Special Needs Field Day a great time for all

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

There was no shortage of laughter and joy on the sunny afternoon of July 29, as the Tulalip community gathered for the second annual Special Needs Field Day held at the Kenny Moses Building. The summertime event, hosted by Tulalip Youth Services, caters to the local children of Tulalip who are living with learning or physical disabilities, providing a fun-filled day for the kids and their families. 

The community turned out in large numbers as around seventy people showed up for the field day event to create everlasting memories as well as an assortment of crafts such as slime and glitter bottles. Two big bouncy houses were setup next to the longhouse overlooking Tulalip Bay. The kids enjoyed snow cones as they posed for caricature portraits and received henna tattoos and face paintings. 

The fan favorite gold-panning station returned, which is a hands-on experience that allows the special needs children to explore and engage in sensory play that is both fun and not too overstimulating for them. This year, Youth Services added a new activity, a foam pit, which easily became the new favorite amongst the kids as they enjoyed escaping from view of their peers, popping in and out of the bubbles during hide-and-seek. 

“This year really came together because I wanted to build off of what we did last year,” says Youth Services Special Needs Advocate, Joe Boon. “We added a foam pit. The kids can go in and run around in a bunch of soapy foam and they love it. Some of them come out and are just soaked and covered in bubbles, it’s great. A lot of the activities they are doing requires them to work with their hands and that helps with that fine motor skill need that they have. All of the activities we planned are related to sensory and their needs.”

Upon arriving to Special Needs Field Day, young Chris Ring was ecstatic to see some of his friends and counselors at the event. 

“Mom, mom look who it is, you’re not going to believe it,” he happily exclaimed when seeing one of his friends. “I can’t believe he’s here, this is going to be so good.”

“Bringing the community together for Special Needs Field Day is very important,” states Chris’ mom, Katrina Ring. “It helps the kids feel embraced and the sensory play teaches them in a fun and comfortable environment. It’s very open and inviting for them because they just want to have fun like everyone else.”

 Fresh off an undefeated season with the Battle Creek PGA Jr. League, young tribal members and brothers Braiden and Brodie Kane were in attendance. Decked out in face paintings and tattoos, the brothers visited every station throughout the day.

“My favorite part was everything!” exclaimed Braiden.

“Yeah, I had fun,” adds Brodie. “I got a snow cone, I went and jumped around in the Mickey Mouse bouncy, but the mining was the best. I found a bunch of different jewels, coins, crystals – all kinds of stuff!”

After an exciting day, the kids were tired out as they said goodbye to their pals and began to journey home.

“Hopefully tired enough for a nap on the ride home,” joked Braiden and Brodie’s mom, Dinesha Kane. “It was a good day, for real though. I want to thank Amy [Sheldon], Joe, Youth Services and Leah’s Dream Foundation. Everyone volunteers their time to these youth and the kids have a blast. These events are special to the community because it brings us together as a tribe, as a people. Our kids get to know each other, they get to meet new friends and see their cousins and family and it’s just a great time for everyone.” 

For additional information, including upcoming special needs youth events, please contact Joe Boon at (360) 716-4912.

Teen CERT prepares youth for disaster, teaches cultural resiliency

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Treboniak, CriticalOps-Simplify Your Life

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

The first ever tribal Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training was held in Tulalip during the week of July 16-20. The Tulalip Office of Emergency Management reached out to the Federal Emergency Management Institute (FEMA), Critical Ops and Tulalip Youth Services to bring the trainings to the community. Teen CERT teaches the younger generation how to be adequately prepared for when a disaster strikes so they can help assist the elders, children, injured adults and expectant mothers while the professionals make their way to the reservation. Forty young adults attended the week-long training, thirty-four participants from Tulalip as well as six participants from the Quinault Indian Nation. 

As the saying goes, disaster is waiting to happen. Around the globe people are experiencing natural disasters at an alarming rate such as wildfires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and a variety of storms (rain, wind, snow, thunder). In fact, according to a study conducted by the Environmental Defense Fund, many of these occurrences are happening due to climate change caused by mankind and shouldn’t be considered ‘natural’ disasters at all. In the United States alone, three hundred and sixty-two deaths were attributed to extreme weather and climate disasters in 2017. Over the past few years, the state of Washington has also seen its fair share of climate disasters including the Oso landslide, springtime snow storms, summertime wildfires and the fall/winter windstorms. 

“When the windstorms come in September, October, November and trees topple over, we are disconnected from Marysville and other neighboring cities,” says Ashlynn Danielson, Tulalip Emergency Preparedness Manager. “We have a few ideas of how to create access, move brush and trees off the road but in the meantime we want to self-preserve and have a shelter in place. FEMA has not provided onsite trainers in Indian Country for a Teen CERT. Tribal Teen CERT has been asked about but has not been a project of this scale. We are kind of the showcase piece which makes everything very exciting.” 

Teen CERT is offered to youth across the nation in a number of communities and teaches students how to react and respond in emergency situations. The trainings cover everything from fire safety, medical operation and triage, team organization, utility control, damage assessment as well as search and rescue. 

“Just the thought of being there for my community in a time of need seems something like I could be really good at because I want to help,” expresses young Tulalip tribal member, Evalea Cortez. “I love learning something new. Eventually our parents and all the adults won’t be around forever and if there’s a disaster they’ll be busy helping out others so why not get the training to help them out. I feel like CERT really shows how important it is to be involved with your community and look out for each other.” 

The kids had a blast throughout the week and learned how to properly suppress small fires using an extinguisher and participated in an earthquake emergency drill. The Greg Williams Court appeared to be turned upside after a big quake. A few students were given roles and had to act as though they were at the gym when the earthquake occurred which resulted in a certain injury. The other CERT trainees waited outside and entered the gym after the earthquake and it was their job to correctly assess their classmate’s injuries and treat any immediate lesions until the medical and emergency response teams arrived. The students had also learned how to apply makeup to make it look as though they had a number of injuries, such as cuts and bruises. Kids then learned how to inspect their neighborhoods for extensive damage and how to fill out full detailed reports for the proper authorities.

The Tulalip Office of Emergency Management offers CERT Trainings twice a year to the adults of the community. CERT trainings are highly interactive and require over twenty hours of class participation. Because Teen CERT required forty participants, Tulalip reached out to other tribes to complete their enrollment requirement. Six members of the Quinault Indian Nation accepted Tulalip’s invitation and journeyed north for a week of fun, hands-on safety experience.

“I thought it would be interesting to learn about the first response trainings and get certified for CERT,” says Quinault member, Johnny Law. “I think it’s important because it helps you feel more attached to the land, to our land, and know how to take care of it and our people when a disaster happens. I hope to bring a better understanding to where I’m from just in case there’s an earthquake or tsunami because that would devastate everything down there.”

Tulalip also incorporated another training within the CERT classes that focused on cultural resiliency, teaching the kids the importance of traditional and family values. Jay LaPlante, FEMA Tribal Relation Specialist taught the kids about the medicine wheel and the importance of self-care and community involvement.

“CERT itself is a three-day training and focuses on emergency response,” says Jay. “The reason I added the two-day cultural resiliency wellness training is because our people learn best when we have some type of relationship established. This training helps break down barriers, get to know themselves a little better and get centered with their own values. We always try to connect what we do today with what our ancestors wanted for us and also with the future generations. So we want to make sure these young people know that their ancestors were thinking about them hundreds of years ago so they can connect with what their ancestors wanted and live by those values.”

“We learned about the medicine wheel today,” states Tulalip tribal member, Kaiser Moses. “So that’s spiritual, mental, physical and emotional and that’s really important to factor into your daily life. They teach you fundamental things like how to take care of yourself and your neighbors. I signed up for CERT because I want to learn how to react in an emergency. I feel like after this training, I’ll be more prepared in the event of an emergency and that’s really reassuring.”

All forty students completed the trainings and are now certified CERT members. The Tulalip Office Emergency Management hopes to continue to offer Teen CERT after a successful first year and inspire other tribes to bring the trainings to the youth of their communities. 

“As Native people we are very resilient, very community based and likeminded,” says Ashlynn. “The importance of bringing Teen CERT and the cultural resiliency trainings to the reservation is because it helps us self-identify with our culture. Ultimately, we want them to be able to provide for each other and their families and know where to go in the event of an emergency and how to get to those critical supplies. At the end of the day, our end goal is that we can take all of our information and replicate it for other tribes and help all of the tribal nations become more resilient.”

The Tulalip Office of Emergency Management will continue hosting their regularly scheduled CERT trainings, the next one held this upcoming fall.  For further details, please contact the Office of Emergency Management at (360) 716-4006.

Lushootseed Camp, week two: more youth, more culture

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News; Photos by Micheal Rios & Natosha Gobin

During week one of the 23rd Annual Lushootseed Day Camp, there were 58 youth participants. Engagement and overall involvement increased significantly during week two, as 72 Children of the Salmon contributed to the cultural sharing and commitment to Lushootseed.

“It makes my heart happy seeing so many of our young ones learning our traditional language,” boasts Michele Balagot, Lushootseed Manager. “It is amazing to witness the amount of participation and community involvement we receive each year.”

From Monday July 16 to Friday July 20, the Kenny Moses Building was home to the children learning traditional teachings, listening to storytelling by elders, and using their creative minds to create and paint an assortment of giveaway items. It’s a time that Tulalip children, families and community look forward to as it provides them an opportunity to immerse themselves in Lushootseed and the rich culture of the Coast Salish people.

Open to children age five to twelve who want to learn about their culture and the language of their ancestors, Lushootseed Camp provides invaluable traditional teachings through art, songs, technology, weaving and storytelling. Each year the Lushootseed Department teams up with Cultural Resources, along with a select number of vital community volunteers, to hold two one-week day camps in the summer. 

“So proud of my fellow Language Warriors for putting together some amazing lessons, proud of our volunteers for stepping up to help us along the way, and proud of our community who supported our efforts by allowing their kids to participate,” said Language Warrior Natosha Gobin. “Most importantly, we are so proud of our youth, about 130 total, who rised up over the past two weeks. They learned so many traditional teachings and are eager to keep them alive.”

With a high turnout in camp participation came an equally impressive turnout in community volunteers who assisted Lushootseed staff to coordinate daily camp activities. There were 15 volunteers readily available on a daily basis to help camp run smoothly.

Throughout the duration of camp, the children participated in seven different daily stations or activities. The following list is what each child accomplished throughout the week:

  • Art – Succulents, clam shell rattles, clam shell succulent holders.
  • Weaving – God’s Eye, bracelets.
  • Songs – Paddle Song, Berry Picking Song, Welcome Song, Kenny Moses’ Arrival Song, Martha Lamont’s huyəxw st’ilib 
  • Traditional Teachings – Canoes, Canoe Journey protocol
  • Language – Lushootseed alphabet, canoe terms.
  • Technology – children learned and practiced Lushootseed materials related their final performance using handheld games on Tablets created by Dave Sienko.

Every station and daily lesson incorporated various Canoe Journey teachings and protocol verbiage. With the annual tribal Canoe Journey going on now, it made for an ideal time to teach the youngsters about the tradition.

“We wanted to take this opportunity to give our young ones as much teachings as possible,” explained Language Warrior Roselle Fryberg. “It was really important to us to teach them about hosting a potlatch and coming together as a community. For our mini Canoe Journey, each child plays a role. We have fisherman, berry pickers, tribal leaders hosting Canoe Journey, and several canoes representing visiting tribes. 

“We also talked about how grateful we are that they are here to carry on these traditions of singing, dancing, and speaking their ancestral language. One day, all these teachings will be on their shoulders to carry on and pass to the next generation,” added Roselle. 

The closing ceremony for week two’s camp took place on Friday, July 20 at the Kenny Moses Building. The joyous, young play-performers made their theatrical debut to a large community attendance, as family and friends came out in droves to show their support.

Most of the children beamed with joy as they performed their roles in the closing ceremony, while some caught the shy bug being in front of such a large audience. There were several Lushootseed songs everyone was able to sing along together, giving family and friends plenty of opportunities to capture such precious moments on photos or video. 

“We would like to thank the children for all of their hard work and efforts,” proclaimed Natosha Gobin during the play’s opening. “They attended camp for just one week and learned so much about their culture, traditions, language, and more. They do not hesitate to step up and share their teachings. 

“We thank you, the parents, for joining us to celebrate the work the children have accomplished this week. Your presence here for the children will encourage their learning of their culture and traditional language.”

Lushootseed Camp Language Warriors.

After the youth performed their rendition of “Mini Canoe Journey” and the ceremonial witnesses had shared a few words, there was a giveaway. The camp participants gave their handmade crafts created during the past week to each and every audience member; sharing in a final act of memory making with their peers, before filling their bellies with a salmon lunch. 

Learning Lushootseed while exploring Canoe Journey tradition

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The week of July 9-13 was full of pleasantly warm and sunny summer days in the Pacific Northwest. Inside the Kenny Moses Building, even more beams of sunshine could be found radiating from the energetic faces of 58 children participating in the 23rd Annual Lushootseed Day Camp, week one.

Open to children age five to twelve who want to learn about their culture and the language of their ancestors, Lushootseed Camp provides invaluable traditional teachings through art, songs, technology, weaving and storytelling. Each year the Lushootseed Department teams up with Cultural Resources, along with a select number of vital community volunteers, to hold two one-week day camps in the summer. 

“It makes my heart happy seeing so many of our young ones learning our traditional language,” boasts Michele Balagot, Lushootseed Manager. “It is amazing to witness the amount of participation and community involvement we receive each year.”

With a high turnout in camp participation came an equally impressive turnout in community volunteers who assisted Lushootseed staff to coordinate daily camp activities. There were 15 volunteers readily available on a daily basis to help camp run smoothly.

Throughout the duration of camp, the children participated in seven different daily stations or activities. The following list is what each child accomplished throughout the week:

  • Art – Succulents, clam shell rattles, clam shell succulent holders.
  • Weaving – God’s Eye, bracelets.
  • Songs – Paddle Song, Berry Picking Song, Welcome Song, Kenny Moses’ Arrival Song, Martha Lamont’s huyəxw st’ilib
  • Traditional Teachings – Canoes, Canoe Journey protocol
  • Language – Lushootseed alphabet, canoe terms.
  • Technology – children learned and practiced Lushootseed materials related their final performance using handheld games on Tablets created by Dave Sienko.

Every station and daily lesson incorporated various Canoe Journey teachings and protocol verbiage. With the annual tribal Canoe Journey going on now, it made for an ideal time to teach the youngsters about the tradition.

The closing ceremony for week one’s camp took place on Friday, July 13 at the Kenny Moses Building. The joyous, young play-performers made their theatrical debut to a large community attendance, as family and friends came out in droves to show their support.

“We would like to thank the children for all of their hard work and efforts,” proclaimed Language Warrior Natosha Gobin during the play’s opening. “They attended camp for just one week and learned so much about their culture, traditions, language, and more. They do not hesitate to step up and share their teachings. 

“We thank you, the parents, for joining us to celebrate the work the children have accomplished this week,” added Natosha. “Your presence here for the children will encourage their learning of their ancestral language.”

After the youth performed their rendition of “Mini Canoe Journey” and the ceremonial witnesses had shared a few words, there was a giveaway. The camp participants gave handmade crafts to each and every audience member, which preceded a buffet-style lunch featuring salmon.

Green Jobs

 

Submitted by Jeanne Steffener, Tulalip Tribes Higher ED

Globally, countries are very concerned with reducing imported fossil fuel use. They are searching for ways to promote the use of domestic green energy resources because of the increasing danger of climate change. Renewable energies, such as wind, solar, geothermal and bioenergy are mushrooming businesses that will thrust us into the new Green Economy. Renewable energy is extremely important because it provides big benefits for our climate, our health and our economy in these forms: minimal or no global warming emission; improved public health and environmental quality; inexhaustible energy supply; jobs and other economic benefits; stable energy prices and a more reliable energy source.

Businesses sympathetic to environmental concerns are creating a whole range of environmentally friendly jobs. We are seeing this growth evidenced in an increase of solar panel installation for businesses and houses, wind energy harnessed east of the Cascades with the windmills erected along the horizons, grocery stores are offering more organic green options throughout their stores, hybrid and electric cars becoming more mainstream. Automobile manufacturers are discontinuing inefficient gas driven models and moving toward the electric/hybrid models. We are noticing more “electric stations” in town and in our travels. This is the beginning of the green revolution. Job creation in the wind energy industry is employing full-time employees in a variety of occupations including manufacturing, project development, construction, turbine installation, operations, maintenance, transportation, logistics, financial, legal, and consulting services. There are over 500 factories in the United States manufacturing parts for wind turbines. The solar industry employs approximately 374,000 people in either full or part-time jobs, in solar manufacturing, installation, and sales and marketing positions. The renewable energy sector now includes these other forms of green energy: hydro energy, ocean energy, and bio-energy employing even more workers. Clean energy is a huge opportunity to revive manufacturing in this country. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “3,384,834 Americans are directly employed by the clean energy industry which includes the energy efficiency, smart grid, and energy storage industries; electric power generation from renewables; renewable fuels production; and the electric, hybrid, and hydrogen-based vehicle industries”.

In addition to creating new jobs, increasing our use of renewable energy offers other important economic development benefits. Local governments are able to collect property and income taxes from renewable energy project owners. This revenue supports public services that are vital to the community. Many of these projects are being located in rural areas where jobs are a huge need.

Owners of the lands where wind projects are located receive lease payments for power line easements or road right-away. Another possibility of payment can be earning royalties based on the project’s annual revenues. Other ways that farmers can generate supplemental income is through renewable energy production by producing feedstock for biomass power facilities.

Clean energy careers involve jobs created by energy conservation, alternative energy development, pollution reduction and recycling. A number of colleges and universities are now offering specializations and degree programs in clean energy resource areas. Community colleges are a good resource for certificates and 2-year degrees offering clean energy qualifications. One of the best resources for information on renewable/clean energy education and careers is located at the U.S. Department of Energy’s website: http://energy.gov/eere/education/colleges-and-universities.

Are you interested in discovering more about the green energy revolution? Just pick up your phone and contact the Higher Education Department for more information. You can either call us at 360-716-4888 or email us at highered@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov.

A Tradition of Storytelling

Tulalip storteller, Michelle Myles.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

For Native Americans, the telling of stories passed down from generation to generation remains a crucial form of knowledge transfer. Oral storytelling traditions allow tribes to communicate their spiritual and historical understandings of themselves and the world they cultivated for their children and their children’s children. This all but guarantees that members of each individual tribal nation never forget their roots or lose sight of important teachings that continue a harmonious and cooperative existence with nature.

The tradition of storytelling lives on in Tulalip, where several prominent storytellers have been featured as part of a library-ran initiative to teach the general public about Native culture and to honor the Indigenous land on which they reside.

Culture bearers Michelle Myles, Natosha Gobin, and KT Jean Hots comprised a team of Tulalip storytellers who shared their craft at the Everett Public Library. The event was part of the city of Everett’s 125th anniversary celebration.

“The city of Everett, including the Everett Public Library, has been putting together a series of programs to celebrate the anniversary,” explained Mindy Van Wingen, Assistant Director Everett Library. “We wanted to include the Tulalip Tribes and honor the Native heritage of Everett and what came before the city was developed. The storytellers offered a great program. We are really happy with the attendance and the visitor engagement.”

The library’s auditorium was filled to capacity with eager listeners willing to explore local history from the Tulalip Tribes’ perspective, while learning about a vibrant culture and community. 

“We were invited to share traditional stories from our area and ancestors,” said Natosha Gobin, Lushootseed Teacher. “We shared oral history and helped the listeners gain a better understanding of the life ways of Coast Salish people. 

“Storytelling is significant because that is how all of the teachings were passed on, from the elders to children through oral teachings, and those teachings were passed on daily. We didn’t have a written language until the late 1960s, so storytelling is how everything that makes us who we are was passed on.”

Tulalip storyteller, Natasha Gobin.

Natosha and Michelle took turns sharing traditional stories, such as The Seal Hunting Brothers, The Gossiping Clams, The Basket Lady, and A Story About Coyote. In each story were lessons learned about living in a good way, instructional survival skills, and even explanations for natural phenomena. 

At one point, storyteller apprentice, nine-year-old tribal member KT took center stage and shared the story Her First Basket. After finishing her favorite story, KT received a loud applause from the audience.

“I think it’s important for kids to learn to tell stories. They can learn and go home and teach their parents and brothers and sisters,” shared KT after her storytelling session. “Kids can learn our culture and Lushootseed and help teach it. Family or friends can help you like the cedar tree helped the little girl in Her First Basket.”

Nine-year-old storyteller, KT Jean Hots.

Native American storytelling has always been and continues to be equal parts real, metaphorical, spiritual, instructional and transformational. Most of all, however, the stories are entertaining and memorable to the audiences who hear them. This way the stories are remembered and passed down to the coming generations, who needs to understand who they are, where they come from, and why the world is the way it is.

“Storytelling means being the example, being the one that kids can look up to and ask questions to,” explained tribal member artist and storyteller Ty Juvinel. “Having a story to tell children, instead of yelling or chastising when they’ve done something wrong allows them to learn in a good way. From stories they learn the values of their people and how to present themselves.”

Ty has recently partnered with the Seattle Public Library system and will be sharing Coast Salish stories and tradition through the summer. Intended for kids ages 7-11, there is no registration required for families to bring their kids to a Ty story time. 

Tulalip storyteller Ty Juvinel.

Using modern technology, Ty has fully illustrated and digitized several of his stories for use on an iPad. Of note, the University of Washington has purchased his digital stories to be used in their travelling exhibits and Burke Mobile for educating people on Coast Salish culture.

Seattle’s Broadview Branch was the latest to host the storytelling series. Children were treated to several original stories, including How Mouse Moved the Mountain, When Beaver Taught Man, and How Puppy Got His Ears.

“I loved it!” remarked Irene Haines, Librarian and enrolled member with Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. “Ty did a wonderful job of being patient with the kids and speaking to them in their own language. There’s such a wealth of art and culture to be shared.” 

Although the tradition of storytelling is less common today than it was many years ago, the rich oral tradition lives on through the current generation of culture bearers.

Family Wage jobs

Submitted by Jeanne Stiffener, Tulalip Tribes Higher ED

If you are working a couple of jobs just to put food on the table and a roof over your head for you and your family, try  looking at a Family Wage Job that can give you more security. A family wage according to Wikipedia is, “a wage that is sufficient to raise a family. This contrasts with a living wage, which is generally taken to mean a wage sufficient for a single individual to live on, but not necessarily sufficient to also support a family.”

Take a look at  Union Jobs which come with many benefits: Collective Bargaining; Higher Wages; Support; A Voice; Equality and Fairness; Job Security, A Stronger Economy; Better Training, Health and Safety and Rewards and Benefits.

If school isn’t your thing then look at the training that Unions offer. There are many benefits to joining a Union. Unions provide a way in which you can negotiate working conditions such as pay, benefits and retirement collectively as a group. This is in sharp contrast to doing it on your own. Union appreticeship programs provide you with the skills you need to get started in construction or manufacturing industries. Administration or professional positions are available at every level of federal state and local government.

Collective Bargaining – Collective bargaining occurs when a group of people, such as the workforce of a company bands together to increase its negotiating power. This lets the voices of individual workers be heard. Typically, union workers elect representatives to bring their concerns to the union’s attention. Collective bargaining makes sure the changes are negotiated rather than imposed.

Higher Wages and Benefits – One of the top benefits of being a union worker are the higher wages compared to non-union workers. Union workers are also more likely to have wage increases on a regular basis. Union wages are about 10–20% higher than non-union jobs. Pensions, medical insurance, paid vacation, holidays, personal holidays, sick pay overtime premiums, shift differentials, etc. are not only better in a union shop but in many instances, these benefits would not even exist without a union contract.

Support – One of the key benefits of working as a union employee comes when you have a personal issue with your employer. The union representative works with you and your employer to negotiate a good outcome for you. Unions are important supporters of human rights and democracy. They provide workplace representation for  their members, have some influence over workplace rules and provide protection from random discipline and dismissal.

A Voice – Good workplace relations are a positive. When people feel that they are treated with dignity and respect; when the workplace rules are perceived as fair;  when workers can raise their concerns and have them fairly resolved; when workers know that they share in the benefits of workplace change; and when  workers have a say in working conditions, training, and health and safety issues – then workers are more likely to work co-operatively with management. 

Equity and fairness – Collective bargaining Agreements reflect economic realities and the desire of unions to retain good jobs for all their members. Unions have been an important defender of human rights and economic equality.

Job Security and Better Training – Unionized workplaces tend to have far lower worker turnover. This gives the employer the benefit of having experienced workers. This creates an incentive for employers to invest in the skills of employees knowing that they are less likely to leave the company.

Women in the Workplace – Women have made many strides and currently they make up 48% of the workforce. Unions advocate for policies that promote a full-employment economy at wages high enough to allow working women to support their families. Unions reject the status quo and are working to build an economy where all working people can support their families and achieve their dreams.

Union Jobs – There are union members in almost every employment sector: blue collar skilled trades, factory workers, civil service administrative and management employees, professionals working in higher eduation, healthcare, and government. The public sector has the highest percentage of union workers (corrections officers, firefighters, police, and fire inspetors). Also unionized are these sectors of the economy: Transportation, Telecommunications, Construction, Educational Services (elemementary, middle, and secondary school teachers and administrators, including teacher assistants), Motion Pictures & Sound Recording and Manufacturing 

Are you are interested in a life changing opportunity? Check out the Unions in your field of expertise. You can contact Higher ED staff at 360-716-4888 or email us at highered@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov.

Tulalip Tribes celebrates 2018 graduates

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By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

On the evening of June 12, Tulalip Resort’s Orca Ballroom was home to hopes and dreams aplenty as the graduating class of 2018 was recognized with a graduation banquet. In all there were seventy-four high school graduates and forty-eight higher education graduates who, accompanied by their proud families and friends, convened to commemorate the rite of passage. 

There was entertainment, a catered buffet-style dinner, and plenty of motivational words offered from their peers and elders reminding the graduates this is just the first step on the path to success. 

 “It is a privilege and an honor to be here with you all on this special night where we come together and celebrate the academic achievement of our young ones,” stated Board of Director Mel Sheldon, banquet emcee. “We are so proud of each and every one of our graduates for their commitment to education. We thank the parents, grandparents, extended family, and all the school faculty who were always there for the students and made it possible for them to be here today.”

Graduating high school senior Keryn Parks, along with higher education graduates Kaeli Grenier-Moses and Marci Fryberg Johnson each took to the stage and offered encouraging words to fellow graduates. They reminisced over their favorite school experiences, spoke of hardships overcome, thanked their families and Tulalip community for always supporting them, and shared their excitement for great things yet to come.

“It’s an honor to speak on behalf of Tulalip Heritage and the entire graduating class of 2018,” said Keryn. “The road to graduation may have been easy for some, but has been difficult for others. Our class was dealt with the heaviest card any freshmen class could go through. There were setbacks, breakdowns, a lot of pain, and a community separated. Yet, through all that we found strength and healing that brought us closer. Class of 2018, never doubt how far you can go, but most importantly don’t ever forget what you have accomplished.”

Marci, representing the higher education graduates, shared details from her fifteen year journey to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. “Being educated has been instilled in me since I was a little girl. Having an education allows for us to move beyond the ignorance we will encounter in the world, and to stand tall and represent our Native people in a good way.”

Nikkita Oliver, activist, educator, lawyer and spoken word artist, provided a truly memorable keynote speech that left many in the crowd feeling inspired. She is a University of Washington graduate who has committed herself to empowering others to reach for goals larger than themselves.

“Being here, at a gradation, is something very powerful. For our peoples, rites of passage are something that we’ve been going through for a long time. Maybe it didn’t always look like a graduation from a school, but we’ve long celebrated what it means to complete a season in our life and to celebrate the lessons and knowledge we have gained,” explained Nikkita, former city of Seattle mayoral candidate. “Look around this room. I was told there are a thousand people in here. There are seventy high school graduation and forty college graduates, and somehow that adds up to a thousand people. 

“Dream what you want to have with these thousand people. Dream about who you want to be with these thousand people. That’s far more important than what your next step is tomorrow because what that vision will do is become your guiding principle. It’ll become the way you think about the world and become the way that you think about yourself.

“No matter what statistics say about you, no matter what stories society tries to tell about you, you should always dig deep into your own history. Look to the perseverance of your own people, to the resilience that’s already been set before you and understand that you can push through any obstacle.”

Following the inspiration keynote speech a special recognition ceremony was held to honor the Tulalip Tribes senior boy and girl student of the year. 

Keryn Parks, a graduate of Tulalip Heritage High School, received the female student of the year honor. Having overcome adversity and hardship early on as a freshman, Keryn went on to be a tribal youth representative, active ASB participant, and two sport athlete in basketball and volleyball, all while maintaining a high G.P.A. and taking college classes through Running Start. 

Coby Nelson, a graduate of Marysville Pilchuck High School, received the male student of the year honor. Coby balanced his academic course load with playing varsity golf, tennis, and baseball. One teacher said, “As with all families the children are called upon to take responsibilities and help out with the task of family life. I’ve observed this young man helping his family, taking on adult responsibilities, and volunteering to help many of his peers at school. He’s a polite and humble young man.” Another teacher said, “He’s one of the most caring young adults that I know. He has a kind heart and shows so much compassion for those younger and less fortunate than himself.” Coby plans to attend Washington State University in the fall.

Concluding the evening’s celebration, former youth council chairwoman Jlynn Joseph shared, “This was a very emotional event for my family. We’ve worked so hard to keep me on my path to academic success. I will be the first in my immediate family to have graduated on time from high school. My great grandma, the late Loretta James, has inspired me so much and has been my driving force to give back to my community and to use my future degree to take care of the people.” Jlynn excelled at Bishop Blanchet High School, a private school in Seattle, and will be continuing her education at Arizona State University in the fall.

 Congratulations to all those Tulalip students who put in the hard work and dedication to earn their graduate status. Chasing a dream requires your efforts and passion. The hard work isn’t over now that you have graduated, it’s only the beginning as you now prepare for the new challenges waiting in the next chapter of life. Good luck and congratulations!