Connecting cops and kids

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

There’s no doubt about tensions between minority youth and law enforcement being highly publicized. In the digital age, where there’s an emphasis on social media as surrogate news sources, seems we hear about or see a video depicting that tension on a weekly basis.

Factor in the growth of unrestrained, anti-police rhetoric that is common place in public discourse and it’s a wonder why anyone would want to be a police officer today. They are normal citizens doing a hero’s job; willingly putting their life at risk on a daily basis to protect and serve their communities.

Police officers should be positive role models for all of us, especially the youth. In a different day and age, children were taught to recognize police as a socially accepted authority. Along with that came a respect for the law. Unfortunately, there appears to be a widening gap between younger members of the community and the police officers sworn to protect them.

Recognizing that gap and determined to bridge it, Tulalip Youth Services Director, Teri Nelson, and Tulalip Police Chief, Carlos Echevarria, designed a new program aimed at the younger crowd that allows them to become familiar with officer training, equipment, and services provided. The program, entitled ‘Pop with a Cop’, debuted Thursday, March 2.

“Chief Echevarria and I discussed the idea on how to connect youth members in a meaningful way. The goal is to meet in a casual setting and build positive relationships with our Tribal Law enforcement officers,” explains Teri Nelson.

Also, by having tribal citizens interact with officers in a non-adversarial environment, each side has the opportunity to get to know the other as an individual. This alone breaks down stereotypes and barriers.

 

 

“Our goal is to create positive interactions with the youth and build upon the experiences to show police officers are people as well,” states Chief Echevarria. “Our youth are respectful, happy, talented, and I am proud of them all. We made good use of an environment that was created for ‘all’ of us to run, laugh, and play games. There was some healthy ball field ‘trash talk’ as well and all in good fun.

“Quote of the day from one of the youth, ‘I had a lot of fun playing with you…breaking your ankles!’ He laughed, then I laughed and gave him a high-five. We all had a great time, if even for a brief moment. This is just the beginning.”

Youth using this designated time to build relationships with authority figures is an important part of maturing and becoming good citizens. Some children do not have the fortune of being surrounded by positive role models. Even those who have loving guardians can benefit from respectful, responsible adults in the community. Police officers are in a unique position to model healthy traits, such as self-esteem, physical wellness, safety and respect.

“The program will run every Thursday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm at the Donald “Penoke” Hatch Youth Center,” says Teri. “Youth will have the opportunity to ask questions about experiences as a police officer and play some games. This will bring great interactions, connections, and possibly generate interest for young people to look at careers in Law Enforcement.”

For more information about Tulalip Youth Services activities and events, please visit tulalipyouthservices.com or call the Youth Center main line at (360) 716-4909.

 

1957: The first military observance of Memorial Day at Tulalip

Ray Moses

 

By Sherry Guydelkon, Tulalip News, May 23, 2007 

According to tribal elder Ray Moses, before 1957 there were no Memorial Day services at Tulalip cemeteries.

Many families did, however, observe the day by walking to one or both of the reservation cemeteries – Priest Point and Mission Beach – where they would pull weeds and lay flowers on their loved ones’ graves.

They would pack lunches and walk along the Tulalip road, said Ray, gathering wild flowers and greens for wreaths as they walked. People who lived along the road would often offer flowers from their yards. And everyone was careful to leave the cemeteries by three o’clock in the afternoon, because after that time spirits might come out.

 

Ray Moses, Korean War photo

 

By 1957, Ray had returned from the Korean War and was doing his best to stay a little drunk. Jobs for Indian men were hard to come by, and he had plenty of painful wartime memories to blot out.

Finally, his mother Marya Moses let him know that she was concerned that he would drink himself into an early grave. ‘You served your country well,” she said. “You’re a good person when you’re not drinking, but when you drink, you’re no dang good.”

Marya, who had been very supportive of the Tulalip soldiers who fought in Korea and had faithfully written to Tom Gobin, David and Butch Spencer, and others who served there, suggested that he do something useful for the vets.

Then Tom Gobin, who played several instruments, gave him a direction. He said, “If you can get a firing squad, I’ll blow the bugle.”

So Ray talked to Stan Schaefer, who, besides being Marysville’s funeral director, was a member of the VFW, about borrowing rifles one day a year. Stan said that Ray could borrow the Marysville VFW’s rifles, but that they would have to be returned by 11 a.m. for the town’s Memorial Day service.

So Tulalip’s observance was set for 10 a.m., and Ray began gathering his squad together. With a few veterans who became regulars and others that he recruited from the taverns, Ray had his first squad. “They were all willing,” said Ray, “but some of them were weaving a little.”

“I used to tease them,” he said, “and call them the F-Troup after the old comedy TV show. I called Kenny Williams “Dog Tag” and Larry Charley “Crazy Cat” after one of the Indians on the show. And I’d say, ‘Chests in, stomachs out” – the opposite of what they say in the Army. I’d get the guys laughing, sort of lighten things up.’

The only problem was that the rifles were left over from World War I and were defective. Sometimes the ammunition would go off and sometimes it wouldn’t.

“One of the guys asked me, what if my rifle doesn’t fire, what do I do?” Ray recalled. “I said, say bang.”

Regardless of the rifle problems, people were pleased with the bugle and the squad. “The old timers thanked us for honoring our warriors,” said Ray. “And they were warriors. They went off to fight, and they were starting to die at home – Doc Jones, Jack George, Steve Williams, Reuben Shelton, Elliott Brown…

“When our last World War I veteran, Ed Williams, died , I felt bad that there was no bugle there. So we started going to veterans’ funerals, too.”

Encouraged by the responses of the Tulalip families, the squad began traveling to veterans’ funerals at off-reservation communities that had no firing squads of their own – Arlington, Granite Falls, even Tacoma and Olympia. “We had no money and neither did the Tribe,” said Ray, “but George Reeves had a van and people would give us a little money for gas.”

When Clarence Hatch became the Tribes’ business manager in the early 1960s, he and Stan Jones, Sr., agreed that the firing squad should have new rifles, and they were purchased by the Tribes. By then, Tom Gobin had passed the bugle on to Bee Bop Moses, who played in the Marysville High School band. And Clarence even found a little money to pay him.

There was still the problem of buying ammunition, but that was resolved through negotiations with the Marysville VFW. The VFW promised to supply Tulalip’s firing squad with ammo if Ray would march with them in the Strawberry Festival parade. So, for several years, Ray marched for ammo.

Since the new rifles did not have to be returned by eleven o’clock, Memorial Day services could be scheduled for both reservation cemeteries – one at 10 a.m. and one at 11 a.m.

“When I started helping at funerals, I really didn’t know what I was doing,” Ray admits. “I had to change as I went along. I had to become more compassionate.

“I’m glad David Fryberg is continuing that work, and I’m glad the Tribe has the veterans’ program. I hope it will continue on.

“In the beginning, we were encouraged by the old timers and the Shaker people, and later on by the families. They’ve appreciated that we are honoring our warriors for their sacrifices.”

In addition to those who did not return from the wars, said Ray, there were those who were physically and emotionally injured and were never the same again – like Steve Williams who was shot in the leg and P.O.W. Jack George. Ray believes it is only right that the Tribes show our past vets the gratitude that they have earned.

 

Music Therapy Offers Healing to Tulalip-Marysville Community

 

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

The Snohomish County Music Project is using music as a tool to strengthen the Tulalip and Marysville community. With over fifteen programs, the Music Project has dedicated their time to improving the mental well being of Snohomish County community members through music therapy.  The Marysville School District originally reached out to the Snohomish County Music project when looking for alternative therapy for children who have experienced trauma in their young lives. Music Therapy is now offered to many schools in the Marysville School District including, Marysville-Pilchuck, Quil Ceda Elementary, and Marysville Arts and Technology.

 

 

Quil Ceda Elementary student, Oliver walked into a spare room of his school’s library wearing a visibly huge smile. As he took his seat, Music Therapist Victoria Fansler handed him a stack of cards. Each card displayed a cartoon making facial expressions with the corresponding emotion (i.e. happy or sad) written in text beneath the cartoon face. As his instructor retrieved her guitar from its case, Oliver examined the cards. Once he picked two cards out of the deck, Victoria began strumming her guitar to an interactive welcoming song between teacher and student, pausing only for Oliver to respond to questions within Victoria’s lyrics. When her song reached the question ‘how are you feeling today?’ he revealed the cards he had chosen, excited, because he was in Music Therapy class and upset because his aunt postponed her visit with him until the weekend.

This warm-up exercise allows the student to express their emotions and presents them with the opportunity to explain why they are feeling those emotions. Victoria begins each of her sessions with this exercise as the majority of her students from the Marysville and Tulalip community happily sing along. At the end of each session she remixes the welcome song to recap the session and say ‘goodbye until next week’.

Tulalip Cares Charitable Contributions recently funded Victoria’s music therapy program through the Snohomish County Music Project. She is currently working full time in the Tulalip-Marysville community helping students work through traumatic life events by using music as an instrument of healing.

Countless studies have shown that music therapy has assisted many victims of trauma. While focusing on music individuals are able to relax, therefore reducing stress and anxiety levels. Music therapy provides an outlet for individuals to express their emotions creatively.

Victoria also provides services to the Betty J. Taylor Early Learning Academy once a week and works primarily with students who are currently, or have previously been, involved with Child Protective Services or beda?chelh.  In cases of neglect, children are sometimes unaware of social cues, such as facial expressions and vocal tones. For this reason, Victoria incorporates mirroring into her lesson plans, to help the children at the academy recognize emotions that others display.

 

 

In elementary schools, Victoria teaches the children how to express their emotions through music. Oliver, for example, is a huge Eminem fan. In his individual session Oliver wrote down and illustrated everything that makes him feel safe as well as his fears. While working on the assignment a Bluetooth speaker played a cover, performed by kid YouTube sensation Sparsh Shah, of Eminem’s ‘Not Afraid’. Oliver is familiar with the Eminem song and because of the tools music therapy has provided him, he was able to write his own lyrics to the track. Oliver said that those particular lyrics that he wrote are in memory of his little brother who passed away when they were both at a young age.

Aside from her acoustic guitar, Victoria uses a variety of instruments in her sessions including a melodica. The free-reed instrument is essentially a keyboard that requires users to blow air into it for sound output, much like a wind instrument.

“A lot of people suggest meditation and focused breathing for children with trauma, but I found that sometimes it can be hard trying to convince kids that sitting still and breathing quietly will help them feel better. The Melodica is really engaging, if you hold a long exhale breath it makes a really pleasant sound that lets you explore the keys and get creative while playing it. This helps build self-awareness so the kids can feel comfortable self-expressing musically and recognizing what tools they already have within themselves,” Victoria states.

Another instrument that assists with trauma recovery is the drum.  Victoria explains, “We use a lot of rhythm because we know, neurologically, what trauma does to the brain. For example, when we have a flashback and trauma is overtaking the mind and body, the part of the brain that tells you what time and place you’re in, basically shuts off. With rhythm and drumbeats it forces us to engage in the present moment, our brains can’t help but track how fast the beat is going. We call that entrainment. It keeps us from being stuck in the past with our traumatic memories and how they might make us feel. Through entrainment we help our clients realize that although a traumatic event occurred, it is in the past and it is not going to hijack their brain at any given moment anymore.”

The Snohomish Music Project offers a variety of programs countywide including music therapy services for infants, children, teens, Veterans suffering with posttraumatic stress disorder, as well as senior citizens suffering with memory-related illnesses. The non-profit’s headquarters is located at the Everett Mall and hosts live music performances weekly.  Since 2010 the Snohomish County Project, previously known as the Everett Symphony, has refocused their time and energy to help heal and strengthen communities.

“Rather than using music as tool to provide performances, we have transformed and provide a way to use music as a tool to help community members thrive and to help make impactful changes in the community. We are able to help individuals better themselves and they in turn become positive contributors to our community,” states Snohomish County Music Project Director, Vasheti Quiros.

Victoria is making a positive impact in the community through music therapy and because of its popularity and high demand, (she has over twenty kids on a waiting list at the early learning academy) Victoria hopes to expand her program and open services to the entire Tulalip community.  She currently is in talks with Youth Services about hiring youth of the community, with hopes of training them to become music therapists.

For additional information about the Snohomish County Music Project please visit their website www.scmusicproject.org

Team Up to Clean Up

 

Article by Micheal Rios; photos courtesy of Rachel Steve

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

On a Wave: Tulalip artist Nathan Kix ‘holds it down’ for Native American and hip-hop culture

Nathan Kix.
Photo/Kalvin Validillez, Tulalip News

 

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

 

Cool, calm and collected is the demeanor of Tulalip hip-hop artist, Nathan Kix. Still in his early twenties he has his mind set on the future, looking to be the first Native artist to crossover to music mainstream. Many Indigenous rappers such as Litefoot and Red Cloud have seen success and have spread their voices throughout reservations nationwide. However, their fan base has been limited to the Native American community.

Nathan and his team have created a unique modern sound that emphasizes his clever wordplay. Until recently Nathan was releasing singles on Soundcloud, which revealed glimpses of his musical direction. He released his debut project this past December, on his birthday, in the form of a six-track EP titled Autumn which has received positive reviews across social media. And he is only beginning, stating his future projects will each contain a unique sound as he plans to build a strong catalog during the course of his music career.

With a fan base that continues to grow by the day, I have no doubt in my mind that Kix could be the first Native rapper to break down genre barriers. I personally met Nathan a few years back while we were both working as concierge’ for the T Spa at the Tulalip Resort and Casino. As an avid hip-hop enthusiast myself, I would often talk music, recite Jay Z lyrics and even drop the occasional freestyle with Nate during downtime at the spa (when no guests were around, of course). Which is why I was excited to sit down and talk with the young emcee about his new release, culture, and of course the genre of music that captivated us both at a young age: hip-hop.

 

Let’s start off by talking about your background. Has growing up on the reservation affected your writing?

For the most part I’ve kept my culture modest, up until this point. Solely for the fact I feel I don’t want to expose too much too early. I want to appeal to as many people as possible, strictly through human experience, without playing the culture card. I don’t want to use that to gain popularity. I want to build my skill level. So, at this point it hasn’t [affected the writing] but it does inspire why I want to do this.

 

What is your writing process?

When I first started, I used to write without a beat, which was a burden when it came time to record because I couldn’t stay on beat. But I stuck with it and kept writing. Once I figured out what bars were, it was a field day. With the writing process now, I am very punch line oriented. I studied Lil’ Wayne’s delivery and wittiness, and took those components and made it my own. When writing today, I will loop the beat and figure out the exact flow first, like how many syllables I can fit into particular verse or line and once I figure that out, I’ll pause the beat and keep flowing in my head, until I get it down, and then plop the words in.

 

Was there a defining moment when you knew this is what you’re supposed to do?

I started writing raps around seven or eight, but they were trash and I was one of those people who want to be good at something right away. I realized [at that time] I wasn’t good, so I held off until I was about sixteen, and then I gave it another shot.

At the beginning of my sophomore year, there was this one girl who I was trying to, you know, holler at. She actually asked me to have a rap battle on paper. I was like ‘oh okay,’ you know whatever it takes to keep the conversation going. Ever since then I’ve enjoyed the process [of writing], so that was the defining moment for me. Whenever I get the chance to talk to her, I still let her know she was the one who got the ball rolling.

 

What’s the story behind the name Nathan Kix?

Roughly around that same time [in high school], I started getting into personal style. The one thing I enjoyed the most about an outfit were the shoes, that’s switched up now, but I was known in high school for having all the Jordan’s and all the fly shoes. People identified me as the dude who had forty different pairs of shoes. Every day, for at least a month and a half, I wore a different pair. That’s basically where the name came from.

 

How important is originality?

Originality is everything. I can’t emphasize that enough. If you want to progress a genre and make your stamp, originality is going to take you there. There are artists out there who cut and paste styles from already established artists and [by doing so] they make it well known that they aren’t on their own wave. Originality should be the focal point when becoming an artist.

 

Who is your biggest musical inspiration?

It’s a toss-up between two or three people. I really fell in love with Kanye West’s music when he came out with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I liked Kanye [before] but that album really sparked my interest and made me want to become a better artist. Drake always had a huge impact on the way I approach the phycology of writing. And, Jim Morrison for the creativity and the depth he brings to writing music.

 

If you could collaborate with one artist who would it be? Producer?

A$AP Rocky. For producer, I have to go with ’Ye (Kanye West).

 

How do you feel about the local hip-hop scene?

I don’t feel like there really is one, but we definitely need it. I feel like it would create a lot of creative ventures for people. If you have all these creative minds such as videographers, photographers, and graphic designers coming together, who can contribute to improve the image of an artist, the scene can essentially build everybody up.

 

Where do you see your art taking you? 

Representing all the First Nations people. Like, the Shoni Schimmel of music. Basically what I am trying to do is bring Natives into the mainstream. Shoni Schimmel dipped her finger in the water; I want to be the person to create the biggest wave out of [the water]. When I do, I want to look back at my people and help them find a way to creatively express themselves, because there are passionate Natives out here and I want to help create a market for them.

 

What separates you from your competition?

The awareness of how to be different; I like to incorporate the modern sound with my own textures. I have a producer who I work with, Paul Koshak. He produced Autumn, well ninety-eight percent of it. Mason Gobin, who is also a tribal member, produced half of [the song] 100 Thousand.

I think a lot of rappers aren’t giving it their all, as far as song content. I feel like that is my sole focus and I am able to deliver that in a very witty way.

 

 

Why did you decide to go with the Moon, in traditional Native artwork, for your album cover?

The moon is representing that something new is about to happen. The moon comes every night and provides you with a new day. So in a way, it is the same concept of Autumn. You see the leaves falling every autumn, signifying new change.

Most people go with a summer vibe with their music because everyone likes to feel good. My favorite season is autumn because the gloominess it has. When the leaves fall, there is a gap of time where it feels like nothing is happening. That’s the overall vibe: transition.

I feel like I made a huge change in my life, within this last year, mentally. It felt like I was dropping as many leaves as possible, I still feel like I’m in that phase, but I know they are going to grow back and blossom as beautiful as ever. That’s the metaphor behind [the artwork and concept].

 

Prior to the release of Autumn, you dropped a documentary that showed you in the studio as well as in the community. Shortly after the EP came out, you released a music video for your song Gravity. How important were those videos to your overall presentation?

They were very crucial, especially the documentary because it gave people a taste of what exactly I am about. A lot of people may perceive me as bashful; when in reality I’m just introverted. The documentary allowed me to show what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, without having to spoon-feed it to you.

The [music] video was not a calculated move. We shot it back in the summertime and we didn’t actually have anything planned for it. People were responding and saying they really appreciated Autumn so director Luis Perez – a phenomenal photographer/videographer – sent me a text and wanted to release the video. We picked the date and dropped it on Christmas Eve.

 

The EP has received a lot of love – what has been the best feedback you received?

I enjoy any type of feedback I get, but the best feedback has been from people I didn’t even expect to give it a listen. Sometimes when walking around, people will stop me and tell me they’ve been listening to my songs. When they tell me they like my music in person, that’s what I appreciate the most.

 

You’ve talked about your collective a lot, the group of creative minds that you work with. How important is it to have your group with you, as you gain more exposure going forward?

I feel like it’s necessary to have a team because you’re not going to always be the one with the right idea. There are decisions that have to be made, that have nothing to do with the craft itself. Having a team behind you to take things on, such as business ventures, that is something that an artist can benefit from.

Having your own team is basically like having your own label. I feel like I would rather give a percentage [of profits] to the people I know. I think most artists are taking this route because they realized that record labels will rip your soul apart. When it’s with people you know, you feel a more genuine connection.

 

Do you plan on staying on the independent grind or would you sign the right deal?

If they had my agenda in mind, and allowed me to operate at the speed that I’m comfortable working at, I might consider it. Even then, I don’t believe I would fully commit to a label. If anything, I would like to do a publishing deal to handle all the business ventures such as marketing.

 

What is one record label you would consider?

I’m not sure if I would necessarily fit at any of the labels. But I would maybe consider [signing a deal with] G.O.O.D. Music (Kanye’s record label) because they have a lot of diversity going on over there. I love OVO (Drake’s record label) and what they are doing; they have a certain aesthetic they are keeping. I don’t feel like I sound anything like them, so I don’t think I would mesh well, in that aspect, same with T.D.E. (Top Dawg Entertainment, record label associated with Kendrick Lamar)

 

 

A top to bottom Autumn performance would be lit! Do you plan on performing in the near future?

Yeah, like I mentioned before, the [local hip hop] scene needs to be more prominent. I would like to work with the right promoters to make sure that our shows are the best they can be for us, and for the people as well. I also have a lot more songs than the six-track EP, so we’re looking at possible set lists and looking at other local acts as well. There’s a lot of talent around here and we want to do multiple shows. There are definitely plans for live performances; we’re just ironing out the details.

 

Who are you currently listening to and who is on your top-three emcee list?

Most of the time what I like to listen to is the polar opposite of what I make. Right now it’s a lot of Lil Uzi Vert, this artist named 6lack he made that song PRBLMS, I love that joint. I’ve also been bumping a lot of Frank Ocean. Syd, from [the music group] The Internet, just dropped a solo project that is amazing. I also go back in time too; I love The Doors.

And for top three, these are not in order and they all have reasons for being on here: Kanye West, Drake, and Travis Scott. I would say they are the most influential to me.

 

If you could change a common misconception about the hip-hop culture what would it be?

I want people to respect how artistic and influential this genre is. Because, agree with it or not, rap is the new rock and roll.

 

How about in Native culture?

The stereotypes. Also, that we are unexposed to the world outside of the reservation.

 

What do you want tribal members to take away from your music?

That there is somebody out here looking to expose our culture to the world.

And my advice for young aspiring Native artists is to go with your gut instinct on what exactly you want to portray yourself as, and make sure that everything you’re doing stays true to yourself and is original as well.

 

Autumn is currently available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and Soundcloud with plans of a physical release in the near future. To view the documentary, the music video for Gravity, and for additional information visit the Nathan Kix Facebook page.

Start small, aim high: Biddy Ball

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Youth Services mission is to serve all youth by utilizing recreational and educational programs. That mission was put to service on Saturday, February 11, in the form of a Biddy Ball tournament.

“2017 Biddy Ball was family fun for everyone, and Tulalip Youth Services wants to thank all of the families, participants and volunteers for helping make this a day to remember for all of the youth that participated,” stated Josh Fryberg, Youth Services Coordinator. “Youth Services is looking forward to many more great programs for 2017.”

Biddy Ball provides a great tool for developing our youth in the sport of basketball while helping children to gain knowledge, skills and competencies that are an important part of a global, multicultural society.

To assist in its mission, Youth Services provided the venue, healthy snacks/drinks and all the modified equipment necessary to fit the young athletes. From the size of the balls, the height of the rims, to the size of the courts, everything about Biddy Ball is slightly modified to permit the young and highly spirited players to learn the fundamentals of the game while indirectly improving a wide range of cognitive and social skills.

Approximately forty mini-hoopers attended, falling under one of three age groups: 3-4 years old, 5-6 years old, and 7-10 years old. Concluding the 1:00pm – 5:00pm event, was an awards ceremony in which each and every participant received a commemorative t-shirt, medallion and trophy for all their hard work.

“Thanks everyone for coming out and bringing your little ballers!,” said Sheena Robinson, Youth Services Activities Specialist. “I enjoyed every little bit of it. The faces when they got their prizes was priceless.”

 

 

Go Hard or Go Home winter season

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Created in February of last year, the Tulalip Go Hard or Go Home community basketball league just completed its third season. Developed and organized by Youth Services staff, with games hosted at the Tulalip Youth Center, the league is a prime outlet for basketball players of every level. And most importantly, everyone is welcome to participate.

“I feel this basketball league brings the community a tad bit closer to our youth by connecting with them, being in our home gym competing and having fun,” says Tulalip Activities Specialist and league co-coordinator Shawn Sanchey. “It’s a great activity to keep our youth and community active while keeping a consistent workout available.”

In its third season there were nine teams playing, with each team carrying eight roster spots. Including the add/drops, there was an estimated eighty players who hooped it up on the Tulalip hardwood on a weekly basis. Ages ranged from early teens to elder statesmen. The league is also co-ed by design, a rule is in place stating each team has to have a female hooper on the court at all times.

 

“To me, it brings the community together in a positive healthy way,” states fellow co-coordinator of the league Darcy Enick-Grant. “Of course mostly locals participate, but the league gives us an opportunity to welcome other friends and athletes to our reservation. We see families supporting their loved ones, see our youth participating and helping keep score. Overall it brings our community together.”

Giving Tulalip ballers the best bang for their buck has been a priority through the first three seasons. In fact, costs have been minimal and the amount of games plenty when compared to surrounding basketball leagues. This latest Tulalip league charged only $150 per team for a season comprised of ten regular season games, plus playoffs. That’s close to nothing when compared to the near $600 per team fee that most leagues commonly charge for only a guaranteed six to eight games.

“My favorite moments from this league is no matter what the outcome, our people have a good time playing ball and they end up with smiles on their faces!,” adds Shawn. “I think everyone loves the experience of having our own league in Tulalip.”

 

 

Going forward, Youth Services staff will continue to look for ways to make the league better and more official. Possibly increasing the team entry fee in order to have patched refs work each game would bring a more organized feel for sure. Also, better planning for rules and regulation would be clutch, so all players and league staff are on the same page at all times.

Be on the lookout for future league notification in the Tulalip See-Yaht-Sub. If you have any questions or would like more information about the Tulalip basketball league, please contact Josh Fryberg, Youth Services Coordinator, at 360-716-4908.

Next Gen leaders step forward

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

On Saturday, January 14, eight representatives of Tulalip’s future leaders were introduced to the Board of Directors. These eight strong-spirited, young men and women were sworn in to be the next cohort to make-up the Tulalip Youth Council.

“Congratulations to the Tulalip Tribes new 2017 Tulalip Youth Council. I’m excited to work with them and look forward to seeing them grow and prosper,” said Board of Director Theresa Sheldon. “Our youth are so important and when they are given a positive opportunity, they always rise to the occasion. I believe in them and am so proud of them. We are so thankful for the amazing staff who continually supports them and provides them with a safe place to be creative and build as a team.”

 

 

Being willing to step up and represent your community is a huge undertaking for anyone, especially true for our youth. They have each opted to take this critical step together and aim to be role models in and out of the classroom for their peers. When you see these youth, please congratulate them for committing to a productive year of making positive change for their peers and community, and thank them for taking on this important role of leadership.

 

 

 

Congratulations:
Jlynn Joseph, Chairwoman
Kordelle Hammons, Co-Vice Chairman
Keely Gobin Mcghie, Co-Vice Chairwoman
Shayleigh Tucker, Treasurer
Irista Reeves, Media Coordinator
Ilivia Hatch, Media Coordinator
Tamiah Joseph, Junior Representative
Dexter Smith, Junior Representative

Tulalip Resort and Casino: Renovated to Modern Luxury

 

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

In January of 2016, the Tulalip Resort and Casino (TRC) began renovations to the guest rooms of the luxurious twelve-story resort.

“We wanted to build upon [the rooms] that were designed nine years ago and elevate it to the next level,” states the Resort General Manager, Sam Askew.

The year-long project results are spectacular. Each room was designed to stay true to Tulalip’s luxurious Four Diamond brand, adding modern features such as LED bedside reading lamps, 55” smart TV’s, refrigerators, and a fog-free Bluetooth smart mirror to each guest room.

 

 

 

Perhaps the most incredible update Askew’s team commissioned is the carpeting throughout the resort. As soon as a guest reaches their floor, they are met with beautiful carpeting with vibrant colors and graphics throughout the corridors. Durkan, the company who designed the carpeting, used new technology to create the first-of-its-kind product exclusively for Tulalip. The corridors of each floor differ from one another and incorporate Native American artwork. On the twelfth floor, orcas and salmon appear to be swimming along the sides of the hallway.

Another major update TRC has made is the conversion of a Specialty Suite. Specialty Suites are uniquely themed, such as the Player’s Suite, offering a bachelor-esque vibe with a pool table and sports memorabilia. Other specialty suites offered are the Tulalip Suite and the Grand Asian Suite. The newly renovated Cascade Suite, previously the Tech Suite, is inspired by the Cascade Mountain Range and is easily the new fan favorite.

Askew states, “The one type of room we were really missing was a room that is representative of the Northwest. So we made a room that is mid-century craftsman style with a raised bathroom, a great beautiful soaking tub, and a waterfall in the shower to go along with the Cascade theme.”

 

Furnishings from the previous rooms were donated to the Tulalip Tribes and were dispersed to the community.  However, the furnishings from the Tech Suite were donated to the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club, including a variety of video game systems and games.

The resort highlights tribal artwork beautifully, intertwining extravagance with Native American culture, which Tulalip is famous for. Canvas oil paintings, with traditional tribal designs, hang on each wall of every guest room. Upon entry guests are immediately welcomed with information about Tulalip’s history, a cedar rose, and information about the Hibulb Cultural Center.

“We want our guests to walk into a new room and feel a sense of belonging and experience the Tulalip culture, the raised hands welcome,” says Askew.

Tours of the rooms are available to guests and are encouraged during the weekdays. For more information about the new guest rooms visit www.tulalipresortcasino.com

 

Promoting Men’s Health

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Early detection is key for the treatment of heart disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, and many other diseases that disproportionately affect men. However, men are less likely to seek preventative care than women. Despite growing awareness, men usually take a back seat approach to maintaining their health. We will shy away from seeking advice, delaying possible treatment and/or waiting until symptoms become so bad we have no other option but to seek medical attention. To make matters worse, we refuse to participate in the simple and harmless pursuit of undergoing annual screenings.

Enter the Annual Men’s Health Fair held at the Karen I. Fryberg Tulalip Health Clinic on Friday, December 16. This year’s health fair provided us men the opportunity to become more aware of our own health. With various health screenings being offered for the low, low price of FREE, we were able to get in the driver’s seat and take charge of our own health. Blood sugar, cholesterol, and prostate screenings were among the options for men to participate in. Along with all the preventative health benefits of participating in these screenings, as if that was not reason enough, they gave out numerous goodies and a complimentary “Indian taco” lunch to every man who showed up to take charge of his health.

At 16.1 percent, Native Americans have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes among all U.S. racial and ethnic groups. Also, Native Americans are 2.2 times more likely to have diabetes compared with non-Hispanic whites (per Diabetes.org). Clearly we are at a greater risk when it comes to diabetes, making it all more crucial to have glucose testing and diabetes screenings performed on an annual basis. For those men who attended the health fair, they were able to quickly have their glucose (blood sugar) tested with just a prick of the finger.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the first and stroke the sixth leading cause of death among Native Americans. High blood pressure is a precursor to possible heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure is also very easily detected by having routine checks of your blood pressure taken periodically.

 

 

Representatives from Health First Chiropractic, the Marysville branch, were on hand as well to offer a free posture analysis. Using a spinal analysis machine, the patient advocate conducted postural exams on a number of men and reviewed the results with each participant. Good posture can help you exercise more safely and achieve better general health. When you sit or stand correctly, your organs will be better aligned, which reduces indigestion and helps your lungs to function at full capacity. Your core muscles will be strengthened and your back and shoulders will feel more comfortable.

Along with the various health screenings being offered there were information booths available that ranged from alternative health care options in the local area, ways to have cleaner air in your home, and methods to change eating habits to live a heathier lifestyle. There was a booth where we could have our grip tested, a method used for assessing joint and muscle fatigue. Another booth offered us the opportunity to have our BMI (body mass index) and body fat percentage measured. Wondered if you need to cut back on those weekend treats? Or if you need to start leading a more active lifestyle? Well if that BMI was too high and you didn’t like what your body fat percentage was, now you know the answer.

 

 

Face it, as we get older, we all need to become more aware of the inevitable health concerns that may one day affect us. The possibility of having to deal with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or the possibility of prostate cancer looms over us all. The only way to avoid such health concerns to heighten our awareness of these preventable conditions. Health educators empower us to be more proactive about our health by getting annual screenings, detecting issues early, as well as seeking medical treatment before a simple, treatable issue becomes life altering.

At the conclusion of the Men’s Health Fair, Jennie Fryberg, Health Information Manager, said the following, “I’d like to personally thank all the men that came out and participated in the men’s health fair today! Way to come and take care of your health, men.”