Lady Hawks Take 2nd at Districts, Move on to Tri-Districts


By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 


After winning their first two games of the District 1B Basketball Tournament, the Tulalip Heritage Lady Hawks (18-3) earned the right to play in the District 1B championship game, held at Mt. Vernon Christian High School. Their opponents were the Lions of Cedar Park Christian (19-1).

These teams played twice during the regular season with the Lady Hawks giving Cedar Park their only L on the season with a 41-23 victory at Francy J. Sheldon gymnasium back on January 6. Then they played three weeks later, this time at Cedar Park’s home court, and the Lady Hawks succumbed to a 15-31 defeat.

The third matchup of these two teams was as intense as can be expected from a pair of league rivals playing with the District 1B championship on the line. In the 1st half, Tulalip opened the game executing their offense and jumped out to a 10-4 lead. Back-to-back stolen passes led to two easy buckets for the Lions that shrunk the Lady Hawk lead to 10-8 to start the 2nd quarter. Tulalip’s defense was making it very tough to score in the half court, while forward Deandra Grant was getting her looks from the post. At halftime, Tulalip led 18-13.

In the 2nd half, the Lady Hawks turnovers changed the pace of the game. The Lions adjusted their own defense to press the Tulalip guards and not allow them to shoot from the perimeter. That adjustment led to the Lady Hawks forcing and sometimes telegraphing passes that were picked off by the Lions players and resulted in transition buckets off the turnovers. Having scored only 13 points in the entire 1st half, the Lions scored 18 points in the 3rd quarter and 13 points in the 4th quarter.

Meanwhile the Lady Hawks offense just wasn’t able to pick up the pace. Guard Aliya Jones got aggressive and scored six straight points, but quickly fouled out to start the 4th quarter. Tulalip fell to Cedar Park by the score of 36-44, resulting in a 2nd place finish to the tournament and a spot in Tri-Districts.



The Lady Hawks (18-4) had three days to practice and prepare before hosting a Tri-District Tournament game versus Mt. Rainier Lutheran (13-10). Coming off the loss to Cedar Park Christian, the girls were eager to move forward and put that game behind them.

In front of a jam packed home crowd cheering them on the girls responded with a quality bounce back game. In a back and forth battle through the first two quarters, the Lady Hawks held a slim four point lead at halftime, 23-19.

Coming out of halftime, Tulalip’s defense clamped down and made nothing easy for Mt. Rainier Lutheran. In fact, the Lady Hawks held their opponent to just eight total 2nd half points. Offensively, forward Deandra Grant was at it again bullying the smaller defenders in the post and commanding a double team. Led by Deandra’s game high 18 points and Myrna Redleaf’s 10 points, the Lady Hawks secured a 40-27 win and moved on to the 2nd round of the Tri-District Tournament.

Hawks Take 5th at Districts, Play One at Tri-Districts


By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

After an impressive second round 20 point win, 59-39, over rival Grace Academy, the Tulalip Heritage Hawks (9-12) faced off against the Orcas Christian Saints (10-7) in the 5th place game at the District 1B Tournament.

The Hawks lost both previous matchups, 39-50 and 51-53, to the Saints during the regular season. However, with the boys’ recent offensive surge they were optimistic they could take down the interleague foe.

In the 1st quarter, Tulalip jumped out to an 8-2 lead that was extended to 13-4 thanks to well executed offense and guard Josh Iukes setting up his teammates. The Saints responded with a 11-4 run, capitalizing off of Hawk turnovers, that saw Tulalip’s lead shrink to 2 points, 17-15. After a Hawk bucket to go up 19-15, the Saints again went on a run, this time 8-2, to take a 23-21 lead going into halftime.

During the halftime intermission, the team talked over some 2nd half adjustments and were determined to not let this game slip away. There was an added emphasis on pushing the ball offensively and taking advantage of the Hawks’ superior quickness.

In the 2nd half, Tulalip responded to the in-game adjustments and took complete control of the game. After being down 21-23 to start the half, the Hawks outscored the Saints 36-12 down the stretch. The offense was clicking on all cylinders and the defense did its job. When the final buzzer sounded, the boys had come away with a decisive 57-35 win to claim a 5th place finish in the tournament and secured a berth to Tri-Districts.

The Heritage Hawks (10-12) entered the 1B Tri-District Tournament as the #12 and final seed, as such they traveled to Tacoma Baptist to play the #6 seed Crusaders (15-8).

Tulalip found themselves trailing 0-9 early and then 7-21 at the end of the 1st quarter. The offense got going in the 2nd quarter, but there were no answers on defense to slow the Crusader attack. At halftime the boys trailed 23-45 and went on to lose the game 56-83.

With the loss, the season came to an abrupt end for the younger Hawk squad who managed a very respectable four-game postseason. After turning their play around mid-season for the better, the Hawks found an identity and got very valuable experience for the younger players. If everyone returns to play next year, then expectation has them poised to contend for the league title.

Team Up to Clean Up


Article by Micheal Rios; photos courtesy of Rachel Steve


Armed with litter pickers, garbage bags, and protective gloves, twenty-eight dedicated Tulalip youth committed a sunny Friday afternoon to beautifying the Youth Center and its surrounding area.

The community cleanup event was organized by Youth Services Activities Specialist, Rachel Steeve, and took place on February 17.

“Youth Services was very pleased with the turn out,” explains Rachel. “The kids were pretty optimistic about cleaning up their most popular hangout spot, and there wasn’t one complaint. Going into it we all thought it was going to rain, but instead the sun came out for us and made it a beautiful day. We are blessed to have such an amazing building and even more blessed the kids take ownership and care for their building.”

Community cleanup is a great way to improve the environment while working alongside fellow community members on a hands-on, high-visibility service project. When you love your community, you want to make sure it looks its best.



“The kids cleaned for 1.5 hours then we took them to Altitude Trampoline Park for two hours as a reward,” continues Rachel. “Work hard, play hard! The reward was well worth it. The kids had a blast jumping. It took all the hard working staff to carry out such a successful event.”

Over the duration of the cleanup the environmentally conscious group removed bags and bags of litter and debris from the roadways, parking lots, nature trails, and ball fields surrounding the Youth Center.

Cleaning up your neighborhood park is a rewarding project for all community members, regardless of age or occupation. In fact, it really helps to have plenty of young workers. Cleaning up your neighborhood park is one of the few neighborhood activities where youthful stamina is more critical than good judgment. It’s visual, we can see the results, and you’re only asking volunteers for a few hours on one occasion.

“Tulalip Youth Services would like to thank the twenty-eight youth who showed up to help pick up garbage in the community,” states Josh Fryberg, Youth Services Activities Coordinator. “We will be planning more days like this in the future and hope to see the same or more participants. Let’s continue to make a difference together.”


Wellness Court is now in session

Tulalip Police Officer Joe Dyer poses with participant Robin Hood during a Wellness Court session, displaying the new relationship between TPD and recovering addicts in the Healing to Wellness Court program.


By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 


The heroin and opioid epidemic has hit America hard in recent years. According to a study conducted by the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, thirty-one percent of deaths statewide can be credited to drug overdose. The epidemic has unfortunately claimed the lives of many loved ones nationwide. Previously, addicts who wanted to become clean would often fail because they were not provided with the proper resources and tools while attempting to become sober. In many cases, addicts are eventually caught with possession of drugs, and sometimes turn to thievery for the intent of supplying their high, and are reported to the authorities. The traditional court is a flawed system when it comes to dealing with individuals who committed a non-violent crime fueled by their addiction. For this reason, drug courts were invented. Drug courts can be found nationwide and are utilized by individuals who are battling addiction and were convicted on drug-related charges.

The state of Washington sees approximately three thousand deaths annually due to drug abuse, according to the Washington State Department of Health. In Snohomish County there are around six to seven hundred drug related casualties per year, with the largest amount of overdoses occurring in Everett, Marysville and Tulalip.  Tulalip has made an enormous effort to help heal their people in the form of the Healing to Wellness Court. There are many similarities between drug court and Tulalip’s Wellness Court, such as random drug tests, required court appearances, and numerous resources. Tulalip has modified the drug court model to fit the needs of addicted tribal members, ensuring that there’s an emphasis on culture and community with the new Wellness Court.

“The difference from drug court is mostly the integration of the cultural programs and the community the program is in. In Wellness Court we ask our participants to be in the community,” states Wellness Court judge, Ron Whitener. “A lot of the participants have to rebuild their relationships with the community because a lot of them have burned some bridges on their way into Wellness Court.  It is something positive they can work on while they are also working on their treatment and education. We want to help reintegrate them back into this community.”

Wellness Court is held once a week on Tuesdays, and participants are required to stay for the entire duration of court. The court sessions, typically an hour long, display a new twist to the traditional courtroom scene. Participants approach the podium to speak to Judge Whitener directly about their struggles and successes each week. Wellness Court uses a system of sanctions and incentives to help keep their clients on track. Sanctions include increased court appearances, community service hours and writing assignments. While incentives include gift cards, movie passes, decreased court appearances and later curfews.

“Our goal is to heal the individual completely, not just the addiction,“ states Wellness Court Coordinator Hilary Sotomish.  The Wellness Court team works as a cohesive unit, meeting weekly to review each participant’s progress, ensuring that everybody is on the same page as communication is key amongst the Wellness Court team.  The team is comprised of members from several departments including Behavioral Health and Recovery, the Healing Lodge, Housing Hope, Tulalip Housing, the Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic, University of Washington Tribal Public Defense Clinic, and the Tulalip Police Department.

The Tulalip Police Department assigned three officers to the Wellness Court team. The officers take on a new role, at least from the participant’s perspective, as they interact in a positive, supportive manner while encouraging participants during their road to recovery. Current participants are happy to see the officers in the community and often converse with the officers about their weekly progress.

Tulalip Police Chief Carlos Echevarria states, “Wellness Court allows my law enforcement officers to have greater interactions with the participants. Often the officers will stop by and say hello and ask them how they are doing. We ensure we are providing positive feedback and often the officers will take the time to listen to what the participants have to say. They are building great relationships with each other.”

The five-stage program has no fee with the exception of a fifty-dollar GPS ankle device, which is used to monitor the location of the participant as well to ensure that curfews are met. Cultural activities such as sweat lodge, red road to sobriety and other local events are encouraged.

“Our goal is to keep people involved and to work to help them. As long as the individual is showing they are committed to working and trying, we are going to keep working and trying,” states Hilary.

Tulalip tribal member Robin Hood approached the judge on his twenty-fifth day sober -an accomplishment met with tremendous applaud from the judge and the courtroom, to talk about his past week. Robin is currently staying at the Healing Lodge and attended two more than the required group therapy sessions. However, he missed one of his daily call-ins and received a write-up from the Healing Lodge, which resulted in sanctions of two hours of community service and a one-page written essay on why he missed his daily call in.

“Wellness court can be an easy process, you just got to show up every day and do what is required. It’s only hard if you make it hard, that’s my motto. My experience is going fine. I’m doing this because I know that other people will follow so I’m trying to be a leader. I think this is a positive thing for myself and for my community, and it’s working,” Hood states. “Like my dad always says, ‘it works, if you work it’. Another quote I like is, ‘chase your sobriety like you chase the dope man.’ That’s exactly how sobriety works; you got to want it. If you ain’t wanting it, you ain’t getting it. I’m really glad I’m here. The wellness team has been there to support me one hundred percent. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be clean and sober.”

For more information about the Healing to Wellness Court please contact (360) 716-4773.

Tulalip Child Advocacy Center receives accreditation

Jade Carela, Legacy of Healing Child Advocacy Center Manager proudly shows the departments accreditation award from the National Children’s Alliance.


By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

The National Children’s Alliance (NCA) is the accrediting body for Child Advocacy Centers nationwide. Child Advocacy Centers, often referred to as CACs, conduct forensic interviews as well as provide therapy and assistance to the victims of child sexual abuse and their non-offending family members. In order for a CAC to earn accreditation, the center must pass an extensive application process as well as an on-site review process.

“There was a grandma whose grandchild had been sexually abused. She told the prosecutor that her granddaughter had been repeatedly traumatized by all the questioning she had to go through in order to get to the actual case in court. The prosecutor on the case thought, oh my God, that’s probably true. He started the first CAC ever with a team comprised of law enforcement, CPS [child protective services] and criminal justice members, ensuring everyone was on the same page and the child would not have to retell their horrific stories over and over,” states Jade Carela, Legacy of Healing Child Advocacy Center Manager.

The Tulalip CAC has a multi-disciplinary team that includes members of the Tulalip Police Detectives, CPS, beda?chelh, the Tulalip domestic violence and sexual assault prosecutor, and FBI detectives as well as the child advocate.

The NCA regularly updates their policies and procedures and requires a re-accreditation process every five years for each CAC. The accreditation holds centers to a higher standard and indicates exceptional service and a quality center.

The accreditation process often requires over a year’s worth of preparation. However, under the direction of Jade, Tulalip now has the only accredited CAC on a reservation, in Washington State. The enormous task was accomplished in an impressive three short months. When a CAC receives accreditation, they have achieved the highest level of recognition with the NCA.

The Tulalip CAC offers innocent children victims of sexual abuse a chance to heal. The recent accreditation shows the strong effort the Tribe is making to ensure that the victims receive the best possible care, as well as justice and assistance through the entire court process.

For additional information on the accreditation of the Tulalip Legacy of Healing Child Advocacy Center please contact (360) 716-5437.

Change your life 15 minutes at a time

Wellness Wednesdays promote healthy eating and exercise


AnneCherise Jensen, Tulalip Family Haven Nutritionist, demonstrates how to make a simple and heathy apple fruit salad.


By Kim Kalliber, Tulalip News

Many people spend hours each day sitting at their computer for work or staring at their phones for entertainment. Now community members and Tulalip tribal employees can take a quick afternoon break to learn healthy recipes and tips for exercising.

Snap Ed Wellness Wednesdays kicked off February 15 with a cooking demonstration by AnneCherise Jensen, a nutritionist with Family Haven. Taking place at 2:00 p.m. in room 264 of the Administration Building, each demonstration offers hands-on learning.

Fresh fruit salad was on the menu for the first event. The easy to make salad consisted of four ingredients, though AnneCherise encourages everyone to add their own ingredients to personalize their meals.

Attendees not only learned a new recipe, but AnneCherise discussed the health benefits of each ingredient. Such as the difference between red and green apples (green have more nutrients but using both is always a good idea and adds more color) and that the skins should be left on to increase fiber intake. And did you know that Greek yogurt has less sugar and more protein than standard yogurt?

And of course, there’s the fun of tasting the finished product. It’s a good afternoon revitalizer where attendee input is encouraged.

Wellness Wednesdays will alternate each week between cooking and exercise demos. Exercises will include walking, yoga, dancing, cross fit and more.

No sign up is required. Simply join in, have fun and and learn healthy tips that just may change your life.

For information about Wellness Wednesdays, contact AnneCherise Jensen at