Five New TPD Officers Graduate, Represent Tulalip with Pride

Aissa Kline, Frankie Fernandez, Interim Tulalip Police Chief Sherman Pruitt, Forrest Hutter, Haison Doung and Alexander Nelson

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

Thirty new police cadets graduated from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) on March 15, officially becoming police officers. The graduating class, known as class 763, consisted of recruits from numerous police departments across the state. Among the graduates of class 763, were Officers Aissa Kline, Frankie Fernandez, Forrest Hutter, Haison Doung and Alexander Nelson of the Tulalip Police Department (TPD).

“I’m sure a lot of you have been told by family and friends that this probably isn’t the best time to become an officer of the law, but I have to say now is the perfect time,” expressed BLEA TAC (Trainer, Advisor, Counselor) Officer, Steven Grossfeld to the graduates. “Now more than ever, we need good officers who will use their best judgment during every interaction and bravely protect the citizens of their communities.”

The training is a 720-hour, twenty-week course, which takes place at the BLEA campus in Burien. During the course, recruits learn about criminal law and procedures, traffic enforcement, cultural awareness, communication skills, emergency vehicle operations, firearms, crisis intervention, patrol procedures, criminal investigations and defensive tactics to provide safe and effective law enforcement services.

“The course overall was a great experience,” says BLEA Graduate and new TPD Officer, Frankie Fernandez. “I’m glad I attended because you learn both academically and physically and get the best of both worlds.”

TPD had the largest number of recruits in the graduating class and are expecting even more graduates in upcoming months from both the BLEA as well as an academy in New Mexico.

“There were five of us total in class 763,” states Officer Aissa Kline. “I’m glad we were able to share this experience together, it brought us closer definitely. I look forward to working with them side by side while serving our community.”

The TPD graduates received their certificates from Interim Tulalip Police Chief Sherman Pruitt and their families had the honor of presenting and pinning the official TPD badges.

“I’m really proud of them,” Chief Pruitt beamed. “One of the things I always say to them is represent TPD with pride. All five of them took care of one another because at TPD we’re a family. This is no joke; the academy is really hard. But for them, the real work begins now because they’ve got to start making decisions on their own. They have to use all the skills and everything they learned at the academy and implement them in reality, because at the academy it’s a lot of scenario based training. So now when they hit the street, they’re dealing with real situations, real problems and real people. The instructors at the academy are phenomenal and do a great job preparing them. I know that when they leave here, they’re coming to TPD well trained. I’m thankful to have [the new officers] as part of the TPD family and they definitely represented Tulalip with pride.”

For more information, including how to become an officer at TPD, please contact (360) 716-4608.

An evening of empowerment with 2017 graduates

Tulalip Tribes senior girl and boy student of the year are Myrna Redleaf and Carter Wagner.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

On Friday, June 16, the Tulalip Resort’s Orca Ballroom was home to the Graduation Banquet held for the Tulalip tribal member graduating class of 2017. In all there were seventy-four high school graduates and sixty higher education graduates who, accompanied by their friends and families, convened for an evening to commemorate the rite of passage. There was entertainment, a catered buffet-style dinner, and plenty of motivational speeches from their peers and elders reminding the graduates this is just the first step on the path to success.

The Marysville Getchell High School band provided good music and lively tunes for the first hour of the celebration, while Board of Director Mel Sheldon controlled the mic as emcee.

“It is a privilege and an honor to be here with you all tonight on this special night where we come together and celebrate the academic achievement of our young ones,” stated Mel in his opening speech. “We are so proud of each and every one of our graduates for their commitment to education. We thank the parents, grandparents, extended family, and all the school faculty who were always there for the students and made it possible for them to be here today.”

Graduating seniors Keely Bogin-McGhie and Lukas Reyes, Jr. both took stage and offered encouraging words to fellow graduates. They each told a favorite high school experience, thanked their families for always supporting them, and shared their excitement for great things yet to come in their bright futures.

Educator, poet, higher education administrator, and voice for his generation, Christian Paige provided a truly memorable keynote speech that left many in the crowd feeling inspired. He is a first generation college graduate who has committed himself to empowering others to reach for goals larger than themselves.

“The individuals in this space are making room on their shoulders for the next generation. It is powerful to know that you are setting the example and paving the way for the people to come after you, for they will know where it is to go by witnessing what you have achieved,” said HOPE initiative founder Christian Page. “We come from cultures with a long, rich lineage of beauty and strength based upon overcoming adversity. The generations before us weren’t given access to traditional literacy, so they had to tell stories in order to keep our traditions and histories alive.

“It is so important to understand where you come from, the history of your ancestors, and the legacy you want to leave. Think of your life as a story and yourself as the main character. As the main character it is up to you to take the narrative of the trajectory and make it into what you believe it should be. This may sound difficult but really it’s not. Changing your world starts with the three-feet around you. If you are constantly changing yourself and constantly speaking life into the individuals around you, then it will be a short time before you actually get to see changes in your world. That is the power you have as the main character in your story.”

Following the keynote speech a special recognition ceremony was held to honor the Tulalip Tribes senior boy and girl student of the year.

Myrna Redleaf, a graduate of Tulalip Heritage High School, received the female student of the year honors. Myrna was very active during her high school years; participating in many student activities while being an ASB officer and playing varsity basketball and volleyball. Her teachers said she was “an exceptional individual and student in every way and it was a privilege to know her. She’ll be successful in any career field she chooses. Her ability to multi-task while maintaining priorities is exemplary, as evidence by her balancing a 3.9 GPA while being a two-sport athlete.” Myrna plans on attending Everett Community College in the fall to get her Associated Degree before moving on to a University.

“I’m so honored to be selected as a student of the year!” said Myrna as she acknowledged the crowd of community members. “Thank you to my community, my family, and all the teachers and staff who helped me make it here.”

Carter Wagner, a graduate of Lakewood High School, received the male student of the year honors. Carter was on the honor roll for his junior and senior years, was a member of his school’s drama program, and is an avid snowboarder. His teachers say “we wish we had more students like him. He’s a very thoughtful and intelligent young man who participated in class discussions and always did well on his tests.” Carter has received an academic scholarship to attend Pacific Lutheran University in the fall where he plans to get a degree in Business Administration.

“A huge thank you to the Tulalip Tribes and the community for giving me this award and allowing me to move on to attend University,” remarked Carter. “I’d also like to thank my awesome family who has loved and supported me every step of the way.”

Higher education graduates

Congratulations to all those Tulalip Tribal students who put in the hard work and dedication to earn their graduate status. Chasing a dream requires your efforts and passion. The hard work isn’t over now that you have graduated, it’s only the beginning as you now prepare for the new challenges waiting in the next chapter of life. Good luck and congratulations!

North Dakota Natives Win Eagle Feather Fight for Graduating Students

Change.orgA Native American group in North Dakota has won the fight for students to wear eagle feathers to graduation ceremonies.

Change.org
A Native American group in North Dakota has won the fight for students to wear eagle feathers to graduation ceremonies.

 

Indian Country Today Media Network

 

After conversations with the Native American Parent Committee, a more than 20-year-old policy at Grand Forks Public Schools is changing and Native American students will be allowed to wear eagle feathers on their graduation tassels.

“We are in unanimous consensus that our district’s high schools will allow Native American students, who have earned the eagle feather honor, to wear their eagle feather attached to their cap’s tassel during high school graduation ceremonies,” says a letter to the committee from Dr. Larry P. Nybladh, superintendent of schools.

The social media world was happy about the change in policy as well. Leah Thaldorf @leahjoy0523said: “Thank you GF public schools for being willing to learn about why eagle feathers are sacred and a cultural right #LetTheFeathersFly.”

Others were proud of the Natives who stood up and made it happen. Dani @xodanix3said: “#LetTheFeathersFly is another example of Natives making things happen. When you stand up for what you believe, you can make change.”

In his letter, Nybladh even commented about the learning process. “The input received during the Native American Parent Committee meeting on January 14, 2015, regarding the sacred history, symbolism, and origin of the eagle feather is useful. In a follow-up meeting with my administrative staff who were in attendance at the meeting, I understand the meeting was an opportunity for constructive and meaningful dialogue.”

Before the decision was even made Tracy Jentz, Grand Forks Public Schools Communications Coordinator, told ICTMN that the “administration has a greater understanding of the eagle feather” after meeting with the committee. She said the meeting was “very informative” and that the parent committee provided information “about the significance and history of the eagle feather” that administrators had not been aware of before.

Other Twitter users thanked the school for the change. Twyla @Indigeniasaid: “As a former long-time resident of GF, I commend the @GFPublicSchoolsfor their decision. #RightSideOfHistory #LetTheFeathersFly.”

 

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/02/02/north-dakota-natives-win-eagle-feather-fight-graduating-students-158985