Cooking Together with Brit Reed

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

The Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention program is working to make Tulalip a healthier community. With diabetes prevalent in Native communities throughout the United States, many families feel a need to change their die,t but don’t know where to begin, After a day’s hard work, it’s far easier to order in or carryout than to hit the stove and whip up a meal. The Diabetes rogram knows that adjusting to a healthy diet can be an overwhelming task, therefore, the program has created a series of cooking classes, hosted twice a week at the Hibulb Cultural Center. The exciting hands-on learning experience teaches community members how to prepare healthy, diabetic friendly, easy-to-make meals.

The Diabetes program called upon Tulalip community member Brit Reed to lead the series of classes. As a member of the Choctaw Nation, Brit found her passion for cooking at a young age while assisting her aunt in the kitchen. But it wasn’t until she received an assignment while working on her Master’s Degree at Evergreen State College, that she revisited her passion. For her assignment, she created the Facebook group page, Food Sovereignty is Tribal Sovereignty, where members of the tribal community can discuss traditional foods and share stories and recipes with one another. Brit continued to explore traditional foods and became inspired by Native cooks, such as the Sioux Chef, to attend culinary school and enrolled at the Seattle Culinary Academy. Most recently Brit became a member of I-Collective, a non-profit organization consisting of Indigenous chefs, activists, herbalist, and seed and knowledge keepers from across the nation.

“I grew up in a family where it was really important to cook at home,” Brit explains. “My parents were really strict about us eating around a table together, every single day, and having dinner. Even though I kind of hated that as a kid, when I grew up I really grew to appreciate that; I actually think I was initially inspired by that. Later on, I started working with my auntie in Nevada, cooking for our family and our community, learning about traditional foods and the way it can help people get better mentally, physically and spiritually.

“I started researching more about traditional foods, food sovereignty and food security,” she continues. “And also our history as Native Peoples and how being separated from our traditional foods has affected our health negatively. And how coming back to those healthier foods and traditional foods has helped address things like diabetes, hypertension and all those different things that now plague our communities.”

During the Cooking Together classes, community members learn new recipes, experiment with new foods and seasonings, and also learn new techniques such as knife skills. Once the meals are prepared, students enjoy their food creations together while sharing stories and exchanging life advice. The classes are open to the entire community and frequent attendees include the Tulalip Wisdom Warriors who provide both valuable insight and loads of laughs to each class.

“The Wisdom Warriors give us good direction, they’re kind of like our elders advisory group,” says Diabetes Care and Prevention Coordinator, Veronica ‘Roni’ Leahy. “They’re invested in what we’re doing because they believe in it. We’re creating memories with the elders. While they’re at these classes they share their health issues and talk to each other about how they’ve overcome it, and that’s where the healing is.”

The classes currently take place on Saturdays and Mondays through December and will be taking a brief holiday break before returning in February of 2018. The Diabetes Program recently dedicated the Monday classes to making a variety of soups from scratch and will be donating the food to the homeless shelter as well as the Senior Center.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to learn the basics in soup-making, like how to make a good healthy stock rather than using a box,” explains Roni. “Because we’re going to be making such large quantities, instead of giving the food to people who come to event, we decided to do more outreach in the community. Even though they aren’t at the classes with us, they are in our hearts and we’re thinking of them. We want to share the food with them and share that goodness that comes from the kitchen.”

So far, the students have enjoyed many delicious dinners together including chicken wings, roasted lemon chicken and BBQ pork loin accompanied by some scrumptious sides such as beet salad, roasted Brussels sprouts and roasted squash. Future requests from the Wisdom Warriors include seafood like clam chowder, geoduck and salmon.

“We try to make foods that are healthy, but we really want to cook foods that are exciting and also happen to be healthy and colorful,” Brit states. “I think it’s important to get people familiar with different ingredients that are readily available and are healthy; and also with the techniques on how to be able to cook in the kitchen, so they feel they can be creative and they actually enjoy being in the kitchen. I definitely want to incorporate more traditional ingredients in things that we are able to easily access from the grocery stores. I would really love to hear what the community is interested in learning because I’m here to help serve the community and want to teach what they want to learn about.”

The Diabetes Program also works with Tulalip TERO to hire Tulalip tribal cooks to assist Brit during the classes.

Help Chef Brit Reed close out the year by joining her last two classes of 2017 on Saturday December 9 and Monday December 11 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and be sure to keep an eye out for the upcoming Cooking Together classes slated for a fresh start in February of next year. For more information, please contact the Diabetes Prevention and Care Program at (360) 716-5642.

Tulalip Day: Embracing Heritage, Celebrating Culture

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The morning of November 22nd was a truly joyous occasion, as the Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary gymnasium was packed wall-to-wall with students and community members who gathered for an early celebration of Tulalip Day. Students were encouraged to wear traditional regalia according to their tribal cultures.

“Welcome everyone to Tulalip Day,” greeted Principal Douglas Shook to the jam-packed gymnasium audience. “We thank our tribal elders who are in attendance, our guests from Heritage High School and 10th Street, as well as all our family, friends, and community members for being here today. I am honored to be part of this day with you all.”

Tulalip pride was on full display with many students wearing traditional Coast Salish garb featuring cedar weaves, abalone shells, and woven wool. Other students shined bright in their colorful and stunning powwow regalia. Many hand-made, uniquely painted drums were seen carried by youth and audience members who came to drum united under a common heritage.

“It’s significant we are here today, being in a public school dressed in our traditional regalia, showing pride for our Native culture…that’s healing,” proclaimed cultural specialist Chelsea Craig. “During the boarding school era, lots of hard times happened for our people. One of the biggest things was our people weren’t allowed to speak their language. They weren’t allowed to sing their songs. If they did, they were beaten and thrown in jail.

“We started this morning assembly to try to heal what was done in education, and the fact we filled this auditorium with our kids, their families, and community members is humbling. So we are going to celebrate today, not just because it’s Native American Heritage Month, but because we are proud to be Native American every single day.”

The floor was opened to anyone in the audience who wanted to share a song, encouraging words to the youth, or a story. Native Liaisons for the Marysville School District, Matt Remle and Terrance Sabbas each took their turn greeting the admiring students and shared songs.

Ray Fryberg then brought up the Tulalip Canoe Family so their singers and drummers could fill the air with their enchanting, traditional sound. As they performed several songs, children and their families adorned in tribal regalia danced in the middle of the gym.

Watching her daughter and other students dance from the audience, proud mother Roselle Fryberg shared she felt overcome with joy because “the youth give me hope.”

Next up, the eager and energetic powwow dancers took center stage while Terrance Sabbas provided them with the necessary powwow music according to each style of dance; traditional, grass, fancy, and jingle.

Led by Natosha Gobin, the Tulalip Language Warriors closed out the near 60-minute assembly dedicated to embracing Native culture. The Language Warriors shared Martha Lamont’s berry picking song, a song many of the students have learned while participating in the annual Language Camp.

“What a beautiful Tulalip Day at Quil Ceda Elementary School this morning!” stated Board of Director, Theresa Sheldon, following the assembly. “Our kids sang their hearts out and danced with such joy. Anytime we can gather with our students in a good way makes for an excellent day.”

Opportunistic youth enjoy “Glamping” adventure on the Oregon Coast

Sea lions entertain the girls at Port Stevens State Park.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Exploring the great outdoors is a concept lost on most youth today. The digital age has ushered in a generation of children who would rather use their digital devices within the confines of an available Wi-Fi signal than to go outside and play. For precisely this reason, it is imperative children are exposed to nature and their surrounding environments if for nothing else than to remind them there is a whole wondrous world out there and they are a part of it.

“Glamping” is a new term used to describe a method of exploring the outdoors, but still having some of the luxuries and comforts of home. Imagine, a primitive cabin located next to a beach that has bunk beds and electricity to provide heat, but no TVs, no computers, no Wi-Fi. Instead of a kitchen there’s an available fire-pit to make fires and then cook over. Oh, and the only available restroom in the evening is the one you construct. Talk about getting back to nature.

The girls visit the house featured in the movie Goonies.

For eight opportunist youth, plus their two chaperones, this was precisely their set of circumstances as they unplugged for three days and two nights in order to experience the great outdoors, namely the Seaside, Oregon coastline.

Jacynta Myles-Gilford, Kendra McLean, Savannah Black Tomahawk, Hazel Black Tomahawk, Lovaiya Guardipee, Tahlanna Guardipee, Mirayna Guardipee, and Ariyah Guardipee were all glamping first-timers eager to try out the new experience. Their chaperones were Barbara Hinchcliffe, Therapist at Behavioral Health, and Monica Holmes, MSPI Grant Behavioral Health.

“As part of the MSPI grant and values of Tulalip Youth Services, we hope to expose youth to various opportunities to learn and grow, build skills and positive coping mechanisms, while boosting their resiliency and quality of life,” explains Monica on the decision making that ultimately led to the glamping opportunity. “I believe that engaging youth in activities that stimulate their growth mindset, put them in a position to learn and practice self-sufficiency skills, and mentorship through adults who care about them helps our community get one step closer to solving the problem of teen suicide and addiction.”

During the three-day adventure along Seaside’s coastline, each young lady learned some basic outdoor essentials, like how to start a campfire, prepare food, and to cook over a campfire. They were introduced to financial literacy as well. Each participant was given a per diem to cover a meal out, souvenirs and entrance fees to various activities. Many of them learned to budget their money wisely and save for a rainy day.

Stormy weather made-up most of their first two days at the coast, however that didn’t stop the girls from having fun and finding new experiences. Despite the wind and heavy rainfall, the girls geared up in rain ponchos and explored the Seaside beach for adventures in the surf and sand.  Whether it was charging up sand dunes or splashing around in the ocean, there were plenty of smiles to go around.

A high-tide adventure was found at Fort Stevens State Park where the Peter Iredale shipwreck remains along the shore. The youth reveled in the sea foam, waves and climbed the wreck like a jungle gym. They also collected a variety of seashells, sand, and other beach trinkets for their memory cups they created.

While exploring their surroundings, the group came into contact with a variety of animals, such as elk, deer, raccoons, sea lions, and seals. In fact, at one of the coastal docks was a host of seals that entertained the girls with their funny antics and graceful swimming. When the girls bought sardines and tossed them out for the seals to eat as snacks, the seals gave a loud applause through their vocalizing.

The group came into contact with lots of other marine life when they enjoyed a tactile adventure at the Seaside Aquarium. A favorite spot was the octopus tank where those brave enough could reach into a water tank and feel the underside of octopus tentacles. The touch tank exposed the girls to a wide variety of local sea life located in the Pacific Ocean. Creatures like starfish, anemone, and sea urchins beckoned them to learn more about a range of textures, colors and habitats of each animal through a completely hands-on approach.

“My favorite part was…probably all of it!” exclaimed 11-year-old Savannah of her glamping experience. “I learned to work together and spend my money wisely.”

“I liked seeing such big waves. I’ve never seen ones like that before,” added 14-year-old Hazel.

While she enjoyed the getaway and seeing all the sights, 13-year-old Lovaiya said she “learned to be prepared” when it comes to the outdoors and inclement weather.

Reflecting on the Oregon Coast adventure with eight energetic youth minus smart phones and TV, chaperone Monica can’t help but smile. “Eight girls in two small cabins did not come without its minor setbacks. Youth were encouraged to express their issues in a forum where they could be resolved in a calm and constructive fashion. Each girl walked away learning how to resolve issues, trust each other, and live up to expectations for conduct and healthy communication. They represented the Tulalip Tribes, their families, and themselves well during our travels. I am so proud of the leaps and bounds everyone has made and look forward to watching them bloom into their highest potential.”

Raising Hands for a tradition of giving

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

On the evening of October 25th, the Tulalip Tribes recognized and gave thanks to more than 460 Washington non-profits and community groups who made a difference over the past year at the 10-year anniversary of the Raising Hands Celebration. Held at the Tulalip Resort Casino’s Orca Ballroom, the stylish space was filled to max capacity as representatives of these high-impacting organizations came together to create an atmosphere of giving and community.

“In the Tulalip Tribes tradition, we raise our hands to show appreciation to the numerous organizations that work so hard to contribute services to our community,” stated Chairwoman Marie Zackuse. “It is truly remarkable how many of our citizens, non-profits, and community organizations are involved in efforts to improve health care, education, natural resources and the well-being of our communities. The Tulalip Tribes holds this event every year to let these individuals, organizations, and surrounding communities know that we value their good work.”

This year’s Raising Hands recognized the prior year in community achievement stimulated by a record $7.5 million in Tulalip support to more than 460 charitable organizations. Since 1992, the Tulalip Tribes charitable giving program has donated over $84.2 million in critical support to the community and, indirectly, to their own membership by supporting regional efforts to improve education, health and human services, cultural preservation, public services, the environment, and the economy.

But the Raising Hands event isn’t all about dollars and cents. At the annual celebration, our community’s change makers are given a chance to celebrate each other, to share their plans for the future, and to learn how others are striving to make a difference in our communities. This is an invaluable benefit for organizations who can sometimes struggle to get their message broadcast to the larger community.

Lushootseed Language Teacher, Maria Martin, opened the event with a compelling prayer.

Additionally, there are traditional songs, speeches from tribal leaders, and videos that underscore the good work that is being done. Lushootseed Language Teacher, Maria Martin, opened the event with a compelling prayer, followed by the next generation of Tulalip drummers, singers, and dancers led by Cultural Specialist, Chelsea Craig. The exchange of knowledge and understanding that took place at this year’s event was truly a sight to behold.

“When you see people having these amazing, positive conversations, that is when we see that we are making a difference. Giving people the opportunity to work together is worth its weight in gold,” said Marilyn Sheldon, manager of Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund. “We try to show respect and honor these charities that give so much of themselves for this community. Whatever we can do to give them the opportunity to do more, we will do. We want them to feel like the red carpet just got laid out, and that it’s just for them.

“Each year, as soon as the event is over, we ask ourselves how we can help make the next one better,” continued Marilyn. “Some days, I feel so blessed that this is my job. We are so fortunate to be able to work with these amazing organizations in Snohomish and King Counties, and throughout the State that do so much good in our communities.”

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988 allows tribes to conduct certain types of gaming if they enter into a gaming compact with the state. Tulalip’s tribal-state gaming compact, like most, includes a provision to donate a percentage of gaming earnings to organizations impacted by gaming, as well as other charitable organizations. From this provision the Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund was created.

Visit www.TulalipCares.org to learn more about the Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund.

“We are humbled to be recognized and to have our mission and activities shared with the community. The Tulalip Tribes has been a stanch supporter of us, not only providing us with a food truck, but with generous donations in previous years as well. For us to be featured as a special recipient, I couldn’t be more pleased and humbled.”

– Bill Buck, Vice President of Snohomish County Volunteer Search & Rescue

 

“I feel truly privileged to be here. This is a beautiful event, such a great evening to feel honored. The Tulalip Tribes does an amazing job of making us feel special and welcomed. Being a grant recipient allows us to have more kids in the program by being able to scholarship kids to be in the program who might not otherwise be able to participate. There are kids who have great singing voices, but not all families can cover the tuition. Support by the Tulalip Tribes allows these kids the opportunity to follow their musical dreams.”

– Kris Mason, Founder and Artistic Director of the Seattle Children’s Chorus

 

“We are very, very grateful to the Tulalip Tribes for all their support. We have kids who are waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister in Marysville, and it costs about $1,500 a year to serve a kid in a mentoring relationship. We ask for the Tribe’s help specifically for serving these kids in Marysville. I have to admit my surprise that Tulalip gives us money, then throws an event to thank us for letting them be a supporter. It’s an honor to be here and very humbling that the Tulalip Tribes would do this.”

– Pamela Shields, Executive Director for Big Brothers Big Sister of Snohomish County

TULALIP VIES TO BE HOME TO AMAZON’S “HQ2”

Tulalip offers Amazon sites in the first tribally chartered city in the United States
Tulalip is participating in this regional proposal with Snohomish and King County

 

TULALIP, WASHINGTON – Tulalip Tribes have partnered with regional leaders to persuade Amazon to build “HQ2” in Washington State. The Tulalip Tribes are offering large sites in Quil Ceda Village, the first tribally chartered city in the United States, as part of the joint bid announced on Thursday.

Tulalip Tribes leadership is confident Quil Ceda Village is a prime location for Amazon. It boasts buildable and appropriately zoned land, with a full suite of utilities and a location easily accessible to I-5. The Tulalip Tribe has also worked extensively with County and State officials to increase transportation capacity in the region.

“Amazon has proven themselves as forward thinking and the areas where they do business flourish,” said Marie Zackuse, Tribal Chairwoman. “We feel strongly that Amazon’s commitment to job growth, talent retention and their generous philanthropic culture aligns with Tulalip’s philosophy of looking forward, not only for our success, but for the success of our neighboring communities. “Amazon has been touted as ‘the world’s most customer centric company,’ and that generous focus on the long-term relationship with people, rather than short term profits, fits right in with our style of business, Zackuse continued.

“The Tulalip Tribes believe we all benefit when innovative companies make their home in our communities, Zackuse said. There are a wealth of positives for everyone involved that will occur from Amazon locating their second headquarters in our region, and this is why Tulalip is participating in this regional proposal with Snohomish and King County.

“Our teams are ready, the real estate is ready, and all that is left is a business that would best complement our ideals and our economy. We strongly believe, with Amazon, we’ve found that.”

For more information, visit www.tulaliptribes-nsn.gov.

Paint and Sip brings out inner artist for Girl’s Talking Circle

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News; photos courtesy of event coordinator and para-pro, Monica Holmes 

On the afternoon of Friday, September 29, the popular Paint and Sip experience came to Tulalip’s own Girl’s Talking Circle. Eight aspiring young ladies had the unique opportunity to create their own masterpiece on canvas while sipping sparkling cider and enjoying fancy snacks.

The Paint and Sip activity provided both our youth Girl’s Talking Circle and their family members with an opportunity to explore their creative side. They learned to hone their artistic skills, like utilizing color for effect, balancing light and dark, adding shapes, dimension and perspective, and taking risks to personalize art in order to make it their own.

Hosted by Tulalip Youth Services and Behavioral Health’s MSPI Program, and held at the Kenny Moses Building, Paint and Sip was a creative way of engaging with female youth ages 11-18+. The mother, aunties, grandmas or female guardians of participating youth were also invited to participate. There ended up being two pairs of mother/daughter duos attending.

“One mother-daughter duo in particular really exemplified unity and support,” explains event coordinator and para-pro Monica Holmes. “Amy and Kelsey Sheldon reached out to us early on to see if we could create an inclusive activity that Kelsey could participate in. Kelsey has Autism and rarely has opportunities to interact with other young women her age with or without disabilities.

“Understanding the challenges Kelsey might face in groups, we felt including her mother Amy would be an important first step into helping Kelsey feel at ease in a group of new people. Sitting beside one another and working together on an art project helped to focus her attention to the task at hand. The finished product both mother and daughter created and the positive experiences they had, proves that kids with challenges and disabilities can benefit from more inclusion in community sponsored activities. MSPI (Methamphetamine Suicide Prevention Initiative) is working to push forward with even more tailored inclusive activities in which all youth can gain skills, camaraderie and connection to their heritage and community.”

For most of the girls Paint and Sip provided the opportunity to showcase their artistic talents on canvas for the very first time. Under the guidance of art instructor Irina Johnson from Vine and Palette, everyone painted their own rendition of sea turtles swimming in the ocean under a bright summer sun.

“Art teaches you to look at nature and everything around you through different eyes,” says artist Irina on the importance of experiencing art. “You look for details, texture, and color in a way that makes you appreciate all those things you generally ignore and take for granted. For example, how many colors can you spot in a leaf when the sun is setting, or what are all the textures in a tree branch, or the intricate details in a single blade of grass. All these little things add up to a greater awareness of our world and our reality. In this sense, art makes us appreciate life that much more.”

An eloquent description for sure, but for 11-year-old Tieriana McLean she puts it much simpler, “I came here because I just like painting.” What more need be said?

The Girl’s Talking Circle meets every Friday from 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. at the Tulalip Youth Center.  They do hands-on arts and crafts, explore cultural identity, focus on personal, team and community building, have speakers from the Tribe teach their wisdom, and go on fieldtrips to explore, learn and grow.

For more information about the Girl’s Talking Circle please contact Monica Holmes at 360-631-3406 or email: mholmes@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

Hibulb Cultural Center Hosts 5th Annual Film Festival

Larry Campbell Sr. (Swinomish) and Tracy Rector (Seminole/Choctaw)
accept lifetime achievement awards at the Film Festival for their work in cultural sharing and filmmaking.

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Local filmmakers, cinephiles, culturalists and food fanatics gathered at the Hibulb Cultural Center on Saturday September 23, to attend the Center’s annual Film Festival. Every year the festival has a new theme and filmmakers are encouraged to submit a project correlating to the theme, however, all projects are welcome. The Cultural Center chose First Foods: Feeding our Spirits as the theme for this year’s festival.

Celebrating its fifth year, the festival featured a showing of several Indigenous films, a presentation by the Rediscovery Program and a story presented in Lushootseed by Natosha Gobin. Awards were presented to filmmakers in attendance as well as lifetime achievement awards to Swinomish elder Larry Campbell Sr. and Longhouse Media Director and Seminole/Choctaw tribal member Tracy Rector for their work in cultural sharing and filmmaking.

Language teacher Natosha Gobin tells a story in Lushootseed.

The Rediscovery Program shared the history of traditional Tulalip ancestral foods and a food tasting which included hawthorn horsetail peppermint tea, basil stinging nettle pesto, deer and elk meat, as well as mixed berries comprised of salal berries and mountain huckleberries. The Rediscovery Program also showcased a traditional bentwood box used for cooking. Inside the box were a variety of traditional foods, including mussels, oysters, clams, salmon, elk meat, berries and herbs; as well as cooking necessities such as cedar-woven food storage baskets, cooking rocks and utensils.

“It’s truly a blessing to be able to be one with our environment,” expresses Rediscovery Program Coordinator, Inez Bill. “We need to share that with our young people so they know that the lifeways of our people is very important to who we are. We need to see that continues to our grandchildren’s grandchildren. What’s important to know and remember is that our ancestors were one with their environment; and being one with the environment, they had a key identity with the resources. These natural resources provided for all of the needs for our people; it provided shelter, tools, transportation to go from one area to another. This relationship with the natural environment also meant that they respected the environment, they had teachings and values that they lived by. They had a spiritual connection that they followed daily.

“The spiritual connection, the teachings and the values were in all the lifeways of our people,” she continues. “Whether it was hunting, fishing or gathering it was done in a proper manner – with the rituals, making the baskets, carvings and all of the different teachings that took place. We had people that were so keen to the native plants that they were able to provide the medicine that was needed to help our people live. There were no hospitals; there was no fast food outside the reservation like there are now. Our people were a lot healthier than they are today. As our people adapted to the changing world, our bodies were not accustomed to these drastic changes and it’s not always in the best interest for our health. We need to do the best we can to continue to keep some of these foods, not for ourselves, but for the future generations. Because we know that when we eat our native foods we’re not only nourishing our bodies, we’re nourishing our spirits.”

Rediscovery Program Coordinator, Inez Bill.

 

Following the presentation by the Rediscovery Program, festival attendees were treated to a viewing of eight films.

“We have categories in animation, documentaries long and short, feature films long and short, anti-bullying and experimental films,” explains Hibulb Cultural Center Education Curator and Film Festival Organizer, Lena Jones. “We have youth categories for animation, documentaries, feature films, anti-bullying, and experimental also. We have a section specific to Tulalip members in all those categories as well.”

Navajo Filmmaker Kody Dayish submitted three films for this year’s event. In his film The Beginning, a Navajo elder explains the heritage and traditions of the Navajo people to his grandson through traditional song. Kody also tackled serious issues such as bullying in schools and suicide during his three-minute film, Spared. For his third submission, Goodbye, a Navajo elder returns to her childhood home and is hit with a wave of nostalgia as she reminisces of young love in a music video-style film featuring music by Navajo band, Our Last Chants.

The Hibulb Cultural Center Film Festival also screened the short animation film, σčəδαδξʷ. The film’s name is in the traditional Lushootseed language, meaning salmon. The animation explains the importance of salmon to Coastal Natives while depicting the salmon’s lifecycle. The main character is the late Billy Frank Jr. and is told entirely in his voice, as the cartoon was built from one of his speeches.

“When I first saw [σčəδαδξʷ] I was at home reviewing all the films and I just cried,” states Swinomish tribal member and Hibulb Cultural Center Film Festival Judge, Robin Carneen. “Billy Frank Jr. was such a hero in our Northwest area because he was such a fighter for the rights of the people – treaty rights, our right to fish. He was on the ground to the day that he passed. That is such a powerful film. And to mix it as an animated film, it’s going to reach even younger generations. I grew up watching cartoons, not a lot of educational purpose to them except maybe for entertainment value and not necessarily always a good message. Later as an adult and watching animation, you think ‘wow all that was going into my brain?’ You see how much of an influence animation, films and TV are. To see Billy Frank again – he’s immortalized. His message is immortalized now, for all of us and all the generations yet to come so that we don’t quit fighting. This film is going to be our inspiration to make sure that fight keeps happening for generations to come.”

Tulalip tribal member, David Spencer Sr., presented his film, Waiting for Blackberries, which displayed clay Stick Indians chanting a traditional song to help ripen blackberries during the upcoming spring season. David was inspired to create the film when recalling advice from his grandmother to respect the berries, stating, “if you don’t show the berries respect, they will whip you with their thorny vines.”

The main screening, Maiden of Deception Pass: Guardian of her Samish People, was held in the Hibulb longhouse. The twenty-minute documentary highlighted the traditional story of Ko-kwal-alwoot, a young Samish woman who married a sea spirit in order to save her people from famine; and the erection of her story pole at Deception Pass in 1983. Filmmakers of the documentary include Jason Ticknor, Lou Karsen and Tracy Rector. Two international films, Hani’s Barbershop and Closer, were also shown to close out the festival.

“What I like about the Native films is that it’s really important that we’re preserving and documenting our culture,” says Robin. “When I see the language show up in the films, I get so excited to see and hear the language. That’s what I like about the films that are coming in from our area. The films are all so different but they’re all so important. The mix of people that we have, including the many generations, I think that all of the storytelling is great. Especially with all the modern technology, to mix the two together because it’s going to reach everybody on some level.”

The fifth Annual Hibulb Cultural Center Film Festival was a success as movie buffs from the Pacific Northwest, including Canada and Oregon, traveled to Tulalip for an afternoon of culture and movies. The event continues to generate interest as several young tribal members attended. Lena hopes to inspire indigenous youth to pick up a camera and start shooting.

“I encourage young people to become involved in filmmaking,” she states. “Films can impact people. We have such a strong, beautiful culture; and we have a belief that young people can reflect our ancestral values in film work because of their experience living in the culture. Plus, filmmaking is enjoyable!”

For additional information about the Annual Hibulb Cultural Center Film Festival please contact the museum at (360) 716-2600.

Screenagers sheds light on the impact of youth’s increased screen time

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Raising youth in our technologically advanced society is a challenge for most caregivers technologywho struggle to understand the effects and how to set limits on their children’s screen time. Today’s youth are the first to be raised in the age of the smartphone, and its influence can be felt everywhere.

Smartphones, video games, and digital media have created new headaches for many families. Concepts like sexting, online bullying, video game addiction, and obsessive social media attachment have become common practice among today’s youth. Behaviors as these can often lead to disruptions in school and sleep, anti-social behavior, and depression. For parents and caregivers, the question of how to even begin addressing these concepts with their children seems like a daunting task.

In this context, Tulalip Youth Services invited youth and their parents to participate in a discussion of the topic and view the award-winning film, Screenagers: Growing Up in The Digital Age, on the evening of September 19. Screenagers is the first feature documentary to explore the impact of screen technology on kids and to offer parents proven solutions that work.

“Parents should always take the time to talk to their kids about the risks of technology, especially social media and using technology appropriately,” stated Teri Nelson, Youth Services Executive Director. “There are some great uses in the digital age that provide opportunities to learn and be creative, but with everything there needs to be moderation. I feel big concerns for our youth are online safety, privacy and reputation management with social media. One bad decision to post something inappropriate can have long-lasting, damaging effects.”

During the film’s screening there were 32 youth in attendance, plus several caregivers and Youth Services staff members.

Screenagers provided an in-depth, personal look at how families are coping with kids and screen time, the plot explored how being connected to devices is affecting relationships and even child development. Directed by Dalaney Ruston, a Seattle filmmaker and physician, the movie profiles her own family’s struggles with smart phones, social media, and video games. The film includes interviews with parents, teenagers, authors, psychologists and neuroscientists providing ideas on how we can empower ourselves to best navigate this digital world we live in.

Throughout the film, children and their parents are shown dealing with often serious consequences related to excessive screen time, or screen time without boundaries. Revealing stories that depict messy struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction are shared.

A boy who lives with his grandmother becomes a “different child” when told he has to get off his video games. The grandmother seeks help for dealing with the confrontations.

Another boy, Andrew, is so consumed with playing video games into the wee hours during his freshman year of college that he stops going to classes and leaves school. He enters a rehabilitation facility to treat his addiction.

A girl with a love of photography spends most of her time in her room posing and taking pictures of herself to nurture a social identity aimed at getting “likes.”

Another girl, Hannah, shares a picture of herself in her bra with a boy she likes. When he shares the picture, the girl deals with the fallout at school and being bullied.

It’s not just the kids scrolling Facebook or Instagram or blasting away on the PlayStation that demand the attention of the filmmakers. Adults connected to work and their own social outlets through devices are called out by the very kids who they are attempting to digitally police.

“Can we really tell our kids, ‘Do as we say and not as we do’?” the film asks.

Interwoven into these stories, are cutting edge science and insights from thought leaders who present evidence on the real changes happening in the brain. For example, we are led to believe that through technology we can multitask. However, the truth is our brains aren’t built to multitask. We’re meant to focus on one thing at a time. Switching what’s on our screen from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter and inevitably back to Facebook , that back-and-forth raises levels of the hormone cortisol in our brains. Cortisol is the hormone produced when we are stressed. On top of that, every time you refresh any of your social media feeds, the brief burst of news or images gives you a quick dopamine hit, which activates the brain’s pleasure centers and leaves you wanting more. It’s a destructive cycle that can lead to addiction and an inability to stay unplugged and offline.

While our digital lifestyle is certainly not going anywhere, it’s critical to find a healthy balance between screen time and real-world interactions. In most cases, this means putting realistic restrictions on screen time for children and their parents.

Among community viewers at the film screening was tribal member Nickie Richwine and her three daughters. Following the movie, Nickie shared she already places restrictions on when and how her daughters can use their devices, but has learned additional methods of staying offline from the film.

“My girls are 15, 11 and 8-years-old. I took them all to see Screenagers because as a parent I believe that technology and electronic overuse prevents them from developing social skills that they’ll need as they become young adults,” says Nickie. “Face-to-face interaction is necessary to build healthy relationships with their peers. Texting and IM’ing is no substitute. My kids struggle to understand why I limit their screen time, but one of the main reasons I do is to protect them. Kids don’t understand the internet has a lot of dangers and potentially harmful exposures. I was hopeful that this film would help them understand that.”

Dexter Smith, 8th grader and junior rep for Tulalip Youth Council, was also present for the film and recognized some of his own behavior when it comes to video games. Dexter said he can get too caught up in video games and become angry, especially when he loses. He says he is going to work on that and adds, “I think people my age are on their phones too much when they could be enjoying the outdoors. My advice to youth out here is to stay off of inappropriate sites and not make posts hurtful to others.”

Two young ladies, who wished to remain anonymous, shared, “It’s become way easier to text someone than it is to have a conversation in person. We’re so attached to our phones that we don’t even realize we’re addicted to them. People are controlled by their phones and social media accounts, kids and adults. Even in school kids are constantly posting and updating through their phones during class. It’s a distraction from their education.”

Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, and delves into the messy family conflicts over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Only through self-reflection and an open dialogue do solutions emerge on how we can best empower young people to navigate the digital world. More information can be found at screenagersmovie.com.

 

The doctor’s prescription for limiting screen time

  • Dr. Ruston suggests putting phones and other devices away at meal times, in the car and during family outings.
  • While studying, teenagers should put their phones in another room but can take “tech breaks”.
  • No phones, tablets or other devices in the bedroom when it’s time to sleep.
  • Rather than relying on your phone, buy an alarm clock and a calculator.
  • Limit interactive video games to certain times – the weekend, for example – especially for younger children.
  • Try what a group of teenagers do in the film: when they eat out, they put their phones in the middle of the table. First to check their phone pays for dinner.
  • Set aside regular time to calmly discuss any issues about mobile phones and other devices rather than letting them spark arguments.
  • Parents worried about their children’s screen usage should think about what they are doing themselves.

Salish Modern: Innovative Art with Ancient Roots

Museum Director Patricia Cosgrove sits with “Super Ken” mannequin by Bill Holm.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Thirty years ago, you couldn’t find a map using the term “Salish Sea” for the Puget Sound region. There were Seattle galleries and t-shirt shops aplenty selling Northwest Coast Native art, but the masks, totem poles and sinuous formline animal prints were designs from hundreds of miles away, not from here.

Thirty years ago, no major art museum in Washington had mounted an exhibit highlighting Native created works of our own lands and waters. Artists were indeed working – Musqueam visual pioneer Susan Point was making innovative prints based on ancient carved designs. Ron Hilbert was painting bold scenes of spiritual practices and Lummi weavers Bill and Fran James were making sumptuous blankets and intricate baskets. But the critical interest and most gallery attention was focused on art from the Canadian coast.

Painting of a ceremonial smokehouse dance from 1989 by Ron “Chadusqidub” Hilbert (Tulalip and Upper Skagit).

In 1989, the balance started to tip. Washington State’s Centennial exhibit of Native arts opened, managed by Patricia Cosgrove (now Director of the White River Valley Museum) with Kenneth Watson as part of the exhibit staff. Both art historians were on a mission to convince Seattleites that totem poles are not indigenous and that Salish art in all its creative branches is. The exhibit was incredibly successful, and soon many influences aligned to literally change the landscape of the Native art market.

Ever since, both Cosgrove and Watson have worked hard to see the word ‘Salish’ enter the mainstream vocabulary, and to insure that the characteristic sweeping lines and subtle patterns of Salish arts become recognizable and emblematic of the Seattle area.

Through the effort of many, this vision has come true. High quality galleries like Seattle’s Stonington Gallery and Steinbrueck Native Gallery feature experienced and rising artists from across the Salish Sea region. Generations of new artists have risen in skill and popularity. Today, Salish art is an explosion of innovation and creativity that still has a firm foundation in our region’s earliest Salish generations.*

That innovation and creativity of Coast Salish artistry is currently on full display at the White River Valley Museum, located in Auburn only blocks away from the Muckleshoot Reservation. Inside the museum mounts an unprecedented six-month-long exhibition titled Salish Modern: Innovation Art with Ancient Roots.

“I’m really thrilled that we have works from artists who are rock stars in the Native art world, such as Louie Gong (Nooksack), Susan Point (Musqueam), and Shaun Peterson (Puyallup),” states Patricia Cosgrove, Museum Director and Salish culture enthusiast. “People are surprised when they see the ancientness of the tradition and then recognize the elements of it all around them in these very modern pieces. This is a perfect exhibit to celebrate this vital, fabulous modern art world.

“For museum visitors and people who see the exhibit, I’d like them to know that Salish cultures are alive and can be very modern. In my opinion, modern Salish art is some of the most elegant, divine visuals that you can find,” continues Patricia. “I’d love to see Salish art take the place of totem poles and form line design in Seattle as its visual identity.”

Salish Modern: Innovation Art with Ancient Roots will be on display through December, 17. The exhibit is supported in part by the Tulalip Tribes Charity Fund. Included among the many elegant Salish artworks is a rare painting by Ron “Chadusqidub” Hilbert (Tulalip and Upper Skagit) depicting a ceremonial smokehouse dance from 1989.

*source: Salish Modern exhibit material

YES! Youth Entrepreneurship Summit

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Engaging and inspiring Native American youth toward success, a one-of-a-kind Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (YES!) was held in the Tulalip Resort Casino’s Orca Ballroom during the afternoon of Tuesday, September 5.

Designed for Native high school and college-aged students interested in business and entrepreneurship to hone their skills and learn more about what it takes to become successful in business, YES! offered Tulalip youth especially an opportunity to hear good words and success stories from Native business owners around the area.

To get the eager young minds’ creativity flowing, the summit opened up with a thought exercise. Everyone closed their eyes and pictured themselves in a tunnel, and at the end of the tunnel there is a ball of light.

“That ball of light represents your success, your dreams, your ambition, and everything you are striving for in life. That’s what is at the end of your tunnel,” declared event co-M.C. Dyami Thomas (Klamath/Leech Lake Ojibway). “Now envision on both sides of your tunnel are open doors. These open doors represent your struggles, obstacles, and all the negativity in your life. These doors stay open and there are thousands of them, but as you zoom towards the ball of light and move passed each door it closes. You can look right and look left into the open doors, but never walk through them because once you walk through one you never know if can get back on your path to the ball of light.

“This tunnel, your tunnel, represents tunnel vision to the person your meant to become. Always see that light at the end of the tunnel. When you feel lost, sad or lonely then close your eyes and see yourself in that tunnel and look towards your ball of light. Some of us like to quit and give up because they aren’t making big steps, so they start making excuses and entering those open doors only to never make it back on their path. You all have to understand that no matter if it’s a big step or many small steps, each step is heading in the same direction, and it’s toward that ball of light; to your success and ambition making your dreams come true.”

Louie Gong, Nooksack, artist and owner of Eighth Generation in Seattle.

Following the exercise, audience members were amped to hear several successful Native entrepreneurs share their stories. Guest speakers included Louie Gong (Nooksack – artist and owner of Eighth Generation), Rebecca Kirk (Klamath – singer, actress, and talent manager), Jordan Skye Paul (CRIT Mohave – user experience manager at Pinterest), and Dyami Thomas (model, actor and motivational speaker).

Among the crowd of engaged youth was a family of Tulalip tribal members, mother Angela Davis and her three children Abigail, Samuel, and Samara Davis. Angela said she was excited to bring her kids to the Youth Summit after seeing a flyer online, “Entrepreneurship is something we’ve been talking about with our children for years now. We encourage them to be their own individual, to be unique, and embrace their Native American culture. Attending this event is another way for us to encourage and implement what we’ve been teaching them.”

11-year-old Samuel commented his takeaway from the Youth Summit was that you can start from scratch and make something really big out of your passions. Younger sister, 9-year-old Abigail added, “I learned you can build amazing things if you really put your mind to it. If you try really hard and focus on what you want to make out of yourself, then you can make it happen.”

With encouraging and inspiring feedback from future Tulalip entrepreneurs, YES! was effective at engaging the youth who attended and helping to plant seeds for future success.