November is National Native American Heritage Month

Article by Sarah Miller

In 2011, President Obama declared November as National Native American Heritage month, with November 25th being Native American Heritage Day. This was done to herald the rich heritage and culture of the Native American people. It was a way for Obama and his administration to show appreciation and support to tribal sovereignty, tribal self determination, and prosperity for all Native Americans.

Obama’s administration has worked to address issues that have plagued Native communities. These issues are expanding access to affordable healthcare, broadening educational opportunities and the Let’s Move! In Indian Country program, which was started by the First Lady.

With that said, November is a month to embrace the Native American heritage. For those who grew up on the reservation, work on the reservation and have started a family on the reservation, it can be easy to celebrate a heritage you were raised in. However, there are some people who don’t have access to their culture as easily as others. And there are nontribal people who aren’t sure how you would celebrate a month devoted to Native American heritage. Here are a few ideas to embrace Native culture.

A great way to start off the month would be to read a book by a Native author, or a book about Native American history. There are a variety of books out there on Native history. You can do a Google search on it to find the one that interests you the most. If you’re interested in reading a Native author, Vine Deloria Jr. is a great choice. Sherman Alexie is another great author and his stories are very well told. One of my favorite books is actually a compilation of native writers. The book is called Genocide Of The Mind: New Native American Writing. Another favorite of mine is Lakota Woman written by Mary Crow Dog.

Another way to celebrate Native American heritage is to watch a movie about Native Americans or starring Native Americans. Sure, everyone will flock to Dances With Wolves, or even Smoke Signals, as they are quite popular movies about Native Americans, but there is a variety of movies to choose from out there. Last Of His Tribe, starring Jon Voight and Graham Greene is a powerful and emotional film. Pow Wow Highway is a great independent film about friends and family. I Will Fight No More Forever is a potent tale of the war between the United States Army and the Nez Perce Nation.

Another way to immerse yourself in this culture is to try out a few Native American recipes. If you go to www.nativetech.org/recipes, you’ll find a few good ones to try out.

For those who are tribal members, celebrating your heritage is a welcome event. There are many ways to do that, such as engaging in a powwow, making an Salish craft, or even sharpening your Lushootseed skills. If you go to www.tulaliptribes-nsn.gov, and you click on the Lushootseed section, you can check out the phrase of the week. That page will also take you to the main Lushootseed language page.

Of course, there is always the Hibulb Cultural Center. Their exhibits can educate you on Tulalip history plus you get to see some cool exhibits. Go to www.hibulbculturalcenter.org to check out what they have going on during month of November. In addition to exhibits there is are also a lecture series featuring prominent figures in the Tulalip community. Then there’s the cultural series, which is usually a demonstration on a native craft. It is a great way to celebrate National Native American Heritage month and maybe, learn something new.

Civilians attempt to outrun cops at Tulalip

Inaugural Run From the Law 5K raises funds for charity

 

Article and photos by Jeannie Briones

 Tulalip police officers “chase ” civilians for a good cause. Nine volunteer police officers from Tulalip and the surrounding area joined 75runners of all ages in the first annual Run From the Law 5K charity event, which began at the Tulalip Amphitheatre on September 16th. . Runners paid $25 to participate in the race, raising funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

 “Our goal is to raise $2,500 for the Make a Wish Foundation because they do wonderful things for the kids, such as sending a family to Disneyland for a dream vacation,” said Tory Klementsen, owner of Journey Fitness, a sponsor for the race.

Participants arrived at the Amphitheater to cold overcast weather, but the conditions didn’t damper their spirits. Runners eagerly waited for the sound of a buzzer to start the race, and in flash, they faded away in the distance. Tulalip police officers gave the citizens a five minute head start before “chasing” them down to the finish line.

 The first runner to beat the police to the finish line was Ken Jones, who after catching his breath, expressed he was glad to be a part of this fundraiser because the efforts are going to a good cause. The first police officer to cross the finish line was Seattle South Precinct police officer Nate Shopay.

This event was sponsored by North Sound Physical Therapy, RoadID and Journey Fitness.  These sponsors donated their time and resources, along with items for raffle give away, which included cool items such as hats, backpacks, gift cards, and boot camp certificates. Medals were presented to the top-placing runners, and Officer Shopay received a medal for being the first officer to cross the finish line.

It was a great turnout for a good cause. For more information on the Run From the Law 5K, including race results got to www.runfromthelaw5k.com.

John McCoy talks on the importance of talking with elders

John McCoy talks about the wisdom that elders hold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article and photo by Sarah Miller

Tulalip, WA– As the day was winding down, people filed into the Tulalip Hibulb Cultural Center’s longhouse room, awaiting the arrival of State Representative John McCoy on September 13th. John McCoy wears many hats in the Tulalip Community. He is not only a State Representative for the 38th District, he’s also an elder. He spoke to the group of people on his achievements in the Tulalip community and how it’s very important to listen to your elders.

“I was born on the reservation,” John started. “I wasn’t raised out here, I came out here later. My father was in the navy so I was a navy brat. I grew up along the west coast. My dad was at sea a lot and it was my mother who raised me.”

John learned a lot of his work ethics from fishing with his wife’s uncle.

“I learned a lot from him,” John went on. “He kept me busy, it was very busy work.”
In 1965, John joined the air force and was put to work with computers. In 1970, he got into programming. In 1981, John would get out of the air force. He eventually got to work in the White House during Ronald Reagan’s first term. He worked as a Senior Implementation Manager. Eventually in the 90’s, John made his way back to the reservation with the intent of implementing the vision of the elders there.

“At that time, I sat down and talked with Wayne Williams, he sat me down and gave me the history of Tulalip,” John said.
“He told me about the mission the elders had. The mission was from the thirties and forties, but it was a good idea and I was brought in to implement it. The elders had this vision of having a big trading post here on the reservation. That’s what they wanted. What do we have now? We have a strip mall, Cabela’s, Wal-Mart; that, to me, is a pretty big trading post.”

John stresses the importance of always listening to the elders and the visions they have. He states that there is always something to learn from doing that. Looking back on all that he helped the tribe accomplish, John is proud of where Tulalip is today.

“To do any of this, to get our casinos, to get our mall, to get our tribal government running, we had to put in an infrastructure,” John explains. “It’s more than just bricks and mortar. We modeled our government after our traditions. Tribes that do that tend to be more successful. And we have been successful. As long as we don’t make the same mistakes over and over, we are learning. We are growing.”

John went on to talk about a variety of topics. He sang the praises of the Big Water project that will ensure that Tulalip’s tribal members have clean water. He talked about the wonderful job that the tribal police are doing in conjunction with the Marysville police department.

John accredited the elders that he talked with for helping him to realize the vision of the tribe and where the tribe could go. He states that this is important.

“If you listen to the elders, you will hear their visions,” John said. “It’s good to listen to their mistakes and learn from them. I listen to them because they have no problem stopping me to tell me their stories and give me advice. In order to move forward, we need to listen to them.”

John finished his lecture to a round of applause from the group. If you are interested in checking out some of the events at the Hibulb Cultural Center, you can visit www.hibulbculturalcenter.org to check out their calendar of events.

Police host second community barbeque

Police host second community barbeque

 

Article and photo by Jeannie

            “The main purpose of this barbeque is to get out in the community and introduce ourselves to the community members and try to connect with them. We need to establish friendly communication on a positive note, not just in their time of need,” said Tulalip Tribes Chief of Police, Rance Sutton.

            The Tulalip Police Department gathered on September 5th at the housing community known around the reservation as the church site, for the second in a series of barbecues that welcome the community to meet with police officers and voice their concerns.

“The only way we are going be effective in resolving crime is if we connect with the community and work together, that way we have more eyes and ears listening and observing for criminal activity,” said Rance.

The Tulalip community is dealing with ongoing issues such as underage drinking, illegal drug use, and speeding vehicles.

One of the concerns that the police department is looking into is child safety. Residents would like to see more playgrounds installed to keep children off the streets and stay active. They even suggested hosting a bake sale to raise funds.

            Residents also agree that they as a community should look out for each other.

“We need to get the community more involved and be more responsible. We need to watch what is going on; it is our responsibility too,” said resident Terra Perrin.

            “We are continuing investigations and we are trying to attack the drug problem from several different angles. One is direct drug investigations, second is when our patrol officer stop cars, they are alert for drug paraphernalia that can lead to a drug arrest, and third, through property crimes. We have had success,” said Rance.

            For more information, contact the Tulalip Police Department at 360-716-4800

John LaPointe speaks on the importance of the Lushootseed language

 

John LaPointe speaks on the importance of the Lushootseed language

Article and photo by Jeannie Briones

John LaPointe, a Swinomish Tribal member, held a discussion at the Tulalip Hibulb Cultural Center on the Lushootseed language and how it is a crucial part of Native American heritage. The Coast Salish Lushootseed language is a link to the past, where stories are lived and retold from generations to generations, keeping Native American history and culture alive.

John, a graduate in Theology from the University of Washington, has spent a tremendous amount of time researching the Lushootseed language and understanding key words.

“Through this research, I have gained a profound understanding for this language,” said John.

The arrival of missionaries in 1838 to the Pacific Northwest introduced the Coast Salish people to the English language, and in turn the missionaries learned to speak Lushootseed. The missionaries also told stories of their culture and beliefs, stories the Native Americans found to be similar to their own culture and beliefs.

“I honestly believe the native people understood [these stories] better than some of the missionaries. They understood these stories ultimately aligned with who they are, that you love and care for each other no matter how hard or difficult times were,” said John.

John’s ancestor lived in a time when they took care of their people first before their own needs.

“In our culture today, with “pity,” there is an underlying implication of inferiority. ‘I am a little better than you, you pitiful thing.’ When they used the word, usebabtxw, even though it works in English it doesn’t work in a cultural context,” said John. “How would usebabtxw translate?  Someone who is unfortunate and who needs our prayers is what usebabtxw means, they are not pitiful or below you, they are suffering through a hardship and they are in pain and need our prayers. It’s an extraordinary word.”

According to John, our Native American ancestors lived in a world with no political structure or authority, they cared for the poor and everyone was treated with respect.

“In their minds, the way they grew up, they had no concept of prejudice, they didn’t have categories,” John continued. “You lived in a society where nobody was homeless and hungry; why do you need government, why do you need police? We lived in a mad world; we lived in a world that was so crazy that we made sure everyone was taken care of.”

Our ancestors shared their food and resources; everyone helped each other and shared knowledge and wisdom. John described a Poltlatch ceremony.

“Potlatch was not a way to boast and brag how wealthy you were, it was a public demonstration of how you cared for the poor. We cared for usebabtxw, we gathered and we invited everybody,” said John.

By the early 1900’s, Native Americans were in the midst of the boarding school experience where they were forbidden to speak their language. Native Americans were forced to live on reservations and were stricken with poverty, but they found ways to benefit from the boarding schools.

“Learn everything you can and help your people because the old world is gone. It is a white man’s world now, you will never gain if don’t know the rules,” said John. “Our elders could see the wisdom in their teachings from another culture far away.”

In the mid 50’s, the decline of the Lushootseed language was evident. People who still spoke the language felt isolated in a changing world, and they were witnessing, the loss of their language and culture.

“Everything they [Native Americans] knew and lived for was disappearing, and they felt that when they died there would be no more Indians,” said John.

According to John there are recordings of the Lushstoodseed language that have been translated into English, restoring history and culture for future generations to hear and learn.

John was invited to the Hibulb Cultural Center as part of the lecture series on August 23rd. The next lecture series, on September 13th, features John McCoy; he will be discussing his life’s work. For more information and a schedule of upcoming events, visit their website at www.hibulbculturalcenter.org.

 

Free Entry Thursdays at Hibulb!

Stop by the Hibulb Cultural Center on the first Thursday of every month and receive free admission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article by Sarah Miller

The first Thursday of every month, the Tulalip Hibulb Cultural Center has free admission for anyone interested in soaking up some cultural knowledge. If you’ve never been to the cultural center before, this is a perfect time for anyone to stop on by and check out some of the exhibits.

Walking through the hallways of Hibulb, you’ll find display cases full of historic artifacts and you’ll get to see a few old canoes as well.  Remember, no touching!

Other exhibits include Warriors: We Remember. This temporary exhibit offers a look into the warriors of Tulalip who served in the armed forces, and the positive and negative experiences that tribal members endured.

Another fun and educational exhibit is the Longhouse room. Built to replicate Tulalip longhouses, this room even has a faux fire pit where you can relax and listen to recordings of past stories.

The Hibulb Cultural Center is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, they are open from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information on events, you can call 360-716-2600 or you can visit the website at http://www.hibulbculturalcenter.org/.

If you are thirsty for more cultural activities, there is the First Thursday Seattle Art Walk in Pioneer Square. Considered the center of Seattle’s art scene, this event began in 1981 when art dealers would print handout maps, do small scale promotions, and on the first Thursday of every month, they would paint their footprints on the sidewalk.

This event lasts from noon until 8:00 p.m. There are many pieces of art to immerse yourself in like totem poles and bright red sentinels. For more information on this, you can visit the website at http://www.firstthursdayseattle.com.

Health Clinic blessing in honor of Karen Fryberg

Karen Fryberg is presented with her certificate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article and Photos by Sarah Miller

The sun was shining beautifully over Tulalip Bay as a crowd gathered outside of the health clinic to honor Karen Fryberg for her many years of hard work and dedication. The moment Karen arrives, you can feel the love in the room for her, as everyone applauds. She is humble and proud of all that she has accomplished and all those whom she’s helped.

A ceremony was held on August 30th to thank and recognize Karen for her many years of service to the health clinic as well as to officially rename the clinic the Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic. Karen was commended for all the hard work she put into making the health clinic what it is today.

Karen started working for the health clinic 32 years ago in 1980. She started out in a small building and was able to build the health clinic into what it is today. Back then, the health clinic had four or five employees and now, it has over eighty. Karen has spent most of her life not only making sure that people had a place to go for their health, but keeping people healthy as well. Her friends and family came together to make it known that her work has been greatly appreciated.

“This is a great honor for my family,” said Jennie Fryberg, daughter of Karen. “It means a lot to us. My mom has worked hard to provide a beautiful place for this community.”

During the ceremony, amid the sound of drumming, Karen was presented with a certificate thanking her for her many years of service.

“She is a phenomenal woman,” Jennie continued. “She’s helped the community members out. She totally dedicated her life to health. I’m thankful for this opportunity to get this retirement dinner and blessing ready for my mother. I planned everything for her and I’m thankful that they put it in my hands to make it a great day for my mother.”

Once the drumming had finished, people took turns talking about how Karen has helped them and what she represent to them. Tearful, Karen smiles through it all.

It was in 1998 that plans were being made for the health clinic. Karen got to be a big part of the planning, as this was her vision. In 2003, the staff moved into their current location, which overlooks the bay. It has taken a lot to get this started but Karen was persistent. It was not only for her benefit, but the benefit of her family and her tribe.

“A lot of people will remember this place,” Chairman Mel Sheldon comments. “I know that at times, it may have seemed easy to get this going, and sometimes it seemed too far away. I thank Karen for all the men’s wellness days, because if it hadn’t been for that, I wouldn’t have found out I had prostate cancer. I was able to catch it early. She helped a lot of people. This is not the end of a journey; it’s the beginning of another. She has affected so many people, she has brought so many people together.”

Karen retired in May 2012 from her position as Community Health Director. Nowadays, she plans on doing some traveling with her husband and being with her kid and grandkids.

“When we first started, we had one nurse practitioner, an outreach nurse, receptionist and one alcohol counselor,” Karen fondly remembers. “At the time, I was overseeing Family Services and the health clinic. We had one exam room and a tiny waiting room. We wanted to provide health care because people were not getting health care. A lot of people weren’t getting immunizations or prenatal care. There were a lot of things that happened to try to change things and provide services here. Our main mission was to provide the best services we could, something they could call their own and be proud of. I feel like I have achieved my goal.”

Karen states that making the move to a bigger and better equipped health care center was her biggest achievement.

“It was my proudest moment, moving in here,” she continued. “I was so excited that we did it. I miss being a part of the clinic. That’s been really hard for me to let go with my job. I miss my second family. I feel blessed that I had a big part in this. I feel that if I didn’t stick with it, we wouldn’t have this. I think the whole clinic staff helped with this. It wasn’t just me that did the planning, we included everyone.”

Once the blessing ceremony concluded, everyone headed to the Tulalip Resort for a retirement dinner to celebrate Karen’s many years of service to the tribe. A big thank you to Karen Fryberg for all her endeavors in getting proper health care to her tribal community.

Child Support Enforcement represents the children

Child Support Enforcement lines up to answer questions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article and photos by Sarah Miller

When most people think of child support, they think of court battles with angry parents looking to get as much money as they can from the other. In fact, child support is not a payment due to the parent; it is money to help support the child. Children are expensive to raise. They need food, clothes and a roof over their head. Tulalip Child Support Program (TCSP) aims to get the child what they need while they grow up. It is a benefit for the child, not the parent.

At this month’s community meeting, Child Support Enforcement was up to bat to talk about the (TCSP). During the meeting, staff members from the department took time to discuss the inner workings of child support and also answered questions that the audience had.

“This program enforces a child’s right,” said Intake Clerk Shaena Mitchell. “Children are our highest priority.”

The Tulalip Tribes is the 33rd tribe in Indian Country to have a tribal child support program. This program and its workers aim to build strong and committed partnerships, provide public education and outreach, and promote a stable, safe and healthy relationship between parents and children.

“I have worked with Child Support Enforcement since 2010,” said Program Attorney Sarah Colleen Sotomish. “I am very pleased to be working here. Over the past few years since this program started, our staff has grown. We are now seven people strong. We have just scratched the surface of what we have and what we can do in this program.”

At the moment, there are 780 cases waiting to transfer from the state to Tulalip. The current caseload at Tulalip is 810. Cases are doled out depending on the caseload of the staff member.

“We represent the child, not the parent,” said Case Manager Christy Schmuck-Joseph. “We can offer paternity establishment, genetics testing, adding father to birth certificate, child support establishment, modifications, and resources.”

To get paternity established, a summons must be filed and petitioned. Sometimes, a motion and order is required for the alleged father to submit to genetic testing.

A lot of the talk at the meeting was about Child Support Orders (CSO). In order to establish a CSO, a summons and petition must be filed by the case manager. All child support obligations will be based on the child support guidelines, however TCSP will make recommendations as to the child support obligation and amount. It must be based only on the guidelines.
You can also modify a CSO, which would require both parents going back to court. Modifications are made due to substantial increase in gross income, change in custody, change in TCSP guidelines, if it’s been two years since the last modification and other substantial change in circumstances.

“Sometimes all of this can take awhile,” said Lead Case Manager Lorna Edge Onsel. “It can take a long time if we can find the parent. We always appreciate any help when trying to locate a parent. We also enforce orders. Enforcement works when the non custodial parent has missed payment for three months. When that happens, we can take from per capita. We also do payroll deductions.”

Though the meeting lasted roughly an hour, many questions got answered and a lot of information was given to the audience. If you need any assistance from Child Support Enforcement, you can call 360-716-4556.