Tulalip celebrates Disney

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

In the late 1920’s, one of the most revered innovators of all time introduced the world to a cartoon character who many children, over several generations, grew up with.  Making his debut in black and white animation, the character is first seen whistling while steering a ship in Steamboat Willie, the first cartoon to feature sound with orchestrated music and sound effects. 

The cartoon became such a huge success that both the cartoon and his creator became iconic household names. Nearly one hundred years later, kids still adore Mickey Mouse and his creator, Walt Disney, who is still fondly remembered after over fifty years since his passing.-

On December 5th, Walt Disney’s birthday, Tulalip Youth Services planned a magical evening for the community at the Greg Williams Court, celebrating the works and lifetime of Walt Disney. Decorations included a number of balloon characters and several Disney-themed backdrops for families to take photos. A DJ played all of the Disney hits as families arrived in full costume, dressed as their favorite heroes and princesses. After enjoying a pizza dinner, the youth worked up the spirit to showcase their singing talents in a round of karaoke, opening with How Far I’ll Go from Moana and Let It Go from Frozen. 

“We have been wanting to do an elementary-age dance because we always do dances for the teens,” says Tulalip Youth Services Education Coordinator, Jessica Bustad. “We saw that Walt Disney’s birthday was coming up, so we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to have a dance and karaoke night for the elementary ages and their families. We need to have more fun family events where people can come and relax and the kids can run around and be themselves and share their talents with singing. We have a lot of youth and adults who love to sing and we like encouraging them to do so.”

Young tribal member, Tashina Cortez, had a blast at the event and sang a few songs throughout the evening along with her friends.

“I came here for the party because I love to dance and I’m doing a ton of karaoke,” she says. “I love all of the Disney characters and watch all the movies, but my favorite princess is Belle from the Beauty and the Beast. I think that Disney is the best at producing movies.”

Walt’s imagination brought to life countless classic films and cartoons such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Bambi, Peter Pan and Mary Poppins, to name a few. In the 1950’s he opened the gates to the most magical place on earth, Disneyland. Because of its popularity, Disney began working on the concept for Disneyworld and the Epcot Center before passing from lung cancer in 1965. 

To this day, both theme parks remain the ultimate vacation destination for families to visit and meet their favorite characters together. Disney’s vision has carried well into the 21st century and his company continues to push boundaries, producing a number of family friendly TV shows, cartoons and movies. 

Disney cartoons have taught many of us valuable life lessons and brought smiles to children and their families across the entire world. In many Disney projects, there’s a common reoccurrence of promoting positive family values, displayed in such films like Pinocchio, Lion King and the Little Mermaid. Youth Services chose to honor Walt Disney based on his many lessons and values that he’s incorporated into his work.  

“We want to promote family togetherness with a good activity, something fun to do on a weekday,” says Danielle Fryberg, Youth Services Executive Assistant. “We got all of these awesome decorations and we also chose to display signs that have positive messages and inspirational quotes that he’s [Disney] said.”

There wasn’t a frown in sight as kids visited with their friends, cousins and siblings. Laughter filled the room as the little ones chased each other on the dancefloor while the parents admired their kids’ antics from afar. And although most kids go crazy about the Disney universe, young Isaac Lafountaine isn’t necessarily a huge fan. However, his grandmother is so he happily accompanied her to the dance. 

“We came here just to listen to the songs,” he said. “I kind of like Disney. I guess I would say my favorite is probably Mickey because we watched a lot of Mickey Mouse while I was growing up. My favorite part about tonight though was when me and my grandma were tossing the beach ball back and forth.”

As Walt once said, ‘the most important thing is family’. He’d be delighted to see all of the families enjoying quality time with each other at the Youth Services Disney Dance and Karaoke night, a fitting way to celebrate his 117th birthday. 

 

Daniel David Sieminski (1984 – 2018)

Daniel David Sieminski was born on July 6, 1984, a Friday, in Seattle, WA. He entered into rest on December 8, 2018, a Saturday. Daniel was a gentleman who was loved by all. He was a kind and gentle person with a warm heart. He was a man of deep thought. He may have been quiet but he was one of the most observant people you will ever meet. Daniel graduated from Marysville-Pilchuck High School in 2002. He graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Sociology in 2006. He enjoyed spending time with his family as well as his fiancée, Amanda and their fur kids, Jesie and Abie. Daniel will be remembered for his ever-present smile. He is survived by his parents, Peter and Doreen Sieminski; sister, Nicole Sieminski; fiancée, Amanda Shelton; grandma, Joyce Sieminski; grandpa, David Spencer Sr. and Katherine Campbell; aunt, Marya and Paul; uncles, David and Joan, Denis and Carol, and David and Nancy; cousins, Alisha and Hema, Dawn Marie, Ruby, Ryley, Thendral, Kavyn, and Suriyan; special cousins, Raphael and Angelo; and numerous other family members. He is preceded in death by his grandpa, Frank Sieminski, grandma, Viola Jones Spencer, and aunts, Janel Spencer and Dawn Shirley Spencer. Visitation will be held on Thursday, December 13, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Schaefer-Shipman Funeral Home. Funeral will be held on Friday, December 14, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the Tulalip Tribal Gym with burial to follow at Mission Beach Cemetery.

December’s students of the month

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Marysville School District’s very own Equity, Diversity, and Indigenous Education department created the Student of the Month awards to recognize outstanding students who have demonstrated commendable academic success in the classroom. Student awardees in the past have displayed an admirable dedication to their school work and active involvement amongst their peers.

Previously, only one girl and one boy student were honored, but the program has grown to include one impressive student from each of the elementary, middle, and high school levels. For their commitment to excellence in the classroom and backed by strong recommendations from school faculty, Dakota Laducer of Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary, Devaney Jones of Totem Middle School, and Keyondra Horne of Marysville Getchell High School were announced as students of the month for November.

The three students, all Tulalip tribal members, received special recognition and were given a commemorative certificate during the Marysville School District’s school board meeting held on Monday, December 10.

Dakota Laducer, Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary.

Indigenous Education Liaison Breezy Distefano introduced Dakota to everyone in attendance. “Dakota has shown so much perseverance in his learning, and tries to learn something new every day,” she said. “He has recently increased his testing scores by over 200 points, which is a huge accomplishment.”

QCT Elementary teachers and Admin staff turned out to cheer on Dakota.

Dakota accepted his award with a large ovation from the crowd as many Quil Ceda Tulalip teachers and administrative staff turned out to support the young man’s academic milestone. 

Principal Douglas Shook explained, “We are absolutely proud of Dakota and the growth he has made as a student, but also as a leader. He is one of our students that embodies the growth spirit we have at Quil Ceda Tulalip. We have a lot of staff that are rooting for his success.”

Devaney Jones, Totem Middle School.

Next up, 8th grader Devaney was described by Native Liaison Terrance Sabbas. “Devaney is an amazing student who has top notch grades and is a great role model for all Totem students,” he said. “Talking with Devaney’s teachers they said she’s an incredibly hard worker, is very respectful, and has shown tremendous writing skills. What I enjoy most about Devaney is she takes her job as a student seriously and wants to achieve as best she can.”

Keyondra Horne, Marysville Getchell High School.

High school student of the month honors went to Getchell High School student standout, sophomore Keyondra Horne. “She has a 3.75 GPA and has only missed one day of school this year, so that is so awesome what she’s been able to achieve with her academics and attendance,” described Lead Indigenous Education Liaison, Matt Remle. “Not only is she succeeding in school, but even more astounding she is highly involved and engaged with her traditional culture. Keyondra is a fancy dancer in the Powwow circuit who reigns as a Princess for the Stillaguamish Powwow. She’s also been selected as a leader of her peers to be head-woman dancer for the upcoming MSD Christmas Powwow. No doubt, she will succeed in her post high school endeavors where she wants to go to college and major in Accounting.”

Going forward, a selection committee will review all student nominations based on their academics and school engagement. Each month three students (representing elementary, middle and high school levels) will be recognized as students of the month. For more information or to nominate a student, please contact Director of Equity, Diversity & Indigenous Education, Deborah Parker at 360-965-0059.

High octane Hawks soaring over competition

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Buckets, buckets and more buckets. The Tulalip Heritage boys’ basketball team exceeded expectations last year by advancing all the way to the State tournament in Spokane. This season, with nearly every player returning and joined by several talented playmakers, the expectations are not only to get back to State, but to win-out this time and earn the coveted title of State Champion. 

In the early stages of the 2018-2019 season, the Heritage boys are displaying a level of play that warrants such lofty expectations. In their season opener, they made quick work of Shoreline Christian by playing at a scorching offensive pace that resulted in an 80-27 win. Heritage newcomer, sophomore guard Leno Vela scored a game-high 22 points, Alonzo Jones added 17 points and Isaac Comenote chipped in 14 points.

Two day later they didn’t shoot the ball nearly as well, but still easily outpaced Concrete, 58-22. Alonzo led the team with 17 points, while Isaac added 12 points.

With four days off between games, the team not only got in quality practice time but also saw their already deep roster get deeper with the return of guard Josh Iukes and forward Sam Fryberg. 

Providence Classical Christian had no idea what was in store for them, as the Hawks put on an offensive clinic on Tuesday, December 4. The boys drained 3-ball after 3-ball when they weren’t scoring easily at the rim. Tulalip finished only points shy of hitting the century mark in the blowout, winning 94-14. The scoring touch carried over days later when the Hawks traveled to Lopez Island and put a hurting on the Lobos. Behind a high octane offense, the boys cruised to a 92-45 victory. 

Undefeated at (4-0), the Heritage buzz was growing in anticipation of the always competitive rivalry game with the (2-0) Lummi Nation Blackhawks played on Saturday, December 8. Francy J. Sheldon gymnasium was jam-packed with spectators and rowdy fans representing both teams. 

In the opening minutes, the Hawks found themselves in an unfamiliar position as they trailed 0-6. They responded by finishing the 1st quarter on a 23-9 run behind timely outside shooting by Isaac and Sam Fryberg bulling defenders in the post.  As they often do, Tulalip and Lummi both raised their play especially on the defensive side to tighten the game through the 2nd and 3rd quarters. 

With four-minutes to go in the 4th quarter, the Hawks had a slim 63-60 lead. Chants of “Tulalip power!” echoed through the gym as the home crowd did their best to pump up their Heritage team. The boys responded by finishing the game on impressive 12-6 run fueled by a series of made jumpers by the team’s go to one-on-one scorers, Alonzo and Leno.

The decisive run sealed a 75-66 win over a quality Lummi team and kept the Hawks’ undefeated record intact. Leno had a game-high 18 points, while Alonzo and Isaac scored 14 points each. 

At (5-0), Tulalip has soared over all their opponents thus far by making full use of their roster’s rare combination of speed, shooting and pure athleticism. Their blistering pace has made it extremely difficult for teams to keep up with, let alone make it a close game. Through their first five games, the Hawks are scoring 80 points per game while only giving up a measly 35 per to their opponents. That differential makes for a whopping 45 point average margin of victory, domination at its finest.

Lady Hawks basketball returns

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Heritage girls’ basketball team returned for the 2018-2019 season with a bunch of new faces, both on the team and on the coaching staff. Marc Robinson is the new head coach, while Jeff Monsegur and Adiya Jones join him as assistant coaches. Only three girls from last year return; junior guard Deachae Jones, Tavionna Jones, and sophomore Krislyn Parks. They are joined by newcomers Jacynta Myles, Hazel Black-Tomahawk, and sophomore Anndraceia Sicade. 

Knowing a new team identity has yet to be crafted and several players need in-game experience to develop confidence, Lady Hawk players and coaching staff went into the season with realistic expectations. 

A home-opener played on Tuesday, November 27 versus Shoreline Christian gave Heritage spectators their first look at the new group. Krislyn put on a show, displaying her point-forward capabilities, while scoring a game-high 17 points. The rest of her teammates combined only managed 4 points however, as the home team lost 21-39.

Two days later, Tulalip hosted the Concrete Lions and quickly put their home-opening loss behind them. Veteran Deachae was out with injury, so the Lady Hawks had to play Iron-5 style, which they did valiantly. Krislyn’s again played as the primary ball handler, while managing to score 13 points. This time she got big contributions from her teammates. The freshman duo of Jacynta and Hazel both got hot from the floor at opportune times. Jacynta led all scorers with 17 points and Hazel chipped in 14 points. Tulalip earned their first W of the young season with a 48-31 victory.

“The biggest difference from our first game was that we played much better on defense by communicating with one another,” said Jacynta after the win. “We played as a team and didn’t let any bad plays get down.”

Next up, the Lady Hawks travelled to Lopez Island and faced off against an undefeated Lobos team. Nothing on offense was clicking, and the defense struggled to matchup against a Lopez starting unit that moved the ball really well. Tulalip was on the wrong end of a lopsided score, 20-48.

Returning to their home court in front of a large audience, Tulalip hosted Lummi Nation on Saturday, December 8. In the first half, the Lady Hawks jumped out to an early 13-5 lead behind a series of 3-point buckets. Lummi adjusted their defense and full court pressed Tulalip, who were once again playing with only one primary ball handler in Krislyn. Against the press defense that forced the ball out of Krislyn’s hands, the Lady Hawks were thrown completely out of their game. As a team, the Lady Hawks turned the ball over 32 times, which led to easy transition buckets for Lummi. That difference would be too much to overcome as the girls lost 32-42, dropping to (1-3) on the season.

“We will continue to work hard at getting our players to feel more comfortable on the basketball court,” explained assistant coach Adiya of the team’s biggest area for improvement. “We have players who are very shy on and off the court, so working with them and helping them find their comfort zone is a work in progress. We knew coming in it would be a slow start for us, but after more practice and a few more games we’ll be better.”

Healing to Wellness Court graduate, Verle Smith, proves recovery is possible

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Police Department issued a recent press release that included a report from the Washington State Department of Health, stating that there were eighty-one deaths linked to fentanyl in the first half of 2018. An increase of nearly seventy percent from the previous year. Last year there were approximately 72,000 deaths nationwide, which was shocking on its own. This latest news means that the opioid epidemic is still very much on the rise in America, as families and communities continue to search for solutions to help their loved ones recover. 

At the beginning of 2017, the Tulalip Tribes decided to take different approach to help heal their people struggling with addiction by introducing the Healing to Wellness Court. Similar to a state drug court, Tulalip’s five-stage program also requires addicts convicted on drug-related charges to take random drug tests and attend mandated court appearances. When conjuring up the idea of the wellness court, the tribe put together a team dedicated to reinstilling traditional values that tribal societies hold so dear, community and culture. 

“We take in what’s called high-risk, high-need,” explains Healing to Wellness Court Coordinator, Hilary Sotomish. “High-risk to reoffend criminally and a high-need addiction, meaning they can’t do it [sobriety]by themselves, they need a team to help them through it. Our program is about eighteen to twenty-four months and depending on how well they go through each stage determines how long it takes. For some people it takes eighteen months, but we expect relapse to happen. If they have relapses or have things that they can’t get done, we require them to take life skills classes and have a job or be in schooling. We don’t go over twenty-four months. Research has shown that if you have somebody in a wellness court or drug court for over twenty-four months, it’s not successful.”

Tribal member Verle Smith joined the Healing to Wellness Court a few short months after the program began. For nearly two years, he’s followed the program, rebuilding relationships with his family and within the community, rediscovering who he is.

“At the beginning it was a struggle, I didn’t know which way to go,” he says. “I had to give it to my higher power, listen up and work on myself. It slowly got brighter.”

Verle mentioned that he relapsed during the course of the program but didn’t let that dark moment deter him from his path to sobriety. He instead used the relapse as a learning experience, a reminder of what was truly important to him. On December 10, Verle’s family, friends and supporters gathered at the Greg Williams Court to proudly cheer him on as he became the first graduate of the Healing to Wellness Court.

“There was one struggle in between but I brightened up and just punched forward,” he states. “Life became so lovely. I now have the opportunity to be around family. I love it. I still struggle today but every morning I have the opportunity for another day, so I’m living it one day at time. I do my mediation prayer and I believe that’s the key, make sure you say your morning prayers. I talk to a lot of people every day, like my best friend. Him and my family are my inspiration to fight harder for other people who need it. I love that people still have my back after everything.”  

Hilary and the Wellness Court team presented Verle with three gifts in recognition of his accomplishment; a blanket, a drum and plaque that showcased the five coins he received when completing each phase of the program. Over the course of an emotional two hours, Verle’s friends and family members offered teary congratulatory speeches as well as many long embracing hugs and a couple traditional songs. All six Tulalip Board of Directors expressed their happiness of Verle’s success, including Les Parks who helped get the Healing to Wellness Court started.

“This was initially a pilot project that is obviously working,” Les expressed. “The wellness court team is tasked with ascertaining who is on highest risk, highest need in our community. Our court identified nineteen high-risk, high-needs and I bet you there are over two hundred members out there who would love to take part in this program, who don’t fall under that category. We need to expand this program and keep working to bring on some of those low-risk, low-need people.”

Every Tuesday, wellness participants attend court at the Tulalip Justice center and speak directly with Judge Ron Whitener about their struggles and successes. Depending on their setbacks or progress, Judge Whitener awards the participants with either a sanction or an incentive. 

“Tulalip, like most communities, are facing a lot of issues with heroin,” says Judge Whitener. “Programs like the wellness court are a more traditional way of doing things. Regular drug court is very hands off, not very supportive and the person’s expected to go and fix themselves. You got to work with them, try to get through it with them, knowing it takes a long time. I think that process is really more appropriate for Tulalip. 

Just as Board Member Parks said, we’re looking to expand the ideals of this wellness court, which is for our highest risk people, and move those ideals down into the other cases and try to make the whole court look more like the wellness court. I’m really proud of Verle, I’ve known him a long time and he’s a good person. I’m really happy he was our first graduate. We have serval others coming up, so we’re looking to make these celebrations quite regular in the community.”

The Healing to Wellness Court is on track to present seventeen more plaques to recovering addicts, who are slated to graduate from the program throughout 2019. 

The wellness court participants developed their own community of support and often encourage each other to stay focused on their journey. Each participant was in attendance of Verle’s graduation and a few even spoke, stating that Verle serves as an inspiration to his fellow participants. This was something that Verle was pleased to hear and reassured the community that he’s willing to help others and hopes that his story shows that recovery is possible through hard work and determination.

“My son is here with me today, you have no idea what that means to me,” Verle emotionally expressed. “My daughter was by my side all day today, like she wasn’t going to let me go again. If it wasn’t for the wellness court, I don’t know where I’d be – if I’d even still be here.  They gave me the opportunity to experience something that works for my life. I didn’t know which way to turn, so I figured I’d try something different and I’m grateful for it. When I first went to treatment, I told my wife that I’m in the place that I need to be. I want to thank the wellness court for it all. I now plan to go through the rest of my life bringing the next person closer to where they’re supposed to be, to where they’re needed.”

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

Illicit fentanyl linked to increasing number of overdose deaths in the state

Press Release, Tulalip Police Department

The Washington State Department of Health reports that illicit fentanyl is being detected in new forms and is causing an increasing number of overdose deaths in the state.

In the first half of 2018, there have been 81 deaths linked to fentanyl, versus 48 deaths recorded during the same time last year. This represents an almost 70 percent increase.

Public health officials urge people who use opioids to take these actions to help protect themselves from an overdose:

  • Seek treatment.
  • Carry naloxone.
  • If you witness an overdose, call 911, give naloxone and do rescue breathing. Fentanyl may require multiple doses of naloxone to restore breathing.
  • Never use drugs alone.
  • Be careful about using too fast. Fentanyl is fast acting and deadly. Many experienced opioid users have overdosed or died by using too much, too quickly.

Tulalip has adopted the Lois Luella Jones Law, if you have a friend who is overdosing; you can and should call 911.The law says neither the victim nor persons assisting with an overdose will be prosecuted for drug possession.

Naloxone is a lifesaving medication used to counteract opioid overdose. Naloxone kits are now available FREE for Tulalip Tribal members at Family Services 360-716-4400. Kits are also available at the Tulalip Pharmacy through your insurance company. In addition, visit StopOverdose.org for additional locations that provide Naloxone.

Tulalip Family Services can also help tribal members detox and get treatment, 360-716-4400 or https://www.tulaliphealthsystem.com/BehavioralHealth/ChemicalDependency

Non-natives can seek help by visiting, http://www.warecoveryhelpline.org/or calling, 1-866-789-1511.

Robert K. Swanson (1926 – 2018)

On Monday, November 26, 2018, Bob passed away at home surrounded by his loved ones. He was 92. Bob was born September 28, 1926, the first child of Nickolia and Bessie Swanson of Cicero, WA. Bob attended Arlington High School and joined the Navy in the summer of 1942. He served aboard the LST 808 that took part in the Iwo Jima landing, and the Okinawa landing. On May 14, 1945, the LST 808 was torpedoed by a Japanese aircraft off Ille Shima. Bob achieved the rank of Quarter Master 3(QM3). He was given an honorable discharge, including many awards and medals on July 16, 1946. After Bob’s years of service he went to work in the woods as a logger and did this off and on for years. He also worked in the shingle mills and while learning the saw shingles gave up the ends of several of his fingers. Later Bob became a commercial fisherman and rebuilt two old wrecked boats to make them his fishing vessels. Bob is survived by the love of his life, wife, Sandra. Together they lived an adventurous life for 50 years. They fished in Kodiak, Alaska for 12 years, as well as the Tulalip waters upon their return home. His survivors also include his son, Dale Swanson (Janice); daughter Cindy Swanson (Richard); grand-daughters, Emily Madden (Jarrod) and Phoebe Madden; grandson, Ben Ellis Swanson; and great-granddaughters, Rosemary Carey and Jaidan Anderson; and his youngest brother, Stephen Swanson (Judith). He was preceded in death by his mother and father; two sisters, Wanda and Rosemary; and his brother, Nick. A Memorial Service will be held at Schaefer-Shipman Funeral Home on Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. A dinner will follow at the Tulalip Tribal Center.

Why study of criminal justice?

Submitted by Jeanne Steffener, Tulalip Tribes Higher Ed

The study of criminal justice covers all areas of the justice system. This includes detection of crime through the arrest phase, trial, sentencing and treatment and eventual release of the offender. Other goals include rehabilitation of offenders, prevention of other crimes and moral support for victims. The primary institutions of the criminal justice system include the police, prosecution and defense lawyers, the courts and prisons. The criminal justice field covers a large variety of career and interest options for potential students to explore. 

A four-year degree in Criminal Justice should emphasize a focus on social justice, diversity, community partnerships, systems thinking and skill development. A social justice lens should be adopted with more focus on harm reduction and rehabilitative and restorative approaches to crime and justice. This shift in focus can lead to a reduced rate of recidivism in previous offenders. 

Many occupations today require college educated applicants having these skills: strong communication, ability to problem solve, critical thinking, leadership, and ethical decision-making. The (BLS) Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 19% growth in employment in crime investigation and 12% increase in private security jobs in the future. This increased growth and the increasing numbers of baby boomers reaching retirement age ensures that law enforcement agencies will continue to hire qualified criminal justice professionals. The graphic of criminal justice careers to the left lists 32 different careers that are involved in the criminal justice field. Many positions in this field are both physically and mentally demanding, so a student is more likely to succeed if they have a genuine interest in both the law and the justice system. The criminal justice field rewards specialization and persistence and can also lead to fulfilling and well-paid careers. 

In a 4- year criminal justice program, you will learn to write reports, take fingerprints and document crime scenes. Your course work will cover a broad range of criminal justice topics including learning effective communication skills and professional ethics. Many organizations such as federal agencies (DEA, FBI and CIA), normally require at least a bachelor’s degree. More advanced education will help you to stand out with potential employers while increasing your ability to advance to a supervisory or administrative position. 

There is always a demand for knowledgeable professionals to protect our country and its citizens, due to the risks to the public’s safety. If you have perseverance and determination, you will more than likely enjoy a long and fruitful career in an area that is relatively immune to the ebb and flow of the private sector job market. 

The most compelling reason to pursue a degree in criminal justice is the opportunity it gives you to help other people. So if you are interested in investigating this field of study, please call the Higher ED staff at 360-716-4888 or email us at highered@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov for assistance with this educational path.