Tulalip Mountain Camp 2017

By Libby Nelson, Senior Environmental Policy Analyst, Treaty Rights Office, Tulalip Tribes Natural Resources Depoartment 

 

Mountain Camp 2017 kicked off with Kelly Moses storytelling and preparing the kids for their mountain journey, in the longhouse around a fire.

The kids backpacked the first three days into Barlclay Lake where they explored, hiked and stayed cool swimming

With guides Ross Fenton and Matthew Moses, the group then went to swədaʔx̌ali, our co-stewardship area in the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, where they participated in our huckleberry restoration work. The kids joined Chelsea Craig, Patti Gobin and Melissa Gobin in cedar weaving and making cedar headbands.  Natural Resources Department staff members Ryan Miller, Daryl Williams, Ross Fenton, Matthew Moses, and Zach Lamebull talked with the youth about careers in natural resources.

It was hot at 5,000 feet, but nights were just right and skies were starry.  Michelle Myles from the Lushootseed Department and I spent Thursday night at camp, with Michelle telling stories under the stars before bed.  As before, kids learned to set up tents, carry their own gear, cook in the wilderness, conserve water, and support each other, and about their mountain culture.  Once again, Inez Bill helped contribute to the program with her ideas and feedback on our curriculum.

For the first time this year, we ended camp with a river trip. Kids got a lesson in kayaking and suited up for a three-hour downriver trip starting at the bridge in Skykomish.  We contracted with Outdoor Adventure Company of Index, and the kids seemed to love it!

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.”

Tulalip students learn, discover and invent at STEM Week

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalipo News

Tulalip Summer School students spent the week of August 7-11, creating robots at Tulalip Homework Support, located behind the Boys and Girls Club. Students, kindergarten through twelfth grade, participated in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Week in which they used Legos and laptops to build and program robots.

The Summer School partnered with Matthew and Kathy Collier, founders of the Robotics.How.com website, to bring the hands-on STEM experience to the Tulalip community, teaching the youth about coding through the use of Lego Mindstorms Robots.

“We’ve been working with the Lego Mindstorms Robots for nineteen years,” Kathy explains. “We have a variety of Lego Robotics education products and software. The youngest students are using what is called WeDo Lego Robots and they are actually programming tiny little Lego critters to dance, sing, flap and do all kinds of things. We have a monkey that drums, we have a giant that lifts himself from sleeping, so through the week they do different projects. What’s wonderful about the program is they are actually coding.  The same coding a software engineer does on a big scale, on a much smaller scale. Each one of those children is building a little software program. The third through fifth graders are using what’s called the NXT Lego Mindstorms Robots and sixth grade and above are using the EV3 Lego Mindstorms.

“There are colleges such as MIT that use the Lego Mindstorm Robots to do different demonstrations. These are sophisticated robots,” she continues. “The kids are learning not only to design and build ideas, they’re learning to program. By the end of the week, all of these children will understand what many adults don’t, how to program a robot to dance, move and say things. The emphasis for STEM Week is discovery. Learn by discovery, learn by inventing, and learn engineering by doing, testing, trial and error; and we use a lot of Legos to do that.”

The kids were instantly intrigued and listened both excitedly and attentively to instructions before assembling their robots. Throughout the week, the fourth through twelfth grade students work in teams of two to fine-tune their bots. Students, sixth grade and older, are utilizing a new technology to control their machines with their minds. Without prior programing or the use of controllers, the students operate their Lego Robots by wearing a brainwave reader. The younger students spend their week creating new robots and projects each day.

“I think that robot camp is a fun place to think about robots,” states Summer School Student, Jordan Bontempo. “My favorite thing I did was playing with my robot, I like experimenting with it.”

Fellow classmate, Alo Williams added, “Its fun and I really like to learn here. I like that we get to build and program robots.”

Due to the program’s popularity and interest, the Tulalip Education Department intends to start a Lego Robotics team, comprised of teens from the community, to construct robots to perform in local competitions.

“To get these kids, especially the teenagers, to buy into this and not say ‘oh, this is boring’ is amazing. We haven’t had to push them once to participate, they want to do this,” says Homework Support Teacher Seiya Kitchens. “We’re trying to get a team together to represent Tulalip.  The kids will be able to win awards and get to travel. I think there are a lot of kids that will benefit from STEM Week. Nowadays kids use more technology, so I think a program like this will reach more kids because it’s a transition from pen and paperwork to this.”

STEM Week provides a fun foundation for the children who wish to pursue a career in any of the four fields.

“This is such a techy age, kids are exposed to so much more,” Kathy states. “If these young minds start to show a hint of potential, we can start steering them towards thoughts that inspire engineering ideas. We give them the tools and let them learn and experiment. This is not about following a set of building instructions, we are turning them loose to explore, invent and create.”

For additional details please contact the Tulalip Homework Support Program at (360) 716-4646.

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.

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.

 

 

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.”

Lushootseed Language Camp, Week One

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

Over sixty future Tulalip leaders participated in the first week of the 22nd Annual Lushootseed Language Camp. The kids learned the traditional Coast Salish language and Tulalip culture during the week of July 17-21. Hosted by the Tulalip Lushootseed Language Department, the summertime camp is held twice during the month of July and is open to Tulalip youth age five to twelve.

The kids are treated to five fun days of culture in which they learn the traditional language, teachings and stories of Tulalip. The camp utilizes several interactive activity stations to teach about Tulalip’s traditional way of life. Campers become familiar with the words while playing games and using modern technology. In addition to studying Lushootseed, campers also learn traditional Tulalip dances and songs.

“One of the songs we sang was the Welcome Song and it was Harriet Shelton Dover’s song,” stated Language Camp Instructor, Cary Michael Williams. “We also sang the Killer Whale Song, which was Ray Fryberg and Tony Hatch’s song they put together and brought forward to the Lushootseed Department.”

Each year, the Lushootseed Department honors a Tulalip member by teaching the youth about their work within the Tulalip culture. Last year the camp was dedicated to Harriett Shelton-Dover, this year the camp is dedicated to her son and Tulalip Elder, Wayne Williams.

“We always think of somebody to honor and dedicate the camp to and this year Wayne Williams came to mind,” explains Lushootseed Language Teacher, Natosha Gobin. “We know that he’s done so much for our community with preserving our teachings as well as everything he’s donated to the Hibulb Cultural Center. We felt it’s very important to acknowledge him while he’s here because a lot of times people don’t get acknowledged until they’re gone, and he’s still here with us so we want to honor him.”

Throughout the week, the youth rehearse a play based on a traditional Tulalip story. The play is performed for the community during the closing ceremony on the last day of camp. In honor of Wayne Williams, the Language Campers reenacted Wayne’s story Killer Whale and Two Boys.

Language Camp continues to grow; previously the department would anticipate about fifty participants each summer. However, due to increasing interest, the camp has seen an increase of fourteen participants each week in the past two years.

Young Tulalip tribal members and siblings, Natalie and Carsten Nordahl, travel from Boston every summer to attend Language Camp. According to their father, Natalie excitedly awaited the year her younger brother was old enough to enroll, in order to experience the cultural camp together.  The kids have returned each summer, making this their third trip to Tulalip.

“I love that we get to learn about our culture and the language of our Tribe. My favorite part is learning the language and just being a part of this experience,” Natalie expressed. Carsten added, “My favorite part about camp was playing the games!”

Parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles gathered at the Betty J. Taylor Early Learning Academy Gym on July 21, for the 22nd Annual Lushootseed Language Camp closing ceremony. The youth showcased their teachings to the community by performing the songs and the play in Lushootseed.

“As a parent it’s important for my son to attend language camp because it was something I was able to do as a child and it’s important to carry on the songs and the teachings from our ancestors,” states Lushootseed Camp parent and Tulalip tribal member Samantha Chavez.

After performing Killer Whale and Two Boys, the youth gave handmade gifts, such as weavings and necklaces, to every guest in attendance.  Over the span of twenty-two years, the camp has inspired numerous Tulalip youth to learn more about their culture. Many current Lushootseed Language Instructors, attended Language Camp when they were younger, including Tulalip tribal member Shelbi Hatch.

“Language Camp started before I was born actually, it was in ‘93 I think,” Shelbi recalls. “It’s a place for the kids to learn their culture and for everybody to get a view of what Tulalip is and how intact our culture and language still is. This gives them the utilities and the tools they need for later on in life. I feel more of a generational importance, I don’t feel like it’s me receiving the teachings, I feel like I’m giving it and these kids will be the ones to speak fluently.”

The Lushootseed department and the language campers displayed two paddles, with traditional artwork depicting the Killer Whale and Two Boys story that will be gifted to Wayne Williams and his sons.

“We keep trying to follow the teachings that Shelly Lacy and Auntie Joy [Lacy] laid out because this was part of their vision twenty-two years ago,” states Natosha while reflecting on a successful first week. “This is always the best time of the year for us. The kids have so much fun, the families are so grateful and it’s just a good time. We’re happy we’re able to keep this alive and keep it going.”

For more information about the Annual Lushootseed Language Camp please contact the Lushootseed Language Department at (360) 716-4499 or visit their website wwww.TulalipLushootseed.com

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