Wayne Warren Williams (1928 – 2017)

Wayne Warren Williams, 89, of Tulalip, WA, passed away August 2, 2017. He was born May 10, 1928, in Everett, Washington to Francis and Harriette Williams. He serviced in the US Army during the Korean Conflict. Wayne worked on the ferry boats for the Black Ball Line; he worked for Boeing; and for 40 years for the Tulalip Tribes, holding several positions such he was the manager for the Tulalip Tribes and the first general manager for Bingo. Wayne served one term on the Tulalip Board of Directors. Wayne had a keen business sense and was very helpful in getting the Tulalip Casino built. Wayne was widely respected in the Northwest and his advice was much sought after. Yet Wayne’s favorite job was being a grandfather. Wayne is survived by his children, Brian (Corinna) Williams, and Darryl (Julie Russell) Williams; grandsons, Joseph and Jordan Williams; and cousins, Roberta Skoog and Blanche James; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives. Visitation will be held Monday, August 7, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. at Schaefer-Shipman with an Interfaith service to follow at 6:00 p.m. at the Tulalip Gym. Funeral Services will be held Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. at the Tulalip Gym with burial to follow at Mission Beach Cemetery.

Donna Louise Bill-Tom (1995 – 2017)

June 7, 1995 – July 30, 2017 It is with great sadness that we have lost our beloved Donna Louise Bill-Tom, 22, of Tulalip, WA, who passed away July 30, 2017. She was born June 7, 1995 in Bellingham, WA to Jerome and Margiann (Solomon) Tom. She grew up in Tulalip. Donna was eager and willing to learn to make things by hand, such as shawl making, crocheting, beading, weaving cedar and wool. She was learning to cook for gatherings. She was never hesitant to follow her families’ traditions. Donna loved Stick Games. Donna is survived by grandmother, Jolene Bill of Tulalip; great-grandmother, Geraldine Bill of Tulalip; three sisters, Marsha Solomon, Lauralee Bill-Tom, and Sarah Ann Solomon all of Tulalip; four brothers, Jerome Tom Jr, Jesse Tom, Ray Tom and Lawrence Tom of Lummi, WA. She is also survived by numerous aunties, uncles, cousins and other relatives. Donna had a very special friend in spirit, Albert Young Jr. She was preceded in death by her mother, Margiann (Solomon) Tom; aunties, Kathleen Bill, Miriam Bill of Tulalip; uncle, Joseph Bill of Lummi; great grandfather, Joseph Bill of Lummi; grandfather, Richard J. Solomon of Lummi. Visitation will be held Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at Schaefer-Shipman with an Interfaith service to follow at 6:00 p.m. at the Tulalip Gym. Funeral Services will be held Friday, August 4, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the Tulalip Gym with burial to follow at Mission Beach Cemetery. We want to acknowledge the tragic losses in our family and community and to let everyone know that our prayers, love and respect are with everyone.

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.”



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 youth and community together in a good way

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, Tulalip Youth Services hosted Special Needs Field Day at the Don Hatch Youth Center. The July 29 event catered to children from the Tulalip community with learning and physical disabilities. The kids and their families were treated to an afternoon of fun activities including arts and crafts, face painting and bouncy houses; as well as friendly competition during a game of kickball.

“We wanted to create something specifically for the special needs students that wouldn’t overstimulate them,” states Tulalip Youth Services Education Coordinator, Jessica Bustad. “The idea actually came from a conversation we had at a parent meeting, talking about all the tribal events we have. They’re too over stimulating for some of our special needs students. We wanted to do something more low-key that still allows them to have fun and invite their favorite people with them.”

During Special Needs Field Day, youth enjoyed lunch at the Greg Williams Court with their families and participated in an interactive music circle with Victoria Fansler, Music Therapist for the Snohomish County Music Project. Victoria helps the youth of the Tulalip community work through traumatic life events by using music as an instrument of healing. Numerous kids joined Victoria in song by both singing and playing along with an instrument, among them was Tulalip tribal member Tyler Fryberg.

“I’m really excited that there is stuff for those kids with special needs to do,” exclaimed Tyler.

Tyler is an inspiration and role model to the Tulalip community, especially to those with special needs. A track and field athlete, Tyler carried the torch and participated in the 2013 Special Olympics Summer State Tournament.

“We are so excited that our community has the doors open for kids with special needs,” states Tyler’s mother, Mignonne Bedient. “Not only for the kids but for the parents also. We’ve had a few meetings and they have offered so much support for us. I truly believe we would not get the support outside of this community that we get here. Tyler has moved mountains and he has many more mountains to move, he’s so excited that there is a group here.”

The event was organized by Youth Services’ new Special Needs Advocate, Joe Boon. While researching for Special Needs Field Day, he discovered that activities with high sensory involvement were popular amongst children with disabilities.

“I started researching what we can bring to this event that gets them to tap into all their sensory needs,” Joe explains. “I wanted to give a feel for other tribal events that happen out here but more low-key, so it’s not off-putting for kids with severe sensory issues. I was researching other fun interactive things we can do and I found that with gold panning, they would be able to touch and find all kinds of [rocks and minerals], it turned out to be a huge success!”

A DJ played a variety of popular contemporary songs while the kids jumped about the bouncy houses and ran around the bases of the Alpheus ‘Gunny’ Jones Sr. Ball Field during the kickball match.

“The main objective is we just want the youth interacting with each other, the staff and the volunteers,” states Youth Services Activities Coordinator, Josh Fryberg. “At the end of the day, it’s all about having fun and just letting them be themselves.”

“Tulalip Youth Services would like to thank the parent committee, staff, volunteers and all of the youth and families who attended,” Josh continues. “Our hands go up to each and every one of you. The food was great; along with all of the arts, crafts, bouncy houses and of course the kickball game, which ended with a tie. Everyone was a winner and showed great sportsmanship. We would like to thank Joe Boone, Jessica Bustad and an extra special thank you to Jai Holmes. He is a 100% volunteer here at the Youth Services department and also attends MP as a student full time. He does an amazing job. Once again, we would like to thank everyone that attended and everyone who made this day possible. Let’s continue to bring our youth and community together in a good way.”

For additional information please contact Tulalip Youth Services Special Needs Advocate, Joe Boon, at (360) 716-4912.

Tulalip Health Fair and Career Expo

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

The Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic hosted their Annual Health Fair on July 28 in the Chinook Ballroom of the Tulalip Resort and Casino. Numerous departments from the Health Clinic and the Tulalip Tribes had interactive information booths stationed at the event including the Diabetes and Wellness programs, SNAP-Ed, Child Advocacy and the Everett Optometry Clinic. The Health Clinic also provided free screenings for diabetes and high blood pressure to the community at the Health Fair.

“We’ve been doing this for many years,” explains Jennie Fryberg, Health Fair Organizer. “Karen Fryberg started this and I’m just trying to keep her dream alive. We brought in several departments; all of the booths that are here today are services that the Tulalip Tribes offer. We wanted to let our people know that these are the services that can help with preventive health.”

Across the hall in the Orca Ballroom of the Resort, Tulalip TERO (Tribal Employment Rights Office) held a Career Expo where community members seeking employment opportunities met representatives from local colleges and businesses such as Cabela’s, DigiPen Institute, Evergreen State College and Everett Community College Aviation. Tulalip also had many representatives from various departments and entities available to the speak with the community, including the Tulalip Administration CSR team, Tulalip Tribes Planning, Quil Ceda Village and Tulalip Resort and Casino Employment.

Tulalip and Marysville community members were encouraged to attend both events and were treated to an outdoor lunch on a beautiful summer afternoon. Many community members who attended the Health Fair and the Career Expo received free swag, sang carpool karaoke and had the opportunity to win summertime-themed prizes such as a Seahawks cooler, a lawnmower, a freezer chest and an air conditioner.



Katherine Marion “Katie” Jimicum (1984 – 2017)

February 20, 1984 – July 30, 2017 Katherine “Katie” Marion Jimicum, 33, of Tulalip, WA passed away July 30, 2017. She was born February 20, 1984 in Everett, WA to Michael Jefferson and Ruby Jimicum. She was known for being loving and caring and would “Give You the Shirt off Her Back”. She loved her children. She is survived by her two children, Christopher Jefferson-Jimicum, Carlee Jones-Jimicum; and parents, Ruby Jimicum and Mike Jefferson; siblings, Sylvia Jefferson, Violet Jefferson, Alvina Jimicum, Theresa Jimicum; numerous aunts, uncles and other relatives. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Joe Jimicum, Jane Moses, Frank and Norma Jefferson; her sister, Lena Jimicum; and nephews, Dason and Carlos Jimicum. Visitation will be held Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at Schaefer-Shipman with a Shaker Service to follow at 6:00 p.m. at the Tulalip Gym. Funeral Services will be held Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the Tulalip Gym with burial to follow at Mission Beach Cemetery.

Mission Beach Water Monitoring, Summer 2017

By Valerie Streeter, Tuallip Tribes Natural Resources Dept.

This summer, WSU Beach Watchers volunteers are monitoring the quality of water at Mission Beach each week until August 29. Harvey Eastman at the Tulalip Water Quality Lab analyzes the water samples. So far, the beach has been sampled eight (8) times.

The results show that bacteria levels in the water are low, well below the threshold limit for swimming, which means that the water is clean! The graphs below show the average result from the three beach sampling stations for this year as well as last year. The red line shows the bacteria threshold limit and the blue line is the amount of bacteria in the water at Mission Beach. If bacterial levels are above the threshold limit, there are more chances for skin infections or gastrointestinal illness from too much pollution.

* No samples were taken on July 4.

Approximate locations of sampling stations on Mission Beach