Spring Planting is Near: Join the Arbor Day Foundation in February and Receive 10 Free Redbud Trees

Press Release, Arbor Day Foundation, http://www.arborday.org

Joining the Arbor Day Foundation is an ideal way to get in the mood for spring planting. Anyone from Washington who joins the Foundation in February 2013 will receive 10 free Eastern redbud trees to plant when the weather turns warm.

The free trees are part of the nonprofit Foundation’s Trees for America campaign

“Redbuds will help beautify Washington for many years to come,” said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “They will also add to the proud heritage of Washington’s existing Tree City USA communities.”

The Tree City USA program has supported community forestry throughout the country for more than 35 years.

The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting, between March 1 and May 31, with enclosed planting instructions. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow, or they will be replaced free of charge.

Members also receive a subscription to the Foundation’s colorful bimonthly publication, Arbor Day, and The Tree Book, which contains information about planting and care.

To become a member of the Foundation and receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to TEN FREE EASTERN REDBUD TREES, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by February 28, 2013, or visit arborday.org/february.


Premiere of ‘Back to the River’

Back to the River Premier

Salmon Defense, http://salmondefense.org

Back to the River tells the story of the treaty rights struggle from the pre-Boldt era to tribal and state co-management. The movie includes the voices and personal accounts of tribal fishers, leaders, and others active in the treaty fishing rights struggle.

The premiere will take place at 7pm on February 1, 2013 at The Seattle Aquarium (1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59, Seattle, WA 98101)

Seating is limited to 250 people.

Please RSVP to Peggen Frank

Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Salmon Defense is very thankful to the BACK TO THE RIVER SPONSORS who made this project possible.

  • Nisqually Indian Tribe
  • Lummi Nation
  • Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe
  • Muckleshoot Indian Tribe
  • Squaxin Island Tribe
  • Tulalip Tribes
  • Quinault Indian Nation
  • Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians
  • Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe
  • Skokomish Tribal Nation
  • Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

Chippewa author’s book sheds light on a dark subject

The Round House
 By Monica Brown, Tulalip News writer
The Round House By Louise Erdich
Reviewed by Monica Brown



The Round House is set in the year 1988 on an Indian reservation in North Dakota. The reservation is seen in an unfiltered light; a tangle of Indian housing, tribal police and questions of where their jurisdiction lies, the local gas station, the catholic church and stories of the old days. In the midst are 13 year-old Joe, Joe’s father Bazil, a tribal court judge and his mother Geraldine, a tribal enrollment specialist.

The story is told through the eyes of Joe who is now grown and is remembering back to 1988. Joe brings us back to the memory of when his mother was attacked and brutally raped and how the act was so infiltrating that it threatened to rip his world apart.

While his mother retreats into darkness and shuts the world out, Bazil begins reading old court files in hopes of gleaming something useful.  Joe becomes restless and sets out for information with his friends; Cappy, Angus and Zack. The boys become immersed in a world that deals heavily with the boundaries of law, spirituality and the bonds between families and friends.

As Joe goes about in his nonchalant way seeking the truth, he questions his father and challenges him on being not just a good husband to Geraldine, but a good judge. Bazil explains to Joe and reminds him of the laws that are in place which will make this an extremely difficult case if the attacker is even found.

“…this one is the one I’d abolish right this minute if I had the power of a movie shaman. Oliphant V. Suquamish…took from us the right to prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes on our land.” Says Bazil to Joe in order to reason why it doesn’t just matter if they find who did it, what matters is where it happened.

Once you know something so inhumane, it is as Joe says “a poison in you”. In other places around the world where justice can be handed out, this sort of crime still leaves a gap in the lives of all it touches but to not be able to seek justice can leave a wound which may never heal.

Even though the story is heavy with dialogue and lacks quotations it is still an impressive and deliberate account. Louise Erdrich paints very clearly the internal and external struggle which resides with every indigenous person whether the seek it out or try to ignore it. The book is loosely based on actual events and reveals actual laws that are in place today. The Round House was published in October of 2012 and was selected as the winner in the fiction category for the 2012 National Book Award.

Louise Erdrich, a member of the Turtle Mountain band of Chippewa, wrote this story to bring to light “the tangles of laws that hinder prosecution of rape cases on many reservations”. With The Violence against Women Act being rewritten and the Idle No More movement spreading across the globe this book could not have been released at a more appropriate time.

Tribal member heads to regional poetry competition


Tribal member Braulio Ramos places first  in a poetry recital.
Tulalip Tribal member Braulio Ramos will be competing in the Poetry Out Loud regional competition.


By Jeannie Briones and Kim Kalliber, Tulalip News staff

MARYSVILLE, Wash – Braulio Ramos, Tulalip Tribal member, and senior at the Bio-Med Academy located on the Marysville Getchell High School campus, never realized that he could excel in public speaking, especially poetry recital, until he joined Poetry Out Loud, a nation-wide high school program that encourages youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation, while mastering public speaking skills and building self-confidence.

Ramos, along with six other students, participated in the second finals for the national Poetry Out Loud contest in December, held at Marysville Getchell. With his confidence and natural flare, Ramos won first place, making him eligible for the regional Poetry Out Loud competition in March.

Ramos chose to read ‘Bilingual/Bilingue’ by Rhina P. Espaillat and ‘Jabberwocky’ by Lewis Carroll, stating that Alice in Wonderland is one of his favorite books.

Each year over 300,000 students take part in the national poetry recital contest. 2012 marked Marysville Getchell’s first year entering the contest, which is funded by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowments for the Arts.   Participating students must choose two pre-approved poems from the Poetry Out Loud online poem anthology; one that has fewer than 25 lines and one that was written before the 20th century.

“By trying news things, you find that you are good at something that you never thought you would actually do,” said Braulio. “Two days it took me to memorize one of the poems. I would read it and listen to it and see if I could recite it without any help. A method my teacher showed us was to write down and compare what you know, and compare it with the actual poem itself.”

The judging panel for the December competition consisted of the Mayor of Marysville, John Nehring, Marysville School District Assistant Superintendent, Gail Miller and MSD Board of Directors Vice President Wendy Fryberg and Board member Pete Lundberg. Student’s scores are based on six main criteria: physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding and overall performance.

The Regional Poetry Out Loud competition will take place January 30th at the Burlington Library, located at 820 East Washington Ave. Winners of that competition move on to the state contest, which takes place in March, and then on the nationals, held in April.

These events are free to the public. For more information on the regional and state competitions, contact Nancy Menard at nmenard@newesd.org.


Jeannie Briones: 360-716-4188;jbriones@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

Finding the artist within


Art and Crafts Specialist, Astrid is displaying a final creation of a eagle hat that kids are making like tribal member Tauveiy Chrismay.
Astrid Holt-Marshall, Arts & Crafts Specialist for the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club, is creating  eagle hats with club member Tauveiy Chrismay.

By Jeannie Briones, Tulalip News staff

TULALIP, Wash. –  Art is a broad spectrum of stimulating activities that help kids to grow and expand their minds. Since October 2012, the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club has been offering, “Let Your Art Out,” an art program that is open to all club members, every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Astrid Holt-Marshall, Art & Crafts Specialist for the Club, organized the program with the intent of providing a safe place where club members, families, and friends can gather to experience a wide range of intriguing art projects together.

“I love the kid’s energy,” said Astrid. “It’s nice to be able to teach them how to use the materials, and they can take off from there. They show me new things and it’s totally cool and it helps them with their self esteem.”

Every Saturday club members can enjoy a meal and participate in a themed art project. The kids have participated in a wide range of projects such as, coloring and designing tiles, working with clay, ceramics, paper mache, expressive art, woodcrafting, and painting, along with cultural arts like making dream catchers, weaving, and creating cedar plank masks. The kids also learn basic skills like cooking and sewing.

“It’s inspiring. I can teach my little cousins how to make clay sculptures,” said tribal member Tauveiy Chrismay.

Astrid is always looking for new ideas, like having the kids participate in making theatre costumes. Astrid encourages participants to volunteer their creative ideas, because she feels they can all learn from each other.

What makes Astrid’s job rewarding is when students want to give back by volunteering their time and assisting other kids with their art projects. The Club is open for members to join the community of artists in motion.

For information on the program and to volunteer, please contact Astrid Holt-Marshall at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club, 360-716-3400.


Jeannie Briones: 360-716-4188; jbriones@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

A Passion for Eagles Takes Flight in Volunteers

eagle watchStory and photos by US Forest Service Kelly Sprute

Everett, Wash., Jan. 16, 2013—It isn’t an easy job: standing six long hours in rain, sleet, hail, sun and snow every weekend starting in December through January.  Armed with binoculars, spotting scopes and a love for bald eagles they greet and teach thousands of people who pilgrimage to Skagit River for a glimpse of eagles roosting in trees and eating fish along the banks. And these Eagle Watcher volunteers do it for free.

Eagle Watchers are stationed at three locations along the Skagit River on the North Cascades Highway: Howard Miller Steelhead Park near Rockport, Wash., nature viewing area at milepost 100 and the Marblemount Fish Hatchery.

The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and North Cascades Institute created the program in 1992 to control crowding that disrupted the birds and caused traffic problems on the highway according to Tanya Kitterman. The Forest Service Eagle Watcher coordinator said the Skagit River watershed boasts one of the largest wintering populations of bald eagles in the continental United States.

“The birds flock to the Skagit River for three reasons: the abundance of food, the river has good flows for spawning and it doesn’t ice over,” Kitterman said. Each year it takes 45 volunteers run the program, but most are eager to return, so she usually only needs to recruit about five people.  All it takes to be an Eagle Watcher is enthusiasm about eagles and be an adult.  “I bring the canopies, scopes, tri-pods and binoculars and they run with it. Their passion for the eagles is contagious,” Kitterman said.

Harry Ota
Harry Ota

The Forest Service trains volunteers about eagle biology and how they fit into the Skagit River ecosystem, readying volunteers for a multitude of questions: “How long do they live? How big is their wingspan? How much do they weigh? Why is the female bigger than the male? Where are they from?”

Harry Ota, a retired US army colonel who lives in Mt. Vernon, Wash., is a 20-year veteran Eagle Watcher.  “It beats getting cabin fever,” he said. He still gets ready for the season every year by digging out his reference books and reviewing old videos.

“The eagles that arrive here are frozen out of their territory and food source up north and follow the salmon traveling south. It is amazing how nature works together. As one spawning route ends, another begins and the eagles move to follow,” Ota said. They are hungry when they arrive on the Skagit. “You’ve heard the saying about eating like a bird. Well, eagles are very voracious eaters and eat about a pound of meat a day. That is like us eating 40 quarter-pounders,” Ota said.

The years of observing these birds have given Ota insight into the eagle’s behavior.

He has noticed that some have become attuned to the presence of human activity.  Although most will fly away from their meal when a boat drifts down river, some eagles just stop, guard their salmon, watch the boat pass and continue eating.

“Eagles are incredible animals with personalities. They have a favorite perch they return to, just like we do. Some watch the world go by, others fight over food, and a rare few perform flybys worthy of jet fighters over the bridge near the Howard Miller Steelhead Park,” Ota said.

In 2000 he got to help trap, tag and release eagles along the Skagit River for a Washington State wildlife research study.  “Holding an eagle in my hands was an experience of a lifetime,” Ota said. They tagged 23 eagles and tracked them for five years. “The study discovered the eagles came from up north in the Yukon and were flying down the coast to northern California or east across the Cascades following the Yakima River,” he said.

One of Ota’s favorite stories is of the eagles’ resiliency and recovery. “In the 1950s there was an estimated 412 nesting pairs of bald eagles in the lower 48 states. The bird was later listed as an endangered species. By the 1990s the eagle’s population had rebounded to an estimated 115,000 and was later removed from the endangered and threatened list in 2007,” he said.  But Ota said what keeps him coming back every year is seeing peoples’ face light up when they view an eagle through the scope for the first time. “It is wonderful,” he said.

You can view the bald eagles each weekend until the end of January. Learn more about the Eagle Watcher program or contact Tanya Kitterman at 360-856-5700.




Diabetes Day today at Tulalip Health Clinic from 9:30 – 3:30

By Monica Brown Tulalip News writer

Janurary 16, 2013


The event began today with and opening prayer and is scheduled to run until 3:30 p.m. Breakfast was served with the intention to inform about healthy options for people either with diabetes or wanting to ward off diabetes.  Tribal member Hank Gobin gave a informative speech about diabetic care.

Lunch will be served from noon to 1:30pm. Clinic staff will be offering comprehensive Diabetic Services for all Tulalip Tribal members and authorized patients of the Karen I Fryberg Tulalip Health Clinic.

Hank Gobin speaks at Diabetes Day.
Hank Gobin speaks at Diabetes Day.
Breakfast for Diabetes Day, fresh fruit, oatmeal, greek yogurt, eggs and tea.
Breakfast for Diabetes Day, fresh fruit, otameal, greek yogurt, eggs and tea.
Diabetes Day at Tulalip Health Clinic today
Diabetes Day at Tulalip Health Clinic today

There really are 50 Eskimo words for ‘snow’

By David Robson, New Scientist, Washington Post

Anthropologist Franz Boas didn’t mean to spark a century-long argument. Traveling through the icy wastes of Baffin Island in northern Canada during the 1880s, Boas simply wanted to study the life of the local Inuit people, joining their sleigh rides, trading caribou skins and learning their folklore. As he wrote proudly to his fiancee, “I am now truly like an Eskimo. . . . I scarcely eat any European foodstuffs any longer but am living entirely on seal meat.” He was particularly intrigued by their language, noting the elaborate terms used to describe the frozen landscape: “aqilokoq” for “softly falling snow” and “piegnartoq” for “the snow [that is] good for driving sled,” to name just two.

Mentioning his observations in the introduction to his 1911 book “Handbook of American Indian Languages,” he ignited the claim that Eskimos have dozens, or even hundreds, of words for snow. Although the idea continues to capture public imagination, most linguists considered it an urban legend, born of sloppy scholarship and journalistic exaggeration. Some have even gone as far as to name it the Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax. The latest evidence, however, suggests that Boas was right all along.

This debate has rumbled on partly because of a grammatical peculiarity of the Eskimo family of languages. Boas studied Inuit, one of the two main branches; the other is Yupik. Each has spawned many dialects, but uniting the family is a feature known as polysynthesis, which allows speakers to encode a huge amount of information in one word by plugging various suffixes onto a base word.

For example, a single term might encompass a whole sentence in English: In Siberian Yupik, the base “angyagh” (boat) becomes “angyaghllangyugtuqlu” to mean “what’s more, he wants a bigger boat.” This makes compiling dictionaries particularly difficult: Do two terms that use the same base but a different ending really represent two common idioms within a language, or is the difference simply a speaker’s descriptive flourish? Both are possible, and vocabulary lists could quickly snowball if an outsider were to confuse the two — a criticism often leveled at Boas and his disciples.

Yet Igor Krupnik, an anthropologist at the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Washington, believes that Boas was careful to include only words representing meaningful distinctions. Taking the same care with their own work, Krupnik and others charted the vocabulary of about 10 Inuit and Yupik dialects and concluded that they indeed have many more words for snow than English does.

Central Siberian Yupik has 40 such terms, while the Inuit dialect spoken in Canada’s Nunavik region has at least 53, including “matsaaruti,” for wet snow that can be used to ice a sleigh’s runners, and “pukak,” for the crystalline powder snow that looks like salt.

For many of these dialects, the vocabulary associated with sea ice is even richer. In the Inupiaq dialect of Wales, Alaska, Krupnik documented about 70 terms for ice that mark such distinctions as: “utuqaq,” ice that lasts year after year; “siguliaksraq,” the patchwork layer of crystals that forms as the sea begins to freeze; and “auniq,” ice that is filled with holes, like Swiss cheese.



Skagit Eagle Festival honors native culture


Musican Peter Ali plays contemporary native flute tunes.
Musician Peter Ali is a self taught musician, who comments that his contemporary native music is played from the heart.


By Jeannie Briones, Tulalip News staff

The Skagit Eagle Festival is a month-long celebration that takes place during the peak of eagle-watching season in Eastern Skagit County, Washington. This January marks the 27th year for the festival, which offers fun activities that take place in Concrete, Rockport and Marblemount every Saturday and Sunday in January.

On January 12th, in Marblemount, people came to join the festivities that were immersed in Native American culture. Jewelry, natural crafts, stone carvings, contemporary native flute music, storytelling, drumming and a puppet show, depicting the legend of how the Sockeye Salmon came to Skagit and the Baker River, were some of the sights and sounds offered to attendees, along with vendors selling homemade goods.

A vendor showcases beautiful wood work in Northwest Native American Coastal designs.
A vendor showcases beautiful wood work in Northwest Native American Coastal designs.

“Concrete, Rockport, and Marblemount are the three up-river towns that share in the celebration of the bald eagle festival with different events each weekend. The second week of January traditionally has been the weekend that Marblemount hosts the celebration that focuses on honoring and sharing native culture. We have been fortunate that a number of people have volunteered their time and effort to share what they do,” said Christie Fairchild, Komo Kulshan Outdoor School.

The Skagit Eagle Festival also features a variety free tours, educational programs, bird watching, crafts, and wine tasting.For more information about the Skagit Eagle Festival,  and events taking place through January, visit www.SkagitEagleFestival.com. From I-5, take Exit 232 (Cook Rd.), and drive east to the light at State Route 20 in Sedro-Woolley. Turn left and travel approximately 25 miles to Concrete (milepost 88), or continue to Rockport (milepost 98) and Marblemount (milepost 106).


Jeannie Briones: 360-716-4188; jbriones@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov