Nourish your body and mind at Sparks Hot Yoga


By Kim Kalliber, Tulalip News 


There’s a new place in Marysville to heal the body and mind and nourish the soul: Sparks Hot Yoga.

Today, Tulalip Tribal members, Quil Ceda and Tulalip Elementary students and Marysville community members helped shop owner Jennifer Garner celebrate the grand opening. The ceremony included dancing, drumming and singing followed by the ribbon cutting.




Jennifer, a former teacher at Quil Ceda and Tulalip Elementary, was pleased to have some of her former students in attendance.

“I taught in the [Marysville School] district for fifteen years and it was such a rough year that I wanted to serve the community in a different way. And I think the adults need this to continue to help the kids. We give so much and the kids need so much right now with everything they’re going through, so the adults can come here for a hour and leave a little stronger,” said Jennifer about her focus and goals of the new yoga studio.


Jennifer Garner, Owner, Sparks Yoga Studio in Marysville with her daughter

Jennifer Garner, Owner of Sparks Yoga Studio in Marysville, celebrates with her daughter.


While touring the facility, which includes a beautiful heated studio,  attendees lined up for membership enrollment.  Spark Hot Yoga of Marysville offers Hatha, Vinyasa flow, Sculpt, Yin and Kids Yoga classes.

Visit for information and new membership specials. Sparks Hot Yoga is located at 6608 64th St.NE, Suite , Marysville, WA  98271.




Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness

National Library of Medicine’s healing totem was created to promote good health, in keeping with the mission of the doctors and scientists who work there to advance our knowledge of health and medicine. Photo courtesy of the National Library of Medicine

National Library of Medicine’s healing totem was created to promote good health, in keeping with the mission of the doctors and scientists who work there to advance our knowledge of health and medicine. Photo courtesy of the National Library of Medicine


By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

There was a new and very exciting exhibition recently on display at the University of Washington, from October 6 – 27. Brought to the public by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, the exhibition was titled Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness.

Due to the limited exhibition time and distance to the UW campus, we here at the syəcəb have decided to bring the exhibition to you by way of a series. Over the next several issues we will explore the interconnectedness of wellness, illness, and cultural life for Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

Readers will discover how Native concepts of health and illness are closely tied to the concepts of community, spirit, and the land.

As we well know, Native concepts of health and illness have sustained diverse peoples since our ancestral times. This traveling exhibition that was displayed at the UW was used as a learning tool for up and coming medical school students as a way to showcase how revival and pride in Native ideas among a new generation of medical practitioners can help sustain them in the twenty-first century.

Last week, we provided our readers with the in-depth introduction for Native Voices; this week, we will explore the connectedness of Native peoples and Nature.


Nature: A sources of strength and healing

A deep respect and connection with nature is common among all Native peoples. Unlike modern society, which erects barriers between itself and the natural world, Native cultures derive strength and healing from the land and water. Individual wellness cannot be achieved when the connection to nature is missing or contaminated.

“The environment shapes the culture of the people,” explains Roger Fernandez of the Lower Elwha Band of the Klallam Indians. “Anywhere in the world, the environment they live in shapes that culture. You have the mountain people, and the lake people, and ocean people, and island people. That environment shapes the culture, and then the stories explain the people and their relationship with that environment, and the art becomes to me a visual manifestation of that whole process that the art incorporates the environment, it incorporates the culture, and it incorporates the stories, the understandings, and the meanings of the people.”


Aloe, dandelion and willow. Photos courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.

Aloe, dandelion and willow. Photos courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.


Healing plants

Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian healers all have a long history of using indigenous plants for a wide variety of medicinal purposes. Medicinal plants and their applications are as diverse as the tribes who use them. Beyond the medicinal benefits, indigenous plants were a staple of Native peoples’ diet before European contact. Today, indigenous plants are central to efforts to improve dietary health for current generations.

In Hawaii, the “Waianae Diet” and “Pre-Captain Cook Diet” aim to reduce empty calories, fat, and additives and promote a healthier, more balanced diet by restoring the role of indigenous foods. Various Native tribes have similar projects emphasizing traditional foods. In this very real sense, food is medicine.

Dandelion is a generous source of Vitamins A, B, C and D and various minerals. It is also used for liver issues like hepatitis and jaundice and is a natural diuretic. All of the plant parts can be used: the root as medicine, food, or coffee substitute; the leaves as a poultice or salad; and the flowers as food or medicine.

Willow leaves are used in a poultice or bath for skin infections or irritations and the leaves can be chewed and placed on insect bites for pain relief. Willow ash can be sprinkled on severe burns or to prevent infections in cuts. Willow is used in some forms of over-the-counter aspirin. Willow aspirin compounds are organic and less volatile than their chemically made counterparts.

Aloe is used for healing burns, as a tea to detoxify the body, and as a skin moisturizer.


A totem for healing

The National Library of Medicine’s healing totem was created to promote good health, in keeping with the mission of the doctors and scientists who work there to advance our knowledge of health and medicine. Following a blessing at the historic Lummi village site of Semiahmoo, the finished totem was transported across the United States, with tribal blessings at several sites along the way. The healing totem was erected as part of a traditional Lummi blessing ceremony in from the National Library of Medicine in October 2011.

“The figures in this totem are based on stories of the Lummi Nation and the Algonquin Nation,” explains Master Carver Jewell James, a member of the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation. “At the totem base is depicted a woman with a gathering basket, symbolizing the role of women in collecting traditional herbs and medicinal plants. Above her rises the Tree of Life, with its branches reaching for the sky and its roots deep in the Earth, symbolizing how all life on Earth is related. The Tree represents the forest from which medicines are gathered. Capping the pole is Medicine Woman in the Moon, looking to the Great Spirit to reveal new knowledge.”


Hibulb Cultural Center presents Matika Wilbur’s Natural Wanderment



By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News


During the evening of Friday, October 23, the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve held a small, intimate gathering to unveil its latest exhibit, Natural Wanderment: Stewardship. Sovereignty. Sacredness. An exhibition of Native American portraits and stories that honors and seeks to protect ancestral ways of life and lands in North America.

Matika Wilbur, of the Tulalip and Swinomish tribes, presented an extraordinary exhibition of Project 562 portraits of Native Americans devoted to the protection of the sacred and the natural. Project 562 aims to build cultural bridges, abandon stereotypes and renew and inspire our national legacy by documenting people from 562+ Tribal Nations in the United States.

“Project 562 is my offering to you. It is for the people. For each of us. It is with deep respect that I welcome you to my newest collection: Natural Wanderment: Stewardship, Sovereignty, Sacredness,” said Matika in a welcome pamphlet to all those who attended the opening night’s unveil. “This collection of images is meant to help us understand our relationship with the mother earth.”

Matika, one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading photographers, has exhibited extensively in regional, national, and international venues such as the Seattle Art Museum, the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, The Tacoma Art Museum, the Royal British Columbia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Nantes Museum of Fine Arts in France. Her photographs have been acquired for the permanent collections of the Tacoma Art Museum and the Seattle Art Museum.

“Most of the portraits are accompanied with excerpts from our interviews recorded on the road,” stated Matika. “The responses of the featured people provide a special opportunity to bring you closer what we have experienced and come to understand from so many Native Americans in their own lands. These speakers’ words allow imagination of identities and realities, history and places that are otherwise difficult if not impossible to experience. It is so important to us that people be able to tell their own stories from their own places.”




Matika studied photography at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Montana and received a bachelor’s degree from Brooks Institute of Photography in California. Her work led her to becoming a certified teacher at Tulalip Heritage High School, providing inspiration for the youth of her own indigenous community. She is unique as an artist and social documentarian in Indian Country. The insight, depth, and passion with which she explores the contemporary Native identity and experience are communicated through the impeccable artistry of each of her heartwarming photographs.

“This is just the beginning,” Matika concluded. “There are many miles of the journey left to travel, and many, many more stories to share. I offer deepest thanks to my family, the Tulalip Tribes’ Hibulb Cultural Center, the Project 562 Team…and other supporters for believing in and helping us continue our work. I am so grateful that you are here; my hands are raised to you!”

Project 562, with intense and widespread attention, will when completed produce a fine arts book series, curricula, documentary, project-derived fashion, and other cutting edge Native American aesthetic material distinct in creativity and quality, origin and insight. To learn more please visit

The exhibit unveiling included a gathering at Hibulb’s longhouse, opening prayer by Tulalip Board of Director Marie Zackuse, welcoming songs by the Tulalip Canoe Family, and song and dance by Tlingit dance group, the Náakw Dancers,

Following the exhibit preview, Matika took to Facebook to express her overwhelming gratitude for all those who made her evening a special one.

“A great big thank you to the Tulalip Hibulb Cultural Center for hosting a beautiful opening for Project 562 last night! My heart is so full of love and gratitude… A million thanks to our Tulalip leaders, community members, singers and dancers that blessed us with your beautiful words and songs, I could hear your drum beat in my dreams last night! Thank you to my incredible family and friends for your unwavering support and uplifting encouragement– it was so good to see so many relatives! I’m overwhelmed with gratitude this morning- thank you for believing in this great big idea to ‘change the way we see Native America’. It took so many people to bring it all together, thank you for being a part of it. You make it possible.”


matike 2


The 42-piece photographic exhibit, Natural Wanderment: Stewardship. Sovereignty. Sacredness, will be on display through June 11, 2016 at the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve.

Elbow grease: the cost effective, green cleaner

Denise Frakes of Blue Sky Services, gives tips on dumping toxic cleaners and using a little elbow grease for a safer, cleaner home. Photo/Niki Cleary, Tulalip News

Denise Frakes of Blue Sky Services, offers tips on dumping toxic cleaners and using a little elbow grease for a healthy, clean home. Photo/Niki Cleary, Tulalip News


By Niki Cleary, Tulalip News 


It’s easy to fall prey to the advertising. A sparkling home, the scent of a sea breeze drifting across the living room, not to mention the image of your bizarrely clean children and dogs frolicking as you take cookies from your spotless oven. The fact is, it’s a myth. The images are clever marketing. A play on our childhood memories and a lifetime of conditioning about how to properly complete domestic chores that hooks us into buying toxic cleaners that not only wreak havoc on our health, they actually make our house dirtier!

Denise Frakes has owned and operated cleaning companies for 24 years, she explained, “There’s a reason most of our fragrances are ‘seabreeze, mountain mist,’ all these things feed our [idea] of hearth and home, except they don’t. Our sense of smell is in the mid-part of the brain where our memories and emotions are. A lot of times it’s hard to let go of products we’re emotionally connected to.”

It helps if you first consider that most cleaning products designed for your home are pesticides.

“Anything that kills a living organism, is a pesticide,” Denise pointed out. “Be careful, we are living organisms. Have you ever cleaned your house and had this scratchy throat, a headache, or you just feel tired?”

It’s not just because you don’t like cleaning.

She went on, “Instead of feeling vitalized because we’ve done something physical, we don’t feel well. What happened? We’re mixing products all the time. Say I’m in the shower and use a product called ‘Kaboom’. I spray it, breathe it in, it gets on my skin. Then maybe I use my window cleaner with ammonia, and some of it also lands on me, the glass, and some on the acrylic floor. Now I’m in this tiny area, with poor ventilation and I’ve created a toxic gas.”

In addition to the concern of mixing chemicals, Denise said that one of the goals of cleaning is to leave no residue. Denise and her husband, the owner/operators of Blue Sky Services, employ a system that focuses on prevention then escalates to the use of what she calls ‘restorative’ cleaning products, things like bleach.

“Cleaning is not about adding on, it’s about removing. We start with residue free, or green cleaning, because when you’re done cleaning the only thing left should be the [surface]. ”

But cleaning products make life so much easier, right? I’ve seen the commercials, spray that stuff and little bubble cartoons come out of nowhere and leave behind sparkles and freshness. Turns out that’s not exactly accurate, most cleaning products leave behind a residue that attracts dirt if it’s not removed.

“The job of cleaners is to attract soil, so they leave behind a residue which makes things re-soil faster,” Denise explained.

Prevention is always better than cleaning, she pointed out. She pronounced that a good entry rug is the first line of defense. Taking off shoes as you enter the house is another strategy to keep dirt out.

“The premise of my cleaning is always, is there a way we can prevent a soil? If you have a commercial entrance rug and take off your shoes, you’ll minimize 76% of all soils that come in the door.”

When you do have to clean, the best ingredient is elbow grease, and plenty of it.

“We are masters of breaking surface tension in our cleaning company, because that’s where the cleaning happens,” Denise illustrated by wetting a cloth and scrubbing briskly.

“I use a two-towel method, microfiber cloths are great technology,” she added. “A good microfiber will gather 99% of the germs. They grab a hold of the soil, we don’t need to kill germs, just remove them. I clean with a microfiber, then buff dry with a terry cloth or other non-lint towel.”

Dish soap is one of the products Denise is fond of using. Because it’s excellent at breaking surface tension, is safe and a little can go a very long way.

“I use it in showers, counters and floors,” she said. “Because it’s high bubbling, you can use a really diluted product. It’s a great cleanser to use, then rinse and dry and it’s not in the air.”

In line with her mildest means cleaning philosophy, Denise encourages the use of vacuums, especially those that use HEPA filters. HEPA filters remove very fine particles from the air.




“There’s a lot of stuff in our dust that isn’t healthy,” she explained. She urged people to consider opening their windows, both to let in fresh air and to remove moisture, an often forgotten danger to indoor air quality.

“When you live in a house it should be the safest, healthiest place, but most homes have 25% more contaminants than outside,” said Denise. “Air purifiers are great, but clean your filters on a regular basis and maintain them well. I recommend that every house has a hygrometer, a relative humidity measurement tool.”

Ideally, indoor air should contain 30-50% moisture, when it’s above 60% the humidity provides a perfect environment for dust mites and mold.

“If you’re cleaning or working in the kitchen or taking a shower, open a window and turn on the ventilation,” she encouraged. “The exhaust fans remove contaminants and the windows bring in fresh air.”

Quick review time: in order to reduce dependence on cleaning products you should practice prevention, use area rugs and stop dirt at the door. Next, clean early and often using the mildest means possible, preferably water and washcloths followed by drying to prevent water spots and dirt from settling into the droplets. If you have to use a cleaning product, make sure that you increase the ventilation and open the windows.

Remember, you should feel better, not worse, after cleaning. For more tips on green cleaning you can follow Denise’s blog at

$2.1 million will support MPHS victims, responders

By Diana Hefley, The Herald



MARYSVILLE — The federal government announced Friday it will provide $2.1 million dollars to support victims, witnesses and first responders affected by last year’s shootings at Marysville Pilchuck High School.

The grant will pay for mental health and victim services, additional school counselors, suicide prevention efforts and other programs at the high school and throughout the district.

“We’re excited about this and what we’ll be able to do,” said Marge Fairweather, the executive director of Victim Support Services.

The nonprofit provides two trauma therapists who mainly work with students at Marysville Pilchuck. Fairweather plans to hire a case manager and third therapist to reach more students in other schools.

On Oct. 24, 2014, a high school freshman shot his friends. Four students were killed and a fifth was seriously wounded. Shooter Jaylen Fryberg, 15, then killed himself.

The school district, Marysville, the Tulalip Tribes, Victim Support Services and Volunteers of America initially applied for $4.2 million. The amount was refined to meet the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime.

After the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Congress authorized the office to set aside $50 million a year to provide grants to victims and first responders after acts of terrorism or mass violence. The money comes from bond forfeitures and fines paid by white-collar criminals.

The federal office provided a $7.1 million grant for recovery efforts after a gunman in 2012 killed 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

It’s time to end the ‘shh, don’t tell’ mentality

Robin Poor Bear, Oglala, and her two children Anthony and Darian appeared in the PBS series, “Kind Hearted Woman.”  Photo/

Robin Poor Bear, Oglala, and her two children Anthony and Darian appeared in the PBS series, “Kind Hearted Woman.” Photo/

Robin Poor Bear visits Tulalip, speaks out against abuse


By Kim Kalliber, Tulalip News 


An estimated one in three Native American women are assaulted or raped in their lifetimes, and three out of five experience domestic violence. Robin Poor Bear, an Oglala Sioux and member of North Dakota’s Spirit Lake tribe, is one of these women.

After facing years of abuse, which began at the age of three when she was molested by her father, and continued through a foster father and two uncles before an abusive husband, Poor Bear continues to fight to improve her life and the lives of others.

Poor Bear turned to alcohol as a way to cope with the psychological issues stemming from abuse. Following her divorce, and the conviction of her ex-husband for molesting their daughter, her two children were taken away from her.

“Kind Hearted Woman,” A PBS documentary created by acclaimed filmmaker David Sutherland, tells the powerful story of Poor Bears struggle to sustain herself, overcome addiction, and gain custody of her children against daunting odds.  And throughout it all, she remains kind hearted and devoted to helping others.

Since the making of the documentary, Poor Bear has been traveling to various reservations and communities, serving as a role model and a symbol of strength to other women.

“A lot of people tell me that I’m so brave and so courageous, and I don’t feel like that,” said Poor Bear on her recent visit to Tulalip.  “I think that the Creator gives you strength to carry through whatever it is you have to go through. When I told my story, it was Him, I was just going through the motions.”

Poor Bear spent two days, October 19 and 20, on the Tulalip Reservation, speaking with community members about overcoming the fear to speak out about abuse, recovering from tragedy, and urging others to reach out for help.

“I’m so grateful for all of it. There were tons of people that attended these two days of workshops. What an honor. What a beautiful, beautiful place that is here. The people are so amazing. What can we do, is the response I got from the people. I want to give each and every one of them a big thank you, because we need more of that.”

Speaking on VAWA and tribal courts, she impressed, “Law enforcement attended. There were law enforcement in this. That speaks volumes in how far this reservation is. Even though people don’t feel like you’re that far, you are. You’re dealing with historical trauma, generational trauma and genocide. That was instilled upon us, in our bloodline. We are just now getting into this process that has been long coming, like VAWA and all the work of the amazing women who changed legislation. They’re the ones who have helped me tell my story.”

“It’s time to end the ‘shh, don’t tell’ mentality,” Poor Bear said, acknowledging that many cases of abuse fail to get reported because of close-knit communities and family members. “It’s time to say, you know what, I want to hear what you have to say. I want to hear your voice.”

Poor Bear strongly encourages everyone to reach out, to speak up. A good place to start is by contacting an advocate. “It was an advocate that helped me and introduced me to Davis Sutherland. It was an advocate that helped me through the toughest times in my life, when my own family wouldn’t.

“One thing I did, was with a relative that stayed with me, who was in this situation. I invited her and her boyfriend to come and stay with me and I left my pamphlets all over the house, in the bathroom, in her laundry. Finally she said, is this me? And I said, I don’t know only you can answer that. Is it you? And that’s where she started.”

“We have a wealth of resources. Call an advocate, call and reach out to the mental health workers. National hotlines are also available. There is just so much information and so many places to go and to know that you are not alone. I want to tell them all, you are not alone.”



For information about the “Kind Hearted Woman” documentary, visit


If I am a survivor of domestic violence or sexual abuse or know someone who is, how can I get help and support?

If you or someone you know is feeling threatened or experiencing abuse, contact service providers at one of these national hotlines for confidential support. Advocates can refer you to local resources in your state or territory.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

Advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information, and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Assistance is available in English and Spanish, with access to more than 170 languages through interpreter services.

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

Among its programs, the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline. This nationwide partnership of more than 1,100 local rape treatment hotlines provides victims of sexual violence with free, confidential services around the clock.

Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

Serving the U.S., its territories, and Canada, the hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with professional crisis counselors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in 170 languages.

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474 or 1-800-331-8453 (TTY) or text “loveis” to 77054

The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline provides 24/7 phone, text, and chat services designed for young people involved in dating abuse relationships as well as concerned friends, parents, teachers, clergy, law enforcement, and service providers.


A full resource list and hotlines for survivors of domestic and/or sexual abuse can be found at



Warrior of mine

Do warriors still exist today…

Yes they do when they Kneel and Pray…

Understanding ALL is not lost…

Walking the “Red Road” not what they were taught…

They lived a life of drugs, booze VIOLENCE, and lust…

Now they are learning in the “Creator to trust”…

They don’t…always believe in “OUR WAYS”…

After all We were “SAVAGES” raped of our PRAISE…

Some Fight Harder, Louder, some still do wrong…

Most are living…walking…looking strong…

Those are our “lost warriors” who still suffer today…

And its for those whom I ask to KNEEL and PRAY….

It was NEVER their FAULT just something “THEY” taught…


We will carry OUR TRADITIONS through time…

I am grateful to know the WARRIOR and a Friend of MINE…


Written by Robin Poor Bear