Summertime Gatherings

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

The season of sunshine is here! Already, we have seen the temperatures rise to the mid-70s at Tulalip and many can’t wait for all the fun opportunities that summer has to offer. While this time of the month is dedicated to celebrating grads and dads, we wanted to give our loyal syəcəb readers a glimpse into the future, by sharing a list of all the local upcoming events that are planned on the rez over the next few months.

The Tribe has numerous events scheduled to help engage the community in summertime activities, which includes plenty of cultural gatherings, fundraisers, and celebratory get-togethers.

Not too long ago, we put together a list of tribal events happening at Tulalip, which many associate with the beginning of summer, such as the Salmon Ceremony, the Stick Games Tournament, and the War Canoe Races. However, there are so many great things taking place this year, we had to break the list down into two separate articles.

So, have Siri, Alexa, or Google open up that calendar app, and be sure to set reminders for each of the following events, because this will be a summer to remember for sure!

Boom City – Open Daily 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. through July 4th

  The Northwest pyrotechnic capital is officially back for the Fourth of July! For generations, Boom City has been the go-to spot for those looking to celebrate Independence Day with a bang. Tulalip entrepreneurs get to show case their business acumen while flexing their tribal sovereignty to sell fireworks that are banned in nearby cities. Each summer, Tribal members set up their vibrant and creatively designed stands at the lot located behind the Tulalip Resort Casino.

  The stand owners have innumerable types of fireworks available for purchase including cakes, firecrackers, bottle rockets, sparklers, Roman candles, fountains, smoke bombs, pop-its, and many more. 

Boom City also offers a designated area for people to enjoy their fireworks in a safe and legal manner. Several food vendors are sure to be stationed at Boom City as well, serving up tasty delectables such as Hawaiian shaved ice, frybread and tacos.

Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention Program U-Pick Farm Day

June 20, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

  This summer’s U-Pick Farm Day will be hosted at Garden Treasures Nursery & Local Farm. Copy and paste this address into your preferred map app for directions to the farm: 3328 WA-530, Arlington, WA 98223. The event is organized by the Diabetes Care and Prevention program of the Tulalip Health Clinic and is a great way to learn about the produce you consume and how it is grown and harvested. 

In previous years, families gathered fresh vegetables and brought them home to incorporate into their meals.

The U-Pick and Farm Tour is open to all Tulalip tribal members, Tulalip employees, and patients of the Tulalip Health Clinic. Veronica ‘Roni’ Leahy, the Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention program Coordinator, shared, “When it comes to being with the plants, it’s about that connection that we have to them because the plants give us the nutrients that we need in our bodies. But they also feed us emotionally, because of how you feel when you’re harvesting the plants. And then to be able to talk about the spiritual side of our plant relatives and how we feel about them is important. 

“When you start thinking of your food as a type of medicine, it helps in the sense of a spiritual connection. That has been one our teachings here; feeding our Indian. Feeding who we are and satisfying that. I think the satisfaction comes not just from eating it and keeping within us to nourish our bodies, but it also comes from learning how to plant it, how to care for it, how to harvest it, and then prepare it. It’s this whole process that we do and that’s what we try to show here. These foods are the gift of health. And to see the kids, to see the adults, and the elders enjoy that, is truly a gift.”

27th annual Lushootseed Language Camp

Week one July 8 – 12; Week two July 15 – 19

  Registration for Language Camp is now open! The camp tends to fill up quick and is limited to 50 kids per week. So, be sure to reach out to the Lushootseed Language Department for a sign-up form to get your kiddos enrolled in this cultural enriching day camp. 

This year’s Language Camp is open to Tribal youth between the ages of five and twelve. During each fun-filled week, the kiddos learn several teachings of the Coast Salish culture including weaving, smudging, beading necklaces, and harvesting local plants, like devil’s club, for medicine and ceremonial art. 

Throughout the five-day camp, the young Language Warriors will be fully immersed in their ancestral language, as well as in the Tribe’s traditional stories and songs, through a combination of interactive lessons, including outdoor play and a series of visual programs that are taught on tablets.

Leah’s Dream Foundation 10th annual Golf Tournament  – July 13

Leah’s Dream Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to empowering children and young adults who are on the spectrum. The foundation was established in 2015 by Tribal member Deanna Sheldon, whose daughter, Leah Stacy, is diagnosed with apraxia. 

By hosting events and get-togethers for the local youth living with autism and disabilities, the organization provides a safe space where the kids can simply be themselves and build friendships within the special needs community.

  This tourney is beloved by golfers all across the county, as it provides an opportunity for hundreds of players to hit the links of the Battle Creek course while advocating for inclusion, promoting awareness, and raising funds for the special needs community of Tulalip and Marysville. 

The golf tournament is an event that Leah looks forward to every year and she is always quick to lend a hand by posting sponsor signs all throughout the 18-hole golf course.

To sign up for the annual golf tournament, please visit for more details.

Camano Island State Park Day Camp Trip – July 15

  The Diabetes Care and Prevention program is on a mission to educate the community about the disease that affects our people by the masses. In addition to their U-Pick and Farm tour, they are hosting another informative outing that is focused on promoting healthy eating and living habits to either prevent or help manage diabetes.

This particular event promises some fun in the sun as those who attend will spend a day out in nature, enjoying the scenic views of the Camano Island State Park. The excursion will be ADA accessible, with ADA restrooms nearby, and will include easy beach walks as well. 

A number of speakers are scheduled to share their knowledge at the outing, including THC team members, and representatives from the American Diabetes Association and the Puget Sound Kidney Center. 

The day camp trip is in collaboration with the Tulalip Senior Center, which will be providing transportation for Tribal members, as well as the Tribe’s Natural Resources Department.  

To sign up or acquire more info, please give Roni a call at (360) 716-5642. 

spee-bi-dah – July 20, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

  Connecting multiple generations and families, the summertime potlatch celebrates the lifeways of the Tulalip people with a cookout on the beach.

Held on a yearly basis, on the water, sands, and pebbles of the spee-bi-dah beach, the gathering provides tribal members a chance to socialize with friends and family while also traditionally harvesting and preparing the foods of their ancestral diet, including salmon, clams, and crab.

  A main attraction of the day is when the community ‘pulls together’ by using the traditional method of seining to capture fresh shellfish for the traditional clambake. That, of course, is in addition to a horseshoe tournament, swimming in the Salish Sea, and enjoying some rezzy laughs with all the deadly aunties and uncles of Tulalip. 

Canoe Journey – Tulalip Landing – July 27

Earlier this year, the Ahousaht First Nations Band rescinded their all-tribal invite to their homelands for the 2024 Tribal Canoe Journey. This was due to a lack of space, resources, and time needed to host such a large gathering.

While many were disappointed by the news, it also inspired the very first Youth Paddle when Puyallup stepped up and announced that they would host a journey geared exclusively toward the future leaders of our respective tribal nations.

While enroute to this year’s final destination at Puyallup, the youth, traveling in traditional cedar dugouts, will make a quick visit to Tulalip on July 27. 

Celebrated during the summertime by multiple Coast Salish tribes and First Nation bands, the canoe journey affords tribal members the opportunity to connect to their ancestral way of life. 

By navigating the Salish Sea, the kids will be exposed to several traditions, songs, foods, and dances as they journey from one village to the next.  

  Tulalip is currently holding canoe practices so the youth can build up their endurance. You can catch the Canoe Family down at the Marina on Mondays and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m., as the youth put in work in anticipation of this year’s paddle. Be sure to drop by if you’re interested in pulling during the 2024 youth paddle to Puyallup!

Tulalip Health Clinic annual Health Fair

August 2, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

  Promoting overall health and wellness, the Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic is once again hosting their annual Health Fair gathering this August. 

During the six-hour event, community members can visit a number of informational booths and learn the importance of prioritizing one’s health, and also pick up new tips on how to manage their medical diagnoses and concerns. 

In addition to helpful resources, the community can also receive free screenings and donate blood. And of course, the fan favorite fun run/walk will also be making its return to the annual health fair.

  This year’s event will take place at the Tulalip Gathering Hall.

3rd annual Pride Everyday Gathering

August 4, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  Following two consecutive successful years, in which there were large turnouts, the Tulalip Pride Everyday gathering makes a comeback with the promise of even more fun, more dancing, and more delicious food. 

This Pride event is aimed to uplift and empower the voices of our relatives who identify as members of the LGBTQ+/Two-Spirit community.

DJ Monie will be spinning tunes during the event once again, so you can be sure to expect some fun dance competitions throughout the summertime celebration. Also returning this year will be MC Randy Vendiola, as well as Grand Marshal Sage Vendiola. Local Indigenous Author/Poet, Sasha LaPointe, will be the featured guest speaker during the gathering, and she will also be holding a signing of her book, Red Paint. 

The gathering also includes a Native earring contest, a ribbon shirt and skirt contest, and a number of games and activities as well. 

All ages are welcome to join the gathering to honor and support the local 2-Spirit and LGBTQ+ community. The Pride Everyday celebration is set to take place Gathering Hall.

Tulalip Foundation annual Salmon Bake Fundraiser in benefit of the Hibulb Cultural Center – August 17

  The Tulalip Foundation puts together an exquisite night that highlights Tulalip’s rich culture each August. While showcasing the songs, art, and history of the tribe, the Foundation hosts the Salmon Bake to help bring in funds to benefit the Hibulb Cultural Center’s exhibits, classes, and events.

  During the gathering, the museum opens up its exhibits to all those in attendance. And often times, several Tulalip artists are invited to hold live demonstrations in carving, looming, and weaving. 

Leading up to the Salmon Bake, the foundation acquires numerous donations from around the tribe to put up for bid during the silent auction. Those items include paintings, beadwork, sculptures, and cedar woven pieces, as well as gift baskets and gift certificates for the Tulalip Resort Casino. 

Also, be sure to keep an eye out for the announcements of the dates, times, and locations for the following events:

  • Tulalip Recovery Camp Out at Lopez Island
  • TPD’s National Night Out
  • Tulalip Elders Luncheon
  • Tulalip Education Division summer activities
  • Tulalip Boys and Girls Club summer activities
  • Cedar pulling harvest outings
  • Mountain Huckleberry harvest outings