Tree planting preserves tribal wetlands

By Shaelyn Smead, Tulalip News

On March 21, Heritage High School students were recruited by the Wetland Program to help plant over 100 trees in Quil Ceda Village (QCV) wetlands to sustain the Coho Creek restoration site. The sunny spring day made perfect weather for the students to take on the cool wetlands. With about ten students and some Heritage staff dressed in boots and carrying their shovels, they were well prepared to get the job done.

Kyliah Elliott and Lacinda Moses were just a few of the students in attendance. The girls explained how they were taking this opportunity to observe what an internship would include with the Wetland Program.

“I came today because I like being outside and wanted to be a part of the tree planting because it’s a part of who we are. I want to intern here and maybe learn more. People are ruining the environment every day, and I hope I can make a difference one day to help fix it,” Lacinda said. 

Wetland Program Coordinator Allison Warner’s goal is also to attract more tribal members and Native youth towards environmental work and join different areas of the Natural Resources department. In doing so, she has offered up internship positions to several tribal members already interested in the field and continues to involve Native students in events like tree planting. 

“I would love to help educate and support more Native biologists. I think the Indigenous perspective has more layers to it than non-Natives’. We [non-Natives] can do our best to educate ourselves on Native culture and way of life. Still, a Native biologist would have their unique perspective and cultural connection to represent Tribal resources better.”

The Tulalip Wetland Program has conducted efforts to rehabilitate the area since 2016. With over 4000 acres of wetlands making up approximately 1/4 of the reservation, understanding wetlands is critical to how Tulalip lives and thrives. Wetland analysis, preservation, and potential development projects play a significant role in determining what wetlands can succeed with some assistance and provide tribal resources like salmon, deer, berries, cedar, etc., and what wetlands are best to develop for future tribal projects and endeavors. 

Allison said significant efforts focused around the QVC wetlands have been primarily due to the destruction caused by the US military during World War II. During that time, the US military occupied the land with hiding military equipment and resources. The heavily forested area made for the perfect escape to blend into and hide from any aerial spy surveillance. Along with that, with its quick access to the freeway, the military could quickly import/export and leave at a moment’s notice. 

However, because the area is a wetland, the US military needed to make the land more viable for their efforts to start any building or have access to it. One major course of action was making large ditches that forced all the water from the wetland into one central area. Along with depriving that area of its primary resources, many trees, bushes, and other agricultural species were removed, demolished, and consumed to make the land easier to maneuver around on. Even a railroad was created solely to transport military equipment in and out of the area. Today, a piece of that railroad still exists. 

Soon after the war was over and the military departed, the Tribe and the State determined how damaged the land was. Along with destroying the land’s natural resources, items like bunkers and equipment were left behind, and chemical spills and chemically-affected septic tanks were brought to attention. At this point, the US Environmental Protection Agency was brought in to survey the land and create a plan to clean up the ground.

Since then, much progress has been made, and the area is no longer considered a danger. Significant steps like tree planting have been implemented to rehabilitate the wetland. Overall, wetlands play a substantial role in how the environmental pyramid thrives. 

Allison explained, “With the area’s connection to Coho Creek and Sturgeon Creek, protecting the stream’s water quality and helping the salmon thrive in this area is essential. The area we are planting trees in is the property’s wettest part and is most suitable to feed the stream. As we’ve seen with our efforts, certain species like beaver, deer, and birds have migrated back to the wetland and are helping sustain the wetland.”

Some trees were reintroduced to the wetland, such as Sitka spruce, paper birch, cedar, red osier dogwood, and alder. Other items like pollinating plants, hooker willow, bitter cherry, shrubs, honeysuckle, black twin berry, and wapato are also being planted. All of these are meant to replicate the environment before US military inhabitance. 

So how do trees benefit a stream? Allison described trees as the structure that keeps the bank from eroding. They also provide the organic matter that insects eat, which in turn, other species will eat, and so on. Therefore, trees and shrubs act as the foundation of food webs. Additionally, they provide shade to keep the stream and salmon cool. Ultimately, salmon cannot live in water more than 65 degrees Fahrenheit. So if the water were too high or hotter than necessary, it would affect the oxygen levels of the creek, and salmon won’t exist in this area.

Currently, a small run of salmon occupies the stream, but they hope it can become a more stable place for salmon to spawn and thrive. Planting trees is only the beginning. Tending to the area, monitoring the new trees and plants, and ensuring its survival against invasive species is the focus for the next ten years. 

If you would like to volunteer your time and efforts to the wetland projects, please get in touch with Allison Warner at 

Sacred Breath

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The Department of Native American studies at the University of Washington hosts an annual literary and storytelling series titled ‘Sacred Breath.’ Featuring Native writers and storytellers who share their craft at the beautiful wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ Intellectual House on UW’s Seattle campus, the most recent event gave the public audience an opportunity to immerse in the sacred breath of Coast Salish culture bearers Rena Preist and Natosha Gobin.

Rena is a published poet and an enrolled member of Lummi Nation. She was appointed to serve as the Washington State Poet Laureate for the term of April 2021-2023. Her debut poetry collection Patriarchy Blues was published by MoonPath Press and received an American Book Award. 

Rena Preist, Lummi, Washington State Poet Laureate.

Natosha is a homegrown Tulalip tribal member. She has been learning, speaking and teaching Northern Lushootseed for over twenty-two years with her tribe’s language department and as an established educator at Marysville Pilchuck High School. Her passion for sharing Tulalip culture with Washingtonians of all ages is personified best in her expressive storytelling. 

Below: Natosha Gobin, Tulalip, Lushootseed language teacher.

“Storytelling offers a spiritual connection, a sharing of sacred breath,” stated UW associate professor Jean Dennison during her speaker introductions. “Literature, similarly, preserves human experience and ideals. Both forms are durable and transmit power that teaches us how to live. Both storytelling and reading aloud can impact audiences through the power of presence, allowing for the experience of the transfer of sacred breath as audiences are immersed in the experience of being inside stories and works of literature.”

The connection between Native American storytelling and modern poetry may seem complex, yet at their core both forms of expression are rooted in the power of language and the human need to communicate ideas, emotions, and experiences. It’s long been understood that the worldview of Native people is intricately woven into the fabric of language and ways of speaking.

Since time immemorial, our shared histories have been passed from the memories of one generation to the next through spoken word. In this sense the oral tradition connects past, present, and future while strengthening tribal and familial bonds. Those bonds were broadened to include the truly enchanted UW longhouse audience who sat quietly with anticipation of each and every word spoken word by Natosha in the form of traditional Tulalip stories and by Rena in the form of poetic literature. 

Rena opened her presentation by sharing two of her favorite poems Welcome to Indian Country and To Sing and Dance before reading several offerings from her latest poetry book Northwest Know-How: Beaches. She was gracious enough to allow us to republish some of her poems for the consideration of our readers. 

A common theme in all of Rena’s poetry is the incorporation of her Native American culture and ancestral language. She shared one the greatest blessings of being named Washington State Poet Laureate was being given a platform to help educate on Native ways of life and thinking.

“There is still a lot of secrecy around our spiritual beliefs,” she explained. “I feel like if people knew more about them or had the opportunity to see how things are held sacred…the interrelationships between living things, and to see that and find ways to celebrate that in their own lives, then it would be much easier to muster the collective will toward preservation of species and restoration of habitat and being more responsible stewards of the land.”

After the Lummi version of a poetry slam, Natosha captivated the crowd with traditional tales told in Lushootseed. She shared The Changer, Rattlesnake, Raven Steals the Light, and legendary Basket Lady. With many in the crowd hearing the ancestral Tulalip language brought to life for the first time, they roared with heavy applause following each story. Natosha even received much crowd participation when asking for them to repeat her during thematic elements of her stories.

After sharing her illustrious words, Natosha was asked during the Q&A panel to describe the importance of sharing her traditional stories and language on the University of Washington campus, and how she views this in the greater context of decolonizing education. She responded, “My first thought is land back, classrooms back…taking our space back. Whatever means we can establish our presence and our ancestral knowledge in spaces like this is an act of decolonization.”

The Tulalip language warrior also added, “I’m grateful for me and my coworkers to have the opportunity to do this work. Especially in a space like this one where the audience isn’t just here to listen to poetry or the stories and then leave. Instead, everyone has stayed after to ask questions and ask for additional historical context. It means so much because it shows how much true desire there is to learn about our culture.”

Together Rena and Natosha showed how Native American storytelling and poetry can be deeply connected to local environments and the natural world we all share. The teachings of both their presentations focus on the importance of respecting and living in harmony with Mother Earth, while also striving to share elements of Coast Salish culture that bring diverse communities together as co-stewards of this land. 

Among the Sacred Breath audience was a UW PhD student and Tulalip tribal member, Tessa Campbell. After the event she shared, “Witnessing Natosha represent Tulalip in such a beautiful manner and speak our traditional language was such an empowering moment. I actually got a little teary-eyed during her storytelling presentation because it was a magical moment to have [one of our own] have a strong vocal presence on campus.”

Collection of poems by Rena Preist

(A Poem Is a) Naming Ceremony

What has grown out of what has gone away? The clear-cut patch has grown larger on the mountain. The rivers have grown murky with timber trash,and there’s enough run-off cow manure to grow corn out there on the tide flats. I don’t want to think about what has gone away. I want to meander and play and forget myself until I can grow a new me in place of all this grief—learn the language to see the cotton wood as kwealich ich, the dancing tree;  the killer whales as qwel’ lhol mechen, our relatives under the sea; the whole glorious landscape filled with meaning to end my grieving.

When I was young, I was invited to learn Xwilngexw’qen, the people’s language,  but I said no. I didn’t understand. I thought I wanted to learn how to be rich. I didn’t know that the only way to possess all the wealth  of the world is by naming it—here is bird song,  here is the kiss of a lover, here is the feel of cold water at the peak of summer. I have spent my life with words, trying to name a hint of what I lost by not learning my language. Estitemsen. Tu totest sen. Estitemsen.

1 I’m doing my best. I’m still learning. I’m doing my best.

Remembering Silé at Sxwelisen 2

“We used to say, when the tide is out, the table is set. The earth provided. And if one day it didn’t, the spirit fed us.” The glittering turn of the tide, the arc of the sun in the sky, the call of birds, the sound of waves—to be nourished in this way makes glass doors opening and closing themselves between me and that food on grocery-store shelves seem false, empty.

That food, where does it come from? Whose hands grew it? Was there patience and care? Were there prayers? Think of how it got here— what it’s made of. “When I was a girl, everything we ate came from the earth that loved us, through hands of people we loved.”

2 Sile’ is Grandmother. Sxwelisen is a place name for a land bridge that emerges at low tide. We go there to harvest shellfish.

The Forest for the Trees

I have seen a tree split in two from the weight of its opposing branches. It can survive, though its heart is exposed. I have seen a country do this too.

I have heard an elder say that we must be like the willow— bend not to break.I have made peace this way.

My neighbors clear-cut their trees, leaving mine defenseless. The arborist says they’ll fall in the first strong wind. Together we stand. I see this now.

I have seen a tree grown around a bicycle, a street sign, and a chainsaw, absorbing them like ingredients in a great melting pot.

When we speak, whether or not we agree, the trees will turn the breath of our words from carbon dioxide into air—

give us new breath for new words, new chances to listen, new chances to be heard. 

Family Haven introduces new program to assist with IDD

Tulalip youth participate in the 2021 Autism awareness walk. 

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

“I heard a story recently from a family who received a diagnosis of autism for their grandson,” recounted Nicole Couevas, Family Haven Case Manager. “The grandma told me she didn’t know what to do or where to turn. So, she pulled off to the side of the road and walked up to Jared’s [Parks] house, and knocked. And she said, ‘I need help’.” 

Autism is a common, yet very complex, intellectual developmental disability (IDD) that has significantly been on the rise over the past two decades. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in forty-four children in the United States are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – a statistic that was revealed in a 2018 study. It’s important to note that those reports show that the number of autism diagnoses has nearly tripled since the year 2000. Many are now speculating that since the COVID-19 pandemic, that number has increased even more, as parents were with their children 24/7, and therefore were able to recognize some of those IDD characteristics, and in turn receive an official diagnosis. 

Nicole explained, “IDD covers neurological and developmental; anything that affects cognitive memory skills falls under intellectual. And then developmental can be anything physical. So, under that umbrella comes Down Syndrome, Autism, Fragile X, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, traumatic brain injury, genetic disorders – so it’s not specific to just autism, though we know that assistance is much-needed in that area right now.”

Those living with an IDD diagnosis often begin showing signs in the early childhood development years and usually receive a diagnosis after the age of three, however, a child can receive a diagnosis as early as eighteen months. Early indicators of autism specifically, include language delay, repetitive behavior, obsessive interests, as well as social and communication challenges. The CDC states that children with IDD have different ways of learning, moving, paying attention, and interacting with the world around them.

Now considering these statistics, and the fact that you’re reading a tribal news article, one might begin to wonder what IDD looks like within the Native community. Historically, statistics in Native America are often underreported due to a lack of resources for reservation-based families in regards to issues such as mental and physical health, substance abuse and addiction, homelessness, and violence against women, children and two-spirit tribal members. And the same could be said about Native children living with ASD and IDD. A study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that Native youth are 13% less likely to be identified with autism, while non-Native kids are 1.5 times as likely to receive an ASD diagnosis at a young age. And those low statistics and the lack of available knowledge surrounding IDD tends to lead to negative misconceptions, denial, and a feeling of despair once an Indigenous child is diagnosed with any form of IDD. 

Let’s backtrack to the story of the local grandmother who didn’t know where to go after receiving her grandson’s diagnosis. She immediately went to the Parks family for assistance. This is important because it shows that a handful of tribal members are already putting in the effort to erase any stigmas surrounding IDD, and that they are out in the community raising awareness about autism by sharing their personal experiences. And thanks to the time and care that organizations like Jared’s CORNer, Leah’s Dream Foundation, and the Aktion Club of Marysville and Tulalip have dedicated to the Special Needs community, people know that they are not alone, and that they can get through it with a level head and a full heart. 

Leah’s Dream Foundation

If we take a moment to place ourselves in the shoes of that grandmother during her family’s hour of need, most of us wouldn’t know where to turn either. 

Said Family Haven Director, Alison Bowen, “There are people within the community who are doing this work, and we want to hold them up for all the good that they’ve done. But at the same time, they can’t be the go-to for everybody, that becomes hard – being that one person who everybody goes to after a diagnosis. Amy [Sheldon] is amazing, Deanna [Sheldon] is amazing, Jared is amazing, but they need to be able to achieve the goal they are trying to reach too.” 

In that moment, the grandmother made the best call by reaching out to somebody who’s gone through a similar experience. But let’s ponder a what-if scenario. What if, after receiving that diagnosis, the family knew exactly where to go? What if there was a system already set in place that laid out all the resources and possible avenues that the family could take? What if there was someone who they could speak to who was familiar with the Tulalip community and culture, and the advantages that ceremony and ancestral teachings can offer people with IDD? And conversely, what if someone was there to help them navigate all the obstacles that Native families face after an IDD diagnosis, such as the lack of readily available resources due to their location?

Enter the new Family Haven program, the Intellectual Developmental Disability Support for Families. Still in its infancy, the program is being fine-tuned to meet the needs of Tulalip families who are supporting a loved one with IDD. So far, the program has hosted two meet-and-greet gatherings, and they will soon be releasing a survey to get as much feedback from the community as they can in order to tailor the program to best fit Tulalip. 

“Part of our mission is that we want people to know that disabled or not, you are Tulalip. You have the rights that everyone else has the rights to; you have a right to your culture, you have a right to your lifeways,” said Nicole. “We want to dispel these myths about autism. It doesn’t mean that something’s wrong with our families. It doesn’t mean that something’s wrong with the parents. It doesn’t mean that somebody did something, or that someone took drugs or anything to cause this. It’s just what happened. And we know this because there’s no race that isn’t affected by IDD. Autism isn’t something that happens to one ethnic group or religious group, it goes beyond all borders. It doesn’t distinguish between anybody. And what’s most important for the community to realize is that they’re still our kids. And they still deserve as much love, respect, and opportunity as any other kid.”

The IDD Support for Families program was developed to help the community in numerous ways, but its main objective is for families to utilize it to help bridge the gap between the reservation and the resources. The program accepts referrals, and Family Haven is anticipating that most referrals will come from evaluations conducted at the Betty J. Taylor Early Learning Academy and the Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic, although they will also accept referrals from a family’s primary care physician as well as self-referrals. Any Tulalip family that is ready to receive that additional help, can contact the program at any time for their guidance. And to make the transition as smooth as possible, Family Haven has entered a collaborative partnership with TELA and the Clinic, so if a referral is placed, then the program can offer their assistance early in the family’s journey. Medical diagnoses are not necessary, as the program can help the family navigate that process as well.

Nicole shared, “One of our biggest goals is to support people where they live. We acknowledge and understand that not knowing where to go for help can be overwhelming. We’re willing to be there that first time you meet with anybody [doctors, foundations, organizations, etc..] because it can be so overwhelming. It can make a  difference having somebody there who has that connection with the community and understands not just what a family is feeling, having their child’s new diagnosis brought to their attention, but also understands the culture. That can help make an easy transition for that parent and that child to access those outside services.”

Down the line, the program will expand its services to assist any tribal member with IDD between the ages of 0 to 24. But for now, while the program is building its name and making headway, its focus will solely be the children with IDD who are in the age range of birth to five and are currently in those critical early development years.

Alison elaborated, “Early intervention can dramatically shift how a child does when they go to school, and also their future development. If they have that one-on-one care, or that specialized service that isn’t normally provided within the community, a lot of catching-up can occur, and a lot of gains can be made for that child. And that impacts their future in a good way. 

“Receiving these early interventions for your child before the age of three is easy, and there does not need to be any formal diagnosis. If you are having those concerns, talk with your child’s doctor or just give us a call. We can have somebody come in and share exercises that you can do with your child to help get them caught up. At times, it really may be as simple as that.”

Aside from the important work of providing resources to Tulalip families, the new program has plenty of fun events and activities planned through the summer months as well. Such plans include monthly play groups, where the IDD Support for Families program arranges park outings for the children to help build their social and interactive skills through playtime with other youth from the community. 

Nicole Couevas, Family Haven Case Manager

The program is partnering with the Arc of Snohomish County to bring new devices and inclusive equipment made specifically to assist children with IDD, such as ADA swing seats and wheelchair swings. And the program is also looking to purchase portable and sensory-friendly equipment of their own, so that families can try and enjoy some of those fun items and activities with their child. 

Another future event that is currently in the works is what is soon-to-be-known as Café Days. At these gatherings, families will be able to join together to share resources, information, and stories with each other. Which is a great way to help each other out while also continuing to build that sense of community as IDD becomes more common and accepted within the society of Tulalip. 

Expressed Nicole, “[Stigma surrounding IDD] is a real thing. Our message about this new program isn’t that we perceive kids with disabilities as disabled, because they’re not. I think a lot of us have this old image in our heads of that special-ed classroom from the 80s and 90s, where you had the kids who were basically hushed and pushed away, and it was us vs. them. But that’s not the world we live in anymore; we’re all one.”

She continued, “We’re not here to say they need to be fixed. That’s not the point of this program. This is to show all the different ways we can help your family to better maneuver in the world with IDD. And also, to make sure we are giving families all the options that are available, and providing them with as many modifications, if needed, as possible, so they have as much as an opportunity as everyone else.”

Be sure to look out for the IDD Support for Families survey, and seriously consider taking the time to complete the survey to ensure that those children and individuals living with an IDD diagnosis receive the best care possible through the new program. 

“We want to hear from the community,” Alison expressed. “What do you think would be helpful for this population we’re talking about? What areas are really lacking? What could we do as a community to better help and assist these families and individuals? The goal is to have people achieve their highest potential, whatever that is for them, and not have as many struggles. Our hope is to assist families who have a diagnosis, and also those families who might not have a diagnosis but have concerns. This whole concept has increased in every community in the last three years. It’s time for us to acknowledge that as a community and wrap around those families and youth who need our help and support.”

For more information, please contact Nicole at (360) 716-4935.

Celebrating Tulalip Vietnam Veterans

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

In 2017, the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, enacted a law that designated March 29th as the official National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Over nine million Americans served in the military during the Vietnam War era which expanded over the course of two decades from the 1950s to the 1970s. 

A reported 58,200 American lives were lost during the Vietnam conflict and the total number of causalities of war, including civilians, tallied well over one million on both sides.

According to the American Legion organization, the significance behind the date refers back to the historic day of March 29, 1973, when three major events took place; the day that the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam was disestablished, the day that U.S. combat troops departed from Vietnam, and also the day that ‘Operation Homecoming’ was completed and close to 600 POW were released and brought home.

Throughout America’s history, Native Americans have served at a higher rate than any other demographic in the country, five times the national average to be exact. As the original caretakers of the Nation, defending this land may have a more significant meaning to tribal members across the country. It may be the reason why there are 31,000 active Native American men and women serving today, and why there are over 140,000 living veterans who are Indigenous, according to the Department of Defense.

At Tulalip, Tribal Veterans are held in high regard and thousands of sduhubš women and men served in all branches of the military, and a large percentage of those tribal members have seen combat action dating as far back as the first World War. 

Every Memorial Day and Veterans Day, Tulalip pays tribute to all the brave men and women who laid their life on the line defending this nation’s freedom. And as this new holiday gains more recognition throughout the country, Tulalip will be there to commemorate and thank those Tribal Veterans, and those lives lost in combat, during the Vietnam War era. 

Each year, Tulalip Vietnam Veteran and BOD member, Mel Sheldon takes on the Master of Ceremony duties during the Memorial Day services at both the Priest Point and Mission Beach cemeteries. 

During the 2021 Memorial Day services, Mel reflected on his time as a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, and stated, “When we went to Vietnam, there are guys I remember who became pilots [with me]. Because of Operation Lam Son 719, twelve of them did not get to come home. During my unit in Charlie Troop, I had two crew chiefs that did not get to come home. Two Cobra Pilots, their aircraft flew into the ground – we still don’t know why. I talked to them that morning, by noon they were gone. It is this day that I remember them in a good way, to remind us how fortunate we are. To remember too, how many Native Americans stepped up to the plate, especially at home here in Tulalip. We are very proud of our veterans who served.” 

To honor those local veterans who served during the Vietnam War era, the Tulalip Veterans Department provided a list of all the tribal members who enlisted in the military during the years of 1955-1975, whether they were deployed to Vietnam or stationed at a home base.

Thank you to all the Tulalip Vietnam War era Veterans for your service and defending your homelands.

Vietnam War Era Veterans

  • James, Andrew
  • Bill, Inez Madeline
  • Brown, Howard Warren
  • Sheldon, Karen Gail
  • Gobin, Michael James
  • Taylor, Calvin Lee
  • Williams, Linda Hunter
  • Brown, Lawrence Francis
  • Gobin, Bradley Joseph
  • Bradley Sr., Daniel Roy
  • Sweeney, Antonio Thomas
  • Alexander Jr., Maurice Clarence
  • Hatch III, Cyrus
  • Muir Jr., Richard James
  • Bradley, Jay Michael
  • Bradley, Ray Timothy
  • Madison, Richard Lee
  • Jones Sr., Steven Kenneth
  • Madison, Guy Michael
  • Gobin Sr., Steve Bernard
  • Lupe, Lorenzo D.
  • Sheldon Jr., Melvin Robert
  • Holding, Gary Gene
  • Jones, Joseph C.
  • Fryberg Sr., Raymond Lee
  • Moses, Daniel Kay
  • Zackuse Sr., Daniel Gene
  • Taylor, Harold Francis Wolfer
  • Davis, Marvin Richard
  • Williams Jr., William Michael
  • Contraro, Arthur Allan
  • Campbell, John Thunderbird
  • Dunn Sr., Michael Allen
  • Warbus, Steven Francis
  • Campbell, Walter Lee
  • McCoy, John Richard
  • Charles Jr., Wesley James
  • Moses, Albert A.
  • Ledford, Richard Dean

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month

Submitted by Marisa Chavez

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and Child Abuse Awareness Month. The purpose of this month is to raise awareness and prevention of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and all forms of child abuse in our community. It is impossible to prevent an issue that no one talks about, and difficult to make people aware of a problem without a solution.

Children are some of the most vulnerable members of society, 1 in 7 children in the United States has experienced physical and/or sexual abuse. In 2021, 65% of cases investigated at Children’s Advocacy Centers involved sexual abuse allegations. 

When it comes to suspected child abuse or neglect, you can contact your local child protective services or law enforcement agency. Anyone can report suspected child abuse, and all employees of the Tulalip Tribes are mandated to make such reports. When making a report, provide a complete, honest account of the observations that led you to suspect the occurrence of child abuse or neglect. After you make a report, it will be sent to child protective services (CPS) and beda?chelh. Once the report is received, social workers review the information and determine if an investigation is needed. Social workers may talk with the family, the child, or others to help determine any safety concerns for the child. Social workers and advocates can work together to help parents or other caregivers get services, education, or other needed assistance.

Adults also experience sexual assault at high rates – nearly 1 in 3 American Indian and Alaska Native women have been raped and 1 in 4 American Indian and Alaska Native men have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime. 41% of sexual assaults against American Indians are committed by a stranger, 34% by an acquaintance, and 25% by an intimate partner or family member. These statistics may not present an accurate representation of how often sexual violence occurs in native communities, since many survivors do not come forward after a sexual assault or report it to law enforcement. 

You do not need to report the crime to law enforcement to receive advocacy services following a sexual assault. Legacy of Healing has advocates available to support adult survivors of sexual assault, and can explain the options available to survivors when it comes to pursuing justice through the legal system. The Children’s Advocacy Center has advocates available to support survivors of all forms of child abuse, as well as their caregivers. Your advocate will walk alongside you as you navigate these complex systems, and get you connected with other needed social services. You do not have to deal with this alone, and there is help available within our community.

Throughout the month of April, the Tulalip Children’s Advocacy Center and Legacy of Healing invite you to participate in raising awareness within our community by attending our events and expanding your knowledge of sexual violence and child abuse. See our Save-the-Date card and mark your calendar for all of our upcoming events!

If you or anyone you know is a victim of sexual violence or child abuse and are need of services, help is available! Please call one of these numbers provided for support: 

Resources for Children

If you see someone harming a child, or you are experiencing another emergency, call 911.

  • Child Abuse Intake Hotline: 866-ENDHARM (866-363-4276)
  • Tulalip Children’s Advocacy Center: 360-716-KIDS (5437)
  • Daytime CPS Office for Snohomish County: 866-829-2153
  • Nights and Weekends CPS Office Line: 800-562-5624
  • beda?chelh: 360-716-3284
  • Resources for Adults
  • Legacy of Healing: 360-716-4100
  • Providence Intervention Center for Assault and Abuse (PICAA): 425-252-4800
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE (4673)
  • Strong Hearts Native Helpline:  844-7NATIVE (844-762-8483)

Santiago Ancheta

May 13, 1993 – March 3, 2023 

Santiago went on to be with our creator on 03/03/2023, at Providence Hospital in Everett, WA. He left behind his Mother Aliana Diaz, Stepmother Chandell Diaz. Siblings Gloria Warner, Michael Warner, Charles Warner and Anthony Herod. Santiago had many talents he was passionate about, such as drawing, playing the flute and basketball. We will miss his contagious laugh, beautiful smile, limitless love, uplifting spiritand giving personality. He was preceded in death by his step-father Jonathan Warner.

Gambling Addiction

Submitted by Sarah Sense-Wilson

Gambling addiction is an illness, not a financial problem.

It starts out as a recreational activity and progresses to a compulsive behavior, which becomes the main focus of a gambler’s life.

Compulsive gambling has mental, physical, emotional and spiritual manifestations and consequences.

The main symptom of this addiction is denial and the major characteristics are loss of control, preoccupation, chasing the losses and continuing despite negative consequences.

Anxiety and depression, low self-esteem and immaturity often underlie this addiction. However, the person has to stop gambling first before they can be helped with any other issues.

Gambling addiction has a devastating effect on family life and relationships.


Compulsive gambling is a progressive illness, which starts out as a recreational activity and ends up being destructive to both the gambler and his/her families. Compulsive gambling has mental, physical,emotional and spiritual consequences. The main symptom of this addiction is denial and the major characteristic is loss of control. There is also a tendency to take bigger and bigger risks as time goes by.

Like alcoholism, it is an illness, which cannot be cured, but which can definitely be arrested. One of the main symptoms of gambling addiction is that it becomes an overriding passion that permeates all aspects of the gambler’s life. Inability to stop gambling and continuing to gamble despite negative consequences are also characteristics of gambling addiction.

Winning, losing and desperation are the three phases of compulsive gambling. There are both social and economic costs involved when someone is addicted to gambling. These include poverty, starvation, family disintegration and criminal behavior. People who gamble to excess often suffer from feelings of depression and anxiety, as well as muscular tension, fatigue, headaches and high blood pressure.

Employees who have a gambling addiction also do not perform well at work as they are preoccupied with the next bet, money problems, where to get money, etc. Engaging in criminal activities in order to fund the gambling habit becomes a reality for many gambling addicts.

Gambling addiction is something that can happen to anybody.

Test yourself

Below are 10 questions from the US National Council on Problem Gambling on gambling behavior.

  • Have you often gambled longer than you had planned?
  • Have you often gambled until your last cent was gone?
  • Have thoughts of gambling caused you to lose sleep?
  • Have you used your income or savings to gamble while letting bills go unpaid?
  • Have you made repeated, unsuccessful attempts to stop gambling?
  • Have you broken the law or considered breaking the law to finance your gambling?
  • Have you borrowed money to finance your gambling?
  • Have you felt depressed or suicidal because of your gambling losses?
  • Have you been remorseful after gambling?
  • Have you gambled to get money to meet your financial obligations?

If you or someone you know answers “Yes” to any of these questions, consider seeking assistance from a professional regarding this gambling behavior. For a variety of treatment services contact Tulalip Tribes Family Services Problem Gambling Program at (360)716-4304 or Washington State Helpline 1-800-547-6133

MSD round dance celebrates Native cultureMSD round dance celebrates

By Shaelyn Smead, Tulalip News

A few things about Natives will always stay the same throughout time. One of the most important, we love to surround ourselves with our loved ones while we eat, sing, dance, and rejoice in our culture.

On March 9th, the Marysville School District Indian Education department held its annual round dance. Natives of surrounding tribes joined tribal and community members to embrace the lively cultural evening. The festivities began with a shared meal, followed by singing, dancing, communal conversations, and shopping from local Native vendors and artists selling handmade pieces like ribbon skirts, cedar headbands, and jewelry. 

In typical round dance style, drummers and singers gathered in the middle of the room while dancers shuffled clockwise in a circle around them. With many tribes represented that night, traditional tribal songs and regalia from throughout Washington were adorned and admired for people to see and hear. 

The round dance even had a surprise guest, newly appointed MSD Superintendent Dr. Zachary Robbins. Several people gathered beside him to teach the basic steps and meaning behind the movements. With a smile, Dr. Robbins quickly picked up the moves and danced alongside community members for a few songs.

Other than the many rich cultural elements demonstrated at the event, was pure comradery between the people who attended. MSD Native American Program Coordinator Matt Remle said, “The round dance was a beautiful evening of bringing together our families, youth, elders, community members, and district staff to enjoy and celebrate life. It was good to see the smiling faces, laughter, and sharing in our cultural ways of life.”