November’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, 3rd grader Leah Stacy of Kellogg Marsh Elementary, 8th grader Hudson Reyes of Cedarcrest Middle School, and 9th grader Jaycynta Myles-Gilford of Heritage 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, November 19.

Leah Stacy, 3rd grade, Kellogg Marsh Elementary.

Special Education Liaison Amy Sheldon introduced Leah to everyone in attendance. “Leah is an amazing little girl and works very hard on her school work,” said Amy. “She has made significant academic growth. In fact, over the last year Leah has made a tremendous jump in her reading skills.”

Leah’s teacher Ms. Whitfield added, “Leah is becoming a wonderful citizen at school and is so kind and polite to others. She works hard through so many challenges and doesn’t give up until she accomplishes what she needs to.”

Next up, 8th grader Hudson was described by Native Liaison Terrance Sabbas. “We’ve noticed a lot of growth from Hudson this school year, especially with his improved attendance. His grades have gotten a lot better, but most importantly as an individual he has matured into a very respectful and awesome person to be around.”

Hudson Reyes, 8th grade, Cedarcrest Middle School.

High school student of the month honors went to freshman Jaycynta, daughter of Lushootseed Teacher Michelle Myles. Heritage High School’s Acting Principal praised the 9th grader by sharing, “When I first met Jaycynta there were two things I noticed right away. First, she’s a super talented athlete, to the point when she’s playing her sports she is so intense and focused. But secondly, when she’s away from sports she’s super personable and kind. I was very happy to see this duality in her as a young woman. Jaycynta is a member of ASB and contributes to our Lushootseed weather program. She’s just amazing.”

Jaycynta Myles-Gilford, 9th grade, Heritage High School.

While receiving her award, the usually unassuming Jaycynta shared she aspires to be a pediatric anesthesiologist or neo-natal nurse. “I really want to study medicine and use that knowledge professionally to help children, especially our youngest ones who are in the most need,” she shared.

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. 

Partners with Paws: TPD welcomes two K-9 Officers

K9 Officer Tipper with her partner, Officer Jacob Wilcox.

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

For over two centuries, many law enforcement agencies often relied on a special breed of detectives to help enforce the law and protect their communities. These specialists possess a certain skillset, using their heightened sense of smell to help with search and rescue missions, crime scene investigations and special taskforce assignments involving drugs or homicide. These officers go through extensive training, sharpening their skills and learning a number of commands as well as how to conduct themselves while on duty. With an affinity for serving, protecting and always catching their perpetrator, these officers share many similarities with their fellow police men and women – with a few minor exceptions of course, including the fact that these officers have fur, four legs and a tail. 

It’s easy to see how the term ‘man’s best friend’ came to be. Looking back on the history of K-9 officers, it’s no shocker that dogs have assisted on many major cases throughout the course of time, helping shut down major crime operations and drug distributions as well as tracking runaway youth, fugitives and missing people. K-9 officers are simply motivated to do a good job and are an important asset and an excellent addition to any police department. 

Officer Tre Pruitt with his partner, K9 Officer Kait.

On Sunday November 18, the Tulalip Police Department (TPD) welcomed a new officer to the team by the name of Tipper, a nineteen-month old black lab. The following day, a three-year old border collie named Kait also joined the unit. After several weeks of training, the young lady pups are now officially TPD K-9 Officers and are focused solely on ridding the Tulalip community of illegal drugs.

“This nation is dealing with an opioid epidemic,” says TPD Deputy Chief Sherman Pruitt. “It’s one of the big issues going on right now on this reservation, as well as all reservations throughout the United States. Bringing on two K-9 officers is beneficial for our police department as well as the reservation to combat that epidemic. They are trained to identify certain drugs, as you know marijuana is legal in the state of Washington, so they’re mainly trained with heroin, meth as well as cocaine. We’re exposed to a lot of drugs out here including fentanyl which is ten times stronger than heroin. Having these K-9 units will help combat that.”

Kait’s partner, TPD Officer Tre Pruitt, recently explained the long but worthwhile process of becoming a certified handler of a K-9 officer. He expressed that he always wanted to have a K-9 partner and immediately applied when the opportunity came. Five fellow TPD Officers also applied. They wrote essays, took a series tests and interviewed for a chance to become certified handlers by attending a six-week long K-9 training at the Washington State Department of Corrections Narcotic Dog Academy in Shelton, Washington. After a competitive application process, Officer Pruitt and Officer Jacob Wilcox were selected and traveled to Shelton to meet their new partners. 

“She’s very friendly and calm,” Officer Pruitt beams as his partner obediently sits by his side. “Most of the dispatchers call her a therapy dog, everyone loves her. She pays a little more attention to detail than most other dogs and is very particular with her work. Once she’s tasked with finding something, she’s dead set on finding it.”

All of a sudden Kait sat up at attention and her ears perked up. Seconds later, the door at the opposite end of the police department opened. 

“Who’s that, girl?” Officer Pruitt asked his excited partner. “Is that your friend?” 

He let her off her leash and she did a quick spin before sprinting down the hall. Just as quick as she vanished, she reappeared, only this time she was chased by Tipper. 

The dogs hurried to the large open space at the center of the department. Kait stopped on a dime and Tipper also halted as they faced each other. Kait juked left before immediately running in the opposite direction. Tipper recovered quickly, as she was fooled only briefly, and was now hot on Kait’s tail. The dogs continued to engage in a friendly game of doggy tag before duty called for Kait and Officer Pruitt. Tipper trotted back to Officer Wilcox who happily spoke about becoming acquainted with his new partner.

“She kind of took to me,” he says. “We trained with a bunch of a different dogs and this dog fit with me; wherever I went, she followed. We grew a bond together while at training. She’s a pup so we had to introduce her to narcotics, this is what it smells like and here’s your ball if you find it. She wouldn’t sit right away when she smelled the drugs, she’d actually give me an animated look like, ‘dad I found it, now give me the ball’. So we had to get her to sit, that’s how I know she’s got something.”

Officer Tipper.

The K-9 officers also live in the homes of their partners. Officers Pruitt and Wilcox had to learn how to care for the dogs while off duty and learn what to feed them, what toys they can play with and how their families should interact with them, so the dogs are ready and focused when it’s time to return to work.

“Right now we have the two new K-9s, they will be working primarily late afternoons throughout the evening, seven days a week,” states TPD Chief Sutters. “Our goal is to have at least one K-9 on duty, helping patrol the streets of Tulalip. This is the introduction and part of our overall drug [taskforce] strategy. 

“When there’s suspected narcotics on a call, in a car, in a residence or on a person, the dogs can be summoned to the scene and can use their detection senses,” he continues. “If they detect the presence of illegal drugs, officers are trained to take it to the next step. We want to use all the tools available to protect the citizens of Tulalip. These dogs are great assets to the police department, they can smell through luggage, clothing, locked containers, cars, they can detect narcotics in hidden places that our officers wouldn’t be able to find easily.”

Officer Kait.

During their first few weeks on duty, the K-9 officers have already discovered a significant amount of stashed baggies hidden in vehicles, backpacks and on-person of users entering and leaving the reservation.

Officer Wilcox pointed out that the drugs up north are  made and cut with different chemicals than the drugs they were originally trained with, claiming they emit a different odor. Because of the recent findings, the K-9s are becoming more familiar with the smell of the drugs they will be primarily searching for in Tulalip. 

“If anything, it’ll scare a lot of drug dealers from coming out here, now that they know we have the dogs,” says Officer Wilcox “You’ll be seeing the K-9 officers out on the road and that will impact the amount of incoming drugs.”

Aside from busting local drug operations, Tipper and Kait are excited to get to know the people of Tulalip and will be visiting with the youth at the Betty J. Taylor Early Learning Academy, Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary and Heritage High School. The dogs will also be in attendance at many upcoming community events and are happy to meet you and your family, so be sure to say hello if you get the chance. 

“Bringing our K-9 units out to the community and to the kids at the schools is beneficial for both the department and our community,” says Deputy Chief Pruitt. “Our K-9 officers are a tool and a resource to our agency but are also a friend and a family member. Working for the Tulalip Tribes, we are very family oriented, so bringing on the K-9 officers to the TPD family means we are also welcoming them to our Tulalip family.” 

Tulalip Resort Casino Chefs Are Serving Exotic Sweetness Nov. 30-Dec. 31

Honey and Spice and Everything Nice This Holiday Season
Tulalip Resort Casino Chefs Are Serving Exotic Sweetness Nov. 30-Dec. 31

Tulalip, Washington — Move over, Pumpkin! Honey and Spice are shaking things up this holiday season at Tulalip Resort Casino. The Resort’s culinary teams have procured several exotic kinds of honey and spice flavors to showcase in their holiday specials. From seafood to sweets, Executive Chef Perry Mascitti challenged his chefs to examine the complexities of how different kinds of honey and spices can take a dining experience to a new height when done right.

The Honey and Spice promotion will run from November 30 through December 31.

Savory Honey and Spice dishes at the Resort include: Tula Bene Pastaria + Chophouse’s Lavender Honey, Blue, and Bergamot appetizer served with Purple Haze Lavender Honey “caviar,” gorgonzola dolce cheese and a pot of earl gray tea; Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill and Bar’s Honey & Spice Alder Roasted Sockeye Salmon laced with anise, cumin, orange and Skagit Wild Flower Honey; Cedars Café’s Grilled Lamb Chops glazed with honey, horseradish, mustard and mint; Journeys East’s signature Deep Fried Lamb Rib coated with a wildflower honey and fresh garlic sauce; and The Draft Sports Bar and Grill’s Honey and Rosemary Spiced Parmesan Chicken Bites served with an Oregon Wildflower Honey and Rosemary Butter.

For a little Honey and Spice on the go, guests can enjoy Espresso/Carvery’s Asian Chicken Salad with sesame-roasted chicken breast, cabbage slaw and Mountain Wild Flower Honey Blossom vinaigrette.

Pastry Chef Nikol Nakamura’s Sweet Kitchen Honey and Spice featured desserts include a Spiced Apple Tarte Tatin with honey caramel on puff pastry paired with spiced house holiday blend of vanilla ice cream and blackberries at Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill or a Baked Pecan Tart at Cedars Café. The tart filling includes toasted pecans, honey and house-made spice blend, topped with spiced whipped cream and orange. And, nothing says pizza pie like the Ginger and Honey Chocolate Pie served hot right from Blazing Paddles’ pizza oven. This extraordinary creation is prepared with their house-made fresh dough, ginger-infused honey, hazelnuts, chocolate chips, fresh peaches and orange zest to top it all off.

For more information about the Honey and Spice promotion or Tulalip Resort Casino, visit here.

Reasons to Study Social Work

Jeanne Steffener, Tulalip Tribes Higher ED

Are you looking for a way to really help people? Social work is a career where you can find work that has real meaning, diversity, satisfaction in helping people discover options and solutions for dire, intense situations in their lives. Social workers help individuals, families and communities find positive solutions. It can also be a catalyst in helping to move social policy in the right direction. 

The primary mission of the social work profession is to improve the well-being of all humans and to help them meet their basic needs while promoting social justice. Social justice includes making sure that people have equal opportunities, the ability to participate in decision making and providing basic needs to people while having opportunities to thrive as a member of society. These principles are applied as they work with everyone including the poor, the elderly, the disabled and importantly children, anyone who is vulnerable. 

History shows us the importance of social work. Jane Addams, a pioneer in the social work effort and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, founded the Settlement House Movement in Chicago in the late 1800’s with the establishment of Hull House which flourished during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Sadly, Hull House recently was forced to close due to diminished funding. Jane Adams understood the huge impact that social work had not only a singular person’s well-being but on society as a whole. Due to Jane and others following after her, the way has led to developing a social safety net for those at risk in our society. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 15% of Americans live below the poverty line. People living in poverty need social workers to help them to cope with the overwhelming challenges of homelessness, unemployment, underemployment, and poor health and mental illness. 

About 20% of the U.S. population suffers from some degree of mental illness. In this area, social workers are extremely important, helping to identify clinical services for those suffering from mood disorders, anxiety, psychoses, substance abuse and other serious forms of mental illness. In addition, social workers are the tireless advocates working to provide adequate mental health services, promote equality in health and mental health insurance coverage and confronting discrimination toward people with mental illness. In short, social workers become the support system as well as advocates for disadvantaged persons. 

A degree in Social Work provides students with the ability to undertake a range of different professional roles. As situations are presented daily, social workers can find themselves in many different settings such as hospitals, homes or police departments. The skills developed through studying social work are valued by many employers in many different sectors of employment. These transferrable skills include communication, problem solving, empathy, team work and time management. 

You are probably wondering where you would use your skills as a social worker. Social workers can be in many areas: public agencies, hospitals, police departments, courts, politics, human relations, non-profits, schools, nursing homes and private practice. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow around 16 % from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all other occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increased demand for healthcare and social services, but will vary by specialization”. 

If you like working with people, Social Work gives you an understanding of how to help people to function better in their environment. If this piques your interested in choosing a satisfying field of study, please call the Higher ED staff at 360-716-4888 or email us at for assistance with this educational path. 

Mary Jane Davis (1951 – 2018)

Mary Jane Davis was born on August 18, 1951 in Everett, WA, to Jack and Mary Jane Moses. She passed away on November 12, 2018. Mary Jane loved to crochet, knit, play bingo, go trout fishing, and pick berries. She worked doing housekeeping at the Casino and apartment building up until she couldn’t work anymore. Mary Jane loved her family and her kids and grandchildren were the most important thing to her. She was always making items to help families with giveaways and helping them in any way she could. She is preceded in death by her husband, David Davis, grandparents, parents, Jack and Mary Jane Moses, and grandson Michael. She is survived by her twin sister, Mary Ellen, siblings, Albert, Wendy, Ruby, and Joe; children, Ivan, Tony, Donna, Nona, Mary Ellen, Sara, Gerry; grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Visitation will be held on November 19, 2018 at 1 pm at Schaefer-Shipman Funeral Home. There will be a prayer service at the 1910 Shaker Church at 6 pm that same evening. Funeral services will be on November 20, 2018 at 10 am at the 1910 Shaker Church with burial to follow at Mission Beach Cemetery.

Quilting for Veterans

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

On a brisk, fall afternoon, seven Tulalip women gathered behind the Hibulb Cultural Center, a place where they often met over the past several months. Rae Anne Gobin, Lena Jones, Sherry Dick, Benita Rosen, Edith Johnny and Sara Andres continued the annual tradition of quilting blankets for Tulalip Veterans, making this their third consecutive year honoring those who served in the military. 

Each member of the quilting bee has created one quilt for the project every year with the goal of blanketing all of Tulalip’s veterans. As they arranged their quilts for a number of photos, the quilters all shared a certain excitement with one another as they admired each other’s final product. Ooh’s and ahh’s followed by compliments about color schemes and patterns were heard as each quilter proudly showcased her work to the group. Seven beautiful red, white and blue quilts were completed after months of hard work and the quilters couldn’t wait to gift them to seven lucky local veterans at the annual Hibulb Cultural Center Veterans Day event.

“This is our third year sewing quilts, bringing a total of twenty-one quilts,” expresses Tulalip Quilter, Rae Anne Gobin. “For 2018, the Tulalip Veteran Quilt group took the challenge of sewing the Hollow Star pattern by Krista Moser, who designed, taught and long-armed the quilts. The pattern was full of Y seams that presented challenges until we began to master them. Each one of us took the time to select our fabric and put our love in each of these quilts. We hope each recipient finds the quilt comforting.”

The Tulalip Veteran Quilt Project has been funded through the Tulalip Foundation since their first year. Around this time last year, the Foundation decided to honor the ladies for their loving efforts by selecting the group as their Giving Tuesday recipients. 

“Giving Tuesday is the response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” says Tulalip Foundation Executive Director, Nicole Sieminski. “It’s an idea of giving back to the community after all of the consumerism over Thanksgiving weekend. We chose the Tulalip Veterans Quilt Project this year and raised almost $1,700, covering all of the supplies for the quilting. We love supporting community driven projects. It’s always great to see the amazing work these ladies do and it’s such a great opportunity to support our veterans.”

  The ladies presented their quilts to Veterans Ronald Burns, Peter Henry Sr., David Fryberg Sr., Cyrus Williams and Leonard James in a moving moment during the museum’s Honoring Our Veterans event on November 11. Each veteran displayed youthful exuberance, joyful smiles and tears of happiness when accepting the beautiful blankets from their makers. Everybody in attendance of the event were wowed by the patterns of the quilts and gave both the quilters and the veterans a standing ovation after the gifting. Veterans Ernest Millholland and Wesley Charles Jr. were unfortunately unable to attend the event, but the Tulalip Honor Guards will be sure they receive their quilts on behalf of the ladies. 

“We enjoy doing this work and giving back to our community, making sure our veterans are recognized for protecting us and our country,” expresses Rae Anne. “We know our veterans put their lives on hold while serving and helped protect us to keep our freedom. We care for and love our Tulalip veterans and want to honor them for their service and let them know, you are not forgotten and will always be remembered.”

Honoring our Veterans

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

Each year, the Tulalip-Marysville community takes a little extra time to ensure our local veterans feel exceptionally appreciated on November 11. After spending years away from home, traveling to dangerous locations throughout the world and putting their life on the line to protect this country, it’s important to make sure our veterans are taken care of and well-respected when returning to civilian life. Because of combat, many veterans are living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and due to the economic climate, many veterans struggle finding employment, contributing to the rise of homelessness among veterans in the United States. As Americans, we tend to get caught up in the everyday cycle and often miss opportunities to show kindness, compassion or gratitude to the vets within our communities who are transitioning back to a life of normalcy. Many veterans throughout the weekend voiced these concerns, stating the impact of a simple thank you outside of Veterans Day can last a lifetime. 

“For me, Veterans Day is a day where we can come together as communities to say thank you to our veterans for their service,” expressed Navy Veteran, James Lovely, to the students of Totem Middle School at their annual Veterans Day Assembly. “Although, we shouldn’t only thank our vets on just that one day out of the year. I’ve been in the Navy for seventeen years, done four deployments and seen a lot of cool places around the world while serving my country. After my first deployment ended in September 2004, I went to New York to watch a baseball game, I’m a big Yankees fan. When I was in line to get my ticket, the National Anthem started playing and after it played, a little girl, about eight years old, got my attention and said ‘thank you for keeping me safe and defending our freedom’. That was fourteen years ago, it wasn’t on Veterans Day, but I still think about her thank you every single day. It stuck with me and reminded me why I joined the military and to keep fighting when I thought I no longer could.”

The Totem Middle School assembly is always a grand event that includes live patriotic music from the school band and speeches from the students. Held on the morning of Friday November 9, the young adults were excited to take a break from their first period class to listen to the veterans recall their days in the service. The annual assembly ended with the famous Armed Forces Melody, where the students honored all five branches of the military by saluting each of their flags; Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. 

Meanwhile on the other side of the freeway, the students at Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary sat respectfully on their gym floor as the Tulalip Honor Guards presented the American, Prisoner of War/Missing in Action and Tulalip flags to begin the school’s daily morning assembly. The kids were treated to a number of stories from honorable veterans and in return, offered many adorable thank-you’s by way of special classroom presentations. 

After a heartwarming morning, the veterans said good-bye to the young students as they returned to their classrooms. The Quil Ceda assembly was just the first event for the Tulalip Honor Guards as they journeyed south to make an appearance in the 53rd Annual Veterans Day Parade on Saturday November 10, a huge celebration that takes place throughout the streets of Auburn. The Honor Guards returned to Tulalip for the Hibulb Cultural Center’s annual Honoring Our Veterans event, held on Veteran’s Day every year. 

“I work at the Tulalip Veterans Department, proudly following the footsteps of David Fryberg, Gene Zackuse and Mike Dunn,” stated Tulalip Honor Guard William McLean III to a packed longhouse the morning of the museum’s honoring. “First and foremost, I want to thank everyone for coming out today, it means so much to all of us veterans. Everyone in this room is here for a reason, for somebody. And I appreciate all of you coming out, whether it’s for a family member, loved one or for a friend, we thank you and thank them for their service.” 

Veterans Day at Hibulb begins with a roll call where all of the veterans in attendance state their name and which branch they served in. Veterans who couldn’t make the trip to the museum or are no longer with us are also honored during roll call and recognized by their family members. The gathering unites service men and women from all branches of the armed forces. Tulalip elders who served shared several colorful stories that painted a vivid picture of wartime. Reflecting on the horrors of enemy fire, the brotherhoods formed within infantries and journeying into the unknown at a young age, the vets spoke about their tours, sharing stories that always ended with a strong sense of pride for both this Nation as well as their respective tribes.

“I want to thank all of our veterans both men and women,” said Tulalip Board of Director and Vietnam Veteran, Mel Sheldon. “Tulalip has a rich history for volunteerism and participation in the military. There’s also another segment of people we can’t forget about and that’s the spouses. Wherever a veteran goes to their next post, we don’t get to hear what it was like for the spouses, to be in a strange place at different parts of the country. We want to raise our hands and thank the spouses who went along with and supported their loved ones.”

To close the 2018 Honoring Our Veterans event, the ladies of the Tulalip Veteran Quilt Project gifted their beautiful handmade quilts, that they put much time, effort and love into, to seven Tulalip Veterans for going to war and defending our country. Tulalip Chairwoman, Marie Zackuse, whose husband Gene served in the military, shared a few words before the veterans and their families emptied the longhouse. 

“I want to thank each and every one for coming out to support our veterans today,” she said. “As we honor all the veterans who are here present with us, our prayers are also with those elders who couldn’t be with us today. Thank you for the sacrifice you made to leave our reservation to serve our country and our people. Today we also want to honor our fallen heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice as well as our gold star mothers who suffered that loss. I want to thank the Creator today for all of those veterans who are still physically with us. I also want to thank our women who are doing this wonderful gifting to our veterans and honoring them in that special way with your beautiful talents and quilting.”

Be sure to extend a huge thank you to any veteran you may meet along your journey for bravely defending us and our freedom. 

Jennifer Joanne Navarrete (1984 – 2018)

Dec. 12, 1984 – Nov. 10, 2018 Jennifer Joanne Navarrete was born on December 12, 1984 in Tacoma, WA to William Clark and Barbara Nielsen (Murphy). Jennifer loved being with her family, taking care of her nieces and nephews and cheering them on in sports, and being outdoors. She also loved spending time with her girlfriend Sheena. Jennifer is preceded in death by her grandparents, Joel and Virginia Clark, Richard and Barbara Murphy; and sister, Cynthia (Cinder) Clark. She is survived by her parents Barbara and Harry Nielsen, and William Clark; brothers, Brandon Lloyd and Kenneth Garcia; sister, Michelle Figueroa; girlfriend, Sheena Allen; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives. Visitation will be on Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at Schaefer-Shipman Funeral Home. Interfaith Services will be at 6:00 p.m. that evening at the Tulalip Tribal Gym. Funeral services will be Friday, November 16, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the Tulalip Tribal Gym with burial to follow at Mission Beach Cemetery.