Integrating health services for efficiency and convenience

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Tulalip’s Behavioral Health Department recently split into two divisions in preparation for a statewide merge between Washington State care providers and Washington behavioral health and recovery departments. The upcoming merge will join Behavioral Health and Recovery Departments with local clinics and will be more convenient for patients, as well as a step towards a new integrated health model system.

Previously the Behavioral Health Department in Tulalip oversaw nine separate programs. The programs are now split into two separate divisions, Behavioral Health and Recovery and the new Family Advocacy division.

Family Advocacy consists of the following programs: beda?chelh, Family Haven, Child Advocacy, Legacy of Healing, as well as the Tulalip Safe House. The Behavioral Health and Recovery division consists of the Healing Lodge, Chemical Dependency & Problem Gambling, as well as Adult and Youth Wellness.

Carrie Jones, Family Advocacy Director, believes that division between the departments is a move in the right direction. She notes that the new division has an emphasis on the wellness of families within the community while the Behavioral Health and Recovery division focuses on the well being of an individual.

Carrie explains the reason behind the division, “Currently the State has merged their chemical dependency and their mental health programs and by the year 2020 [the State is] looking at more of an integrated health model where they’re merging those areas with health clinics. We’re getting ahead by splitting up the two divisions, and later on down the road the tribe will be merging Behavioral Health and Recovery with the Clinic. The integrated health model, when you think about treating the mind, body and spirit, it makes sense to have behavioral health and recovery and the health clinic under one umbrella.”

For further details about Family Advocacy contact Carrie Jones at (360) 716-4320.

For further details about Behavioral Health and Recovery contact (360) 716-4400.

A weekend of buckets and bricks



By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Thanksgiving weekend has become synonymous with tournament basketball on the Tulalip Reservation. For years now, the annual men’s All-Native Turkey Throwdown, women’s Thanksgiving Iron-5, and 14U boys and girls Open Thanksgiving Tournament have all occurred on the weekend following the holiday.

This year was no different. Ballers from all over the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Canada journeyed to Tulalip to put their basketball prowess on display in the hopes of taking home some 1st prize money. Josh Fryberg, Youth Services Activities Coordinator, estimated 260 players took part in the three tournaments.

With no shortage of free entertainment taking place all weekend across three separate basketball courts, the gyms and parking lots of the Tulalip Youth Center and Boys & Girls Club were jam packed with hoopers and their spectating friends and family.

Non-stop buckets and bricks for three straight days yielded quality competition and sportsmanship on the court, plenty of time for friends and family to catch-up and bonding time for the young ones.

Two Tulalip teams took home top honors and the bragging rights that come with it. The “Tulalip Players” led by Shawn Sanchey, Bradley Fryberg, and Deyamonta Diaz claimed 1st place in the men’s tournament and the “Tulalip Boys” coached by Willy Enick got 1st in the boys 14U tourney.

“I want to thank all of the players, coaches, staff workers, the Tulalip Youth Services team, and the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club on helping make the Thanksgiving tournament weekend a success,” stated Josh, who also worked as a tournament co-coordinator. “We had a lot of good compliments and feedback. Looking forward to many more great tournaments in the future. Safe travels to everyone and thoughts and prayers go out to all in need.”


ICONic: Native America’s first Comic-Con



By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 


“Ten years ago this wouldn’t have even been possible,” stated Arigon Starr, member of Kickapoo Tribe and Creator of the comic book series Super Indian, about the first ever Indigenous Comic-Con (ICON). The comic book convention, recently held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, offered the opportunity for fans, also known as Indigenerds, to meet their favorite Native American artists, writers, actors, and comedians.

Speaking to a large crowd Arigon continued, “Indian People, growing up as superhero fans, we never really had the right representation. Kids often ‘call’ who they want to be. You hear it all the time, I call Batman or I’m Iron Man and you can be Captain America. I think it’s cool that our future generations will be able to say I call Super Indian. And this movement will only get bigger because every day the following continues to grow.”


Super Indian Creator, Arigon Starr, explains to a crowd of Indigenerd’s the positive impact Native American Superheroes will have on future generations.

Super Indian Creator, Arigon Starr, explains to a crowd of Indigenerd’s the positive impact Native American Superheroes will have on future generations.


Like most comic-cons ICON, held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, was a three-day event that included artist panels, exclusive signings, and even live performances from Native musicians, voice actors, and the comedian group the 1491’s.

The excitement grew as the Indignerds, many in full cosplay, began to arrive. Cosplay, a popular hit at comic-cons world-wide, is when a fan dresses in costume as their favorite characters. Although the occasional superhero, villain, and even a Game of Thrones character were spotted, the favorite cosplay characters hailed from a galaxy far far away. The Galactic Empire, the antagonists from the Star Wars movie franchise, ruled the cosplay scene during ICON. Among the many Darth Vader’s, Boba Fett’s, and Stormtrooper’s one ICON cosplayer took a moment to reflect on the event.

“This is so wild,” he exclaimed while taking off his Stormtrooper helmet, “It’s like that Seinfeld episode where George [Costanza]’s worlds collide, only this is a great outcome. My worlds are my culture and the comic book universe, both DC and Marvel. I’m a huge Star Wars fan. And seeing two things I love together is just beautiful.”




Aside from authentic storylines and a huge step away from stereotypes, artwork is one of the key differences between today’s Indigenous comic book characters and those of the past. Taking traditional artwork and giving it a modern twist, the artists are able to convey a sense of pride and connection to their Native audience. Such artwork, that catches the eye immediately, comes from Jeffrey Veregge.

“You know, it just kind of happened,” explains Veregge, “I was at a place in my old job position where I was bored, nothing I was doing was exciting for me anymore.” Veregge, a Pacific Northwest artist and Port Gamble S’Klallam tribal member, was chosen by Marvel to re-vamp the short-lived 1970’s comic book series, Red Wolf. Jeffrey’s passion for comic books began at a young age and like many other artists at the convention, he is excited to represent the Native community while adding his own unique style, Salish Geek.

“Coast Salish artwork used to be seen very seldom outside of the Northwest. Now everyone with a Seahawks jersey is wearing traditional Salish designs. Coming from Little Boston, I wanted to incorporate our artwork with characters that I grew up with. Batman was one of my first pieces and it really just took off from there,” stated Veregge. The Internet, Facebook in particular, took Jeffrey’s pieces including Batman, Optimus Prime, Iron Man and the Millennium Falcon and shared them enough times until they eventually caught the eye of Marvel executives. “I think it’s great. I’m honored to be a part of this, the whole movement, and I’m excited to see the influence the event will have on the youth.”

During the three-day event Indigenerds shared laughs, excitement, and stories with one another. The event also allowed the special guests a chance to speak with their fans about serious topics. Kevin Little, Director of the documentary More Than a Word was in attendance spreading awareness to his fellow Native Peoples. The documentary displays the racist connotations of the NFL team, the Washington Redskins, and urges the franchise to change their name.



Also in Attendance was Kagagi Creator, Jay Odjick. Kagagi is a graphic novel as well as a television series that is written and spoken in both English and Odjick’s native Algonquian language. Speaking during a signing at the Kagagi booth, Odjick addressed the group, “This platform not only hits us with the opportunity to give the kids something they’re into and can relate to, but it also hits us with the chance to talk about things like DAPL, suicide and substance abuse while preserving our traditions like our language, our art and our storytelling. We are still passing down our teachings, we are just doing it our way.”






For more information and for details for next year’s Indigenous Comic Con visit their website at

Lady Hawks set school records in 74-6 rout of Chargers


By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Led by All-State talent Adiya Jones, last season’s Lady Hawks team went a perfect (19-0) in the regular season, winning those games with an astoundingly high 30-point average margin of victory, and made it all the way to the State tournament. That team finished with a (23-3) overall record as they rewrote the Heritage history books.

Fast forward nine months and the Lady Hawks are looking to replicate that same level of success in the upcoming season. Gone now are Adiya, Michelle Iukes, Desirae Williams, and Kaenishia Herrera who all graduated, but remaining are talented seniors Aliya Jones, Myrna Redleaf, and Cyena Fryberg. Along with stand-out junior Keryn Parks and a bunch of new faces who intend on being key contributors, the expectations remain high for the Lady Hawks basketball program.

On Monday, November 28, the Lady Hawks returned to action as they hosted the Marysville Getchell Chargers c-team in the 2016-2017 season opener. It’s worth noting two Tulalip tribal members play on the Chargers c-team, freshman Jasmin McLean and sophomore Kecia Zackuse.

From the opening tip it was obvious that it wasn’t a question of if the Lady Hawks would win, it was only a question of by how much. The Chargers c-team is comprised of all freshman and sophomore players who are still learning to play the game, while the Lady Hawks have players with years of experience and are coming off a State run.

It couldn’t have been gone any better as the Lady Hawks opened up the game hitting their first six shots and taking a 12-0 lead before the Chargers called a timeout. Following the timeout, the home team continued to hit shots and execute their offense, while playing stifling defense. At the end of the 1st quarter Tulalip led 24-0.

In the 2nd quarter, the game continued to be all Lady Hawks. In fact, Tulalip led 48-0 at one point before the Chargers made their first basket of the game with only nine seconds to go in the half. At halftime the Lady Hawks were up 48-2.




With the victory already well secured, Keryn got the home crowd going with a one-woman scoring demonstration to open the 3rd quarter. In what seemed like only a matter of seconds, she scored back-to-back-to-back-to-back buckets giving her team a 57-2 lead. After hitting the bench for a quick breather, the hot-handed Keryn returned to score two more buckets, making it six straight shots without a miss for her.

Going into the 4th quarter, Tulalip led 61-2. Even in a blowout of this nature there is valuable experience to be had. All the new faces on the Lady Hawks were able to get a lot of run and get familiar with running the team sets in real game action.

When the final game buzzer sounded, Tulalip had won their season opener 74-6. In the process they set team records with the 68-point margin of victory and a team total 34 turnovers forced, including a record breaking 31 steals.

Keryn led all players with 19-points and 7-assists. Adding to the awesome game notes was every Lady Hawk player scoring at least 4-points. Not a bad way to start the season.

The Lady Hawks next home game is Wednesday, December 7, when they host Chief Kitsap Academy. Tipoff at 5:00 p.m.



December Holiday Happenings At Tulalip Resort Casino

Magical Recipes are Coming Together to Form Remarkable Holiday Dishes

Tulalip, Washington — It’s that holiday time of year, and the chefs at Tulalip Resort Casino have been busy checking their recipes twice to make sure they create magical dishes for all to enjoy. Every restaurant at the Resort is getting involved with this year’s festivities for Christmas and New Year’s.

Journeys East chef’s helpers will be busy in the kitchen whipping up specials during the week of Christmas Eve through New Year’s Eve. The chef and his band of merry cooks will create some tantalizing dishes for guests to sample, including Gan Poog Chicken a lightly fried chicken breast, tossed in a spicy Sichuan sauce for $16; a Drunken Chicken with steamed free ranged chicken, marinated with Shao shin wine and ginger, served with a trio of sauces for $18; Braised Pork Belly seasoned with ginger, cardamom, oyster sauce and green onions, with steamed baby Bok Choy for $18; and a Stir-Fried Ginger 1 3/4 Pound Lobster marinated with ginger, green onion, sesame oil, oyster, cilantro, and served in the shell for $55.

Journeys East holiday hours are Christmas Eve from 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Christmas Day is 9 a.m. – 12midnight, New Year’s Eve on Saturday, January 31 from 12noon until 2 a.m.; and for New Year’s Day from 9 a.m. – 12 a.m. Reserve a table online via OpenTable or by phone at (360) 716-1880.

Cedars Cafe Chef Brent Clarkson has been planning his Christmas Day special all year: an 8 ounce thick cut Apple Wood Smoked Ham Steak grilled and served with a sweet chili glaze, mashed potatoes, house-made gravy, andouille sausage corn bread stuffing, vegetable du jour, and a choice of soup or house salad for $18 per person.The Cedars Cafe regular menu will also be available. Prices will vary.

The Cafe will be open during its regular scheduled time of 24 hours a day during the holidays. To reserve table, call (360) 716-1625, or email here. For more information, visit

Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill and Bar is offering their signature Christmas Day dinner of Seared Duck Breast with a black fig demi Tillamook sharp cheddar and pear potato hash, Brussels sprouts with boar bacon, and a savory butternut squash-hazelnut bread pudding.

Blackfish will be open on Christmas Eve from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m., and Christmas Day during 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill and Bar will feature a New Year’s Eve special of Hazelnut Crusted Lamb Chops with huckleberry-port demi, sage beurre blanc, white bean-bacon puree, wilted rainbow chard, glazed carrots, and asparagus for $35 per person. Prices exclude sales tax and gratuity.

To book a spot at Blackfish, go to OpenTable or call (360) 716-1500.

Tulalip Bay’s Chef Jeremy Taisey’s traditional Christmas Day special is an Individual Honey Baked Ham with wild rice polenta and haricot vert with almonds. And here’s a chance to put a big ol’ smile on kids of all ages for this festive time of year. Tulalip Bay’s regular dinner menu will also be available on Christmas Day, and prices will vary.

The restaurant’s holiday hours for Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24th are 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., Christmas Day Sunday, December 25th are 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., New Year’s Eve Saturday, December 31 from 4 p.m. until 12midnight, and New Year’s Day Sunday, January 1, 2017, from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

To reserve a table, go to OpenTable or call (360) 716-1100.

Eagles Buffet will feature its regular menu on Christmas Eve from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with bunch items served until 3:30 p.m. and dinner features starting at 3:30 p.m. On Christmas Day, Eagles Buffet will be pulling out all the holiday stops from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. featuring specials all day with Brunch until 2 p.m. Their Christmas Day dinner showstoppers will start at 2:00 p.m. Pricing for Adults is $24.95 per person and $13.95 for children ages 2-10. Prices exclude sales tax and gratuity.

For New Year’s Eve, Eagles Chef John Jadamec will serve Brunch from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with Dinner starting at 3:30 p.m. and going until 11 p.m. On New Year’s Day Sunday, January 1, 2017, Jadamec’s happy team of revelers will be serving amazing fare from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Seating at Eagles Buffet is on a first come first served basis.

Ring in 2017 at Tulalip’s Canoes Cabernet on Saturday, December 31 with great music to dance the year away by four decades of hits from Pop Offs, The Afrodisiacs, The Spazmatics, and Mr. Pink. Doors open and entertainment begins at 5 p.m. Table reservations range from $125 to $300 each, or a standing room only ticket option is $40 per person. To purchase tickets or reserve a table, see the Canoes Cabaret hosts in person or text them at (360) 502-1155.

Canoes Cabaret hours for Christmas Eve Saturday, December 24th are from 5 p.m. to 12midnight; Christmas Day Sunday, December 25 doors open at 7 p.m. until 12midnight; New Year’s Eve Saturday, December 31 with doors opening at 5 p.m. and New Year’s Day Sunday, January 1, 2017, from 12:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information about the holidays and Tulalip Casino Resort, visit

Tulalip Tribal Court Now Accepting Debit Card Payments


Wendy Church, Tulalip Tribes Court Director

As of December 1st, the Tulalip Tribal Court will begin accepting civil filing fees, criminal fines, and traffic citation payments with our new debit card reader which can process all major cards. We will also accept your debit card for ‘cash’ only bail and restitution payments as well. The debit card reader will be available at the Court’s reception window. If you have any questions about the debit card reader, please contact Annie Moses, Court Financial Coordinator at 360 / 716-4773.

For more information about Tulalip Tribal Court, please visit us on our website at the following address:

Some new additions to our website include our up-and-coming Wellness Court in 2017 – please see website for further information.

Attendance matters

By Ray Houser, Executive Director of Assessment and Student Services Marysville School District


Chronic absenteeism, which is defined as missing at least 18 school days in a year for any reason, excused or unexcused, results in lower academic performance, and is a key predictor that a child will not learn to read on time, and eventually, not graduate from high school.

In the Marysville School District, absenteeism has been a concern. The state average of chronically absent students was 15.8 percent in 2015, compared to the Marysville School District’s 2015 chronic absenteeism rate of 21.8 percent.

The National Assessment for Education Progress (NAEP) developed a state-by-state overview of how students with chronic absences preformed compared to their better attending peers. The results show students who missed three or more days of school in the prior month had lower average scores in reading and math than students with fewer absences. The scores hold true for students from every state regardless of size, region or make up of the student population.

Poor attendance also contributes to the achievement gap when it comes to students struggling with poverty, and students from communities of color. Students eligible for free and reduced meals are 30 percent more likely to miss three or more days of school in fourth grade, and in eighth grade it increases to 40 percent

The NAEP also found that poor attendance in the first month of school might predict chronic absence for an entire year. It also shows that absenteeism in kindergarten can affect whether a child develops the grit and perseverance needed to succeed in school, and shows that absenteeism in preschool and kindergarten can influence whether a child will be held back in third grade. What’s more, research from John Hopkins University also shows that absenteeism in middle and high school can predict dropout rates as early as sixth grade.

In the Marysville School District, improving attendance is an essential strategy for reducing existing achievement gaps, and ensuring all of our students are successful during their K-12 experience, and in the next stage of their life. Thanks in part to House Bill 2449, co-sponsored by our local state legislator, Representative Mike Sells, our schools and District now have a mandate to make a difference.

In addition to providing support and outreach to parents on the importance of attendance, improving notification systems around unexcused absences; and data-informed, early intervention steps to reduce absences, the bill allows school districts to create Community Truancy Boards to help address absentee behavior.

It is a familiar phrase, but it takes a village to raise a child. Our village – Marysville and Tulalip – can help make a difference. As parents and guardians, relatives, community members and friends of youth, we can help our children get to school and be present. We can help students in our community get excited about their school and the opportunities that come from learning, and we can reassure them that their teachers and friends need them.

We can also help combat bullying by teaching our children how important it is to be kind and respectful to everyone, and we can make a point to report hurtful behavior with SafeSchools ( And if we are really passionate, we can join the Community Truancy Board by contacting Christy Mertens at or 360-965-2025.

Thank you for recognizing this effort and for all your ongoing commitment to our local students. Together, we can make a huge difference in the lives of our kids – and our future.




Beyond the Thanksgiving myth

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

“We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life.” – Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address.


Each November families across the country teach their children about the First Thanksgiving, a classic American holiday. They try to give children an accurate picture of what happened in Plymouth in 1621 and explain how that event fits into American history. Unfortunately, many teaching materials give an incomplete, if not completely inaccurate, portrayal of the first Thanksgiving, particularly of the event’s Native American participants.

Most texts and supplementary materials portray Native Americans at the gatherings as supporting players. They are depicted as nameless, faceless, generic “Indians” who merely shared a meal with the valiant Pilgrims. The real story is much deeper, richer, and more nuanced. The “Indians” in attendance, the Wampanoag, played a lead role in the historic encounter, and they had been vital to the survival of the colonists during the newcomers’ first year.


The Teachers

The Wampanoag were a people with a sophisticated society who had occupied the region for thousands of years. They had their own government, their own spiritual and philosophical beliefs, their own knowledge system, and their own culture. They were also a people for whom giving thanks was a part of daily life.

The Wampanoag people have long lived in the area around Cape Cod, in present-day Massachusetts. When the English decided to establish a colony there in the 1600s, the Wampanoag already had a deep understanding of their environment. They maintained a reciprocal relationship with the world around them. As successful hunters, farmers, and fishermen who shared their foods and techniques, they helped the colonists adapt and survive in “the new world”.

Wherever Europeans set foot in the Western Hemisphere, they encountered Native peoples who had similar longstanding relationships with the natural world. With extensive knowledge of their local environments, Native peoples developed philosophies about those places based on deeply rooted traditions.

The ability to live in harmony with the natural world begins with knowing how nature functions. After many generations of observation and experience, Native peoples were intimately familiar with weather patterns, animal behaviors, and the cycles of plant, water supply, and the seasons. They studied the stars, named constellations, and knew when solstices and equinoxes occurred. This kind of knowledge enabled Native peoples to flourish and to hunt, gather, or cultivate the foods they needed, even in the harshest environments.

Traditionally, Native peoples have always been caretakers in a mutual relationship with their environment. This means respecting nature’s gifts by taking only what is necessary and making good use of everything that is harvested. This helps ensure that natural resources, including foods, will be sustainable for the future. In this way of thinking, the Wampanoag along with every other Native tribe believe people should live in a state of balance within the universe.

Native communities throughout the Americas have numerous practices that connect them to the places where they live. They acknowledge the environment and its gifts of food with many kind of ceremonies, songs, prayers, and dances. Such cultural expressions help people to maintain the reciprocal relationship with the natural world. For example, the Tulalip Tribes of Washington conducts a special ceremony every year called Salmon Ceremony that demonstrates respect for the life-sustaining salmon as a gift. By properly respecting the fish, the Salmon King will continue his benevolence through months of salmon returns.


The Immigrants

A majority of those who came to America on the Mayflower came to make a profit from the products of the land, the rest were religious dissenters who fled their own country to escape religious intolerance. The little band of religious refugees and entrepreneurs that arrived on the Mayflower that December of 1620 was poorly prepared to survive in their new environment. They did not bring enough food, and they arrived too late to plant any crops. They were not familiar with the area and lacked the knowledge, tools, and experience, to effectively utilize the bounty of nature that surrounded them. For the first several months, two or three died each day from scurvy, lack of adequate shelter, and poor nutrition. On one exploration trip, the immigrants found a storage pit and stole the corn that a Wampanoag family had set aside for the next season.

As the starving time of the European’s first winter turned to spring, the Wampanoag began to teach them how to survive within their lands. The summer passed and the newcomers learned to plan and care for native crops, to hunt and fish, and to do all the things necessary to partake of the natural abundance of the earth in this particular place. All of this occurred under the watchful instruction and guidance of the Wampanoag.


A Harvest Celebration

As a result of all the help and teachings the Europeans received from the local Wampanoag, they overcame their inexperience and – by the fall of their first year in Wampanoag country, 1621 – they achieved a successful harvest, mostly comprised of corn. They decided to celebrate their success with a harvest festival, mimicking that of the Harvest Home they would have most likely celebrated as children in Europe.

Harvest Home was traditionally held on the Saturday or Sunday nearest to the Harvest Moon, the full moon that occurs closes to the autumn equinox. It was typically held in parts of England, Ireland, Scotland, and northern Europe. The Harvest Home consisted of non-stop feasting and drinking, sporting events, and parading in the fields shooting off muskets.

The “First Thanksgiving” is said to be based on customs that the Europeans brought with them. Even though from ancient times Native people have held ceremonies to give thanks for successful harvests, for the hope of a good growing season in the early spring, and for good fortune. Traditional Wampanoag foods such as wild duck, goose, and turkey were main dishes of the menu.

Although the relatively peaceful relations first established were often strained by dishonest, aggressive, and brutal actions on the part of the “settlers”, the Wampanoag were gracious hosts to their now immigrant neighbors. Edward Winslow (a European attendant at the celebration) stated in a letter from 1621 that the harvest celebration went on for three days and was highlighted by the Wampanoag killing five deer, thus providing the feast with venison.



In only a matter of years following the harvest celebration that would become known as the “First Thanksgiving”, the rarely achieved, temporary state of coexistence had been torn to shreds. The great migration of European refugees and religious zealots to America that ensued brought persecution and death to the Native tribes. Full-scale war erupted in 1637 and again in 1675, ending with the defeat of the Wampanoag by the English. Though decimated by European diseases and defeated in war, the Wampanoag continued to survive through further colonization in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. Today, the Wampanoag live within their ancestral homelands and still sustain themselves as their ancestors did by hunting, fishing, gardening, and gathering. Additionally, they maintain a rich and vital oral history and connection to the land.

Sharing agricultural knowledge was one aspect of early Native efforts to live side by side with Europeans. So, the “First Thanksgiving” was just the beginning of a long, brutal history of interaction between Native peoples and the European immigrants. It was not a single event that can easily be recreated. The meal that is ingrained in the American consciousness represents much more than a simple harvest celebration. It was a turning point in history.



Giving daily thanks for nature’s gifts has always been an important way of living for traditional Native peoples. Ultimately, Native peoples’ connection to place is about more than simply caring for the environment. That connection has been maintained through generations of observations, in which people developed environmental knowledge and philosophies. People took actions to ensure the long-term sustainability of their communities and the environment, with which they shared a reciprocal relationship. In their efforts, environmentalists are acknowledging the benefits of traditionally indigenous ways of knowing. Today, Native knowledge can be a key to understanding and solving some of our world’s most pressing problems.



Did you know?


National Day of Mourning


An annual tradition since 1970, Native Americans have gathered at noon on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. To them, Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their culture. Participants in National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to experience.

The following is an excerpt from a speech given by Moonanum James, Co-Leader of United American Indians of New England, at the 29th National Day of Mourning.

“Some ask us: Will you ever stop protesting? Some day we will stop protesting. We will stop protesting when the merchants of Plymouth are no longer making millions of dollars off the blood of our slaughtered ancestors. We will stop protesting when we can act as sovereign nations on our own land without the interference of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and what Sitting Bull called the “favorite ration chiefs”. When corporations stop polluting our mother, the earth. When racism has been eradicated. When the oppression of Two-Spirited people is a thing of the past. We will stop protesting when homeless people have homes and no child goes to bed hungry. When police brutality no longer exists in communities of color. Until then, the struggle will continue.”




  • American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving. National Museum of the American Indian. Retrieved from
  • Harvest Ceremony. Johanna Gorelick and Genevieve Simermeyer, the Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved from
  • National Day of Mourning (United States protest). Retrieved from

Honoring our tribal Veterans



By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Tulalip community members gathered at the Hibulb Cultural Center on November 11, to honor our veterans. They paid tribute and gave thanks to the brave men and women of Tulalip and its surrounding communities, who served and are currently serving in the United States Military of Armed Forces.

Several Tulalip tribal member quilters banned together and made quilts to present to, and recognize, a handful of the Veterans. After many weeks of hard work, the group made a total of seven quilts to gift to the elders who fought for this nation.






In the Hibulb longhouse, community members gathered and showed appreciation to those who protected the rights and freedom of Americans nationwide. During roll call, the community listened to the Vets as they shared stories and experiences from their time in the service. Once roll call came to a close, a moment of silence was taken in remembrance of the fallen soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice, as well as to pay tribute to Tulalip’s Golden Mothers.

The Veterans Day event concluded with lunch, a carving demonstration by Tulalip Master Carver Mike Gobin (Navy Veteran), and a Veteran’s Healing Forum that was led by Reverend Bill Eagleheart Topash (Marine Veteran).