South Dakota tribe to open nation’s 1st marijuana resort

Consultant Jonathan Hunt checks seedlings growing in the new marijuana growing facility on the Flandreau Santee Sioux Reservation in Flandreau, S.D.

Consultant Jonathan Hunt checks seedlings growing in the new marijuana growing facility on the Flandreau Santee Sioux Reservation in Flandreau, S.D.

By REGINA GARCIA CANO, Associated Press, Sep 29, 2015


FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) – The Santee Sioux tribe has already proven its business acumen, running a successful casino, a 120-room hotel and a 240-head buffalo ranch on the plains of South Dakota.

But those enterprises have not been immune to competition and the lingering effects of the Great Recession, so the small tribe of 400 is undertaking a new venture – opening the nation’s first marijuana resort on its reservation. The experiment could offer a new money-making model for tribes nationwide seeking economic opportunities beyond casinos.

Santee Sioux leaders plan to grow their own pot and sell it in a smoking lounge that includes a nightclub, arcade games, bar and food service, and eventually, slot machines and an outdoor music venue.

“We want it to be an adult playground,” tribal President Anthony Reider said. “There’s nowhere else in America that has something like this.”

The project, according to the tribe, could generate up to $2 million a month in profit, and work is already underway on the growing facility. The first joints are expected to go on sale Dec. 31 at a New Year’s Eve party.

The legalization of marijuana on the Santee Sioux land came in June, months after the Justice Department outlined a new policy that allows Indian tribes to grow and sell marijuana under the same conditions as some states.

Many tribes are hesitant to jump into the pot business. And not everyone in Flandreau, about 45 miles north of Sioux Falls, believes in the project. But the profit potential has attracted the interest of many other tribes, just as the debut of slot machines and table games almost 27 years ago.

“The vast majority of tribes have little to no economic opportunity,” said Blake Trueblood, business development director at the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. For those tribes, “this is something that you might look at and say, ‘We’ve got to do something.'”

Flandreau’s indoor marijuana farm is set against a backdrop of soybean fields. If not for a security booth outside, the building could pass as an industrial warehouse.

Inside, men are working to grow more than 30 different strains of the finicky plant, including those with names like “Gorilla Glue,” ”Shot Glass” and “Big Blue Cheese.”

Pot is prone to mildew and mold, picky about temperature and pH level and intolerant to tap water. So the Santee Sioux have hired Denver-based consulting firm Monarch America to teach them the basics.

Tribal leaders from across the country and South Dakota legislators will tour the Flandreau facility in mid-October.

“This is not a fly-by-night operation,” said Jonathan Hunt, Monarch’s vice president and chief grower. Tribal leaders “want to show the state how clean, how efficient, how proficient, safe and secure this is as an operation. We are not looking to do anything shady.”

Elsewhere, crews have begun transforming a bowling alley into the resort.

A marijuana resort open to the public has never been tried in the U.S. Even in states such as Colorado and Washington, where pot is fully legal, consumption in public places is generally forbidden, although pro-pot activists are seeking to loosen those restrictions. Colorado tolerates a handful of private marijuana clubs.

Unlike the vast reservations in western South Dakota, where poverty is widespread, the little-known Flandreau Santee Sioux Reservation is on 5,000 acres of gently rolling land along the Big Sioux River. Trailer homes are scarce and houses have well-trimmed lawns.

The Santee Sioux hope to use pot in the same way that many tribes rely on casinos – to make money for community services and to provide a monthly income to tribal members. The existing enterprises support family homes, a senior living community, a clinic and a community center offering afterschool programs.

Reider hopes marijuana profits can fund more housing, an addiction treatment center and an overhaul of the clinic. Some members want a 24/7 day care center for casino workers.

The prosperity that marijuana could bring to Indian Country comes with huge caveats. The drug remains illegal under federal law, and only Congress can change its status. The administration that moves into the White House in 2017 could overturn the Justice Department’s decision that made marijuana cultivation possible on tribal lands.

Meanwhile, tribes must follow strict security measures or risk the entire operation.

The marijuana cannot leave the reservation, and every plant in Flandreau’s growing facility will have a bar code. After being harvested and processed, it will be sold in sealed 1-gram packages for $12.50 to $15 – about the same price as the illegal market in Sioux Falls, according to law enforcement. Consumers will be allowed to buy only 1 gram – enough for two to four joints – at a time.

Want another gram? The bar-coded package of the first gram must be returned at the counter.

Since the Santee Sioux announced their plans, the Passamaquoddy Tribe in Maine signed a letter of intent with Monarch to build a cultivation facility for industrial hemp. The Suquamish Tribe and Washington state officials signed a 10-year agreement that will govern the production, processing and sale of pot on the tribe’s land.

In the long run, Reider is certain that the benefits will outweigh the risks of tribal marijuana enterprises.

The tribe, he said, must “look at these opportunities because in order to preserve the past we do have to advance in the present.”

Indian time and indigenous knowledge are key to evolving with climate change




by Niki Cleary, Tulalip News 

Everyone has heard the jokes or seen the memes about ‘Indian time,’ the ones that explain why Natives are consistently late to dates, appointments, even their own get-togethers. Despite the jokes, the description of Indian time that resonates with me came from Tulalip elder tiatmus Raymond Moses. He told me that Indian time is about paying attention to the world around you. It’s about seeing the signs of the world and being ready when it is time to do what you need to do. That may be gathering or harvesting, or it may be spiritual work, but no matter what you are doing, when you are engaged in something, you have a duty to give it your full attention.

I’ve found that to be true on so many levels. Natives may be late to an appointment, but it’s usually because they devoted all of their attention to the last thing they were doing. And, while we may be late to appointments or social commitments, we’re in the woods when the berries or cedar are ready and we’re on the water when the salmon are ready.

Phenology, in my opinion, is a fancy western term for tiatmus’ version of ‘Indian time’. In late September, Northwest Indian College sponsored a Phenology workshop to educate about the causes of climate change and the impacts on native plants and tribal cultures.

I know what you’re thinking, this is interesting and all, but why should I care? You should care because those cultural timekeepers that we’ve lived by since time immemorium are out of sync due to climate change. The species that we rely on for physical, spiritual and cultural sustenance may move out of our legally defined territories as they search for climates that match their biology.

Our world is changing and we have the knowledge and political clout to make sure that our culture and the species that are integral to our culture, don’t disappear with it. We have the power to evolve with climate change, instead of being decimated by it.




Cultural timekeepers

Wikipedia defines phenology as: the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate, as well as habitat factors (such as elevation). In Salmon Ceremony we learn about a messenger, a black and yellow butterfly who tells us when the kings are coming in. This is what phenology is for indigenous people. Our oral histories tell us how our timekeepers were given certain gifts and entrusted with certain duties, how both human beings and plants and animals all have mutual obligations. As indigenous people, our timekeepers aren’t just dry indicators of biological systems, they’re intimately tied to our values and identity, we consider them our relatives.

“When settlers came to our land, it was forested,” described Tulalip Rediscovery Program Coordinator Inez Bill. “When they seen out and looked at the land, it looked like it was not inhabited, so they didn’t think that anyone was here.

“When you think about our ancestors, they were bonded with our land, it was a spiritual bond. This environment provided for all of our needs, we didn’t need anything. There was an abundance of resources and the teachings and values our people lived by every day, that was our way of life.

“How to gather, how to hunt, how to make a canoe, everything was respected and it was a gift. It was a spiritual gift and if you didn’t take care of these gifts, you lose it. That’s specifically true of plant knowledge.”

Inez described herself as a conduit, not a bank of knowledge. To this day, the mutual responsibility between Indigenous communities and our environment, weighs heavy on her mind.

“I’m nobody, I’m nothing,” she quietly declared. “I’ve had the opportunity to have a number of people in my life that shared their knowledge with me and it made me a stronger person and they are now my roots. A lot of friends and family have guided my life and my spiritual people have helped with my spiritual walk. These are the things that are important when I talk about plants.

“My work with plants began with our summer youth. The kids loved being outside, they’d be in the woods and they didn’t want to come back. We’d learn how to make tea together, and teaching them how to do it correctly, they have to be in the right frame of mind, and the teachings and values that go with that.

“From my perspective, these teachings and values are very important when we look at plants and how we use them. We want them to be gifts for us, a lot of these foods nourish our body, but they also nourish the spirit. We need to do the best we can to treat it with respect and care. We have rules we follow when we harvest because we want to honor the plants that we harvest.”

Part of that respect includes sacrifice. Inez explained that this year she harvested very little because many species were struggling due to the drought. Brian Compton of Northwest Indian College followed up on the sentiment, recalling from his four decades of work in indigenous America the strong relationship between native plants and native people.

“It’s the idea that they’re our relatives,” he pointed out. “When your relative is suffering, you don’t damage it. This is another one of the dimensions that may not be recognized in the more dominant society. That deeply felt connection to, not just another life form, but a relative.”


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Take notice, take action

Shifting baselines is a concept often applied to the Pacific Northwest and the Salish Sea. It’s the idea that compared to far more degraded areas, what we have here and now is abundant or healthy or normal. Oftentimes people move to the Pacific Northwest and gush about how green and beautiful it is. They see the forests and see them as signs of wilderness and vitality. However, compared to historic norms for this area, what we have is a fraction of a healthy environment.

Ask someone whose family has been here for generations and they’ll tell you that the second and third growth forests that dominate the landscape today support a far different host of animals and plants than an old growth forest. Someone whose grandparents fished in the 1950s knows that a handful of undersized silvers in a single set is not a sign of abundance. Someone who gathers berries and found only small seedy fruits this year, knows that drought is real and dangerous. Someone who passes on the traditional stories about seals and the lack of stories about sea lions, understands that our waters are vastly different now than they were in our ancestor’s times.

What do you do with that knowledge? Record it. Pass it on to your family members. Go into nature and recall the stories of your childhood. Explain to your grandchildren that the bamboo they love playing swords with (Japanese knotwood) is not from here, doesn’t belong here and it’s our responsibility to get rid of it.

If you don’t know, learn. Go outside and record the signs. As they shift from year to year, pay attention to what has changed. Live your treaty rights instead of just talking about them. Co-manage on a small scale. Make room in your manicured lawn for trailing blackberries, get to know and help eradicate invasive species.

Most of all, engage. Be a leader in your family. Be a leader in your tribe. Be an ambassador and a champion for our winged and finned and rooted relatives. Be a steward of our environment and help our tribe fulfill our responsibility to our world.

Be sure to keep watching the syəcəb, and Tulalip TV (On and Off the Rez at for more opportunities to learn about our environment, how Tulalip is evolving with climate change and how small contributions can lead to big change.


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Contact Niki Cleary,

Native Student and Family Disappointed After Meeting With University President Re Native Genocide

Courtesy Cindy La MarrNative American Student Chiitaanibah Johnson (Navajo / Naakaí' Diné and Konkow Maidu) recently met with her University President Robert S. Nelsen. Johnson says she is disappointed Nelsen said his 'hands were tied.'

Courtesy Cindy La Marr
Native American Student Chiitaanibah Johnson (Navajo / Naakaí’ Diné and Konkow Maidu) recently met with her University President Robert S. Nelsen. Johnson says she is disappointed Nelsen said his ‘hands were tied.’


Vincent Schilling, Indian Country Today


One week after 19-year-old Native American student Chiitaanibah Johnsonof California State University, Sacramento says she was disenrolled from her U.S. History class for disagreeing with her professor over the existence of Native American genocide, Johnson and her family met with Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen to discuss the matter. Though Johnson and her family say the meeting was cordial and sincere, they feel disappointed and say they fear neither the school nor the president will be taking any action that will satisfactorily address their concerns.

President Nelsen agreed to meet on Thursday with Johnson as well as her mother, Martina Johnson, father Kurt Johnson and Cindy La Marr (Pit River and Paiute), Executive Director of Capitol Area Indian Resources, Sacramento, an organization that advocates for the academic and cultural rights of American Indian students. Nelsen told the family and the University has told ICTMN in an email that the President will also be meeting with Professor Maury Wiseman, the professor involved in the matter, at a later time.

READ MORE: History Professor Denies Native Genocide: Native Student Disagreed, Then Says Professor Expelled Her From Course 

Sac State History Dept Tweets – “Student Not Disenrolled”

Sac State and Native Student Seek ‘Positive Resolution’ on Native Genocide Class Disenrollment Issue

Johnson says she was comforted by the meeting’s informality but fears a viable solution may never happen. “The president was respectful, open and I didn’t expect it to be just him,” she said. “I thought someone would be recording it or there would possibly be a lawyer present, but there wasn’t.

“But when we pressed for a solution,” says Johnson, “the president told me that his hands were basically tied. I thought at least the professor’s class might be monitored or evaluated on some level. But the professor is still teaching and going on with his class.”

Cindy La Marr, who has worked with public schools and universities for many years for the benefit of Indian country, says she was not as impressed by Nelsen’s cordial demeanor. She told ICTMN that some of Nelsen’s proposed solutions were not sufficient. La Marr said Nelsen told them about a proposed University ‘California Native American Day,’ on September 25th that would hold seminars on Native Americans. “I asked if the instructor would be required to attend this, and he said, ‘No.’”

La Marr says that when she and the family asked if there was going to be any disciplinary action against the professor, President Nelsen said Professor Wiseman was protected by his faculty’s labor union. “I asked if there was a vetting process for hiring part-time adjunct faculty and he said he did not know,” Lamar told ICTMN. “He said he was new and there were binders full of policies that protected faculty that he had not reviewed. I asked if part-time adjunct instructors were protected by faculty labor unions. He said, ‘Yes.’”

La Marr says after the Johnson family’s repeated attempts to ask if the professor would be disciplined were deflected, they decided to leave. “I continually asked, ‘What is your plan?’” Martina Johnson said. “The President just told us, ‘It is out of my hands.’”

In addition to speaking to ICTMN, student Chiitaanibah Johnson also issued a written statement addressing her thoughts on the meeting.

The President was fair, open and welcoming in hearing my concerns. I appreciated his candor regarding the bureaucratic and regulatory restrictions his office is subject to with regards to the limited actions he is allowed to take with regards to the issues at hand.

However, I am particularly concerned that while CSU-Sacramento officials are working to transfer me into another course, Professor Wiseman, under protection of the faculty teacher’s union and legal team, is still teaching under no observation or supervision while under investigation and that curriculum changes to actually address GENOCIDE are even less likely. 

Having met with the CSU-Sacramento President, a fair and reasonable resolution to these issues appears unlikely within the current bureaucratic bounds of the university.

There are three very important points we want to make very clear:

·         Genocide is and always has been wrong.

·         Teaching otherwise is wrong.

·         Instructors demonstrating such lack of academic rigor and acting in a manner both aggressive and intimidating manner of stifling student questioning should be held accountable in a manner both fair and timely.


Chiitaanibah Johnson’s father Kurt Johnson added to his daughter’s remarks and told ICTMN, “The professor’s statements were a product of a direct lack of academic rigor. Academic freedom does not preclude academic responsibility.”

ICTMN has reached out to Sacramento State regarding the meeting. University spokesperson Elisa Smith replied in an email with the following statement:

President Nelsen had an extensive, fact-gathering meeting with Ms. Johnson and her family as he attempts to achieve a positive resolution in this matter.  He also is meeting with Prof. Wiseman.

As the fact-finding continues, and because this is an ongoing personnel matter, we cannot comment further at this time.

In the meantime, President Nelsen’s message to the campus earlier this week speaks for itself:

We at the University believe in academic freedom, and we also believe in civility and rigorous academic research. Our standards must be high, and we must follow the processes that we have put in place to ensure that the rights of students and faculty are protected.

Johnson says when she first returned to the school after the incident, she felt as if people were looking her way but not overtly staring or being intrusive. Though she says she is disappointed in the outcome thus far, she is encouraged by the outpouring of support from Indian country.

“It is what it is. I had no idea what to expect based on what happened but I told myself not to be not to set on the idea that the professor would be reprimanded,” she says. “I thought they might make him apologize or something else. The president basically said his hands were tied and there was only so much he could do.

“I feel unresolved about the issue.  But my mom says, ‘There are Indian people all over the country that are supporting you because they know the truth and they know you stood up for them.’

“There is a conversation now,” says Johnson. “And people are talking about whether genocide has happened. My father said something that really affected me. He said, ‘Even if nothing else happens, the circulation of this story and the effects on conversations across the country are more than my own grandfather could have done.’ If I had done something like this back then, it could have gotten me killed. But here I am.

“I didn’t realize how good having the blessing of so many Indian people would feel. I’ve only known the natives of the outer rings of my family or in college, but I’ve never felt so connected to Indian country.”




Father of Marysville shooter convicted of gun charges

Raymond Fryberg, left, the father of the Washington state teenager who fatally shot four classmates and himself at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in October 2014, arrives at the federal courthouse in Seattle, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Raymond Fryberg, left, the father of the Washington state teenager who fatally shot four classmates and himself at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in October 2014, arrives at the federal courthouse in Seattle, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


The father of the Marysville school shooter was found guilty of federal firearms charges in U.S. District Court in Seattle.


By  Mike Carter, Seattle Times


The father of the teen who killed four classmates at Marysville-Pilchuck High School last fall was convicted Tuesday of illegally possessing a half-dozen firearms, including the one his son used in the shooting.

Raymond Lee Fryberg Jr. was convicted of six counts of unlawful possession of a firearm. One of the firearms, a .40-caliber Beretta pistol, was used by 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg to kill four classmates and wound a fifth. Jaylen then killed himself with the same handgun.

The federal jury deliberated for about a day after a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge James Robart.

The senior Fryberg appeared stunned by the verdict. He had tears on his cheeks as he huddled with his attorneys and family after the verdict was read.

Fryberg will remain free until sentencing, which is scheduled for Jan. 11. He faces up to 10 years in prison for each count.

Family members of some of the shooting victims sat behind the prosecutors when the verdict was read. They declined to comment as they walked in silence into an elevator on the 14th floor of the U.S. District Courthouse. After the doors slid shut, however, ebullient yells and whoops could be heard.

Fryberg’s Seattle attorney, John Henry Browne, said the criminal charges were retaliation for the school killings and had been “pushed by the families” of the victims.

While the school shooting was never mentioned during the trial, Browne said it hung over the proceedings like a pall.

“It was difficult to stay on task,” he said outside the federal courthouse.

While the sole issue was whether Fryberg knew he was barred from owning firearms, Browne said, prosecutors began their closing arguments Monday with a slideshow of the six firearms Fryberg had purchased, including the handgun used by his son.

A grand jury had alleged the senior Fryberg, a member of the Tulalip Tribes, purchased a number of firearms despite being the subject of a tribal domestic-violence protective order that had been issued in 2002. Fryberg, 42, pleaded no contest in tribal court to violating the order in 2012, according to federal prosecutors.

The government says that should have prevented him from purchasing firearms, but that flaws in the instant-background-check system allowed him to “slip under the screen” of several law-enforcement databases.

Prosecutors claimed Fryberg lied when he filled out firearms-purchase forms on which he declared, under penalty of perjury, that he had not been convicted of a domestic-violence crime.

During the trial’s closing arguments, Browne accused the government of appealing to the jury’s emotions by showing photographs of each of the six firearms — including the handgun used in the school shootings and two assault-style semi-automatic rifles — that Fryberg had purchased at the Cabela’s store in Tulalip after 2012.

Fryberg, Browne said, assumed the purchases were legal and pointed out that he was even able to obtain a concealed-carry permit for a handgun, which requires a more stringent background check than purchasing a firearm. Browne said Fryberg was never properly served with the protection order, and that there were questions about whether the order was ever filed with the court.

 Fryberg claimed he was never given a copy of the order and did not know it existed, despite his no-contest plea in 2012.

“He is not on trial for anything else,” Browne said. “Not for how many guns he owns,” or what they may have been used for. The government, he claimed, “is trying to turn this case into something it is not.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ye-Ting Woo said the issue was not whether Fryberg was able to purchase the guns because of “gaps in the system,” including the fact that tribal-court domestic-violence protective orders and convictions often are not entered into national databases.

“The system relies on the purchasers to tell the truth,” she said.

The investigation into Fryberg’s gun ownership began in October 2014, when the FBI was trying to determine ownership of the gun that was used in the school shootings. The senior Fryberg had purchased that gun from Cabela’s in January 2013, a year after a permanent protective order against him had been filed in Tulalip Tribal Court, prosecutors said.

A 1,400-page report detailing the investigation into the school shooting said Jaylen Fryberg apparently brought the handgun to school in a backpack. He texted several friends to meet him in the lunchroom that day, Oct. 24, and also sent a text to his father and other family members detailing his funeral plans.

Minutes later in the cafeteria, Jaylen Fryberg pulled out the Beretta handgun from the backpack and shot five classmates, killing Zoe Galasso, Gia Soriano and Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, all 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15. All were shot in the head.

Nate Hatch, 15, was shot in the jaw and spent about two weeks in Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center.

The report indicates that Fryberg was angry over a breakup with a girlfriend, as well as a fight he had with a fellow student in the days before the shooting.

However, the team of investigators said it could not determine a definitive reason for the shooting.

State Considers Name Change For Squaw Bay

Library of Congress“Squaw” is not a Coast Salish word, and that renaming the bay “Sq’emenen” would recognize the island’s Coast Salish history.

Library of Congress
“Squaw” is not a Coast Salish word, and that renaming the bay “Sq’emenen” would recognize the island’s Coast Salish history.


Richard Walker, Indian Country Today


The Washington State Committee on Geographic Names was petitioned on August 23 to change the name of Squaw Bay – on Shaw Island in the San Juan Islands – to Sq’emenen Bay.

“Sq’emenen” is the Lummi name for Shaw Island, according to Lummi hereditary chief Bill (Tsilixw) James. The committee will give the proposal initial consideration October 23 in Olympia. The committee, which meets twice a year, will decide in May whether to recommend the change to the state Board on Geographic Names.

The petition is signed by 30 people, among them citizens of several Coast Salish nations with ties to the San Juan Islands.

Noting the controversial nature of the word “squaw,” the petition states that over time the word came to be used “as a term of condescension, as a racialized epithet, and in a way that implies Native American women are second-class citizens or exotic objects.”

It also notes that the word “squaw” is not a Coast Salish word, and that renaming the bay “Sq’emenen” would recognize the island’s Coast Salish history. The Lummi, Samish and other Northern Straits Salish peoples originated in the San Juan Islands, and for thousands of years maintained and harvested resources on all of the islands, including Shaw. The Lummi Nation, Samish Nation and Tulalip Tribes still own land on the islands and have treaty rights and obligations within their historical territory.

Among those writing letters of support for the name change: Washington State Rep. Jeff Morris, Tsimshian, who had a Samish grandfather and grew up on nearby Guemes Island. “The name Sq’emenen is a more authentic and appropriate name and honors the Lummi Tribe and the history of Shaw Island and the surrounding San Juan archipelago,” he wrote.

Residents of Shaw Island met on September 19 to discuss the name-change proposal; residents prefer renaming the bay “Reefnet Bay (Sxwo’le),” because reefnet fishing – which was developed by the Lummi people – is still done there. “Sxwo’le “ (pronounced “shwalla”), is the Lummi word for reefnet. “Using both names teaches the language by seeing the two words together,” a representative said. “We also want to change the road name, Squaw Bay Road [on the island].”

Other governments in the United States have changed place names that contain the word “squaw,” among them the states of Idaho, Maine and Montana; and the city of Buffalo, New York.

In 2003, Squaw Peak in Phoenix, Arizona, was renamed Piestewa Peak to honor Pfc. Lori Piestewa, the first Native American woman to die in combat for the U.S. In 2011, the California Office of Historic Preservation changed the name of a state historical landmark, “Squaw Rock,” in the Russian River canyon, to “Frog Woman Rock,” to honor and respect the cultural heritage of the Pomo peoples of the region.



Tulalip Hawks light up 1st half, but fall to Seattle Lutheran 34-65 in home opener



By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 



On Saturday, September 26, the Tulalip Heritage Hawks (0-2) football team played their first home game of the season at Marysville Pilchuck field versus the Seattle Lutheran Saints (2-1). Last year the Hawks beat the Saints in dominate fashion, winning 58-0.

In the Hawks opening game of the 2015 season, played on September 3, they traveled to Evergreen Lutheran and came away with a 32-62 loss. After a week’s worth of practice the team was looking forward to playing Entiat on Saturday, September 15. Instead they had to forfeit the game due to having more than half the team academically ineligible to play, resulting in not having enough eligible players to field a team.

Against the Saints of Seattle Lutheran, the Hawks were able to field nine players, just enough to field a team and have one substitute player. Important to note, that with only nine players that meant all of the boys would be playing both offense and defense for pretty much the entire game.

On the second play of the game the Hawks sent #24 Robert Miles on an inside blitz and he tackled the Saints running back in the back field for a 3-yard loss. Two plays later the Hawks came away with a clutch 4th down stop and took over on the 48-yeard line, in Saints territory.

It didn’t take long for the Hawks to capitalize on the turnover, as Rob threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver #82 Braxton Lake to score the game’s first points. The Hawks opted to go for a 2-point conversion and Rob connected again with Braxton to take an 8-0 lead only three-minutes into the opening quarter.

The Saints responded in kind by marching down the field and scoring on a touchdown pass, then converting the 2-point conversion to tie the game at 8-8. Attempting to catch the Hawks by surprise, the Saints attempted an on-side kick, but #22 Nate Hatch managed to corral the ball and possession at the Saints 45-yard line.

Using a mix of short dink and dunk passes with their running game, the Hawks were able to get into the red zone. On a 2nd down play from the 16-yard line, Rob dropped back to pass, not seeing anyone open, threw a pump fake, tucked the ball and ran it into the end zone. The Hawks again went for 2-points and Rob connected on a pass to #15 Nashone Whitebear to give the Hawks a 16-8 lead.

Less than 20 seconds later the Saints tied the game at 16-16. Their star player #23 J.J. Young had a 60-yard kickoff return to put his team in the red zone. On the next play the Saints would score a touchdown and follow it up with converting the 2-point conversion.

On the Hawks next offensive possession they were forced to punt, and the Saints scored quickly to take a 22-16 lead over the home team. The Saints 2-point conversion failed as Braxton tackled their running back just short of the goal line.

Opting to go for the onside kick once again, the Saints managed to recover the ball after it bounced over the outstretched hands of Nate and #17 Dominic Joseph. Fortunately for the Hawks, in this division the ball is marked down where it’s recovered (runner is not allowed to advance after recovery) otherwise the Saints would have scored an easy touchdown off the recovery.

The Hawks defense did a great job on the next series containing the Saints skill positions and tackling on first contact, but the Saints still managed to work the ball down the field. After a nice throw and catch, the Saints easily scored from 1st and goal from the 1-yard line. Opting not to follow the Seahawks lead in the last super bowl, the Saints ran the ball from 1-yard line to score and go up 28-16. The Hawks defense stepped up and prevented the 2-point conversion to keep their deficit at 12-points.

Yet again, the Saints attempted an onside kick that was collected by #57 Lloyd McLean, giving the Hawks good starting field position at their own 47-yard line.

The Hawks ran it on back-to-back plays before Rob dropped back on a key 3rd down and bombed out a 40-yard throw to Braxton who caught it and looked to have a for sure touchdown, but was tackled just short at the 2-yard line. On the very next play Rob switched to running back and took the handoff in for an easy score. The 2-point conversion was unsuccessful, but the Hawks had cut into their deficit now only trailing 22-28.

In an interesting move to keep their momentum going, they took a page from the Saints book and attempted a surprise onside kick. Unfortunately, a Saints player recovered the ball and ran untouched to the end zone, followed by a successful 2-point conversion. Just like that, in a matter of seconds, the Hawks were now trailing 22-36.

The Haws leaned heavily on the playmaking abilities of Rob on their next offensive series. He seemingly accounted for every yard on the drive and picked up two 4th down conversions with his legs. After a personal foul penalty on the Saints, the Hawks were in business in the red zone, having a 1st down on the 15-yard line. There was no doubt what the play call would be, as Rob took the hike and immediately ran to the left edge and running right by four Saints defenders and stiff arming his way in for a touchdown. The 2-point conversion was unsuccessful, but the touchdown capped off a great drive for the Hawk. The score was now 28-36 with under 2 minutes remaining in the 1st half.







#24 Robert Miles scores his 4th touchdown of the game, none more impressive than this 15-yard scamper with a stiff-arm at the end.
Photo/Micheal Rios


Considering how many big plays the Saints had and the Hawks playing with only one substitute player, it was amazing to see the Hawks keep grinding away to keep the game within reach.

Notably absent on the Hawks next defensive series was Rob, who was on the Hawks bench receiving attention to his left side. He had taken a nasty hit going for the failed 2-point conversion and immediately walked gingerly to the sideline afterward.

The Saints wasted no time taking advantage of Rob being on the sideline as they ran three straight run plays right into the heart of the Hawks defense to score a touchdown and complete the 2-point conversion.

At halftime the Hawks trailed the Saints, 28-44.

Coming out of halftime there was bad news coming from the Hawks side as it was announced Rob was out for the remainder of the game, leaving an already short-handed team without its best player on offense and defense.

The 3rd quarter was an absolute disaster for the Hawks as they allowed two punt returns for touchdowns and threw a pick-6 on offense. Fatigue was for sure a factor at his point in the game and having to switch players in and out of QB in Rob’s absence made it difficult to get any momentum going. At the end of the 3rd quarter the Hawks were now trailing 28-65.

The Saints, having 20+ players on their active squad, and 37-point lead used the 4th quarter to give them 2nd string players some game action. Meanwhile the Hawks having no subs at this point had to dig deep to finish the game out strong.

Taking advantage of very good field position following a 50-yard kickoff return by Braxton, the Hawks’ Dominic Joseph turned a broken play into a rushing touchdown. Following a failed 2-point conversion, the score was 34-65. That would go onto be the final score, dropping the Hawks to 0-3 on the season, while the Saints moved to 3-1.

For the Hawks, their next home game will be Saturday, October 10, when they host the Neah Bay Red Devils.

As a reminder, all Tulalip home games can be viewed on Tulalip Broadband TV channel 99 or be streamed live at


Contact Micheal Rios,

Jury gets gun case of father of teen who shot classmates

By MARTHA BELLISLE, The Associated Press


SEATTLE — A federal jury began deliberating late Monday to decide if the father of the Washington teenager who fatally shot his high school classmates last fall is guilty of illegally having firearms.

Lawyers on both sides made their final arguments Monday afternoon in the trial of Raymond Fryberg, charged with six counts of illegally possessing guns, including the one his son, Jaylen, used to kill four friends and then himself at Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Oct. 24.

Prosecutors said Fryberg was the subject of a 2002 domestic violence protection order, which meant he was prohibited from having guns.

Fryberg didn’t testify and his lawyers called no witnesses. Lawyer John Henry Browne said he didn’t need to because the government’s witnesses were all he needed to make his case that Fryberg was never served with notice of the protection order hearing, and thus is not guilty.

Fryberg passed at least a dozen background checks and no law enforcement agency ever said he was prohibited from owning guns, Browne told jurors.

The jury deliberated for an hour before being sent home. They’re scheduled to resume Tuesday morning.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ye-Ting Woo told the panel Fryberg was served with a notice about a hearing to discuss the protection order sought by his former girlfriend, but he chose to ignore it.

The Tulalip Tribal Court judge granted the order, but she said it was never entered into any state or federal databases, so when Fryberg went to Cabela’s to buy guns, he passed the background checks. Fryberg lied on the firearms purchasing forms when asked if he was the subject of a protection order and took the guns home, she said.

Federal agents only learned about the guns after the school shooting, but that incident was not discussed during the trial because Fryberg does not face any charges related to his son’s actions.

Browne told the jury they need to acquit Fryberg because prosecutors failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Each charge requires that prosecutors prove that Fryberg was served with the notice of the protection order hearing and that he had the opportunity to be heard before the order was granted, but that didn’t happen, Browne said.

Prosecutors showed jurors a form that was filled out by a tribal police officer who claimed he served Fryberg at a certain corner in Tulalip weeks before the hearing.

But Browne argued that corner doesn’t exist – the streets listed don’t intersect. He also said the officer had a conflict of interest because he was married to the sister of the alleged victim.

“Do you think it’s appropriate to serve papers in a case where you’re related to those people?” Browne asked the jury.

The officer could not be called to testify because he recently died, Browne said.

Trial of school shooter’s father focuses on protection order

By Rikki King, The Herald 


SEATTLE — A Tulalip woman on Tuesday testified that, in 2002, she urged her tribal police officer husband to serve a protection order against Raymond Fryberg as soon as possible.

The protection order was for the woman’s sister.

Her late husband, Jesus Echevarria, left home with the documents and came back with the return of service, said the woman, Heather Gobin, 39. The two families lived in the same neighborhood.

A Tulalip tribal court judge also testified Tuesday that he saw the return of service — proof that someone has been served – and could not have taken any action in the 2002 proceedings involving Raymond Fryberg without that paperwork.

Fryberg’s lawyers maintain that he was never served with the protection order and therefore had no way of knowing that he was prohibited from owning firearms.

His trial in U.S. District Court in Seattle this week is focused on whether Fryberg illegally possessed firearms at his home on the Tulalip Indian Reservation. The jury won’t be told that Fryberg’s son, 15-year-old Jaylen, last fall used one of the guns to shoot five of his friends, killing four, before taking his own life in a cafeteria at Marysville Pilchuck High School.

The Frybergs gave police permission to search Jaylen’s room hours after the shootings.

Investigators returned days later with a judge’s permission for a more thorough search. About 200 photos were taken during that search, and some of the images show guns stored throughout the home, including at the foot of the defendant’s bed, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Miyake said in his opening statements Tuesday morning.

Fryberg’s lawyer, John Henry Browne, promptly asked for a mistrial. He said even describing the guns would prejudice the jury. He also renewed his request that the trial be moved out of the area because of publicity about the high school shooting.

“I still think we are in a situation where the tragedy at the high school has infected, more or less, this trial,” he said.

Judge James Robart denied both requests, saying the move for a mistrial was “not a sensible argument.” It is clear in the pictures that guns were unsecured, some leaning up against the walls, Robart said. Because the case is about the possession of firearms, the weapons are “clearly relevant,” the judge said.

Fryberg acquired 10 firearms in the years after the protection order, Miyake said. The tribal protection order was never entered into a state database. That meant Fryberg was able to continue to purchase guns and obtain a concealed pistol license despite undergoing background checks.

“The defendant slipped under the screen,” Miyake said.

When police searched the home last year, Fryberg reportedly told an FBI agent that he had been served with the protection order in 2002, but didn’t pay attention to the questions in his background checks to get guns, Miyake said.

The defense maintains Fryberg never was served. Moreover, the background checks and gun purchases — more than a dozen interactions with authorities in all, including tribal hunting trips where his name was checked by game wardens — led Fryberg to believe he was allowed to keep guns, Browne said.

After her sister filed for the protection order, Heather Gobin kept an eye out for Fryberg so he could be served, she said.

She told her husband, the police officer, “It was the most important thing we had to do,” she said.

On Tuesday, she said she recognized her husband’s handwriting on the form that was filed in tribal court. The document said Fryberg had been served.

Fryberg faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on all six counts of illegal possession. He is expected to testify.

After levee breach, Marysville starts work on a trail

By Chris Winters, The Herald 


MARYSVILLE — The levee at the Qwuloolt Estuary has been breached for nearly a month and the ecosystem is slowly transforming from a weed-covered lowland into a salt marsh.

With the Tulalip Tribes doing the last bits of finishing work, the city of Marysville is now looking at its next big project: building 1.8 miles of new trail around the new estuary.

The city is planning a 12-foot wide paved trail that would lead from Ebey Waterfront Park down to the estuary. Another segment will run on the east side of the breached levee up to Harborview Park in the Sunnyside neighborhood.

If all goes according to plan, the two segments of trail would be complete by the end of 2016.

It’s a big deal for the city, which has relatively little in the way of publicly available waterfront.

“We’ve only had about 900 feet of access to our shoreline and this will change that significantly,” said Jim Ballew, Marysville’s director of Parks and Recreation.

The project is estimated to cost between $1 million and $1.2 million, $500,000 of which was in the most recent budget from the Legislature.

That also meant that the city’s trail project was delayed due to the extended budget debates in Olympia this year. The original plan was to have the western segment of the trail done by the end of the year.

“We had to wait for the Legislature to approve the funding, and that was so delayed this year that we don’t even have a contract yet,” Ballew said.

The rest of the trail’s funding includes a $347,000 grant from the state’s Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account, which will require the city to put up matching funds.

“We’ve got it within our capital budget; it’s ready to go,” Ballew said.

The new plan calls for finishing the design work by the end of the year and expanding the project to include not just the trail, but other waterfront improvements and interpretive signs along the route.

Further out, the plans will include the eventual construction of a mile-long loop around the estuary connecting the trail’s west and east legs.

Funding so far only exists for the initial segments, meaning there will be a gap in the trail until some time in the future.

The Qwuloolt Estuary restoration project is intended to create better habitat in the Snohomish River watershed for migratory salmon, especially juveniles that need a place to mature for up to a year or two while they gradually get used to a marine environment.

The Tulalip Tribes have spent $20 million over 20 years on the estuary, with the final levee breach taking place Aug. 28.

All that’s left now is to seal off the former tide gates and dig a final stormwater pond, said Josh Meidav, a restoration ecologist with the Tulalip Tribes.

So far, Meidav said, the results of the levee breach have met their expectations.

“The channel itself at low tide or incoming tide is actually capturing a good amount of the Ebey Slough inflow,” he said.

Some marine fish have been seen in the upper reaches of the estuary and the reed canary grass is starting to die off, Meidav said.

The city plans to reach out to the scientific community, the tribes and even the birdwatching community to provide input into the interpretive elements of the trail.

“We’ll be spending a lot of time with those specialists,” Ballew said.

Tulalip police, wildlife officers seize 700 illegal crab pots near Blaine

By Associated Press 


BLAINE — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Tulalip Police have seized almost 700 illegal crab pots in the waters near Blaine.

The Bellingham Herald reports that officers seized the pots during a two-day sweep last week.

Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Russ Mullins says most of the pots belonged to Canadian commercial fisherman. He says fisherman will cross the border without proper licenses when their own waters have been fished out.

Mullins, who led the investigation, says about half of the crabs taken illegally would otherwise have been taken legally by tribal members.

The department is working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to identify to whom the crab pots belong.

The seized crab pots and gear will be taken to Olympia and auctioned off online.