Spring Time Event at MPHS, April 13

Friday April 13th from 5-7pm at Marysville Pilchuck High, an evening of inclusive Arts & Crafts, games, music and food. All families of children with Special Needs are welcome to attend. You’ll meet other families just like yours and advocates for the Marysville School District who may be of help to your child at their individual school.



Tulalip Little League begins second season

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

The bases were loaded as young Tulalip tribal member, Jordan Bontempo, stepped up to the plate. “Alright guys, last hitter,” was heard from the pitching mound. As Jordan quickly fell behind in the count, he remained patient looking for a pitch in the middle of the strike zone and once he got it, he hammered it. A gapper in between left and center field resulted in an inside-the-park grand slam. As Jordan rounded third base he loudly exclaimed, “I love baseball” before sliding home.

Although this occurred at the end of practice and each hitter received a total of eight pitches before using the tee, ensuring everybody got on base, it doesn’t take away from the excitement the kids share for the second season of Tulalip Little League Baseball.  Last year, through the strong efforts of Tulalip tribal member, Marlin Fryberg Jr., Tulalip became the first Tribal Little League Division in the state of Washington. The process of establishing a little league is a very demanding task, so Marlin sought assistance from Tulalip tribal members Josh Fryberg and Shawn Sanchey; as well as a strong team of volunteers who serve as Tulalip Little League coaches and board members. Marlin, who was recently elected to the Tulalip Board of Directors, stepped down from his position as Tulalip Little League President this year, allowing Josh to serve as President and Shawn as Vice-President. 

“The kids are loving it,” says Shawn. “Baseball is kind of new out here. At first, there were some kids that were shy, didn’t want to play and wanted to go home. But when they caught their first ball, their eyes lit up like, this is amazing. So, it’s going pretty awesome so far. Last year we had three teams and this year we have eleven. More and more kids are coming out, so it’s improving.”

The little league consists of four divisions, based on age and experience, and include both boys and girls teams for Tee Ball – ages four to six, Rookies – ages seven to eight, Triple A -ages nine to eleven and Majors – ages ten to twelve. This year, the Tulalip Little League has announced they will also have a Challenger Division for the children of the community with special needs. Shawn expressed his excitement for the new division, noting that once Marysville Little League heard the news, they were inspired to begin a Challenger Division as well. 

This year, the young sluggers will be sporting red jerseys that feature the very popular and stylish ‘T’ logo that debuted last season. The season will consist of inter-league matchups as well as games against neighboring little league divisions, totaling approximately twenty games for each team. Sponsors for the 2018 Tulalip Little League include a few local tribal member-owned businesses as well as Rushmore Tax Service and Screen Printing Northwest. To add to the excitement, one lucky player of Tulalip Little League, picked at random, will get to throw the first pitch of a Mariners game this summer. 

“Tulalip Little League provides a lot of opportunities for the kids,” says Shawn. “I think having the Tulalip Little League is important because it opens up a new world for our youth. We were mainly about basketball, we’ve been getting really big into football too and now we’re adding baseball. It’s adding a whole new lifestyle that a lot of kids don’t know about. Way back in our history a lot of our people played baseball, so it’s getting back to our roots and that relationship with the game. It shows our youth how to be part of a team, it allows them to build relationships with the community and in many ways teaches them respect and that is very valuable to our kids.”

For more information please visit the Tulalip Little League website at www.TulalipLL.org

Tulalip celebrates the spectrum on World Autism Awareness Day

The Walk for Autism Awareness started on Totem Beach Road. Children, parents and
educators came together to support those affected by autism.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The eleventh annual World Autism Awareness Day took place on Monday, April 2, making for a ceremonious start to the month of April, recognized as autism awareness month. Autism-friendly events and educational activities take place all month to increase understanding and acceptance and foster worldwide support for an often misunderstood complex developmental disorder. 

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability with signs beginning to show during the early childhood years. Autism is not a single disorder; it is rather a wide range of complex disorders that affects children differently. Primarily, it affects children’s abilities to communicate and interact with others. There is no known cause for ASD, but its prevalence figures are on the rise. In fact, autism is one the fastest-growing serious developmental disabilities in the U.S.

As of 2016, the prevalence of autism is 1 in every 68 children in the United States, including 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls. Approximately 100 individuals are diagnosed every day in the U.S., and it’s currently estimated there are more than 2 million people affected by autism in this country alone.

Creating an environment to support and learn more about the affliction, Tulalip Youth Services coordinated the Walk for Autism Awareness that took place on April 2. All families and children affected by autism were invited to participate, and were joined by a gathering of community supporters. 

“We wanted to raise awareness for our children and families affected by autism,” explains event co-coordinator, Shylee Burke, an Activities Specialist. “It’s important to educate our community that we have children with autism as our number of tribal members diagnosed with autism has continued to rise over the last ten years. We had lots of youth participate in the walk, including several with autism. Thank you to our community and all the people who joined us for the walk and showed their support.”

Board of Director, Bonnie Juneau, came out and showed her support by joining the eighty-person herd as they walked 1.5 miles on a route that started at the youth center, went to the marina, and then back to the youth center. 

“It was great to see all the community; the kids, the adults and even some elders joined in a common cause to walk for our children with challenges,” said Bonnie. “It was a beautiful day, the sun came out at the perfect time. The love, support and solidarity of the community is always great thing to see in Tulalip.” 

Autism awareness month is critical for promoting education and mindfulness in diagnosing young children and providing them with the resources they need. A variety of education-related materials, including flyers, pamphlets and medical specialist information was distributed before and after the walk.

The Walk for Autism Awareness was especially meaningful for those Tulalip community families for whom autism is ever-present in their lives. 

“April 2 means more than it ever did before. My son, Jared Parks II, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder last year,” revealed Kristie Fryberg. “My baby boy has taught me so much in his little life. I love him so much and enjoy the unexpected every day!”

“This is something near and dear to my heart because my five-year-old son has autism,” added Jared Parks, Board of Director. “I walked for him, and to support all the kids who are on the spectrum.”

The support-based event gave the Holmes family an opportunity to participate in their first ever Autism Awareness Walk. Monica and Eric Holmes are parents to four children affected by autism, ranging in age from 20 down to 9. 

“It was heartening to see so many community members come out to support our youth with autism,” shared Eric, who also works for a non-profit dedicated to special needs adults. “As a parent of children on the spectrum, I’ve learned that individuals with autism are as unique in their needs and desires as individuals without autism. Autism is a spectrum, so learning and teaching, working with and loving them is not a one size fits all prescription. I am grateful for what my boys have taught me, which is more patience, humility and gratitude for all that I have been blessed with.”

“With four children affected by autism, doing large scale events in the community is often difficult for us. Even a walk to honor and bring awareness to the very issues our kids are struggling with cuts right to the heart of the challenges associated with living with autism,” explained Monica, Prevention Specialist for Community Health.

“Sensory challenges like bright lights, loud noises, crowds, multiple activities going on at once, transitions from one locale to the next, affect them immensely,” she continued. “I believe the lessons learned today will go a long way in bringing improved support and resources, less bullying and more understanding of kids on the spectrum and the families that love them.”

Following the leisurely stroll surrounded by family and friends united in a common goal, the group continued to be support one another by doing a fun activity that meant signing each other’s t-shirts to remember the day. This was a highlight to many of the kids, who eagerly wrote their names in bright and bold colors on one t-shirt after another. 

Ten-year-old Josh Holmes, who has autism, said “my favorite part of the day was when lots of people signed my autism awareness t-shirt. I got 10 signatures all over it.”

“I liked the walk because we got to see so many people who waved and honked at us while we were walking,” added younger brother Isaiah Holmes, who also is diagnosed with autism. “It made me happy to get lots of people to sign my shirt all over. And I got to ride in an ATV for some of the walk.”

The event turned out better than expected with so many joining in to show support and help spread awareness. It’s only part of a new initiative to implement programs to support all children with autism. In addition, it raises the idea of promoting acceptance and inclusion among everyone.

Supporters consistently say that improving public understanding of autism is their top priority. Better understanding of autism improves lives, increasing the chances of an early diagnosis and support, lowering incidents of bullying at school, and teaches invaluable lessons about embracing differences. As the saying goes, “Why fit in when you can stand out?”

Canoe cleaning opens practice season 

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

For nearly thirty years, tribal nations of the Pacific Northwest participate in a gathering during the late months of every summer known as Tribal Canoe Journeys. Originally inspired by the ‘Paddle to Seattle’ of 1989, tribes of Washington State, along with bands from British Columbia, take turns hosting the Canoe Journey on their reservations each year. The participants navigate the open waters in traditional cedar canoes, traveling from tribe to tribe until reaching the host’s reservation, where an entire week of traditional song and dance takes place. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Native Americans and First Nations people proudly pull in the annual Journey, representing their tribes and sharing songs, dances and stories along the way. As you may have noticed, 2018 appears to be flying by as it’s already springtime, which means that this year’s Canoe Journey, the Power Paddle to Puyallup, is right around the corner.

In preparation for this summer’s Journey, the Tulalip Rediscovery Program, the Tulalip Canoe Family and multiple community members met at the Tulalip Veterans Park on the evening of April 2, for the annual Canoe Cleaning Ceremony. 

Andrew Gobin, Tulalip Rediscovery Program

“Today we washed up the canoes, getting them ready for the season and spending a little time with them,” says Andrew Gobin of the Tulalip Rediscovery Program. “This weekend we woke them up, brought them all out and had them brushed off for the year. Then today, we cleaned them up so they’re all ready to go. We got out all the marks and everything from last year so they look nice. It’s more than just cleaning the canoes, people learn to care for the canoes in this way. They get a feel for the canoe, they get to know her a little more personally.”

The three family canoes, Little Sister, Big Sister and Big Brother were cleansed and blessed as participants, ranging from youth to elders, gave the sacred canoes a full detail. Among the many community members were Tulalip Youth Council Chairwoman, JLynn Joseph, who stated she attended the event in support of the Tulalip Canoe Family as well as a representative for the Youth Council. Tulalip tribal member and frequent Canoe Journey puller, Monie Ordonia, also participated in the cleansing.

“I really love Canoe Journey,” Monie states. “I feel it’s an honor to be able to wash and clean all the canoes and treat them as sacred as they are. It was fun, I really enjoyed it. When I’m wiping the canoes down, I like to be in a prayerful field of saying, I honor you and I love you for taking care of us on the water.”

Now that the cleaning ceremony has concluded, the canoes are ready to launch into Tulalip Bay, so that this year’s pullers can get reacquainted with the open waters and rebuild strength and stamina for those long days of pulling in the sun. The Rediscovery Program is in the process of planning weekend-day trips along the coast, once the pullers are ready for longer trips on the water.

“It’s a basic teaching; you take care of the canoe, the canoe will take care of you,” expresses Andrew about the ceremony. “Cleaning the canoe and learning to care for the canoe translates to something deeper. When you take the canoe on the water and get into rough seas, she’ll carry you through wherever you need to go.”

Canoe Practice begins at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday April 4, at the Tulalip Marina and will continue every Monday and Wednesday until the Power Paddle to Puyallup begins this summer. For further details, please contact the Tulalip Rediscovery Program at (360) 716-2635.  

April is National Child Abuse Prevention month and Sexual Assault Awareness month

Submitted by Sydney Gilbert, Forensic Interviewer Tulalip Tribes Child Advocacy Center

You may have seen our blue and silver pinwheels and our save-the-dates floating around for the month of April, which is both National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness month. You may be wondering “What is Darkness to Light?” and “Why is it being offered twice in April?’ 

This article is to explain the importance of Darkness to Light and to encourage you to attend our free two hour training that teaches the steps necessary to protect our children from childhood sexual abuse. Childhood sexual abuse is a difficult subject to talk about but it is highly likely that you know a child who has been or is being abused. Experts estimate that 1 in 10 children are sexually abused and that over 90% of them know their abuser. 

Child sexual abuse is likely the most prevalent health problem children face with the most serious array of consequences. Sexually abused children are more likely to experience the following, during childhood and throughout their lives: 

  • Post-Traumatic Stress disorder
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Substance Abuse 
  • Aggression, oppositionality, and defiance
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Sexual Promiscuity
  • HIV and Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Teen pregnancy and motherhood
  • Self-inflicted harm
  • Delinquency
  • Runaway behavior
  • Homelessness
  • Decreased school performance and drop-out
  • Criminal behavior and violent offenses
  • Greater healthcare use
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes, cancer, heart problems
  • Stoke and hypertension
  • Suicide

A child’s safety is an adult’s job. Children are often taught how to keep themselves safe from sexual abuse-and that’s important for them to learn-but it’s no substitute for adult responsibility. We make sure children wear seat belts. We walk them across busy streets. We store toxic household cleaners out of reach. Why, then, would we leave the job of preventing child sexual abuse solely to children? 

Our free, two hour trainings will teach you how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. This class isn’t just for parents or those who work with children, this class is for anyone who has a child that they care about in their lives.  We will be offering two trainings during the month of April: Tuesday, April 10th from 5:00-7:00pm in admin 162 and Wednesday, April 25th from 5:00-7:00pm in admin 162. These classes are open to any and all adults and food will be provided. 

Please contact Sydney Gilbert at 360-716-4097 or at sgilbert@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov if you would like to reserve a space at one of our April trainings as spots are limited to 25 per class, or if you would like to bring a darkness to light training to your department. 

References: Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children Interactive Workbook. (2013). Charleston, SC