Medicine Wheel Garden Celebrates the Spring Equinox

By Michael Greene, Tulalip News

On a crisp morning in March, people gathered at the Karen I. Fryberg Tulalip Health Clinic to honor the Spring Equinox of 2017, with a blessing of the Medicine Wheel Garden by Father Pat Twohy, longtime friend of the Tulalip Tribes. Song, drumming, and thoughtful stories were shared by families, friends, youth, and elders.

Misty Napeahi, Tulalip Tribes General Manager, opened the ceremony and offered kind words about Father Twohy. “Father Pat, it is always a blessing when you are here,” she said. “I want to let you know that the Tulalip Tribes love you”.

Father Patrick J. Twohy, an honorary Tulalip Tribes member and former priest of St. Anne’s Catholic Church, has been a friend of the tribe for the past forty years. Whether it be blessings, funerals, or personal visits to tribal members, he has been an important part of the Tulalip community.

As a show of appreciation and respect from the Tulalip Tribes, Dale Jones officiated over the formal gifting of a pair of moccasins to Father Twohy. An Elders Advocate for the Diabetes Care and Prevention Program, and long-time friend, Jones honored Father Pat with a “footwashing ceremony.” This was done as an example of serving one another by “building each other up in humility and love.” A true demonstration of a servant heart.

The Wisdom Warriors, a group of elders, made the moccasins over several weeks. They were taught the traditional art of moccasin-making by Shirley Jones, member of the Yakima Nation.

The Medicine Wheel Garden is the latest effort by the Tulalip Tribes to build an integrative medicine practice. The new garden is in the shape of the well-known medicine wheel of Native American cultures. It mirrors the Four Directions, or cyclical patterns of life: the four changing seasons, the life cycle from birth to youth, adult to death, as well as the mental, physical, developmental, and spiritual states of our own bodies.

Students at the Tulalip Vocational Training Center (TVTC) created the garden boxes for the Medicine Wheel Garden. Several students worked outside in the rain, heavy winds, and mucky conditions to help configure the garden beds.  Jennie Fryberg, Health Information Manager for the Tulalip Health Clinic, stated, “All the students from TERO, we would like to thank you very much for all the work that you have done for our beautiful gardens. We thank you so much for your hard work constructing these garden beds!”

Fryberg spoke about the Tulalip Tribes Diabetes Care and Prevention Program and gave recognition to those that helped, “I want to give honor to the Diabetes Program and let everyone know that they [recently] won the Portland Area Indian Health Services Directors Recognition of Excellence Award.” She thanked each staff member of the team: Monica Hauser, Veronica Leahy, Dale Jones, Layla Fryberg, Natasha LeVee, Rose James, and Susan Adams. “Our hands are up to you for all that you have accomplished,” said Fryberg.

Jennie continued, “When Roni started the garden, she wanted to start with the Medicine Wheel Garden, so that we can take care of our people as a whole.” With the collaboration of the Behavior Health, Diabetes, and Pharmacy Clinic team, combined with the Health Clinic, these departments represent the four sections of the medicine wheel. For the tribes to take care of patients as a whole the Tulalip Health Clinic implemented its model of integrative medicine on the Medicine Wheel, a longtime vision of Karen Fryberg.

Marie Zackuse, newly elected Chairwoman of the Tulalip Tribes, concluded the ceremony, “We are on a good path to become healthy, starting with the young ones, helping our members learn about nutrition and diabetes prevention,” she said. “I want to thank all the elders, youth, students from Heritage High School, the construction training students, and clinic staff who helped make this garden a reality for our people.”

For more information about the Karen I. Tulalip Health Clinic and the Medicine Wheel Garden, please contact Veronica Leahy at (360) 716-5642 or vleahy@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

A most amazing kid and his name is Moose

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News; photos by Micheal Rios & Randy Hudson, Sr.

The word “moose” first entered the English language in 1606. It was taken from the Indigenous tribes of the northeast, speaking an Algonquian language, who were describing what we know today as the majestic moose that most commonly occupy the Alaskan and Canadian wilderness.

Fast forward four-hundred years, to when Tulalip couple Randy “Hoss” Hudson, Sr. and Myra Hudson were choosing the name for their newborn son, the word moose was so fittingly put to use. The legend of young Randy “Moose” Hudson, Jr. was born that day.

Today, at only 11-years-old, Moose has become a source of inspiration to his friends, family, and nearly everyone else who comes to know him. He is a jack-of-all-trades type when it comes to physical activities and sports, eagerly seeks out new knowledge and responsibilities relating to his Native culture, and already understands the importance of being a stand-out student in the classroom. But more than anything else, Moose’s attribute that really gets at the heart of his character is his inner strength, a focus that gives him the confidence to be a natural leader while striving for greatness.

Being an active child doesn’t even begin to describe him. Moose started playing competitive, organized team sports at only 5-years-old. Early on it was baseball, wrestling and track and field. Like his namesake the moose, he always stood out for being bigger and stronger than his peers. On the wrestling mat, Moose won the Animal Award in 2013 and 2014 to go along with his winning ‘coaches and fellow wrestler’ award in 2015. As the seasons changed, so did his choice of sports. He has since transitioned to sports that put a greater emphasis on his physical prowess and strong mind, such as football, kickboxing and MMA.

For his skills and accomplishments on the green tundra, Moose has been recognized as a 2016 All-Star, won the 2016 Kam Chancellor award, taken home a Panther Bowl 2016 title, and been awarded ‘Sack Master’ for his ability to get to the quarterback. All athletes should understand that practice makes perfect; what you do in practice determines the player you’ll be come game day. Yet, a lot of athletes don’t take practice seriously. Not Moose, he’s commonly named ‘player at practice’ for being a model practice player for his teammates.

Taking his love for athletics and personal discipline one step further, Moose chose to test his talents in the MMA arena. Moose and his father have always had their own special bond while watching UFC and MMA fights on television. Former UFC champion Brock Lesnar has always been his favorite fighter because of his combination of size, strength, and speed. Seeing Lesnar go from wrestling to MMA gave Moose confidence he could do the same.

“I like MMA because of the hard work its takes to be good at it and how the competition pushes you to test your limits and go further,” beams Moose after an intense training session. “MMA is a lot more fun for me than other sports because everyone is giving their best and there is no slacking off. If you slack off even for a second you can get KO’d or submitted.”

Moose is faithful member of AKA MMA & Fitness studio located in Arlington. There Moose trains regularly every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday evening, plus a 2-hour Saturday morning session. Moose’s coaches have been very impressed with his commitment to training and practice, as he’ll regularly arrive up to an hour early to get in a nice warm-up and then stay an additional 15-30 minutes after to spar.

“I’ve been Moose’s MMA coach for close to two years now. He has such great leadership qualities and inspires the other kids around him to work harder,” says Patrick Harris, youth coach at AKA MMA & Fitness. “When he sees kids who aren’t pulling their weight or dragging the class down, he not only encourages them to focus and work hard, but also sets the example for them to work harder. Kids want to be like Moose in our classes.”

Moose’s dedication to sports has brought him an early commitment to diet and nutrition that rivals most adults. He has a good understanding that what you put into your body has all kinds of effects on physical achievement. From numerous conversations with his coaches and trainers, Moose has found nutritional regiments that work for his body type and improves his conditioning.

“It’s very important to know what an athlete should and shouldn’t eat. I want to be as strong and fast as I can be and the food I eat matters,” declares Moose, showing an understanding of proper nutrition far ahead of his years.

Moose’s father says people sometimes express their concern over his son’s commitment to sports and personal dedication to being the best he can be. “People come to me and Moose’s mom all the time saying they can’t believe Moose’s work schedule. They see how hard he works on the field, on the mat, and in the ring. We have to explain to them that it’s all his choice, he chooses his sports and schedule. He chooses to arrive early at football practice and MMA training. I’m more chauffer than dad,” says Randy laughingly. “I can’t do anything but look at my son in awe. I see him work so hard to better himself. He understands that being active, taking care of his body, always be open to learning new techniques, and hard work is the way to be successful.”

Sports have provided the foundation for molding his strong mindset and seeing his focus turn into one achievement after another. That foundation has been reinforced with spiritual guidance and cultural activities.

Moose’s grandfather was Kenny Moses, Sr. whose name blesses one of the most popular gathering places on the Tulalip Reservation. The Kenny Moses Building sits right beside the Smoke House where his mother Myra and family are very involved. Moose has been active with attending Smoke House functions and seeing to tasks and responsibilities he is assigned. When there is down time, Myra occasionally takes her son next door to the Kenny Moses Building to share memorable stories of his grandfather.

At only 11-years-old, Moose is already an avid crabber. Close family friend James Avery has a crabbing boat and extends invitation to the Hudsons, to which Moose is eager to accept. Captain James has explained the laws and rules to crabbing to Moose. Captain James shared how impressed he was that Moose is not afraid to handle crab and do the work, like hand pulling the line up and into the boat.

According to Moose, he hopes to have a boat of his one day so that he can carry on the fishing and crabbing rights that he’s inherited from his ancestors.

Because of the lack of housing opportunities and an increasing concern in criminal activity, the Hudsons have moved off the reservation to an area they feel provides a safer learning environment for their children. Currently a 5th grader, Moose attends Elger Bay Elementary on Camano Island.

“I like Elger Bay a lot because we are taught more and learn more during the school year than where I was going before,” explains Moose when thinking about his change in school districts. “My favorite subjects in school are Math, Science and Reading. Recess is always a fun time because then I can be active with my school friends.”

During that famed recess break, Moose can be seen out on the playground where he is positive leader and role model for his peers and the younger students. Known to be a 4Square and Kickball legend, Moose remains a good sport and helps to problem solve with his classmates when conflicts occurs. His upstanding character and that drive to be better than he was yesterday have been noticed by his teachers and school faculty. In fact, Moose has developed a positive relationship with his school principal.

“It is my honor and privilege to tell you about Moose as one of our Elger Bay students.

His teachers and I would describe him as very focused and intent as a student. Even when he has an area or topic where he might be struggling a little bit, he shows very strong perseverance toward understanding,” describes Elger Bay Principal, Victor Hanzeli. “Moose always sets a great example for other students and through his generous spirit, provides wonderful student leadership to our school as a whole.”

Moose says of all the classes and subjects in school that Music is his least favorite. Something about Music class just doesn’t vibe with him and he’d rather be doing just about anything else. Interestingly, Moose recognized this area of himself as being limited and, as he does with sports, he was determined to push pass those limits. So Moose joined the 4th and 5th grade choir.

Music teacher Richelle Tripp describes Moose as one her most focused students who wants to learn much and perform well. As one of her strongest singers, he provided great support to the choir when they performed at the Warm Beach Lights of Christmas last December.

“It means everything to me to see my son working hard to excel in not only the sports and activities he has chosen, but to be a better person, to learn how to be a leader,” says Moose’s father Randy. “He’s constantly seeking knowledge from his coaches and teachers on how to better himself in the sports and the classes he loves. At the same time, Moose is always being respectful, polite and humble, not just to elders but to younger kids, too.”

From athletics and exercise to teachings, and learning both culturally and in the classroom, Moose remains focused and driven to excel. It would be a difficult task indeed to find a youth as mature and self-motivated as young Moose.

There is no greater way to describe him than with the lasting words of Principal Hanzeli. “I am really excited to have this chance to share about Moose because he is one of those students who gives me great hope for our future.”

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.”

TELA focuses on good health, produces lots of smiles

Article/photos by Micheal Rios

On Thursday, March 9, the Betty J. Taylor Early Learning Academy (TELA) hosted a mini health fair in collaboration with local physical, mental, and spiritual health experts. It was a great opportunity to engage students, staff, families and the community about healthy eating, physical activity, health services, and other local wellness resources.

Vendors included everyone from representatives from the Tulalip Police and Fire Departments, the schools music therapy and child development booths, to Tulalip’s all new SNAP ED (Eat Smart. Be Active.) program. Overall there were 24 health fair vendors, two health care institute parent trainings, and a photo-booth for a nice family keepsake.

“The Mini Health Fair at the Tulalip Early Learning Academy was a great reminder to encourage both parents and the children to consume the required 2-3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. The kids loved their veggie cups and were excited to try an apple fruit salad!,” explains Snap-Ed Coordinator, AnneCherise Jensen (pictured above) of her vendor experience. “Children require good nutrition for proper growth and development. Taking affirmative action towards preventative health care will have a huge positive impact on a child’s health; this is why it is so important to teach kids healthy eating habits at an early age. By maximizing high nutrient foods and minimizing consumption of sugary/processed foods, we can help children develop essential healthy eating habits for a healthy future.”

Targeting the energetic and active audience of 3 to 5-year-old students, the TELA vendors came up with creative setups to make it easier for the easily intrigued minds to approach them. Many of the vendors brought different variations and very colorful handouts, poster boards and prizes. Enticing the kids to come up to the tables for prizes and delicious, organic snacks where they would then learn about making good health choices was a successful strategy.

Some of the kids may have been shy at first and hesitant to walk around the setup of booths, but with eye-catching displays they were able to come out of their shells and learn information they might not have known before.

Sheena Robinson attended the health fair with her kids because it offered them a chance to get out of the house to do hands-on activities.

“I liked the nutrition station because it taught my boys what healthy and unhealthy snacks look like,” Sheena said. “I try to teach them about these things at home, but I think sometimes it clicks more if it’s coming from somebody else and learning first-hand through interactive activities.”

CrossFit, More Than Just A Workout

 

 

 

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

Constantly varied functional movement, performed at high intensity, is the definition of a CrossFit workout – though many argue that CrossFit is more of a lifestyle than a fitness program. Founded during the early aughts, CrossFit has been growing in popularity across the nation over recent years. The regimen combines several aspects from a variety of sports, namely gymnastics and weight training, into one extreme workout of the day, or WOD. Each day participants push themselves to their personal limits during a fast-paced interval workout session that is often timed to track progress. Over the past decade more and more CrossFit gyms have been opening their doors nationwide, benefiting many communities by promoting health and fitness.

Five years ago Apollo Lewis dedicated his life to helping members of the Tulalip community define and achieve their fitness goals by opening Tulalip Bay CrossFit. Beginning his fitness journey at a young age, Apollo has essentially been working to become a CrossFit trainer his entire life.

Apollo states, “I’ve been exercising since I was fourteen. I had to wait until I was old enough to be allowed to weight train. As soon as I was fourteen and a freshman I went straight to the weight room and started moving barbells.”

He continues, “I’ve played a whole lot of sports and have a lot of background working with the coaches that trained me. I played a sport every season in high school. After high school I attended Spokane Falls Community College where I became a decathlete where I participated in ten [track and field] events over two days. Following Spokane Falls, I went into semi-pro football and it was shortly after football when I stumbled upon CrossFit.com”

While researching new workout routines, Apollo discovered a website that posted daily workouts. He taught himself during the beginning of his CrossFit journey. He explains, “it was a great blend of gymnastics, conditioning and weightlifting. I picked that up and ran with it at the YMCA by myself, until I found CrossFit in Marysville, and that’s what initially started my career.”

Many people may perceive fitness as intimidating because of the intense activity; however, anyone and everyone can practice CrossFit.

“It’s not difficult, the workouts can be modified to your skill level. For example, if you’re doing the chest to bar pull-ups and you’re new [to CrossFit] and can’t do it yet, then you can use the [resistance] bands to help you until you’re able to do it by yourself,” states CrossFit coach, Oceana Alday.

During class Coach Lewis motivates by encouragement as well as by example, often performing the WODs right alongside his students.

Another aspect of the CrossFit culture is the Paleo diet. The diet excludes items such as sugar, dairy, all processed foods and grain from daily intake and emphasizes consuming foods such as lean meats, fruits, vegetables and fish.

“I love helping the community. I have children and family here and I wanted to have a permanent spot where I can use the things that I’ve learned to help other people and to spread the word of fitness. I also wanted to give the community a place to hang out. Especially for kids and teens because back in the day there was no teen center. I wanted to be that hang out place where people can turn a bad addiction to a good addiction and so the kids can have somewhere to go that’s a positive environment. My goal is to keep adding years to people’s lives.

At CrossFit I’m teaching GPP – general physical preparedness. This is everyone from kids to grandparents. I want people to able to pick up their children or grandchildren and be able to play with them. I want the elders, if they fall down, I want them to be able to pick themselves back up and look at that experience as nothing but another burpee,” states Apollo.

Tulalip Bay CrossFit is open daily with the exception of Sunday. Currently there are five classes offered Monday through Friday at 6:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. as well as 6 p.m. On Saturdays Apollo opens the gym at 9:30 a.m. to the kids of the community with a regular session following at 10:00 a.m.

For more information about Tulalip Bay CrossFit please visit their website tbaycrossfit.com

 

Lifting Our Community Through Recovery

Leah Crider (center) was wrapped in a special Louie Gong made blanket by Coordinator Sarah Sense-Wilson and MC Jobey Williams.

 

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month. To increase public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment and recovery services here at Tulalip a free community-wide celebration was held at Hibulb Cultural Center on Friday, March 3.

“The Tulalip Tribes is a trailblazer in Indian Country for acknowledging Problem Gambling Awareness Month. Our efforts to illuminate and shine a spotlight on problem gambling and recovery contributes to the wellness movement in Tulalip,” states Sarah Sense-Wilson, Problem Gambling Coordinator. “Events like this provide us a platform and an opportunity to address gambling disorders as a real public health concern, negatively impacting individuals, families, and communities. Our goal is to invite people to learn about gambling addiction and to destigmatize the illness by seeking recovery through a wide range of treatment services offered through Tulalip Family Service’s Problem Gambling program.”

 

Comedian and motivation speaker Kasey Nicholson (left center) brought lots of laughs and smiles to his fellow Natives.

 

The celebration event consisted of a large gathering of local residents, members of the gambler’s anonymous community, and friends to the cause who offered guidance and support. Master of Ceremony was Jobey Williams, drumming and singing was provided by the talented Terrance Sabbas, and the keynote speaker was Native comedian Kasey Nicholson.

Kid, elder, and family friendly, the atmosphere was shared by all as attendees enjoyed a bountiful salmon dinner with lots of entertainment and encouraging words.

Many of us have been personally affected by friends or family members who are problem gamblers. We’ve witnessed the devastating effects of financial, emotional, spiritual and physical toll on our families and community. Gambling addiction has a rip tide impact on our people and we want to encourage them to seek help and have the courage to make change.

Heartfelt, personal life stories of gambling and alcohol addiction and their road to recovery were shared by Jobey and Leah Crider. Their words were truly inspiring as audience members absorbed the emotions invoked in journeys from co-occurring addictions to recovery and healing.

“I am overwhelmed with adulation for Jobey and Leah’s willingness to share their triumphant victories over the powerful, life-taking addictions,” marvels Sarah. “The gamblers anonymous community is growing in our region, as more and more folks seek help and begin to reconnect with their community. It is important we continue to provide spaces and opportunities for folks in recovery. Fellowship is a core principle of every 12-step program and we want to honor our gamblers anonymous community by celebrating their recovery.”

Lifting our community through recovery is vitally important for building a network of support for both the inflicted and their friends and family members.

 

 

Among the celebrations attendees was twenty-five year old tribal member Brando Jones. Brando grew up in Tacoma and when he was a teenager fell into the vicious grips of alcohol and drug addiction. Now 22 months clean and sober, Brando has recently moved to Tulalip and has been attending Tulalip cultural events to help him remain spiritually strong on his road to recovery.

“The reason I attended this event is because it’s important for people in recovery, like me, to hear words of wisdom and advice from people that have been where I’ve been, people who’ve battled the beast of addiction and came out on top,” says Brando. “It’s truly inspiring to see Natives from different tribes helping each other out and showing their concern and offering support for our people. We may be from different tribes, but that doesn’t stop us from coming together to help each other in our addictions and recovery.”

During Problem Gambling Awareness Month, Tulalip Family Services and the Problem Gambling Program will be hosting and co-sponsoring several upcoming special events throughout the month of March. These events include the ‘Community Fun Run/Walk’ at Tulalip Heritage H.S. campus on Saturday, March 11th from 1:00pm – 3:00pm and the Youth Dance that night from 6:00pm – 9:00pm. There will be an Elders Luncheon March 24th from 11:30am – 1:00pm at the Elders Center with guest performer Star Nayea. Concluding the month, there will be a Movie Night for the youth on March 31st at 5:00pm, where the youth will share a special educational presentation on problem gambling awareness.

ABC Curriculum promotes healing at Tulalip schools

 

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

During a recent visit from the Washington State Board of Education, Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary (QCT) provided an inside look at their ABC curriculum, an acronym for the new approach to the education system within the Tulalip community. ABC stands for the Academic instruction, Behavioral and social-emotional support and Culture based curriculum that the Marysville School District and the Tulalip Tribes have recently began implementing at the elementary.

QCT is one of few schools in Washington State that is integrating traditional Native teachings into school subjects such as music, art, language, math and history. The school often invites tribal members to help teach the children about the Tulalip culture. Each morning the school holds a fifteen-minute assembly where students perform traditional song and dance. QCT holds an annual cultural fair where tribal members are invited to share traditional foods as well as tribal history with the students. The elementary school also observes Tulalip Day every November and holds a fifth-grade potlatch at the end of each year. Most recently the school held a Billy Frank Jr. themed spirit week, honoring the man who dedicated his life to fighting for Native American fishing rights.

“We all had heroes growing up. I remember going to the library and spending all day reading about Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Jim Thorpe. You know growing up as Indian People, we don’t have a lot of Native heroes we can look up to, but Billy Frank Jr. is a true Coast Salish hero. He is someone we all look up to because of the amazing work he did for fisheries. Thank you for honoring him, he definitely deserves to be celebrated,” stated Tulalip Chairman Mel Sheldon.

The ABC curriculum puts emphasis on family and community, connections that are often strong in Native America. QCT makes an effort to communicate regularly with their student’s family members. The school also ensures the students stay up to par with the utilization of modern technology, both for research and to create documents. During a classroom walk-through the State Board of Education observed the curriculum in action during an art class as well as a writing class.

 

 

Representatives from the Tulalip Board of Directors, Marysville School District and QCT faculty spoke about cultural assimilation and the affect it left on Native communities. Each explaining to the Board of Educators that assimilation caused trauma that is still affecting the descendants of boarding school victims today, although the events occurred several generations prior. Families were broken and cultures were stripped during the ‘kill the Indian, save the man’ era.

“Our people were [originally] taught in a traditional way at the foot of our grandmothers, not in classrooms but out in nature. When the education system was forcibly put on us, it was done in way that stripped everything away from our children. It was done purposely to take away who we are as Indian People in a very painful way. That was our introduction to education. Since then we’ve had elders try to get this work, our voice and our story, into the public schools to try to heal. I believe we are continuing the work of our ancestors,” states Tulalip tribal member and QCT Instructor, Chelsea Craig.

The tribe, school district and Board of Educators are well aware and prepared for the hard work that will be required, and they started the healing process through the ABC curriculum.

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.