Art of the Future Generation

Tulalip Youth Services hosts Annual Native American Student Art Festival

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Excitement filled the air of the Don Hatch Youth Center, which was briefly transformed into an art gala, on April 20, for the annual Native American Student Art Festival. Various works were on display including poetry, self and family portraits as well as an array of traditional Native American art including paddles, blankets, beaded regalia and cedar woven baskets.

The festival is open to all Tulalip tribal members between kindergarten and the twelfth grade, as well as students of other tribal nations who attend the Marysville School District. Students are able to submit one art project for each category – culture, mixed media, painting, sculpture, digital art, writing, new media and drawing. Awards are presented for first, second and third place, as well as for honorable mentions, to each grade for every category.

Art has been an essential necessity to the Native American culture since time immemorial. Coast Salish ancestors utilized their natural resources to create art such as masks, blankets, drums and rattles for ceremonial purposes; as well as for tools, for everyday use, like hats, baskets, canoes and paddles.

With over a whopping one thousand art submissions this year, the event continues to provide the young Indigenous Picassos with the opportunity to express their creativity and showcase their talents to their community. Often participants will submit a project for each category, like Taylee Warbus, who was awarded six ribbons in total – three of them being the highly coveted first place blue ribbon.

10th grade student Selena Fryberg reconnects with her ancestry while drawing a portrait of her late grandmother Catherine Rivera.

Many students reconnect with their culture while preparing their projects for the festival. This year, tenth grade student and multiple prizewinner Selena Fryberg reconnected with her ancestry while drawing a portrait of her late grandmother Catherine Rivera. Selena states, “She passed away before I was born, but people always say I get my talent from her. I feel like I got to know my grandma a little better while drawing her for [the art festival].”

If you missed the opportunity to experience the student art exhibit, don’t fret because the winning masterpieces will be on display exclusively at the Hibulb Cultural Center until Friday May 5, 2017.

Celebrating athletic accomplishment

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News; photos courtesy Heritage H.S.

Tulalip Heritage High School faculty and coaches honored their Fall and Winter sports participants with a joint celebration and banquet-style potluck on Wednesday, March 29 in the Heritage Commons.

With friends and family in attendance, the players took center stage and received recognition for their dedication to practice, constant improvement and teamwork during the sports season.

Bringing cheer and halftime entertainment to every home and playoff game were the Heritage cheerleaders. They always kept a positive attitude, smiles on their faces, and were determined to keep the home crowds upbeat.

 

The Hawks football team was short on eligible players this past season, but that didn’t stop them from showing up come game day and leaving their all on the field. After a narrow 2-point loss in their opening game, the football program showed out the very next game for a 51-26 victory in front of the home crowd.

 

Lady Hawks volleyball had another productive season under coach Tina Brown. The girls opened the season with five straight victories on their way to a 9-6 regular season record and a trip to the postseason. At the 1B District playoffs, they dropped their first match before bouncing back with back-to-back Ws and earning a trip to Tri-Districts.

 


Coaches Marlin and Cyrus “Bubba” Fryberg made the best of a rebuilding year for their boys basketball program. With so many new faces on the team there was a steep learning curve. The Hawks opened the season 1-6, but soon after found their identity and went 7-5 down the stretch to clinch a playoff spot. In the postseason, the boys played their best basketball and defeated two teams with better records to earn a Tri-District berth.

 

The Lady Hawks basketball program achieved the most this year. The girls carried a stellar record all season long on their way to battling for the NW1B regular season crown. Led by their Big 3 (Aliya Jones, Keryn Parks, and Deandra Grant), they finished the regular season 16-3. With two decisive victories to open the playoffs, the Lady Hawks matched up with inner-league foe Cedar Park Christian for the third time in the NW1B championship game. Back and forth for nearly the whole game, Cedar Park pulled away in the final minutes. It was a heartbreaking game for the Lady Hawks, but they bounced back admirably to win two more games at Tri-Districts and clinched consecutive trips to Regionals.

Coach Bubba Fryberg was recognized as Coach of the Year in the Northwest 1B League, while three of his players (Aliya, Keryn, and Deandra) were named to the All-League 1st Team. Additionally, Aliya earned All-State recognition with an honorable mention by the Associated Press.

Elder’s luncheon emphasizes triumph over addiction

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The Tulalip Tribes Problem Gambling Program continued their month-long Lifting Our Community Through Recovery concept, in recognition of March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month, by hosting a special elder’s luncheon on Friday, March 24.

Held at the Senior Center, close to 50 elders were in attendance as the program celebrated the wisdom and strength our elders share in the Tulalip community, while acknowledging problem gambling as a disease that can be defeated. A delicious buffet style meal was catered by Ryan Gobin’s Rezipes for the elders to enjoy while listening to members of the gamblers anonymous community share their personal experiences with problem gambling and their victories over it.

In the mainstream, compulsive gambling can often be portrayed as an issue of morality, creed and lack of willpower; something that is a personal choice. However, science has proven compulsive gambling is much more than a decision made from lack of willpower. It is in fact a disease.

“Gambling addiction is a real disease, and impacts communities at the individual, family, extended family, community and society level,” explains Sarah Sense-Wilson, Problem Gambling Coordinator. “Older adults have a number of additional vulnerabilities and risk factors, such as medical conditions and health problems. These issues can render some older adults less active, thereby limiting their social and recreational activities. Isolation, grief and loss, boredom, and having more time (in retirement) can all be additional factors that contribute to older adults being more vulnerable to a gambling disorder.

“The impact of gambling addiction on the extended family and partners is stressful, painful and often leads to crisis (financial, health, mental/emotional, relational and spiritual). Treatment and the 12-step program can help restore wellness and health.”

Gambling addiction has been recognized by the mental health and medical community for nearly 40 years now. There are brain changes that explain why people can’t stop gambling and feel a need to be in a casino sitting at a slot machine or playing a table game. Like asthma or diabetes, there’s no permanent cure for compulsive gambling, but it can be controlled to the point that you are not worrying about it every day.

Tulalip tribal member and elder, Toni Sheldon, understands this all too well from her own battle and triumph over the addiction.

“Recently, over the past few years I started to gamble. It started with going to the [Quil Ceda Creek Casino] for lunch to socialize with friends and former co-workers. While socializing, I’d make my way over to a slot machine and play forty-cent bets,” recalls Toni. The betting amounts began to increase little by little, while her trips to the casino became more frequent. Eventually, the losses were adding up and becoming noticeable to those closest to her. The tipping point came when Toni’s caregiver reviewed a copy of her win-loss statement with her just to show how much money she was putting back into the casino.

“Seeing the financial damage it was bringing to my life, my caregiver suggested doing a self perm bar. I didn’t even know you could do that,” says Toni. A self perm bar is the process by which an individual goes to casino security and has themselves permanently barred from the gaming properties. After being voluntarily barred, if you are caught on the gaming property you will be escorted out and can be cited and/or arrested for trespassing. “With the support of those closest to me, I perm barred myself. It’s now been a full year since I’ve last gambled. My life is much happier, and I have money to spend on life’s necessities once again.”

Following the shared stories and experiences with gambling addiction, the atmosphere continued to be uplifted by the Grammy-winning musical talents of Star Nayea. Tribal elders danced in their chairs and sang along as Star performed their favorite songs to end the luncheon.

For those who may be wondering what the options are for someone with a gambling problem, Sarah Sense-Wilson and Problem Gambling Program is here to help in any way they can.

“Steps a person can take is to call Tulalip Family Services for an appointment or contact me directly for consultation at 360-716-4304. All services are free, confidential and supported by licensed and certified professional staff,” states Sarah. “We provide an array of services including interventions, couples counseling, Family Therapy, group and individual counseling. We believe in a holistic client-centered, culturally responsive approach for supporting the healing and recovery process. We encourage anyone with questions or concerns to contact us. We are here to serve the Tulalip Tribes community.”

 

TELA focuses on good health, produces lots of smiles

Article/photos by Micheal Rios

On Thursday, March 9, the Betty J. Taylor Early Learning Academy (TELA) hosted a mini health fair in collaboration with local physical, mental, and spiritual health experts. It was a great opportunity to engage students, staff, families and the community about healthy eating, physical activity, health services, and other local wellness resources.

Vendors included everyone from representatives from the Tulalip Police and Fire Departments, the schools music therapy and child development booths, to Tulalip’s all new SNAP ED (Eat Smart. Be Active.) program. Overall there were 24 health fair vendors, two health care institute parent trainings, and a photo-booth for a nice family keepsake.

“The Mini Health Fair at the Tulalip Early Learning Academy was a great reminder to encourage both parents and the children to consume the required 2-3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. The kids loved their veggie cups and were excited to try an apple fruit salad!,” explains Snap-Ed Coordinator, AnneCherise Jensen (pictured above) of her vendor experience. “Children require good nutrition for proper growth and development. Taking affirmative action towards preventative health care will have a huge positive impact on a child’s health; this is why it is so important to teach kids healthy eating habits at an early age. By maximizing high nutrient foods and minimizing consumption of sugary/processed foods, we can help children develop essential healthy eating habits for a healthy future.”

Targeting the energetic and active audience of 3 to 5-year-old students, the TELA vendors came up with creative setups to make it easier for the easily intrigued minds to approach them. Many of the vendors brought different variations and very colorful handouts, poster boards and prizes. Enticing the kids to come up to the tables for prizes and delicious, organic snacks where they would then learn about making good health choices was a successful strategy.

Some of the kids may have been shy at first and hesitant to walk around the setup of booths, but with eye-catching displays they were able to come out of their shells and learn information they might not have known before.

Sheena Robinson attended the health fair with her kids because it offered them a chance to get out of the house to do hands-on activities.

“I liked the nutrition station because it taught my boys what healthy and unhealthy snacks look like,” Sheena said. “I try to teach them about these things at home, but I think sometimes it clicks more if it’s coming from somebody else and learning first-hand through interactive activities.”

ABC Curriculum promotes healing at Tulalip schools

 

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

During a recent visit from the Washington State Board of Education, Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary (QCT) provided an inside look at their ABC curriculum, an acronym for the new approach to the education system within the Tulalip community. ABC stands for the Academic instruction, Behavioral and social-emotional support and Culture based curriculum that the Marysville School District and the Tulalip Tribes have recently began implementing at the elementary.

QCT is one of few schools in Washington State that is integrating traditional Native teachings into school subjects such as music, art, language, math and history. The school often invites tribal members to help teach the children about the Tulalip culture. Each morning the school holds a fifteen-minute assembly where students perform traditional song and dance. QCT holds an annual cultural fair where tribal members are invited to share traditional foods as well as tribal history with the students. The elementary school also observes Tulalip Day every November and holds a fifth-grade potlatch at the end of each year. Most recently the school held a Billy Frank Jr. themed spirit week, honoring the man who dedicated his life to fighting for Native American fishing rights.

“We all had heroes growing up. I remember going to the library and spending all day reading about Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Jim Thorpe. You know growing up as Indian People, we don’t have a lot of Native heroes we can look up to, but Billy Frank Jr. is a true Coast Salish hero. He is someone we all look up to because of the amazing work he did for fisheries. Thank you for honoring him, he definitely deserves to be celebrated,” stated Tulalip Chairman Mel Sheldon.

The ABC curriculum puts emphasis on family and community, connections that are often strong in Native America. QCT makes an effort to communicate regularly with their student’s family members. The school also ensures the students stay up to par with the utilization of modern technology, both for research and to create documents. During a classroom walk-through the State Board of Education observed the curriculum in action during an art class as well as a writing class.

 

 

Representatives from the Tulalip Board of Directors, Marysville School District and QCT faculty spoke about cultural assimilation and the affect it left on Native communities. Each explaining to the Board of Educators that assimilation caused trauma that is still affecting the descendants of boarding school victims today, although the events occurred several generations prior. Families were broken and cultures were stripped during the ‘kill the Indian, save the man’ era.

“Our people were [originally] taught in a traditional way at the foot of our grandmothers, not in classrooms but out in nature. When the education system was forcibly put on us, it was done in way that stripped everything away from our children. It was done purposely to take away who we are as Indian People in a very painful way. That was our introduction to education. Since then we’ve had elders try to get this work, our voice and our story, into the public schools to try to heal. I believe we are continuing the work of our ancestors,” states Tulalip tribal member and QCT Instructor, Chelsea Craig.

The tribe, school district and Board of Educators are well aware and prepared for the hard work that will be required, and they started the healing process through the ABC curriculum.

1957: The first military observance of Memorial Day at Tulalip

Ray Moses

 

By Sherry Guydelkon, Tulalip News, May 23, 2007 

According to tribal elder Ray Moses, before 1957 there were no Memorial Day services at Tulalip cemeteries.

Many families did, however, observe the day by walking to one or both of the reservation cemeteries – Priest Point and Mission Beach – where they would pull weeds and lay flowers on their loved ones’ graves.

They would pack lunches and walk along the Tulalip road, said Ray, gathering wild flowers and greens for wreaths as they walked. People who lived along the road would often offer flowers from their yards. And everyone was careful to leave the cemeteries by three o’clock in the afternoon, because after that time spirits might come out.

 

Ray Moses, Korean War photo

 

By 1957, Ray had returned from the Korean War and was doing his best to stay a little drunk. Jobs for Indian men were hard to come by, and he had plenty of painful wartime memories to blot out.

Finally, his mother Marya Moses let him know that she was concerned that he would drink himself into an early grave. ‘You served your country well,” she said. “You’re a good person when you’re not drinking, but when you drink, you’re no dang good.”

Marya, who had been very supportive of the Tulalip soldiers who fought in Korea and had faithfully written to Tom Gobin, David and Butch Spencer, and others who served there, suggested that he do something useful for the vets.

Then Tom Gobin, who played several instruments, gave him a direction. He said, “If you can get a firing squad, I’ll blow the bugle.”

So Ray talked to Stan Schaefer, who, besides being Marysville’s funeral director, was a member of the VFW, about borrowing rifles one day a year. Stan said that Ray could borrow the Marysville VFW’s rifles, but that they would have to be returned by 11 a.m. for the town’s Memorial Day service.

So Tulalip’s observance was set for 10 a.m., and Ray began gathering his squad together. With a few veterans who became regulars and others that he recruited from the taverns, Ray had his first squad. “They were all willing,” said Ray, “but some of them were weaving a little.”

“I used to tease them,” he said, “and call them the F-Troup after the old comedy TV show. I called Kenny Williams “Dog Tag” and Larry Charley “Crazy Cat” after one of the Indians on the show. And I’d say, ‘Chests in, stomachs out” – the opposite of what they say in the Army. I’d get the guys laughing, sort of lighten things up.’

The only problem was that the rifles were left over from World War I and were defective. Sometimes the ammunition would go off and sometimes it wouldn’t.

“One of the guys asked me, what if my rifle doesn’t fire, what do I do?” Ray recalled. “I said, say bang.”

Regardless of the rifle problems, people were pleased with the bugle and the squad. “The old timers thanked us for honoring our warriors,” said Ray. “And they were warriors. They went off to fight, and they were starting to die at home – Doc Jones, Jack George, Steve Williams, Reuben Shelton, Elliott Brown…

“When our last World War I veteran, Ed Williams, died , I felt bad that there was no bugle there. So we started going to veterans’ funerals, too.”

Encouraged by the responses of the Tulalip families, the squad began traveling to veterans’ funerals at off-reservation communities that had no firing squads of their own – Arlington, Granite Falls, even Tacoma and Olympia. “We had no money and neither did the Tribe,” said Ray, “but George Reeves had a van and people would give us a little money for gas.”

When Clarence Hatch became the Tribes’ business manager in the early 1960s, he and Stan Jones, Sr., agreed that the firing squad should have new rifles, and they were purchased by the Tribes. By then, Tom Gobin had passed the bugle on to Bee Bop Moses, who played in the Marysville High School band. And Clarence even found a little money to pay him.

There was still the problem of buying ammunition, but that was resolved through negotiations with the Marysville VFW. The VFW promised to supply Tulalip’s firing squad with ammo if Ray would march with them in the Strawberry Festival parade. So, for several years, Ray marched for ammo.

Since the new rifles did not have to be returned by eleven o’clock, Memorial Day services could be scheduled for both reservation cemeteries – one at 10 a.m. and one at 11 a.m.

“When I started helping at funerals, I really didn’t know what I was doing,” Ray admits. “I had to change as I went along. I had to become more compassionate.

“I’m glad David Fryberg is continuing that work, and I’m glad the Tribe has the veterans’ program. I hope it will continue on.

“In the beginning, we were encouraged by the old timers and the Shaker people, and later on by the families. They’ve appreciated that we are honoring our warriors for their sacrifices.”

In addition to those who did not return from the wars, said Ray, there were those who were physically and emotionally injured and were never the same again – like Steve Williams who was shot in the leg and P.O.W. Jack George. Ray believes it is only right that the Tribes show our past vets the gratitude that they have earned.

 

A Gathering of Coast Salish peoples

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Western Washington Tribes and British Columbia First Nations of the Salish Sea came together to speak with one voice at the Tulalip Resort Casino’s Orca Ballroom on February 27.

As one voice, the tribal leaders, activists, and caretakers of the environment spoke for the continued protection of the land and waters of our aboriginal homeland and the preservation of our culture. As brothers and sisters, they shared their culture and concerns for the endangered eco-region, and continued their dialogue on the need for strengthened environmental policies and practices in our ancestral homelands.

These Coast Salish ancestral homelands, the Salish Sea and its people continue to face detrimental damages to the environment and resources based on the pollution based economy, and they will continue to move on co-management and co-decision making on the Salish Sea. The agenda for the 2017 gathering was to discuss:

  • Aboriginal and Treaty Rights at Risk
  • Resource and Environmental Challenges
  • Laws, Policy and Regulation
  • Coast Salish 21st Century Nations and Tribes
  • Federal, State and Tribal Dispute Resolution
  • Decision making, uniform consent

Following the day’s seminars and presentations, attendees were treated to an evening filled with traditional song and dance. The next generation of Tulalip drummers, singers, and dancers opened, led by cultural specialist Chelsea Craig.

 

Tulalip drummers and singers

 

Succeeding the young and spirited Tulalip group was one of the top Native dance groups on the west coast, Git-Hoan.

“We are Git-Hoan, the People of the Salmon. We are a makeup of Tsimshian, Haida, and Tlingit people from southeast Alaska and are proud to be in your territory to sing and dance for you,” stated group creator David Boxley, a renowned Tsimshian artist and carver. “What a beautiful place to dance. Thank you for allowing us to be here.

“This dance group has been in existence since 1996. We use a lot of masks to tell our stories. All of our tribes, including [Tulalip], at one time danced with masks and this form of expression is coming back strong over the last decade. The songs and dances you are about to see are old in their origins, but relatively new in their make-up. Missionaries were very successful with our people. We are trying to change that by [revitalizing our culture] like how it was before the missionaries. We are proud of the fact we try really, really hard to look like the old days, with the masks and telling the stories like our people once did.”

 

 

Git-Hoan performed for nearly an hour to the marvel of gathering attendees. Included in their selection of dances was a brand new song debuted for the Coast Salish occasion.

“We are the People of the Salmon, and so are you. We are all People of the Salmon,” explained Boxley. “Historically, our ancestors’ lives depended on the salmon. The next song we are going to show is a brand new song that shows our pride in being People of the Salmon .We dedicate this song to all of you.”

With the conclusion of the day’s events, Board of Director Theresa Sheldon shared her amazement in watching the performances by several Coast Salish tribes.

“It’s always a blessing to see our young students singing our ancestors songs, especially for this Coast Salish Gathering. A gathering that’s all about our Mother Earth and how we can work together on protecting our waterways. It was truly a delight to witness the Alaskan group perform their traditional mask dances. They had the most amazing raven dance, with the mosquito ancestor dance, and the supernatural eagle dance. It’s truly an honor when our relatives bring out their masks to share with us. Sharing our songs and dances together is the way of our people. I’m so thankful to the parents and teachers who help our young ones embrace this.”

Music Therapy Offers Healing to Tulalip-Marysville Community

 

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

The Snohomish County Music Project is using music as a tool to strengthen the Tulalip and Marysville community. With over fifteen programs, the Music Project has dedicated their time to improving the mental well being of Snohomish County community members through music therapy.  The Marysville School District originally reached out to the Snohomish County Music project when looking for alternative therapy for children who have experienced trauma in their young lives. Music Therapy is now offered to many schools in the Marysville School District including, Marysville-Pilchuck, Quil Ceda Elementary, and Marysville Arts and Technology.

 

 

Quil Ceda Elementary student, Oliver walked into a spare room of his school’s library wearing a visibly huge smile. As he took his seat, Music Therapist Victoria Fansler handed him a stack of cards. Each card displayed a cartoon making facial expressions with the corresponding emotion (i.e. happy or sad) written in text beneath the cartoon face. As his instructor retrieved her guitar from its case, Oliver examined the cards. Once he picked two cards out of the deck, Victoria began strumming her guitar to an interactive welcoming song between teacher and student, pausing only for Oliver to respond to questions within Victoria’s lyrics. When her song reached the question ‘how are you feeling today?’ he revealed the cards he had chosen, excited, because he was in Music Therapy class and upset because his aunt postponed her visit with him until the weekend.

This warm-up exercise allows the student to express their emotions and presents them with the opportunity to explain why they are feeling those emotions. Victoria begins each of her sessions with this exercise as the majority of her students from the Marysville and Tulalip community happily sing along. At the end of each session she remixes the welcome song to recap the session and say ‘goodbye until next week’.

Tulalip Cares Charitable Contributions recently funded Victoria’s music therapy program through the Snohomish County Music Project. She is currently working full time in the Tulalip-Marysville community helping students work through traumatic life events by using music as an instrument of healing.

Countless studies have shown that music therapy has assisted many victims of trauma. While focusing on music individuals are able to relax, therefore reducing stress and anxiety levels. Music therapy provides an outlet for individuals to express their emotions creatively.

Victoria also provides services to the Betty J. Taylor Early Learning Academy once a week and works primarily with students who are currently, or have previously been, involved with Child Protective Services or beda?chelh.  In cases of neglect, children are sometimes unaware of social cues, such as facial expressions and vocal tones. For this reason, Victoria incorporates mirroring into her lesson plans, to help the children at the academy recognize emotions that others display.

 

 

In elementary schools, Victoria teaches the children how to express their emotions through music. Oliver, for example, is a huge Eminem fan. In his individual session Oliver wrote down and illustrated everything that makes him feel safe as well as his fears. While working on the assignment a Bluetooth speaker played a cover, performed by kid YouTube sensation Sparsh Shah, of Eminem’s ‘Not Afraid’. Oliver is familiar with the Eminem song and because of the tools music therapy has provided him, he was able to write his own lyrics to the track. Oliver said that those particular lyrics that he wrote are in memory of his little brother who passed away when they were both at a young age.

Aside from her acoustic guitar, Victoria uses a variety of instruments in her sessions including a melodica. The free-reed instrument is essentially a keyboard that requires users to blow air into it for sound output, much like a wind instrument.

“A lot of people suggest meditation and focused breathing for children with trauma, but I found that sometimes it can be hard trying to convince kids that sitting still and breathing quietly will help them feel better. The Melodica is really engaging, if you hold a long exhale breath it makes a really pleasant sound that lets you explore the keys and get creative while playing it. This helps build self-awareness so the kids can feel comfortable self-expressing musically and recognizing what tools they already have within themselves,” Victoria states.

Another instrument that assists with trauma recovery is the drum.  Victoria explains, “We use a lot of rhythm because we know, neurologically, what trauma does to the brain. For example, when we have a flashback and trauma is overtaking the mind and body, the part of the brain that tells you what time and place you’re in, basically shuts off. With rhythm and drumbeats it forces us to engage in the present moment, our brains can’t help but track how fast the beat is going. We call that entrainment. It keeps us from being stuck in the past with our traumatic memories and how they might make us feel. Through entrainment we help our clients realize that although a traumatic event occurred, it is in the past and it is not going to hijack their brain at any given moment anymore.”

The Snohomish Music Project offers a variety of programs countywide including music therapy services for infants, children, teens, Veterans suffering with posttraumatic stress disorder, as well as senior citizens suffering with memory-related illnesses. The non-profit’s headquarters is located at the Everett Mall and hosts live music performances weekly.  Since 2010 the Snohomish County Project, previously known as the Everett Symphony, has refocused their time and energy to help heal and strengthen communities.

“Rather than using music as tool to provide performances, we have transformed and provide a way to use music as a tool to help community members thrive and to help make impactful changes in the community. We are able to help individuals better themselves and they in turn become positive contributors to our community,” states Snohomish County Music Project Director, Vasheti Quiros.

Victoria is making a positive impact in the community through music therapy and because of its popularity and high demand, (she has over twenty kids on a waiting list at the early learning academy) Victoria hopes to expand her program and open services to the entire Tulalip community.  She currently is in talks with Youth Services about hiring youth of the community, with hopes of training them to become music therapists.

For additional information about the Snohomish County Music Project please visit their website www.scmusicproject.org

Tulalip Child Advocacy Center receives accreditation

Jade Carela, Legacy of Healing Child Advocacy Center Manager proudly shows the departments accreditation award from the National Children’s Alliance.

 

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

The National Children’s Alliance (NCA) is the accrediting body for Child Advocacy Centers nationwide. Child Advocacy Centers, often referred to as CACs, conduct forensic interviews as well as provide therapy and assistance to the victims of child sexual abuse and their non-offending family members. In order for a CAC to earn accreditation, the center must pass an extensive application process as well as an on-site review process.

“There was a grandma whose grandchild had been sexually abused. She told the prosecutor that her granddaughter had been repeatedly traumatized by all the questioning she had to go through in order to get to the actual case in court. The prosecutor on the case thought, oh my God, that’s probably true. He started the first CAC ever with a team comprised of law enforcement, CPS [child protective services] and criminal justice members, ensuring everyone was on the same page and the child would not have to retell their horrific stories over and over,” states Jade Carela, Legacy of Healing Child Advocacy Center Manager.

The Tulalip CAC has a multi-disciplinary team that includes members of the Tulalip Police Detectives, CPS, beda?chelh, the Tulalip domestic violence and sexual assault prosecutor, and FBI detectives as well as the child advocate.

The NCA regularly updates their policies and procedures and requires a re-accreditation process every five years for each CAC. The accreditation holds centers to a higher standard and indicates exceptional service and a quality center.

The accreditation process often requires over a year’s worth of preparation. However, under the direction of Jade, Tulalip now has the only accredited CAC on a reservation, in Washington State. The enormous task was accomplished in an impressive three short months. When a CAC receives accreditation, they have achieved the highest level of recognition with the NCA.

The Tulalip CAC offers innocent children victims of sexual abuse a chance to heal. The recent accreditation shows the strong effort the Tribe is making to ensure that the victims receive the best possible care, as well as justice and assistance through the entire court process.

For additional information on the accreditation of the Tulalip Legacy of Healing Child Advocacy Center please contact (360) 716-5437.

Ball is Life for RaeQuan Battle

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

When RaeQuan Battle was in the third grade he was recruited by Cyrus “Bubba” Hatch to play in a basketball tournament at Lummi. At the time, young RaeQuan hadn’t really given basketball much thought, because his favorite sport was football. RaeQuan accepted the invitation and not only did his team win the championship, but he was presented with the Most Valuable Player award, resulting in a new love for the game.

Now a sophomore at Marysville Pilchuck High School (MP), Battle devotes the majority of his time to perfecting his basketball skills and focusing on his grades. He advises young hoopers to put down their smart phones and pay attention during class because at the young age of fifteen, he is aware of the opportunities a good education can offer.

College will begin in a short couple of years for RaeQuan. This is something he is well-aware of and has already started thinking of where he would like to attend. He states, “I would want to play [college basketball] for Kentucky, but I’m looking [into] the University of Washington. A lot of my family members love UW, so that’s a school I would have to consider.”

 

Family is indeed of great importance to him, citing his grandfather, Hank Williams, as his biggest inspiration. Every time Battle suits up for a game, he puts on a jersey with the number twenty-one on display. He chose twenty-one because it is his mother’s favorite number. A few of his relatives also wore that number when playing for MP.

The basketball season for MP recently concluded with an appearance in the playoffs as RaeQuan’s squad battled for a shot at State. Standing at six-foot, four-inches Battle towers over most of his teammates as well as the competition. He is effective on both ends of the floor often getting buckets and grabbing boards. His favorite position to play is small forward, a position that is played by NBA stars such as Kevin Durant and Lebron James. His height advantage, paired with his skill, gives him the versatility to play any spot on the floor, and MP utilized him in every position throughout their season.

Battle states that basketball has given him a strong work ethic and has taught him many valuable lessons that he can apply on and off the court. “The biggest thing I’ve learned is how to stay humble. When I first started playing I used to get benched because I didn’t have the right attitude. If you want to improve your game or get anything productive accomplished, you have to remain humble and focused,” he states.

Now that the basketball season is over RaeQuan will participate in some extra-curricular activities including driver’s education and track, but the majority of his time will be spent studying. However, he vows to continue to get in the gym and work on his game during the off-season as he continues to follow his dream of playing in the NBA.