Tulalip community celebrate National Night Out

“Let’s continue to help bring our youth and community together in a good way.”

– Josh Fryberg, Youth Services Coordinator

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

On the sizzling summer evening of Tuesday, August 1, Tulalip citizens of all ages and their neighbors came out to meet the police officers who have sworn an oath to protect and serve the community. The occasion was the 34th Annual National Night Out, free to all and held in the Tulalip Youth Center parking lot.

Tulalip Police Chief Carlos Echevarria greeted community members with a warm smile and a slice of public safety insight during the community-building event.

“The purpose of National Night Out is for the local community and law enforcement to come together against crime. Law enforcement cannot fight crime alone, we must have community support moving forward,” stated Chief Echevarria. “Under the body armor and police uniform, law enforcement officers exist as real people. Positive interactions and open conversation allows for the human side of policing to shine through and from this foundation trust is gained.”

National Night Out has been an annual occurrence since its inception in 1984. The ultimate goal is to promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. Enhancing the relationship between the community’s youth and law enforcement goes a long way to bringing back a true sense of community. It also provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

In light of it occurring on one of the hottest days of the year, dozens of families took part in the National Night Out mingling. While enjoying tasty hot dogs, green salads, and sugar treats, community members strolled through the informative safety demonstration tables. There were games and activities for the young ones to partake in, giving parents and guardians the perfect opportunity to connect with emergency personnel.

“We, along with a lot of other families, really enjoyed National Night Out. I saw a lot of smiles from the youth and community along with great information that was being provided to the people,” said Josh Fryberg, Youth Services Coordinator, who attended the evening’s activity with his family. “We want to thank Carlos and TPD for all of the work that they do for the Tulalip Tribes and community members. We’ve created a great partnership with TPD here at Youth Services with ‘pop with a cop’. It has been a great time for the youth and staff to get to know numerous TPD police officers. Let’s continue to help bring our youth and community together in a good way.”

Youth could be seen interacting with all levels of law enforcement. From meeting and petting the unit’s K9 officer, taking pics with officers for the always active social media accounts, to the youngest among them requesting a hug with a real life superhero.

Chief Echevarria says his favorite moment from National Night Out “was when a 4-year-old young lady asked me for a hug. When I kneeled down and gave her a hug then another child requested a hug as well. This type of interaction with our youth and community definitely makes us, Tulalip, unique. Very proud moment as Chief!”

Learning the business of babysitting

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

A free, daylong babysitting training class took place at the Tulalip Youth Center on Monday, August 1. Boys and girls age 11 and older learned how to perform basic child-care skills like diapering and feeding, first-aid essentials, development stages of children, helpful strategies for play activates, and the subtleties of child discipline.

An astounding thirty-eight youth showed up and participated in the daylong class. In coordination with Behavioral Health and Youth Services, the event aimed at making preteens and teenagers well-rounded caretakers was effective and made an immediate impact for several soon-to-be professional babysitters.

“We were inspired to share a class on babysitting because we wanted to focus primarily on teaching and encouraging our youth to expand their knowledge base, while teaching entrepreneurial skills to those who wished to start up a small business in the community,” states Monica Holmes, Youth Services Parapro. “Babysitting is something many kids do on a regular basis with family and close friends as they become teenagers. We wanted to arm them with the skill sets to be safe and marketable in order take their babysitting to the next step.”

Expanding the youths’ babysitting skill sets was achieved by taking advantage of those who could impart their professional knowledge on the subject, community resources who were willing to connect with the kids to make the biggest impact. Such resources included representatives from Tulalip Bay Fire and Rescue, Police Department, and Tulalip Community Health.

“I talked to the kids about safety in the home, as far as being a babysitter keeping themselves and the children they are supervising safe. We discussed the best practices for keeping kids safe in the home, protocol for answering the phone and what information should and shouldn’t be given out,” says Patrol Commander Sherman Pruitt, a 13-year veteran of the Tulalip Police Department. “We also went over how to stay prepared in the event of an emergency situation while keeping the safeguarding of their children the priority.”

Tulalip Bay Fire and Rescue taught basic first aid, choking hazards and in-home and personal fire safety. They also brought their ambulance and allowed participants to get in and ask questions. Tulalip Police Department spoke to youth about personal and home safety, like answering the door and telephone while babysitting, and what to do in the event of an emergency. Tulalip Community Health helped coordinate all the curriculum and hands-on teaching materials. Suzanne Carson LPN, was the co-presenter for the day and led various break-out sessions.

“We could have taught the class with just one or two instructors, but it seemed more enrichening to include these community partners. We wanted kids to learn from the best but also find people they could look up to or inspire to be like,” continues Monica. “Our community resources became mentors and positive examples in a large sense. It also helped to break down the barriers that sometimes exist between youth and organizations like the Police or Fire Departments.”

After each babysitter selected a baby doll of their choosing, complete with assigning it a gender and name, they were put into small groups. Through the course of the day, the thirty-eight aspiring babysitters rotated between different training stations set-up to replicate various real-life babysitting scenarios.

Instruction stations including the Potty Time Station, which featured all the supplies they’d need to properly diaper, change clothes and swaddle their infant or toddler. There was a First-Aid Kit Station that included supplies for basic first-aid in the event an emergency were to occur while babysitting. There was also a Babysitter’s Magic Bag Making Station, which included supplies, games, toys and arts-n-crafts items the youth could pack into a backpack and bring along with them to any babysitting job to keep their kids occupied and happy.

“Later in the day we designed hands-on Live Babysitting Stations where we invited community members to bring in their children ages 6-months to 10-years to be babysat by our newly minted babysitters,” explains Monica. “This is innovative to most mainstream babysitting classes in that most youth are never given a ‘trial run’ of babysitting in which staff and volunteers could observe, correct and praise their actual skills. We were so impressed with not only the maturity of the youth who attended, but also the drive and desire to take the skills they’d learned and create a real business out of them.”

At the end of the day all participating youth received a certificate of achievement and several take-home supplies to begin their very own babysitting business. Several of the youth have already developed some online advertisements for their new business. One such shining example is 11-year-old tribal member Mariana Richwine.

“I’ve been babysitting my younger sister since I can remember. Taking the babysitting class was fun and I learned a lot of tips and new information,” admits Mariana. “I learned what to do if a baby is choking and how to put a baby to sleep without being smothered by blankets. I’m more confident to babysit babies now that I know how to handle these situations.”

Since learning the added skills and importance of marketing herself as a certified, professional babysitter Mariana has created her own Facebook page titled Sissy’s babysitting service. She was joined in the babysitting class by her younger sister, 8-year-old Malana and older sister, 14-year-old Martelle. Their mother Nickie Richwine shared her impressions of the class she entrusted her three daughters to for the day.

“As soon as I learned about this training I knew my girls would be attending. They have always watched their little sister for me, and in the last two years my oldest ones started babysitting for friends and family. I knew there would be more they could learn in addition to their own experiences, and they did. I was happy to hear that our Tribal police and fire departments were also involved and taught the kids what to do in emergency situations. I feel like my girls are now well experienced and trained to babysit at any time.”

Learning from the past, looking to the future

22nd Annual Lushootseed Day Camp

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The week of July 24-28 was nothing but pleasantly warm and sunny summer days in the Pacific Northwest. Inside the old Tulalip Elementary gymnasium even more radiating beams of sunshine could be found, created by the record turnout 92-kids participating in week two of the 22nd Annual Lushootseed Day Camp.

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. Each camp is intended to have openings for up to 50 participants, but this year the demand was so high that 70-kids participated in week one and a stunning 92-kids comprised week two.

“It seems like every year we get more and more kids participating in our language camp, which is great!” boasts Michele Balagot, Lushootseed Manager. “We broke our record for total attendance that we set last year. It is amazing to witness the amount of participation and community involvement we received this year. It makes my heart happy seeing so many of our young ones learning our traditional language.”

With the extraordinary high turnout in camp participation came an equally impressive turnout in community volunteers who assisted Lushootseed staff coordinate daily camp activities. There were 25+ volunteers on a near daily basis on hand to help camp run smoothly.

“The role of the summer youth and volunteers was to be the group leaders, working alongside the youth, mentoring them and encouraging them at each station,” says Natosha Gobin, Lushootseed Teacher who has been involved with every Lushootseed Camp either as a participant or teacher for the past twenty years. “We met with the group leaders almost daily to go over their role and encourage them to be as involved with each of the kids as possible. There were three to four group leaders per group, which helped us ensure that the kids were staying on task at each station.”

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 – Votive candle holders, cedar photo frame.
  • Weaving – Cedar medallions, paddle necklaces.
  • Songs and Dances – Killer Whale Song, Berry Picking Song, Welcome Song, Kenny Moses Arrival Song.
  • Traditional Teachings – Message from Wayne Williams, Killer Whale facts, story comparisons.
  • Games – Various outdoor games incorporating Lushootseed.
  • Language – Lushootseed alphabet, Killer Whale and the Two Boys key words.
  • Technology – children learned and practiced Lushootseed materials related their final performance using handheld games on Tablets created by Dave Sienko.

For this 22nd Annual Lushootseed Camp, Wayne Williams was honored for his leadership and the teachings he has passed on to our community. His story “Killer Whale and the Two Boys” was selected as the final performance to be put on at week’s end.

“This year we honored Wayne Williams for his countless years of leadership for our people,” states Michele. “Wayne knew the importance of upholding the teachings that were instilled within him and many others. He has led our community as Assistant Manager and Manager of TTT, while also having served as a Board of Director, including time as Chairman. Wayne passed on his family’s traditional artifacts and documents to the Hibulb Cultural Center, and we are grateful to have such rich teachings within reach for us to continue to learn from.”

For the youthful camp participants, learning Wayne’s story “Killer Whale and the Two Boys” serves two purposes – learning and practicing the Lushootseed words it requires, and gaining knowledge of the lesson hidden within the story.

“The moral of this story is to watch who you hang around,” explains Natosha. “If you find the people you associate with tend to get in trouble, you will realize that you will end up getting in trouble right alongside them, and there are things that may happen to you along that path that will mark you for life and be a reminder of those hard times. Messages like this from our ancestors is so important for our kids to hear, understand and to respect in their early years as they develop into young adults. We can look at many situations in our lives and connect them to traditional stories.”

The closing ceremony for week two’s camp was held on Friday, July 28 in the old Tulalip Elementary gymnasium. 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.

“I am honored to be here today to witness the young children sharing in the Lushootseed language. The language is the very heart of our culture as Tulalip people,” proclaimed ceremonial witness Ray Fryberg, Executive Director of Natural Resources. “I thank the parents and families who gave their kids the opportunity to participate in our language camp. Also, I thank our Language Warriors for ensuring that this portion of our culture moves forward and stays alive. Our words are life, reflecting our ancestors and passing on their teachings.”

After the youth performed their rendition of “Killer Whale and the Two Boys” 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 that everyone thoroughly enjoyed.

Reflecting on the conclusion of this year’s 22nd Lushootseed Camp, Language Warrior Natosha Gobin beamed with pride, “We continue to give thanks to those who had the vision to bring this camp to life, and we are grateful to be a part of keeping it going. These two weeks out of the year are really a blessing for us to give back to our community, build relationships with our youth and their families, and remind ourselves of our roles in the community. We are Language Warriors, we are Culture Warriors, and we will battle every day to ensure our traditional teachings live on for the next generation of warriors.”

 

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Honoring Wayne Williams

Submitted by Natosha Gobin

This year we honored Wayne Williams.  His messages to our people, his leadership, his passion, it has touched so many lives and continues to do so. A couple of our staff members stepped away from camp on Monday, July 24th to visit Wayne and gift him with a paddle created by the Art & Design department, a blanket that was on behalf of the Hibulb Cultural Center staff and Lushootseed Staff, and a t-shirt from this year’s camp.

We felt it was important to gift him with these things and let him know how many youth were learning about his amazing work. It was an honor to speak to him and share that his work is still continuing with the teachings our youth are learning these two weeks.

One of Wayne’s famous quotes is “It’s important for us to know who we are and where we come from.” We are hoping to make more visits just to share with him how much he continues to inspire our people and allow each one of our staff members the chance to meet with Wayne.

Bringing home the Gold!

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Team Washington’s 19U men’s basketball team (led by Tulalip tribal members Bryce Juneau, Robert Miles and Darion Joseph) participated in a highly competitive, week long tournament at the 2017 Native American Indigenous Games hosted in Toronto, Canada. Dubbed “the Native Olympics”, Team Washington represented their tribal communities proudly while coming up clutch game after game on their quest for Gold.

After dropping their opening game in pool play, a 69-73 loss to Wisconsin, the team had little doubt they would bounce back. In fact, talking to the players immediately after they were eager to get back on the court and prove they were much better than the first game showed. Their coach echoed that sentiment.

“They needed those first few quarters together versus quality competition to figure how to play as a team,” reflected Coach Harold Joseph after the opening game loss. “In that second half they got comfortable and everything started to click both offensively and defensively. That momentum will carry over to our remaining games of pool play for sure. These boys still expect to rally and make the gold medal round.”

They were right. The momentum and confidence showed big time the very next game when Washington played Ontario, the host team, in a jam-packed gym of Ontario fans. The loud and cheerful fans fell silent as they watched Washington execute its offense easily over and over against Ontario’s defense. Leading by double-digits most of the game, Washington won 71-55. They were led by Darion Joseph’s game high 18 points.

Only hours later Washington was back in action, this time with a matchup with Northwest Territories out of Canada. It was a complete and utter smackdown served up by Team Washington. With a blazing pace of play and all-go attitude, they boys were scorching hot on offense. They led a whopping 47-9 at halftime on route to a 90-28 victory. This time it was Bryce Juneau scoring a game high 19 points, followed by 17 points from Robert Miles.

Coming off back-to-back wins that showcased the style of play Team Washington (2-1) expected to play, they would have their medal tested versus Team Manitoba (3-0). Playing another team from Canada meant another gym completely full of fans rooting against them, but Washington relished it.

In order to win their pool, make it to the semi-final round, and keep hopes alive of playing for a gold medal, Washington had to beat undefeated Manitoba. The game was a true back and forth battle. Both teams were bringing it on both ends. At halftime Washington trailed 37-39. The teams continued to trade buckets and answer each other’s scoring run with an equalizing string of points. It was only fitting that at the end of regulation the score was 73-73, forcing overtime.

Washington connected on back-to-back 3-pointers by Robert Miles and Tre Williams to open the overtime period. Manitoba again answered back to tie the game at 79-79. Darion and Bryce then took over with a series of pick and roll plays that gave their team the winning advantage, while silencing the gym of ruckus Manitoba fans. The 87-83 win put Washington on a three-game winning streak, but most importantly it meant they won their pool and would play in the semi-final round.

On Friday, July 21 Team Washington (3-1) played an early morning, semi-final game versus fellow west coast team Vancouver B.C. (3-1). A berth to the gold medal game was on the line.

In the first half, each team played to its strength. Washington looked to get the ball down low to its bigger, stronger forwards while B.C. looked to push the ball in transition at every opportunity and beat Washington down court. The Tulalip led team were down 36-38 at halftime and watched the deficit grow to 9 points when they trailed 48-57 near the end of the 3rd quarter.

It was in the game’s crucial moments that Robert Miles was at his best. He was a monster on defense, getting his hands on every loose ball and deflected any pass that came his way. Then on offense he got red hot when his team needed it most. He hit a pair of 3-pointers and several free-throws that gave Washington a 67-65 lead with five-minutes to play. From there are Bryce and Darion again ran their two man game to perfection. Darion scored on series of pick and rolls that sealed the W for Team Washington, 82-76. Incredibly, the three Tulalip boys combined to score 21 of the teams 23 points scored in the deciding 4th quarter.

Washington now (4-1) got a few hours to rest and rehydrate for an impending matchup with Team Minnesota (5-0) in the Indigenous Games basketball finals. Minnesota led the entire competition with an astounding 105 points per game average, while Washington boasted a stifling defense that only allowed 63 points per game to their opponents. It would be a battle of contrasting styles with the gold medal on the line.

As basketball fans and players from various team across North America filled the stands to watch the gold medal game, Team Washington put on a defensive clinic. They had played zone defense for nearly the entire competition to this point, but against Minnesota’s shooting arsenal Washington switched to an aggressive man-to-man defense. The strategy paid off huge as the quicker and taller Washington defenders contested every single shot and cut off every passing lane. At halftime Washington led 48-36.

There is a classic saying “the best offense is a good defense”. Team Washington proved that saying true. In the 3rd quarter, with center Mike Leslie in the game coming up with big time blocks and guards Bryce and Rob getting steals, Washington turned several Minnesota turnovers into easy scoring opportunities. Up 20 points, 75-55, the game was out of reach for a Minnesota team that couldn’t solve Washington’s lockdown defense. When the final game buzzer sounded Washington had won convincingly, 93-77, to claim the title as best Indigenous basketball team in North America.

Following the medal ceremonies, where the boys and their coaches were beaming with pride and excitement as they were each presented with a gold medal, the Tulalip tribal member athletes reflected on their North American Indigenous Games experience.

“I feel great having been given the opportunity to represent Team Washington and my tribe,” said Bryce Juneau. “Losing our opening game got us going, it was a punch in the mouth that we needed to regroup and focus in on playing at our best. Seemed like every game we played we had a gym full of fans rooting on the other team. We used that as extra motivation to play well and silence those fans. We came a long way from Tulalip to play at these Toronto Games and to win the gold is an amazing feeling.”

“To win the gold with this group of teammates for Team Washington is great. Just thinking of all the basketball I’ve played with Bryce and Darion since we were kids and now we’re here as champions,” reflected Robert Miles, who is now a two-time gold medalist after winning gold at the last edition of NAIG. “I’ll never forget being here in Toronto the past week and getting to experience the city and culture with my team. From all the sites, food, and art in downtown Toronto to going to Niagara Falls, we made a lot of memories.”

“As a team, being in Toronto, we were all in a new place, exploring together and having fun. After that opening game loss we kept together, we knew we could fight back because we were here to win the gold medal. And we did!” declared Darion Joseph. “Participating in the Indigenous Games and to represent your tribe is an amazing experience. To all the young kids back home in Tulalip my advice is to keep working hard to craft your skills and never give up, you can be at the next Indigenous Games representing Team Washington.”

Canoes Arrive in Tulalip

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Washington State’s one-hundredth anniversary inspired a cultural movement amongst Pacific Northwest Tribes in 1989. While planning for the State’s centennial celebration, Quinault tribal member, Emmett Oliver organized a traditional canoe pull across Elliot Bay to honor Washington’s Native American culture. The paddle influenced the tribes to continue their traditional practices by starting the annual summertime event known as Tribal Canoe Journeys.

For nearly thirty years Northwest tribes have participated in Tribal Journeys. While honoring the traditional mode of transportation, multiple tribes navigate the open waters in cedar dugout canoes and travel together from tribe to tribe until they reached their final landing destination. The tribes take turns hosting the event each year, marking their reservation the final destination. After all the canoes arrive, a weeklong celebration ensues in the form of traditional song, dance and storytelling. The Tribal Canoe Journey experience reconnects tribal members with their culture and promotes positive lifestyle choices.

This year, the We Wai Kai Nation along with the Wei Wai Kum Nation are hosting Canoe Journey in Campbell River, BC. En route to the final landing destination, several Canoe Families entered the waters of Tulalip Bay on the evening of July 21, including Muckleshoot and Lummi. Tulalip Canoe Families also joined in on the ceremonial canoe landing, pulling alongside their guests. Once the Canoe Families were granted permission ashore, they enjoyed a meal before celebrating a night of culture during protocol at the Don Hatch Youth Center.

The Canoe Families, now traveling with Tulalip, continued their journey to Campbell River, departing from Tulalip Bay in the early morning of July 22. The canoes are expected to reach Campbell River by August 5, and festivities will continue through August 10.

Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital celebrates grand opening

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and Tulalip Tribes Chairwoman Marie Zackuse cut the ribbon at the Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital grand opening.

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

“When you think about the heart and soul of Washington, what we do is we get better,” stated Washington State Governor, Jay Inslee. “We build better jets every couple years, we build better software every couple years. Isn’t it a joy to know that hundreds of Washingtonians are going to get better because of the Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital? What a joy to celebrate that effort and to know that these folks are going to get better.”

Hundreds of Snohomish County community members recently celebrated the grand opening of the new 70,000 square-foot behavioral hospital on July 13. The 115-bed psychiatric and addiction center will provide both inpatient and outpatient care for children, teens, adults as well as elders; and will offer specialized programs for the youth, women and veterans of the community who are in need of mental health care. Operated by US HealthVest, a behavioral healthcare company that runs multiple behavioral hospitals nationwide, the Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital aims to provide care to individuals suffering with mental disorders as well as to those battling drug addictions.

“This facility fulfills an incredible need in the state of Washington,” Governor Inslee continued. “We have not had the capacity, not even close to the capacity, to provide for the mental health of our citizens and this plugs an enormous gap in this community. The effort of this company to work with others including the Tulalip Nation, who I understand has a contract with this facility, what a beautiful partnership.”

The behavioral hospital is working with local tribes to offer culture-based healing for the Native American community. The hospital also features Native American artwork and incorporates traditional teachings for tribal members receiving care.

“I want to offer my congratulations on behalf of our elders, our youth and community at large for building a facility that was a need like twenty years ago,” expressed Tulalip Tribes Chairwoman, Marie Zackuse. “I want to thank Dr. Richard Kresch and US HealthVest for the work they have done these past five years, to build and now manage this facility. Your staff has worked with ours, and the Tulalip Tribes look forward to a strong and supportive relationship.”

“Thank you to Misty Napeahi, our Tulalip Tribes General Manager, for helping build a relationship between our Tribe and the Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital, it will help ensure Tulalip tribal members and other Native Americans in this area have access to the care they need,” said Marie.

Community members had the opportunity to tour the two-story facility during the grand opening celebration. The hospital features a recreational room with board games, coloring books and fitness equipment such as yoga mats and stability balls. The hospital also utilizes uplifting colors throughout the building and each patient room is free of any sharp edges and hooks, creating a safe environment for patients to grow and heal.

“We have been talking a lot recently about healthy communities,” Marie stated. “Working together as community partners to identify the needs of our people was a critical first step. The essential services in acute behavioral health care and addiction treatment are necessary if we want to heal our communities. Again, I just lift my hands to each and every one of you who helped this dream come alive.”

For further information, please contact the Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital at (844) 202-5555 or visit their website www.SmokeyPointBehavioralHospital.com

Team Washington almost pulls off incredible comeback in opening game

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The 19U Team Washington men’s basketball team competing at the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) features Robert Miles, Bryce Juneau, and Darion Joseph in the starting lineup. That’s three Tulalip tribal members who have been playing basketball since they were able to dribble a basketball. They were perfect for the team as they are all too familiar with the up-tempo, high intensity flow of rez ball. Their natural chemistry that comes from playing with one another since club teams in their Elementary school days is an added benefit as well.

Joining the three Tulalip boys on the team are four highly talented ballers from the Native tournament circuit. The complete roster is as follows:

Team Washington 19U Men’s basketball

  • #2 Isiah Strom (Yakama)
  • #3 Bryce Juneau (Tulalip)
  • #10 Robert Miles (Tulalip)
  • #15 Xavier Littlehead (Northern Cheyenne)
  • #20 Mike Leslie (Muckleshoot)
  • #21 Tre Williams (Nez Pierce)
  • #34 Darion Joseph (Tulalip)

On Monday, July 17 Team Washington squared off with Team Wisconsin in the opening game of pool play. Wisconsin featured several players who took Gold at the previous edition of NAIG in 2014, so the game was expected to be highly competitive with Washington having their own expectation of making it to the medal round. The game was played at Humber College in Toronto, Canada.

Washington opened up the game playing 2-3 zone defense, while Wisconsin employed man-to-man defense. Wisconsin came out firing from 3-point territory against the zone and quickly took a 7-0 lead. However, Washington eventually settled in and forced several Wisconsin turnovers that led to transition buckets. The good guys ended the 1st quarter on an impressive 14-3 run, including 4 points each by Robert and Darion, to take a 14-10 game lead.

In the 2nd and 3rd quarters, the gold medal experience of Wisconsin showed. They continued to execute against the zone defense by hitting long-range shots and making running floaters in the lane. During the same time frame, Washington struggled to keep up with its own offense. Washington trailed 31-54 with 1:10 remaining in the 3rd quarter, the 23 point deficit was the largest of the game.

Down by 20+ points with one quarter to go usually leaves the trailing team defeated and without fight. But this wouldn’t be the case for a team with Robert, Bryce, and Darion. They’ve come back from large margins before and knowing it could be done they’d try to do it again.

Coming out with a sense of urgency in the 4th quarter, the three Tulalip boys led the charge with a frantic offense pace – all go, no hesitation. They combined to score 20 points while playing aggressive, lockdown defense in an amazing display of resiliency and teamwork. The no quit attitude had Wisconsin on their heels, as Washington cut the once 23 point deficit to only 6 points, 66-72 with just under two-minutes remaining.

Washington’s comeback fell just short though. There just wasn’t enough time left as Wisconsin held the ball as much as they could to eat up the game clock. Washington lost 69-73, and left the gym thinking they gave the W away. Following the game Bryce, Robert and Darion all shared the same sentiment: how well they played as a team down the stretch was how they’d play going forward and they were determined to still make the medal round.

“I think we’re still going to do real well at these Games. They needed those first few quarters together versus quality competition to figure how to play as a team,” reflected Coach Harold Joseph after the opening game loss. “In that second half they got comfortable and everything started to click both offensively and defensively. That momentum will carry over to our remaining games of pool play for sure. These boys still expect to rally and make the gold medal round.”

Over 5,000 Indigenous athletes compete in NAIG 2017

Let the Games begin!

NAIG opened with a surprise musical appearance from Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas, flanked by traditional hoop dancers putting on a mesmerizing cultural performance.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

On the spectacular evening of Sunday, July 16 an estimated 5,250 Indigenous athletes, coaches and support staff proudly marched into the Aviva Center, located just outside of Canada’s largest city Toronto, for the opening ceremony of the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) 2017.

The over 5,000 athletes represent 26 regions across North America, consisting of 13 provinces and territories in Canada and 13 regions in the United States. Since 1990, Indigenous competitors between the ages of 13 and 19-years-old have taken part in the showcase that celebrates their athleticism and heritage. This year’s Indigenous Games marks the 9th edition of the multi-sport, multi-disciplinary event dedicated to Indigenous youth from the United States and Canada. The Games offer 14 sport competitions in addition to a vibrant cultural program.

For the first time in over 25 years NAIG returned to eastern Canada, notably allowing the province of Ontario to host its first ever Indigenous Games. For many of the young tribal competitors who reside on reservations in the United States, their athletic expertise allowed them their first ever entrance into Canada, to sightsee the City of Toronto, and, most importantly, to experience and connect with Indigenous cultures from around the continent.

Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation elder Gary Sioux lit the ceremonial smudge and offered a blessing, while his granddaughter fanned the flames of competition for NAIG 2017.

During the opening ceremony of NAIG 2017, which was delayed approximately 90-minutes due to a thunderstorm, the capacity crowd of over 9,000 was rightfully energized by a surprise musical performance from Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas, flanked by traditional hoop dancers putting on a mesmerizing cultural performance.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor to be here. I represent the Shoshone and Hopi Nation,” said Taboo before performing his musical medley. “I am very proud to be Native American representing here with you all in Toronto. We represent the future. Natives, Indigenous, First Nations, and Aboriginals all coming together as one people, one nation, one tribe to make dreams come true.”

Spanning the week of July 17-22, more than 5,000 athletes from across the continent will compete in 14 sporting categories on the traditional lands and homelands of the Huron-Wendat Nation, Metis Nation of Ontario, Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation, Mississauga of Scugog Island First Nation, and Six Nations of the Grand River.

Government and Indigenous leadership from various regions took to stage to deliver rallying messages of encouragement, strength, and unity through sport.

“On behalf of the Six Nations, we are the Haudenosaunee and we welcome you. We are so excited and proud to be one of the community partners hosting these Games,” exclaimed Chief Ava Hill, representing the Six Nations of the Grand River. “To the athletes, these are your Games! It is so emotional to me as a leader to witness all you young people here today because each and every one of you is a dream come true. You are role models for the younger ones who are watching you. You are ambassadors for your families and for your communities. You are all winners! You are all winners just by being here and being a participant in the North American Indigenous Games.”

Following a rocking performance by A Tribe Called Red, fireworks filled the night sky at the Aviva Center to signal the beginning of the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games.

Sport can be a launching pad for many great things yet to come for youth. Through participation in NAIG 2017, youth are given many opportunities to travel, make new Indigenous friends, and form life-long connections. As athletes participating in NAIG 2017, Indigenous youth learn many character building skills, such as team building, courage, determination, and goal-setting in a familiar setting located at the intersection of culture and sport. These are all skills that will help greatly as the youth move on to the next chapters in their lives.

Representing the Pacific Northwest region of the United States is Team Washington and its 19U men’s basketball team which includes three Tulalip tribal members: Robert Miles, Darion Joseph, and Bryce Juneau. They are joined by Michael Leslie (Muckleshoot), who played basketball for Tulalip Heritage during his sophomore year, Tre Williams (Nez Pierce), Xavier Littlehead (Northern Cheyenne), and Isiah Strom (Yakama). They are coached by Tulalip tribal member Harold Joseph, who participated in the first four editions of NAIG as a competitor and has coached in every NAIG since.

“Having three Tulalip tribal members on the team is special because they get to share this experience with the younger youth back home,” says Coach Harold. “All three of them are positive role models in our community. They each played high school sports; Robert at Heritage, Bryce at Marysville-Pilchuck and Darion at Archbishop Murphy, so the younger kids see that and it pushes them in the right way. I want to thank the Tulalip Tribe for supporting us and giving us the opportunity to represent all our people back home in our quest for a gold medal.”

Preparing for the Journey of a Lifetime

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Canoe Family, led by the Tulalip Rediscovery Program, is preparing to take to the open waters for the 2017 Canoe Journey to Campbell River, British Columbia. For the past several weeks, the Canoe Family has been meeting on Monday and Thursday evenings to practice pulling a traditional cedar-dugout canoe across the waters of Tulalip Bay.

“We started last month and we’ve been slowly getting a crew. I think this is our third or fourth week where we’ve actually had a full crew,” says Skipper, Harvey Eastman. “What we do is, we come on the water to try to build our muscle memory and get in shape. We want everybody to be prepared and to respect the water because we’ll never know what we’ll have out there. It could be nice and calm but then in a heartbeat it’ll turn on you.”

Training for the unexpected open waters can be a daunting task, especially for new pullers. The key, according to Tulalip tribal member and expert puller, Kayla Joseph, is to remain calm, especially when the waters are not.

“If we hit rollers [waves] like we did [today during practice], it’s important to just keep pulling and keep at it,” Kayla explains. “If you get scared then the canoe senses that you feel that. As long as you keep a good mind, keep going and you keep doing what your supposed to be doing, then the canoe will keep you how you’re supposed to be.”

Each year Canoe Journey offers Coast Salish tribal members the opportunity to reconnect with their culture. The Native American summertime experience has been popular amongst Pacific Northwest Tribes since beginning in 1989 with the Paddle to Seattle.  Since then, local tribes have taken turns hosting Canoe Journey in their villages each year. The tribes travel the waters together in traditional canoes, stopping in each village before reaching their final landing destination. After all the canoes arrive, a weeklong celebration takes place, where the canoe families engage in traditional song, dance and story telling.

For decades the Canoe Journey experience has promoted healthy lifestyle choices, as the cultural event is drug and alcohol free. Along with finding self-identity, the youth gain first-hand experience through teachings passed down from previous generations.

“You can learn a lot about your culture from [Canoe Journey]. This is where I started. It’s where I learned most of my songs and my dances and who I was,” expresses Kayla. “I knew I was Tulalip, but until you’re actually part of something like this, where they teach you how to conduct yourself, how to be humble and how to be one with the Earth and the water, it’s good medicine. It brings you a little bit of peace and that’s something we need to bring to our youth.”

On the water, the crew pulls together as one. Relationships are bonded as life experiences are shared, while traveling from tribe to tribe. The event continues to have a positive impact for the youth of Native America by teaching about their ancestor’s way of life and culture.

Skipper, Harvey Eastman

“Its our hope that once were pulling together, the youth will get involved, because they are our future,” states Harvey. “Our ultimate goal is to sustain our culture as Indigenous Peoples; if we don’t have that we won’t have a culture.”

Canoe Journey practice is held at 5:30 p.m. each Monday and Thursday at the Tulalip Marina. The Tulalip Rediscovery Program additionally hosts a Canoe Journey gift-making class, at the Hibulb Cultural Center, every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. as well. For further information, please contact the Tulalip Rediscovery Program at (360) 716-2635.8

Adapting to Change: Tulalip Community Addresses Climate Change

Community members share their top five climate change concerns,.Natural Resources will utilize and refer to this data while developing the adaptation plan throughout the next six months.

 

“We’re going to be developing strategies to preserve tribal customs and culture first and foremost.”

– Colin Wahl,Tulalip Natural Resources Environmental Scientist

 

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Countless studies have shown that since the 1900’s, the Earth’s heat has increased by about 1.33 degrees Fahrenheit. That is at an alarming rate considering that leading up to the Industrial Revolution, the planets heat only increased by about nine degrees over the span of 5,000 years.  Due to the burning of fossil fuels, excessive carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere over the last century. Carbon dioxide is produced by humans, animals and plants; but also by human activity such as generating electricity and using gasoline for vehicles.

Carbon dioxide traps radiated heat from the sun, at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere, causing the planet’s temperature to increase. The more heat that is trapped, the warmer the planet becomes. If the Earth’s population continues to burn fossil fuels at its current rate, over the next century, future generations will face extreme weather including draughts, floods and storms. Recent studies claim that in the year 2100, heat waves will last up to twenty days and will result in many deaths around the entire world.

Climate change is inevitable, however, many environmentalists believe the process can be slowed by means of conserving energy, utilizing other forms of transportation and recycling. The Tulalip Tribes are among the many tribal nations, environmentalists and scientists studying the cause and effect of climate change and how it will affect future generations.

Tulalip’s Natural Resource Department recently held a community dinner at the Tulalip Administration Building to discuss climate change and how it will impact Tulalip and its surrounding areas.

“It is a great honor to be here to start talking about climate change,” said Tulalip Vice Chairwoman, Teri Gobin. “We are beginning to look at what we can do to help better the environment. I really want to see us building green, utilizing solar power and really ramping up our recycling efforts and the reuse of materials. There’s a lot of things that we’re talking about, in regards to climate change, and we need to start taking those steps in the right direction.”

The community dinner included presentations by Tulalip Natural Resources Environmental Scientist, Colin Wahl, as well as guest speaker Clarita Lefthand-Begay of the Navajo Nation, who is an Environmental Professor at the University of Washington.

Colin’s presentation provided a brief overview of climate change, explaining ocean acidification, sea level rise and how global warming will impact salmon runs in the future.

“Salmon is one of the major issues of climate change we’re concerned about,” explained Colin. “As Patti [Gobin] said, the Tulalips are fish people and the tribal culture really relies on fishing and maintaining the salmon populations. We’re going to have to maintain our protection and restoration strategies in the future, but we might have to adjust some of those strategies to consider how climate change impacts salmon. Some of these strategies might include things like protecting cold water habitat in streams and rivers as well as generally trying to slow the progression of climate change through policies that actually decrease carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere.”

Colin stated that due to the impacts from sea level rise, various areas of the reservation will experience beach loss. Areas that will be affected include Tulalip Bay, Hermosa Beach, Priest Point and the Qwuloolt Estuary. Colin used charts to compare and contrast the areas today and the same area eighty years in the future. He also explained that the Natural Resources Department is in the early stages of developing a Climate Change Adaption Plan which will take approximately six months to complete before the implementation process begins.

“We’re going to be developing strategies to preserve tribal customs and culture first and foremost,” Colin stated. “We’re also developing strategies to protect tribal property and infrastructure. We’re working with all the different departments within the administration, including Planning in particular, they’ll be an essential element throughout the process. We also need to protect and restore treaty resources, or continue to do so, so that the Tribe’s customs and culture can extend into the future.

“Historically, Indigenous cultures are very resilient in the Puget Sound area,” he continued. “The ancestors of the Tulalip Tribes, like the salmon, have adapted to the changing environments for thousands of years. This is a little more difficult now, because in the past the people could follow the species wherever they went. Since treaty times, the tribes are tied to place, tied to a reservation, tied to these legally defined boundaries. So, there might be issues with species shifts where there’s more salmon up north compared to south.”

Clarita spoke with the community before leading an open forum discussion. During her presentation she spoke in detail about the dangers of climate change, stating that by the year 2100, the earth will regularly experience extreme heat waves, air pollution as well as water and food borne illnesses. She also states that the food of future generations including shellfish, fish, meat, fresh fruits and vegetables will all be negatively affected by climate change. Clarita explained that the populations most affected by climate change will be elders, children, pregnant women, individuals with compromised immune systems as well as poverty-stricken families.

The climate change dinner concluded with an open discussion for the community to voice their concerns regarding the impacts of climate change. Clarita and the Natural Resources team wrote documented the many concerns. Following the discussion, the participants were given five post-it stickers, each a different color, and asked to rate their top five concerns. Natural Resources will utilize and refer to this data while developing the adaptation plan throughout the next six months.