Unity and Wellness Month jam-packed with activates

 Photo courtesy of Tulalip Youth Services

Photo courtesy of Tulalip Youth Services


By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Tribes has teamed up with the Marysville School District to officially declare October 2016 as Unity and Wellness Month or #TMUnityMonth. The Tulalip Youth Services, Behavioral Health, and Boys and Girls Club are among the several tribal programs banding together to promote healthy living for the youth of the Tulalip/Marysville community.

The month of October is jam-packed with activities. Nearly every day the youth have the opportunity to take part in events such as a movie night, a color run, and a field trip to the corn maze.

Additionally, each week of October will have a themed topic and every event held that week is based on that topic. For example, the third week of October is Bullying Prevention Week, during which the First Annual YANA (Young Active Native Americans) Conference will be held and hosted by the Tulalip Youth Tribal Council. The conference will include guest speakers, workshops, and activities that focus on bullying and suicide prevention.

#TMUnityMonth celebrates life and heal by bringing the youth together for events, support groups and conferences.

October 1-9 

#TMUnityMonth Kick Off Week

Events to Remember: 

10/06/16 Youth Center Peer Support Group (6th-12th Grade) 7:30pm-8:30pm

10/07/16 Friday Night Lights (All) 6:00pm

October 10-16

#LoveIsRespect Domestic Violence Prevention (Healthy Realtionships) Week

Events to Remember:

10/11/16 Youth Center Open House (All) 5:00pm-8:00pm

10/14/16 Healthy Relationship Workshop & Corn Maze Field Trip (6th-12th Grade)

October 17-23

#KindnessMatters Bullying Prevention Week

Events to Remember:

10/18/16 YANA Conference (6th-12th Grade) 8:00am-2:00pm

10/19/16 Movie Night at the Boys and Girls Club (Kindergarten-5th Grade)

October 24-31 

#BeDrugFree Substance Abuse Prevention Week (Kindergartern-5th Grade)

#SaySomething Suicide Prevention Week (6th-12 Grade)

Events to Remember:

10/28/16 Harvest Fest (All) 2:00pm-5:00pm

10/28/16 Color Run (All) 5:00pm

For a complete schedule and further details visit www.TulalipYouthServices.com




Shake Your Groove Thing While Learning a New Dance at Canoes Cabaret

Afraid to hit the dance floor with those two left feet? Here’s a chance to have a great time, right those feet, and learn classic dances that will have even the stars envious! Instruction ranges from Latin and Ballroom to Disco and County Line Dancing. Beginning at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 5th (and the first Wednesday of the month thereafter), dancers and dancer-wannabes can take a group lesson from local instructors. Due to popularity, the classes offer first-come first-served seating, so arrive early to order a cocktail, sip the drink specials, and savor bites from Canoes Carvery.

Renowned DJ Chrissy Williams, dance instructor DeAnna Lee from KMPS FM, and the Boot Scoot Babes will kick things off with Country Line Dancing instruction on October 5th.

“Dance has been a very important part of every culture over time,” said Lisa Severn, Food and Beverage Director. “Dancing is a great way to get family, friends, and strangers together for a night of stress-free fun.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. with Happy Hour offerings from 7-9 p.m. October 5th bar specials include $3 Bud Bottles or a bucket of 4 for $10, and $5 Well Margaritas. Dance lessons and open floor dancing will take place until midnight. Guests 21 and over are invited to attend (sorry, no minors). Prices will vary. Visit Tulalipresort.com for more information.

Dance Wednesday Lineup:

November 2 – Swing Dancing with Daniel Newsome
December 7 – Ballroom (Waltz, Foxtrot) with Olga Foraponova

January 4 – Salsa with Reinier Valdes 
February 1 – Tango with Gabriela Condrea 
March 1 – Cha Cha with Reinier Valdes
April 5 – Country Line Dancing with DeAnna Lee
May 3 – Disco with Chrissy Williams
June 7 – Ballroom (Waltz, Foxtrot) with Olga Foraponova
July 5 – Samba with Reinier Valdes
August 2 – Jazz with Daniel Newsome

About Tulalip Resort Casino
Award winning Tulalip Resort Casino is the most distinctive gaming, dining, meeting, entertainment and shopping destination in Washington state. The AAA Four Diamond resort’s world class amenities have ensured its place on the Condé Nast Traveler Gold and Traveler Top 100 Resorts lists. The property includes 192,000 square feet of gaming excitement; a luxury hotel featuring 370 guest rooms and suites; 30,000 square feet of premier meeting, convention and wedding space; the full-service T Spa; and 7 dining venues, including the AAA Four Diamond Tulalip Bay Restaurant. It also showcases the intimate Canoes Cabaret; a 3,000-seat amphitheater. Nearby, find the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve, Cabela’s; and Seattle Premium Outlets, featuring more than 122 name brand retail discount shops. The Resort Casino is conveniently located between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. just off Interstate-5 at exit 200. It is an enterprise of the Tulalip Tribes. For reservations please call (866) 716-7162.

Tulalip Worship Center: Walking by Faith on the Road to Recovery

Pastor Ron Iukes is on a mission to benefit his  community

Pastor Ron Iukes is on a mission to benefit his


By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

About fifteen years ago, tribal member Ron Iukes set out on a mission to benefit his community and fellow followers of Jesus Christ. The mission was a long, winding road that saw a small church choir turn into a full-fledged church, now called the Tulalip Worship Center.

Located at the old housing building in the Silver Village neighborhood on the Tulalip Reservation, the Tulalip Worship Center is led by Pastor Ron who is determined to help all who seek his teachings to walk by faith.

The Tulalip Worship Center offers four different evening services, all at their location in Silver Village.  Monday nights at 7:00 p.m. is dedicated to bible study and recovery, Wednesday nights at 7:00 p.m. is mid-week service, Friday night is called ‘Friday Night Live’ and intended for the more youthful 18-25 age group. Then there is the customary Sunday night service.

“This isn’t an Indian church, this is a God church,” explains Pastor Ron. “We have a lot of different visitors. One good friend of mine said, ‘You have a bouquet of flowers in your church. You have different colors, different races, and different nationalities uniting through Christ.’ It’s not about certain denominations, it’s about Christ. It’s pretty awesome. I love it.”

The latest chapter to Pastor Ron’s mission is to engage and empower the youth, in particular he has set out to help the young people who are fighting the demon known as addiction.

“Recently, we started to see a lot of our young people coming out of addiction or battling their addiction, whether it be with heroin, with meth, or some other drug, and they are hearing the spiritual call,” says Pastor Ron. “The work we do here is all about encouraging those young ones who need to fill the spiritual void in their life. It’s spreading like wildfire. Our young people are growing and coming in to learn about their spirituality.

“The one thing I tell the young people coming out of addiction is that in the 12-step program they work on their emotional, mental and physical aspects, but they don’t really reach out to their spiritual side. Here at the Tulalip Worship Center, we focus on spirituality first. Having a faith to stand on and depending on the word of God is so important. They learn that no matter what the circumstance may be they can always depend on their faith and the word of God, which becomes their strength.”

It may be difficult for some to understand the impact church and spiritual strength can have on those afflicted by addiction, especially heroin and meth addiction. Yet, several Tulalip tribal members who swear by the teachings of Pastor Ron and the Tulalip Worship Center were willing to share their stories and experiences with See-Yaht-Sub readers. They hope their stories can give hope to those currently struggling with addiction and give added strength to those on the road to recovery.



Several Tulalip tribal members who swear by the teachings of Pastor Ron (center) and the Tulalip Worship Center shared their stories.


Jaida Maltos, age 19

“I used heroin and meth for four and a half years. It wasn’t until I came to the Tulalip Worship Center, accepted Ron as my pastor, and asked God into my life that I was set free from my addiction. Since that moment I haven’t touched those drugs. No man or thing could have done that for me. I thought I was going to die in active addiction. I didn’t think there was any helping me. I thought I was so deep into my addiction that no one could pull me out, but by the grace of God I’m here and I am five months clean.

“I went to jail and when I got out Ron found me and introduced me to his church. I’ve been clean ever since. I didn’t really believe in God before I came here. As a kid, I grew up going to church, but being in my addiction for so long I didn’t think there was a God. I came to the church to test things out and see what it was all about. I’ve been here ever since.

“My advice to young people with addiction is this, there is nothing else that can really pull you out of your addiction except for God. That’s what I believe because that’s what I experienced. I tried everything else. I went to treatment, I tried detox, and I even went to jail. None of those things helped me to get clean and stay clean. It wasn’t until I asked God into my life that I’ve been able to remain clean.”


Keith George, age 24

“I grew up with church being my foundation. I was in the kids’ choir and traveled around to lots of churches singing. I eventually transitioned to playing the guitar for the church band. I did that until my senior year of high school. After high school I started hanging out with the wrong crowd and doing the wrong things. My addiction started with drinking and that led to me using pills and weed. Chasing the high from the pill overtook me and I would use so much until finally I moved out, away from my family. I wanted to be away from my family because I was using. I felt shame and guilt for what I was doing, but I wasn’t able to stop. The negative feelings of shame and guilt continued to build, then I started to use heroin and meth. I was using those for three and half years.

“I knew that church is the only thing that could change me completely. I didn’t want to use Suboxone or Methadone to wean off my addiction, I wanted it stopped completely. I look at Suboxone and Methadone as a legal way of using because they are prescriptions that alter your mind and there are still withdrawals. Church was the thing that could save my life.

“Towards the end of my drug use I was in depression and had suicidal thoughts. I knew that wasn’t me and to get back to the person I knew I could be I needed the church and my family. Without my church and family I wouldn’t have been able to make it. In my time of most need and help, when my addiction was at its strongest, I was able to go to them. I needed encouragement, I needed prayer, and I needed to feel their love. I’ve been clean now for almost two years.”


Nathaniel Zackuse, age 41

“The first time I attended the Tulalip Worship Center everyone welcomed me with open arms and helped show me the way of our lord. Ever since, God’s been blessing me with my sobriety and my new way of life.

“My addiction was alcohol, weed and meth. I tried it up at the Healing Lodge. When I was there we’d go to A.A. meetings and that’s how I heard about Ron’s church. I thought to myself I’d like to try that out. After my first time attending the church I didn’t want to stop going. I’ve been attending a little over four months now.

“Ron’s words are comforting to my heart. God working through him is something else. It’s a much more personal experience here with Ron and the church family than it was at the Healing Lodge. The word of God that Ron preaches speaks to me and helps my everyday life. All the people who attend and share their testimonies, their journeys, helps me out, too.”


Joseph Tom, Sr., age 37

“On July 18, 2014, I came to the church addicted to heroin, meth, pills and alcohol. Any kind of drug I could get my hands on that was me. On that day, July 18, I came in and got prayed for, I put my hands up, and I got touched by God. It was no less than a miracle. God healed me, he healed my body, and he healed everything in me. He took all that addiction away from me.

“Heroin and meth makes people real sick if they don’t have it, the withdrawals are brutal, but after not using the next day I wasn’t sick. I had no cravings at all for what I’d been doing. Right then, I knew it was real what God did for me. There is no man in this world that could have done what happened that night. I know it was a miracle.

“At the time of my testimony I was on heroin and meth for around ten to eleven years. I was real bad, plus I was doing pills and hitting the bottle heavy. I’ve been clean ever since that day. It’s been two years and two months since that day. The word of God has been my strength. Standing on his promises and knowing what he did for me, healing me of my addictions. Having that personal relationship with God and having Ron and the church family here to pray for me is the best kind of medicine.”

These are but a few of the individuals reaching out to demonstrate what the Tulalip Worship Center is capable of providing. Led by Pastor Ron and his passion for helping others, the doors are always open, welcoming anyone and everyone.

“In our church we say ‘sheep bare sheep’, the young ones who have overcome their addiction through faith are positive examples to other young people,” says Pastor Ron. “It’s a blessing to see the lives change, to see these ones come in strapped on heroin and meth and then to witness them give their heart to God. We’ve built a core to surround them with, to help them on their good days and their bad days. Some of them who’ve come in didn’t have jobs or a place to live. Now, they have jobs, places to live, and a testimony that can change lives. The young people are coming in more and more. We are here for them when they are ready.”



Lady Hawks top NW 1B standings

By Micheal Rios; photos by Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 




Four matches played, four matches won. The Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks volleyball team is undefeated and sitting atop the NW 1B standings as of Tuesday, September 27. After narrowly defeating Grace Academy and Arlington Christian both in thrilling matches that went the full five sets, the Lady Hawks won in straight sets over Skykomish and Orcas Christian.

A highly anticipated match awaits on Monday, October 3, when the Lady Hawks travel to Mountlake Terrace to take on the current second seeded Cedar Park Christian. The matchup will feature the two best teams in their league and surely be a highly challenged contest. The victor will have the mental edge and inside track for being the best in the Northwest 1B.





Opioids and Heroin Forum helps inform and heal communities



Tulalip Tribal Chairman Mel Sheldon speaks about healing from addiction. Photo/Kalvin Valdillez

Tulalip Tribal Chairman Mel Sheldon speaks about healing from addiction. Photo/Kalvin Valdillez


by Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 


“Out of curiosity, how many folks here have someone they know who has an opioid addiction?” asked Tulalip Tribes Chairman, Mel Sheldon, at the Opioids and Heroin in Snohomish County community forum. In response, nearly everybody in the Orca Ballroom of the Tulalip Resort and Casino raised their hands.

“I’ve been to too many funerals supporting families who lost a loved one due to an overdose,” Mel continued. The first time he saw the effects of heroin was in the service. Mel witnessed G.I.’s fall victim to ‘China White’ the popular street name for the drug at the time.

Mel stressed that the forum was designed to inform and heal.  He understands the difficulties of addiction and spoke of his many years of sobriety from alcohol.


Dr. Gary Goldbaum

Dr. Gary Goldbaum


Before introducing guest speaker, Dr. Gary Goldbaum, Mel expressed that sharing is a part of the road to recovery and understanding, and that community is stronger by working as one. “When we share, we may hear something that inspires us, something that helps us. So when a friend says ‘I need some help’ we can give them the resources they need, and make a difference.”

Dr. Gary Goldbaum spoke about the epidemic that is destroying communities nationwide. He explained that is extremely difficult to quit once you have started using opioids. He showed side-by-side chemical structures of the prescription opioid OxyContin, prescribed for pain, and of heroin, revealing the two structures are nearly identical.

Because heroin produces the same effects to the human body as OxyContin, many people turn to heroin once their prescriptions run out. The price is cheaper and the demand is so high that the drug has become easily accessible. In recent years, deaths caused by heroin overdose have hit the community of Snohomish County extremely hard. For this reason Dr. Goldbaum believes that a major key in preventing people from trying opioids is education, and suggests that educating children at a young age would tremendously help stifle the epidemic. “This is beyond any one person,” he expressed. “This requires all of us.”

Goldbaum explained in detail what happens during the downward spiral of someone who is addicted to opioids. “Once a person becomes biologically dependent they are driven so hard to get the drug, that it comes at the expense of everything else in their life. Nothing is as important as getting the next fix, because withdrawal is painful.”

He went on to explain that the ‘miracle drug’, Naloxone, should be carried with addicts and friends and family members of addicts at all time. Naloxone saves lives by reversing an overdose in a matter of minutes.

Chief Carlos Echevarria of the Tulalip Police Department stated he shares the frustration and anger the community feels. He said that nearly every crime responded to is heroin related.

“It’s our number one concern,” Chief Echevarria said. “When I was about fifteen I lost two uncles. Last year I lost my brother due to an overdose, so I understand.” He shared that he felt the ‘what ifs’ and that he shared tears with parents in his office who were making funeral arrangements for their children.

Tulalip Health Program’s Annaliese Means and Tulalip community activist Rico Jones Fernandez both spoke of the epidemic ways to help the community.

The health clinic and community health program provides intake exams and counseling for recovering addicts, though treatment and most counseling takes place at Family Services.  The program also helps expecting mothers who are using to get and stay clean during pregnancy.

Rico was instrumental in the passing of Tulalip’s Good Samaritan Law and he also worked hard to get the health clinic’s pharmacy to distribute Naloxone. Rico is also known for running Tulalip’s Clean Needle Exchange Program, where he personally walks throughout the Tulalip Community picking up used needles. The exchange also makes clean needles easily accessible, preventing diseases such as HIV for addicts who would otherwise share needles.

Two speakers, Debbie Warfield and Jim Hillaire, each shared their heartbreaking stories of how heroin stole their children at young ages.

Debbie described her son, Spencer, as a normal kid who loved sports but hated school. Before Spencer started high school they noticed he started to display more aggressive-like behavior. Thinking it was just a phase and the growing pains of adolescence, Debbie didn’t look too far into the behavior at first. However, by the time Spencer reached high school he was diagnosed with depression and ADHD and was prescribed medication. The medication caused him to become distant in both his home and social lives.

Spencer graduated and attended Washington State University where he was diagnosed with anxiety, and this time, opioids were prescribed. Spencer then tried heroin. He went to treatment for 28 days, but eventually died from an overdose.

Jim recently lost his daughter Angelina. She fought a long hard battle with her heroin addiction. She would often get clean for extended periods of time, and then relapse. Each time she relapsed she made strong efforts to get clean again by going back to treatment.

Hillaire stated the entire staff at one of the treatment facilities loved Angelina so much, they invited her to stay and work for them. Ultimately, Angelina decided against staying because she wanted to be with her family. Angelina lost her heroin battle this past summer. Jim stressed that this epidemic is a sickness, similar to a zombie apocalypse, and urged “these people are not dead but are valuable. They are worth our time and our help.”

The major keys that Jim stressed repeatedly are that the entire community needs to be more involved in each other’s lives in order for change to happen, to revisit some of the traditional teachings and practice them at home, and the community also needs to understand what addicts are going through. “I never met one person that wanted to continue to be an addict,” Jim stated.


Chief Carlos Echevarria of the Tulalip Police Department.

Chief Carlos Echevarria of the Tulalip Police Department.


Chief Echevarria said the Tulalip Police Departments priority is to bust the small time dealers in the Tulalip community. The Chief will also continue to assist, in any way possible, with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department. Commander Pat Slack states that the Sheriff’s Department is focusing on catching the suppliers who are importing the heroin from Mexico.

The forum concluded with a Naloxone training to better equip attendees with the knowledge of how to revive a person who has overdosed.

Another forum will be held on October 13, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Edmonds Community College.

Porter Alexander Cooper Jr. (1950 – 2016)



Porter Alexander Cooper Jr. Porter Alexander Cooper Jr., 66 of Tulalip, Wash., passed away September 21, 2016 in Everett, Wash. He was born April 13, 1950, in Seattle, Washington to Porter and Camille Cooper. Porter worked as a logger for many years. He also worked on the USS Turner Joy in Bremerton, Wash. He worked at American Tug Boat Company. He is survived by his wife, LaVelle Cooper; five children, Porter Cooper III, Jason Cooper, Marcie Cooper, Colt Cooper, and Alexis Cooper; brothers, Johnny Cooper, Billy Gobin, Tony Gobin, Mike Gobin; sisters, Velda Gobin, Helen Gobin-Henson, Debra Posey, Rhonda Gobin; two special relatives, Sonny Dick, and Joe Henry; Glen and Lee Parks; numerous grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives. He was preceded in death by father, Port (Donna) Cooper; his mother, Camille Broderson; and his other mother, Nonie Cooper; sisters, Kathy Cooper, Vicky Williams, and Susie Broderson. Services will be held Tuesday, September 27, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. at Schaefer-Shipman Funeral Home with burial to follow at Mission Beach Cemetery.