Students honor the legacy of Billy Frank Jr.

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

Many schools across the nation celebrate the works of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss by hosting a spirit week each March during his birthday week. This tradition is practiced annually at Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary (QCT.) But before preparations for this year’s Dr. Suess week began, Chelsea Craig, Tulalip tribal member and QCT instructor, suggested the school celebrated another national hero, Billy Frank Jr., whose passion for preserving fishing rights for Washington State tribes has made a positive impact for both Indian Country and the environment for generations to come. QCT celebrated by learning about the Native American activist every day during his birthday week, March 6-10.

In 1854 and 1855 the State of Washington met with several local tribes to sign treaties in order to designate land for the tribes. Each tribe received a portion of land where the state would provide schools and medical care. The treaties allowed the tribes to retain the right to hunt, gather and fish at all usual and accustomed grounds.

Ninety years after the treaties were signed, fourteen-year-old Billy Frank Jr. of the Nisqually Indian Tribe, was arrested for fishing on off-reservation land on the Nisqaully River. This was the first of over fifty arrests for Billy and ultimately led to the fish wars and the Boldt decision, a landmark court case that affirmed tribal fishing rights; subjects that were studied during Billy Frank Jr. week at QCT.

Billy actively fought his entire life not only for fishing rights but also for the environment. He served as the chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission for over thirty years. Billy passed away in 2014 and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary students display their school-wide art project in honor of Billy Frank Jr. The students designed paper salmon printed with their name and why they believe Billy’s work was important to Native America. Their artwork, laminated together, gave the illusion of salmon swimming upstream.

The school’s spirit week concluded with a two-hour assembly in honor of Billy, that included artwork as well as traditional song and dance by the students. Also in attendance were Billy’s son Willie and members of the Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors.

“Billy’s fight started as a battle for a right to continue to do what he and his ancestors have done for thousands of years and he went to jail many, many times fighting for that right, which is secured in a treaty with the United States. Since that time, there’s been many battles and struggles in trying to preserve that right,” explained Tulalip Board member Glen Gobin.

He continued, “As Billy got older he recognized that the fish runs were declining. He realized, it wasn’t the harvesting it was the habitat. So Billy’s focus changed, still protecting the salmon but understanding the environment and the changes that were coming. His focus changed because he knew it was going to affect the next generations.”

Salmon appeared to be swimming through the elementary gymnasium as students displayed a school-wide art project. Each student decorated paper cut-out salmon which were then laminated together, giving the illusion of fish swimming upstream. The students also remixed the B-I-N-G-O nursery rhyme to the tune of B-I-L-L-Y. The fifth grade class created a video in which they spoke of Billy’s career and legacy. During the video several students thanked him for his work, stating the battle he fought allows their family members to exercise their fishing rights, as many parents are fisherman or work in fisheries.

Willie Frank thanked the students and offered words of encouragement about environmental protection amongst massive EPA budget cuts from the Trump Administration. He stated, “My dad always said ‘tell your story’. He’s gone now so it’s up to all of us to tell our story, as Native People, about how much the environment means to us. How much the salmon and the water mean to us.”

The assembly concluded with a traditional song provided by both students and tribal members. QCT is making a strong effort on educating their students about the local Native American hero by sharing his story, a sentiment echoed by a fifth-grade student. She states, “They say you die twice. Once in the physical and then again when your story dies. We are going to make sure Billy Frank Jr. lives forever by sharing his story.”

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


Why study Philosophy?

Submitted by Jeanne Steffener, Tulalip Tribes Higher ED

A degree in philosophy can be useful for professions beyond an academic career. Degrees such as this can help in the world of business, where a background in philosophy can pave the way for change. Philosophy has proved itself to be not only relevant but also the basis of great innovation in business. Some of the most successful technology innovators today have paired their background in philosophy and critical thinking to develop new digital services now used in various domains of society. Leaders in industry have used their creative thought processes honed in studying philosophy to envision unique perspectives plus taking that necessary chance to put their perspectives out in the public domain shaping a new business world.

Studying philosophy helps to develop strong critical thinking skills and business instincts. Philosophy is a very challenging major and has rigorous standards. Open-ended assignments push philosophy students to find and take on a unique aspect of the work of the philosopher that they are studying, frame their thinking around a fresh and interesting question, or make original connections between the writings of two (2) distinct thinkers. Philosophers will be the ones to grapple with the biggest issues facing our world.

Advances in physics, technology and neuroscience pose an ever-evolving set of questions about the nature of the world and man’s place in it. These are questions that we do not yet have the answers to but philosophers are persistently exploring theories and arguments. Morality and meaning also pose more questions which ancient thinkers earlier dwelled upon but continue to resurface as humanity evolves. These are questions like: How should we treat one another? What does it mean to live a good life? Who should have that good life? Does everyone deserve good, inexpensive healthcare?

Philosophy explores the deepest, broadest questions of life — why we exist, how society should organize, how institutions should relate to society and the purpose of human striving. With globalization, many businesses are beginning to take social responsibility to heart. Those with philosophy at their core who care and are able to think critically about global and humanitarian issues will be the ones who are poised to create change. As you begin to challenge your own point of view, become a citizen of the world, recognize your responsibilities to the world and have the ability to grapple with moral choices, you increase your humanity and empathy. As you struggle to come to grips with these challenges, you end up embracing a global-mindedness and humanistic perspective, as well as becoming a more desirable job candidate.

Practically speaking, there is plenty of evidence that philosophy is very useful as an undgraduate degree. It not only prepares students for a graduate work in philosophy but for a variety of fields as well. Philosophy majors are top preformers on both the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) and the GRE (Graduate Record Exam). The LSAT is an integral part of the law school admission process in the United States, Canada, and a growing number of other countries. It provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants. The GRE is commonly used by many graduate schools. GRE tests measure one’s aptitude for abstract thinking in the areas of analytical writing, mathematics and vocabulary. Philosophy can also be a catalyst to medicine.

If you are looking for a challenge in life, philosophy can give you a competitive edge in life and business. Please call Higher ED staff at 360-716-4888 or email us at to find out more information.

Why study geology? 


Source: Jeanne Steffener, Tulalip Tribes Higher ED

Geology is the study of Earth…our home. Most people think of it as the study of rocks but it is actually the study of the materials and processes which make earth an amazing dynamic planet capable of supporting life. An important part of geology is the study of how Earth’s materials, structures, processes and organisms inhabiting our planet have changed over time.

Study of the geologic record tells us about the Earth – the evolution of life, its history, the continents and how they evolved, the ocean basins, and our climate. Historical geology teaches us about fossil life and the physical changes to the earth since its beginning. These changes include the movements of the continents; the formation and reconfiguration of ocean basins; growth of mountain ranges; erosion and redistribution of sediments; changes in surface environments and changes in climate over time.

As geologists work to try to understand the history of our planet, it helps them to envision how events and processes of the past might affect the future…our future. The Earth processes geologists study include landslides, earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions. These events can be very hazardous to people.

Geologists work at understanding these processes as they strive to avoid building structures where they might be damaged. For instance, if geologists can maps areas that have flooded in the past, they can recognize areas that could potentially flood in the future. These maps could potentially determine where and where not to develop communities as well as determine where flood protection or flood insurance is necessary.

People use earth materials every day. They use oil that is produced by drilling holes into the Earth then extracting it, metals are mined and water is drawn from streams or underground. The process is geologists performing studies that locate materials of the Earth, then they plan how to extract and remove the materials from the rocks. Similar work is done to locate and produce oil, gas, gems, metals and water.

Today we are very concerned about climate change. In helping to minimize the effects of climate change geologists work to learn about past climates on earth and how they have changed across time. Through studying and understanding historical geology we learn what is affecting our current climate change and what the results might be.

Geology can be a very interesting and rewarding career. The minimum required training for Geology is a four-year college degree. Many geologists earn master’s and doctorate degrees. The advanced degrees provide a higher level of training in specialty areas such as paleontology, mineralology, hydrology or volcanology. Advanced degrees often qualify the geologist for supervisory positions, research assignments and teaching positions at the university level.

Employment opportunities are very good for geologists. Geology graduates with a strong academic background and good grades have no trouble finding positions.

If you are considering pursuing a career in a very interesting and exciting field, there are many universities offering courses and programs in geology The job possibilities for someone with additional training and skills are limitless. Please call Higher ED staff at 360-716-4888 or email us at to find out more information.