hurricanes coming through and decimating [the city] such as Katrina and then the gulf oil spill that happened after [Hurricane Katrina]. These are resilient folks and their culture and arts, especially their music, have a lot to do with their resiliency so I wanted to bring that up here and talk about creativity as a tool for resiliency.”

After a tour of Tulalip, hosted by Tulalip tribal member Freida Williams, the band performed for the community at the Hibulb Cultural Center. Plenty of audience members danced and joined in a march led by Fred while he performed a solo on his trombone. Following the performance, the band had an open discussion with the audience touching on subjects such as the ever-changing music industry and music education. Gregg inquired about the local population of black bears and the tribe’s hunting regulations.

Tulalip tribal member Natosha Gobin and her children were present for nearly every Preservation Hall Jazz Band performance to offer prayers and gifts to the musicians.

She states, “It was a good week, my kids had so much fun! I think that music is such a great outlet and sometimes there are youth out here who kind of feel overwhelmed with not knowing our own traditional songs or like they can’t sing their songs and express themselves through our culture. And I think that a lot of the youth were able to find a connection and a love and passion for another music outlet and they understand more about Preservation Hall, although they are not an Indigenous group. They’re not a tribe, yet everything that they struggled with is parallel to what our people struggle with. So you can make those connections and those connections help – they’re inspiring for kids. For our youth, I think its inspiring that music does have a culture.”

On their last night in the community, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band spent the evening performing for a large crowd in the Marysville-Pilchuck auditorium. Both Getchell and Marysville-Pilchuck high school jazz bands showcased their skills for Preservation Hall. Fred, Louis and Gregg made special appearances and performed alongside the bands.

During their final performance the band shared the stage with Native American Grammy Award Winner, Star Nayea. The band played Dixieland jazz, jazz blues, and ragtime as well as jazz funeral music. The audience was highly engaged and interactive throughout the bands last set. The crowd sang along to classic songs such as What a Wonderful World and A Closer Walk with Thee. Nearly everyone in attendance marched around the auditorium before rushing the stage while the horns blew to the tune of When the Saints Go Marching in.

“Witnessing the interactions between our musicians with students from the Tulalip community was both inspiring and impactful,” states Preservation Hall Foundation Program Director, Ashley Shabankareh. “We saw such passion from students in the community for their own cultural traditions and were able to make meaningful connections to how we pass traditions in New Orleans. This trip is something myself and our musicians will never forget – we were overjoyed to see the power of music bringing communities together.”

For additional information about the Preservation Hall Jazz Band please visit PreservationHallJazzBand.com

PUD Fish Passage Project: great for the fish, great for the environment

Marie Zackuse, Tulalip Tribes Chairwoman.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

On Thursday, May 11, Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) officials joined with the City of Everett, the Tulalip Tribes, and various state and federal resource agencies to recognize the success of the Fish Passage Project. The location of this gathering was on-site at the Jackson Hydroelectric Project Powerhouse in Sultan, Washington.

“It’s an honor to be here today to celebrate completion of the PUD Fish Passage Project. We raise our hands to all of you who have helped ensure safe passage of our precious salmon,” stated Tulalip Chairwoman Marie Zackuse during the Sultan celebration. “Our water and salmon are the foundation of our culture. Our people occupied lands ranging from the islands near Seattle, north to the Canadian border and east to the Cascades. Some of our people descended from a village near the mouth of the Sultan River. Today, one-hundred years after the diversion dam was built, we can finally welcome our salmon home.”

Back in 1919, the City of Everett oversaw the first timber crib dam on the Sultan River built for water supply. In 1929, a decade later, Everett built a new concrete diversion dam at the same location to meet water needs of their growing region. The way the diversion was managed, there were times of the year that the Upper Sultan River was completely dry. Although the Lower Sultan River received enough water from other tributaries to allow salmon to spawn, miles of the Upper Sultan River were no longer accessible to spawning fish resulting in massive population losses.

Fast forward to 2011, when the PUD received a new 45-year hydroelectric license, requiring volitional fish passage construction at the Diversion Dam based on a biological need for more habitat.  In May to December 2016, the Diversion Dam received several modifications that allow for unrestricted access (upstream and downstream) for resident and anadromous fish to additional six miles of habitat, an area not accessible to them since 1929. Within the few short months since the dam’s modifications, Natural Resources and Fisheries staff have already seen Coho and Steelhead return in the area above the dam and anticipate Chinook will return in the upcoming season.

“Creating passage for fish past the 1930’s era diversion dam was a significant endeavor, but the best part is the fish are already taking advantage of this new opportunity,” said PUD Natural Resources Manager Keith Binkley. “These actions, as well as others on the horizon, are indicative of the substantial and collaborative effort by those of us who know and care about this river system.”

Earlier this year, the PUD’s Diversion Dam Project received the National Hydropower Association’s “Outstanding Stewards of American’s Waters Award” in the category of “Recreational, Historical, & Environmental Enhancement.”

For more information on the PUD Fish Passage Project and several other projects taking place in the Jackson Hydroelectric Powerhouse house area please visit www.snopud.com/jhp

Health Clinic program recognized for excellence

\Veronica Leahy (Diabetes Program Coordinator), Monica Hauser (Diabetes Nurse Educator) and Natasha LeVee (Clinical Pharmacist) accept a Recognition of Excellence award on behalf of the Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention Program.
Photo/Tulalip News

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for providing federal health services to 2.2 million Native Americans belonging to 567 federally recognized Tribes. IHS is the principal federal health care provider and health advocate for Native people, and its mission is to raise their physical, mental, social, and spiritual health to the highest possible level.

On the Tulalip Reservation, the Karen I. Fryberg Tulalip Health Clinic is an extension of IHS. The Health Clinic makes it possible to ensure comprehensive, culturally acceptable personal and public health services are available and accessible to tribal members living on or around the reservation.

On Friday, May 12, the IHS Portland Director’s Recognition of Excellence Ceremony was held in downtown Portland, Oregon. Among the very deserving awardees in attendance were familiar faces from the Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic. They were there to be recognized for excellence and to accept a Portland Area Director’s Award on behalf of the Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention Program.

The IHS Portland Area covers all federal and tribal health clinics servicing Native Americans within the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Among all those health clinics and programs therein, only fifteen groups were recognized and given a Director’s Award.

“Personally, I feel very humbled and honored to receive this award and am grateful to [Director of Clinical Services] Dr. Cooper for taking the time to nominate our team,” said Monica Hauser, RN, CDE, and Certified Diabetes Educator. “I am extremely proud of our diabetes prevention team and am so happy this team has been recognized for everyone’s hard work and dedication to the people of this community.”

“I thought of all of the people who worked in this program before us. I felt their presence in this ceremony and I thank them for their efforts,” added Veronica Leahy, Diabetes Program Coordinator. “My hope is more of our people will come and receive the care and teachings from these truly caring and knowledgeable providers.”

The Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention Program is a culturally-grounded, comprehensive program for the treatment of diabetes, and promotion of long-term holistic health. Increasing community participating in health promotion activities has been a staple of the program. Components including individualized case management by certified diabetes educators, continuing education provider-led classes, support groups, Diabetes Day events, and Wellness Trail activities have all achieved the goal of increasing community awareness and engagement in healthy activities.

The Wisdom Warrior program tailored to local community needs has become a major hit. Wisdom Warriors includes a 6-week Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Plan as well as monthly Provider Classes on holistic health related and medical topics. Activities include field trips to the mountains for low-impact day hikes, Medicine Wheel garden classes, support of six tribal department gardens, cooking demonstrations and classes for all ages.

Upcoming Diabetes Prevention Program events include:

  • Garden Day – June 3rd (at Youth Services)
  • Monthly Wisdom Warrior Provider Class – June 8th
  • Diabetes Day – June 15th
  • Medicine Wheel Garden Day – June 21st

For more information about the Diabetes Care and Prevention Program please contact Monica Hauser, (360) 716-5725, mhauser@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov or Veronica Leahy, (360) 716-5642, vleahy@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

Cultural imPRINT: Northwest Coast Prints exhibition showcased at Tacoma Art Museum

Art Thompson (b. 1948)
Nuu-chah-nulth, Dit-i-daht First Nation
Not a Good Day, 1993
Screenprint

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) is currently showcasing the vast styles of printmaking by tribal artists in its Cultural imPrint: Northwest Coast Prints exhibit. Reminding us of the local talent and cultural beauty inherent in works by artists from various First Nations and Native tribes along the Pacific Coast, you can take advantage of this special exhibition by visiting TAM now through August 20.

Faith Brower, TAM’s Curator of Western American Art, has partnered with co-curator India Young from Victoria, B.C. to bring together a selection of approximately 46 prints by 30 Coast Salish and Fist Nations artists.

Art Thompson (b. 1948)
Nuu-chah-nulth, Dit-i-daht First Nation
Hy-ish-tup, 1975
Screenprint

“This exhibition is really about how artists create community through their work,” said co-curator India Young. “Artists visualize their nationhood and territory. Cultural knowledge and design are passed from print to print and generation to generation. Prints circulate a sense of belonging.”

Providing a survey of Indigenous artists who have defined six-decades of printmaking in the Pacific Northwest, this exhibition proudly boasts a cultural narrative. Through their prints, these artists share knowledge about the diverse cultures in the region, while sustaining their art and history. Some of this artwork focuses on culturally specific design motifs that can identify a nation or tribe within the region. Others affirm how artists have used the print medium to reexamine the role of women’s histories with Northwest Coast communities. Still other works illuminate the passion of knowledge between generations.

Jeffrey Veregge
Coast Salish, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe
Restoration, 2012
Digital print

“What’s fascinating about this exhibition is the various interpretations of cultural symbols,” states co-curator Faith Brower. “These print works connect people in new ways to vibrant Northwest communities.”

Much of the printmaking from the Northwest Coast can be immediately recognized by the high contrast, black and red graphics. Indigenous printmaking in the region continues to be exploratory and innovative while adhering to traditional teachings. Through the print medium artists expand on their visual languages to create works that broaden the scope of Northwest Coast art.

Marika Swan (b. 1982)
Nuu-chah-nulth, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation
Become Worthy – State I, 2016 Digital print
“When our people were whaling they prepared their whole lives spiritually to be worthy of a gift as generous as a whale. Everyone in the community had to work in unity to ensure the hunt was successful and done safely. Each whale was such a bountiful offering of food for the community and each part of the whale was utilized and celebrated. As a Tla-o-qui-aht woman there are many large gifts I am hoping to bring home to my community and I understand that I am on a journey to spiritually lay the groundwork so that I am ready when they arrive. Pook-mis, the drowned whaler, lies at the bottom of the sea floor and offers a warning that things can go horribly wrong if you are not properly prepared.” – Marika Swan

Henry Speck (Ozistalis, b. 1908)
Kwakwaka’wakw, Tlowitsis First Nation
Sea Raven –
Gwa wi’s, 1964
Screen Print