Students helping students and community


Ben Lubbers faculty instructor for Northwest Indian College and Faculty advisor for the Student Wellness and Cultural Awareness Club presents the “River of Renewal” at the Hibulb Cultural Center.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle and academic achievement with the Student Wellness and Cultural Awareness Club

 Article and photo Jeannie Briones

 TULALIP, Washington-  Students and staff at Northwest Indian College (NWIC) Tulalip site are working to raise awareness about healthy living and cultural significance. A goal that led to the formation of the Student Wellness and Cultural Awareness Club (SWCA), which is essentially a support group open to all enrolled students of NWIC.

 Members of SWCA believe that by educating fellow students and community members about the benefits of a nutritious diet, paired with keeping in tune with the Native American culture and current issues that Native Americans are facing, will benefit not only their physical and spiritual well-being, but will help in decision making about the impacts they have on the environment.

 Though newly formed, the club has already shown steady progress in their endeavor. Students have planted and cultivated a garden at the NWIC Tulalip site, and plan to share the harvest of carrots, onions, sage, corn, tomatoes, peppers, and peas with the community. Encouraging attendance at the Tulalip Health Fair so students can learn the importance of maintaining routine health care check-ups is also on the agenda, as well as participating in cultural events around Tulalip. Drum making and other culturally relevant workshops are in the planning. 

 Club members are also reaching out to high school students, teaching the importance of a good education and attending college, while working to ensure that their own fellow students are getting the educational support they need.

“The main objective of SWCA is to provide students a safe environment and opportunity to learn and be able to practice their culture and instill in them it’s okay. We want to make sure that if they need help with homework that there’s a group of people they can go to make sure they get it done,” said Stephanie Spiering, student at the NIC Tulalip site. 

 Club members are asked to research films that focus on Native American political or environmental issues and share them with the community. On November 13th, members of SWCA presented a documentary film, “River of Renewal” at theTulalip Hibulb Cultural Center.

This film examines the water and wildlife crisis in the Klamath Basin, how the communities that harvest food from the basin suffered due to a lack of water to serve the needs of irrigation and fisheries alike, and how local tribes and community members came to a common ground, recognizing that economic revival could occur only if ecological vitality were restored. How leaders from different communities can work together to seek to seek a way beyond economic stagnation, and environmental disaster is the lesson that SWCA members wanted to share with the public.

“The film represents collaboration between stake holders to solve environmental conflicts and that gives us hope for the future with limited resources to work together and make sure that salmon, water, and other natural resources are shared and that tribal fishing rights are recognized, so we have enough resources for not only for tribes, but also to commercial fisherman, and farmers” said Ben Lubber, faculty instructor for Northwest Indian College and Faculty advisor for the Student Wellness and Cultural Awareness Club.

The HibulbCultureCenterwill be showing the film choices of SWCA quarterly. Please visit for a schedule of events. Visit for more information on the “River ofRenewal” documentary.

SWCA also hosts an open mic night, held at the Tulalip Administration Building every second Friday of the month, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Community members are invited to share in an evening of poetry, singing and comedy.

SWCA is non-profit organization accepting donations for plants, supplies for cultural projects, film events, and school supplies and all enrolled students at NWIC are encouraged to join in on the club’s bi-monthly meetings held at the Tulalip site at 1:00 p.m.  For information on the Student Wellness and Cultural Awareness Club or to make a donation, contact Ben Lubbers at 425-870-0379 or visit The Northwest Indian College Tulalip site is located at7707 36th Ave NW,Tulalip,WA98271 .


Jeannie Briones: 360-716-4188;

Salish Bounty exihibt opens at Tulalip

Salish Bounty: Traditional Native American Foods of Puget Sound at the Hibulb Cultural Center.

Article and photo by Jeannie Briones

TULALIP, Washington- Tulalip Hibulb Cultural Center has partnered with Seattle’s Burke Museum. Salish Bounty: Traditional Native American Foods of Puget Sound exhibit is available until January 2013.

The Salish Bounty exhibit connects archaeological and historical research about thousands of years of food traditions in the Puget Sound area to current efforts to revitalize these food traditions in the region. On display at the exhibit are ancient fishing, hunting and cooking devices, historic photos and maps, actual food ingredients and videos of Coast Salish people talking about food.

Employee Assistance Program offers free counseling

Article and photo by Jeannie Briones

TULALIP, Washington- We live in a fast paced world that is growing by the minute. Our environment is hectic and stressful at times, which can make it overwhelming to manage a harmonious life. The increased pressure of balancing a career, family and other factors are burdensome and when life throws unexpected events, like a death in a family, it builds more pressure, making it harder to properly deal with grief and loss.

There are counselors available through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at the Tulalip Administration Building to all Tulalip Tribal Government employees that are having issues and need guidance.

“The primary goal and objective for EAP is to help employees resolve personal or work related problems. The goal of the EAP is to help employees with a wide range of issues that could be anything from depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, anger, marital or relationship issues, parenting issues, grief or loss, or coping with change during different life transitions,” said Lisa Kibbee-Hacker, EAP Manager.

EAP is a customized help based on the employees’ individual needs. Employees can take advantage of workshop classes that cover subjects such as effective communication skills, addressing workplace bullying, and group-managing grief and loss in the workplace. Another component to this program is that staff provides support to managers and supervisros, and facilitates mediation meetings between the employee and manager.

“If employees are having work issues, we provide referrals if there is nothing we can do,” said Jessica Talevich, EAP Counselor. “I am an art therapist. Art therapy oriented EAP is a pretty unique thing. EAP professionals who use art-making as a component in their counseling are pretty rare.”

Overall EAP is beneficial for mental health and well-being. EAP professionals provide individual assessment to work on short term problem-solving goals.

“We give them the tools to have self-empowerment and to make change,” said Lisa.

Lisa believes EAP is effective in helping people and enjoys seeing employees have a much more positive outlook.

“You see the transition from the beginning and to the final sessions; this is why we do this work,” said Lisa.

This service is at no cost to employees. Contact EAP counselor Jessica Talevich at 360-716-4488 or email, if you are interested in setting up an appointment. If you are interested in up-coming workshops, contact EAP Manager, Lisa Kibbee-Hacker at 360-716-4150 or email


Jeannie Briones: 360-716-4188;

Free flu shots available at Tulalip

Article by Jeannie Briones

TULALIP, Washington- Have you received your flu shot this year? Everyone should get a flu shot, especially Tulalip Tribal employees working around children, elders or in highly populated work environments. Flu shots reduce the chances of getting sick and spreading the flu to others.

Flu shots are free to all Tulalip Tribal members and employees at the Tulalip Clinical Pharmacy or Tulalip Karen I Fryberg Health Clinic through February 2013. The shot is administrated two ways, by injection or a new nasal spray alternative called FluMist.

The Tulalip Clinic accepts walk-ins, and flu shots are available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Pharmacy has flu shots available all hours, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturdays noon-4:00 p.m.

For more information contact a representative at the Tulalip Clinical Pharmacy at 360-716-2660 or visit or contact the Tulalip Karen I Fryberg Health Clinic at 360-716-4511.

Affordable Ski & Snowboard Helmets at Marysville Fire District

Press Release, Maryville Fire District,

MARYSVILLE, Washington –  As winter approaches so does the promise of snow. When families head to the mountains to enjoy snow sports such as skiing, snowboarding and tubing we want to also encourage them to protect their heads by wearing a properly fitted helmet. According to Safe Kids USA, “Helmets, when worn properly can prevent or reduce the effects of 53 percent of the head injuries suffered by children in the United States while skiing or snowboarding.”

The Marysville Fire District is proud to offer ski and snowboard helmets at a cost of $25, which includes a free fitting. Available sizes include small, medium, and large; and they will fit young children through most adults.

The helmets, provided by Safe Kids Snohomish County, are of equal quality to the helmets found in specialty stores, for a fraction of the cost and come with lined padding and ear covers. The cost of the helmet goes back into keeping a supply of helmets stocked throughout the winter months. Neither Marysville Fire District nor Safe Kids Snohomish County makes a profit from the cost.

To purchase a ski helmet, contact Marysville Fire District at (360) 363-8500 to set up a fitting appointment. The person for whom the helmet is intended for must be present at time of fitting and purchase.

To learn more about Safe Kids Snohomish County visit  Safe Kids is a not for profit organization whose mission is to prevent unintentional injuries and death in children.


Kids rockin’ new technology at Tulalip Boys & Girls Club

Tribal member Marissa Joseph jams a tune at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club.

 Article and photo by Jeannie Briones

 TULALIP, Washington- Tribal member Marissa Joseph plays a tune at the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club during the unveiling of a New Immersion and Tech Center on November 7th. The Immersion Center includes a program room, a music and a recording room, and the immersion room. With this new technology, kids learns are developing new skills and expanding their minds. For more information about the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club new Immersion Center visit 


 Jeannie Briones: 360-716-4188;

“In Her Shoes ~ Native Version” interactive workshop brings public awareness of domestic violence

Chery Neskahi Coan, Tulalip Legacy of Healing Advocacy Center and Safe House Senior Residential Aide.

Article and photo Jeannie Briones

 TULALIP, Washington-  “One out of three native women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime,” said  Cheryl Neskahi Coan, Senior Residential Aide for the Tulalip Legacy of Healing Advocacy Center and Safe House.

 Staff at Tulalip Legacy of HealingAdvocacyCenterand Safe House is working to educate the community about domestic violence and put an end to the cycle of abuse. “    “In Her Shoes ~ Native Version”, is an interactive workshop designed to help people understand what victims face in every day life, and opened to the community on October 30th. This Native version workshop held at the Tulalip Administration Building, focused on acts of abuse based on real-life stories of Native American women. This workshop builds off of the “In Her Shoes, Economic Justice Edition” workshop offered on October 18th at Tulalip.

“I really enjoyed the workshop,” said tribal member Charlotte Jones. “It allows people to really see what it’s like to be in that situation. I think that being able to literally walk in their shoes and make decisions that they would face will allow people to have a little more insight and compassion to victims and also for the perpetrators. It’s hard to be a victim, but on the other side, we need to help the perpetrators, to make sure that they don’t victimize further.”           

 In cases of domestic violence against Native women is committed by non-native perpetrators are usually not prosecuted due to jurisdictional limits in tribal courts and this can lead to reoccurring abuse. Non-natives committing acts of domestic violence against Native American victims are not being held accountable for their actions.

“In Her Shoes ~ Native Version”, explores the real life experiences of Native women in various situations such as, in a same gender relationship, with a disabled partner, in a traditional marriage, and as a career woman. The workshop also addresses the victim’s issues of intimidation, coercion, power, and the control that the perpetrator uses over the victim.

Workshop facilitators also use a series of visual aids called the Native Maze Map: Navigating Systemic Response to Battering. Flow charts show how complex domestic violence is.

“We came together to bring our tribal community together. Our wish is to have community members understand what domestic violence and sexual assault is. There is so much of that happening within our tribal community and throughout all of Indian country. It’s an issue that all tribal communities need to address,” said Cheryl.

 After the workshop, participants discussed their overall perception of the victims and the perpetrators and what the participants gained.

 “I think this program is a great opportunity for not only women, but men to be more involved,” said tribal member Melissa Cavender. She followed up by saying it’s important to educate the youth about the issues and prevention. 

For more information, call the Tulalip Legacy ofHealingAdvocacyCenterand Safe House at 360-716-4100, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. In case of after hours emergencies, call the Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County 24-hotline at 425-252-2873 or for immediate help, call the Tulalip Tribal Police at 360-716-4608. For information about “In Her Shoes ~ Native Version” created by “Mending the Scared Hoop” visit

nie Briones: 360-716-4188;

Burke Museum awarded $575,000 to support Native Art and Artists

Bill Holm Center to serve more individuals and organizations

Press Release,  Alaina Smith, Director of External Affairs

Seattle – The Burke Museum is pleased to announce Connections to Culture – Resources for Native Art and Artists, a new program of the Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Coast Art. With support from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, Connections to Culture will significantly increase the Burke Museum’s capacity to support Native artists and arts organizations.

Connections to Culture will expand the Bill Holm Center’s research grants program, which facilitates Native artists’ study of the arts and cultures of their ancestors. Research grants allow artists to study the objects and archives in the Burke Museum’s collections, travel to other museums, and pass their knowledge on through workshops held at the Burke Museum, at other Native art organizations, and in Native communities.

In addition to increasing the research grant program, Connections to Culture will further develop the Bill Holm Center’s role as an information hub to those interested in the vitality of Native art in the region, and allow the Center to make grants to Native arts organizations for the first time.

“The Burke Museum has a long history of pioneering efforts in Native art education and scholarship—from early museum education, public television programs and Bill Holm’s seminal 1965 book, Northwest Coast Native Art: An Analysis of Form, to K-12 arts & culture programs that are booked to capacity each year,” said Burke Museum Executive Director Julie K. Stein.

“This extraordinary investment by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation builds on that legacy, and will help make the Bill Holm Center’s resources available to many, many more artists and members of our community. ”

While art-making is flourishing in some Native communities, in other places there are few teachers and fewer objects from which to learn. Many artists are working in isolation, without knowledgeable mentors or the critical resources to inform their artistic practice, discover where their cultural objects are currently housed, or access these collections. Connections to Culture will allow the Burke Museum to serve as a hub for the dissemination of this information, and create new digital resources that represent the breadth and depth of Pacific Northwest art traditions.

Historical trends in collecting and researching Pacific Northwest regional art, and the impact of the art market on contemporary artists, has meant that the styles of the northern and some central Northwest Coast tribes (the Tlingit, Tsimshian, Haida, and Kwakwaka’wakw) have overshadowed other art traditions from the southern regions of the Coast, as well as surrounding areas of the Columbia River basin and Plateau. “The Connections to Culture program will help us to expand support for artists and communities whose artistic traditions have not received broad public, scholarly, or commercial recognition,” said Curator of Native American Art and Bill Holm Center Director Robin K. Wright.

“We are thrilled to combine efforts with the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation’s Native Arts and Cultures Program to increase support for Native artists in their pursuit of knowledge about their artistic traditions,” said Wright.

Connections to Culture will award grants and offer programs beginning in spring 2013.

About the Bill Holm Center:

The Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Coast Art was established at the Burke Museum in 2003 to continue Bill Holm’s legacy at the Burke Museum. It is one of the premier centers for the study of Native arts of the Pacific Northwest Coast.

The Bill Holm Center provides hands-on learning opportunities for Native artists to study historical art in person, and connects experienced artists with younger practitioners through workshops and art scholarships. The Center supports access to and awareness of arts resources and activities (including collections, exhibits, and other relevant programs) for tribal communities, individuals, and arts organizations.

About the Burke Museum:

The Burke Museum inspires people to value their connection with all life—and act accordingly. The Museum is responsible for Washington State collections of natural and cultural heritage, and sharing the knowledge that makes them meaningful. The Burke welcomes a broad and diverse audience and provides a community gathering place that nurtures life-long learning and encourages respect, responsibility, and reflection.

Native Americans make their voices heard in presidential election

Tribal member voters show good turnout in the 2012 election.

Article and photo by Jeannie Briones

TULALIP, Washington – Tulalip Tribal members and employees showed their support at the Tulalip Ballot Party on November 6th at the Don Hatch Youth Center/Greg Williams Court, exercising their right to vote.

“To me it’s one of my most treasured constitutional rights, and as a veteran, I always take the time to cast my ballot,” said tribal member Raymond Fryberg Sr.

Tulalip Community Coordinator, Frieda Williams, along with seven other hardworking folks that make up the Tulalip Voting Committee, worked tirelessly to promote the importance of the Native vote.

“I am very excited about the turn out at Tulalip; their vote does count,” said Frieda.

Native Americans are the only ethnicity the U.S. Census Bureau doesn’t track when it comes to election data. It’s important that Native Americans are voting and electing candidates who understand Native American sovereignty rights.

This election ballot party served as a good incentive for people to turn in their ballots, offering food, entertainment and raffle prizes. Prizes included a 55” flat screen TV and an iPod.

For information on voter registration, contact Frieda Williams at 360-716-4220 or visit,

Governor Gregoire honors Tulalip storyteller, Johnny Moses

Press Release, Cathy Cochrane, ArtsWA, Communications Manager

Olympia – Johnny Moses, of Tulalip, has been named as one of seven recipients of the Governor’s Arts & Heritage Awards. Recipients were honored at a reception at the Governor’s Mansion on Oct. 15. The awards recognize individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the arts and cultural traditions of Washington state.

Mr. Moses, a Native American traditional singer and storyteller, speaks eight Native languages and travels extensively to share his culture. He was raised in the remote Nuu-chah-nulth village of Ohiat on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. His grandparents taught him the traditional ways, and his elders sent him to share their teachings with all people. Mr. Moses’ traditional name is (Walking Medicine Robe).

The Washington State Arts Commission, ArtsWA, facilitated the nomination and selection process for the Governor’s awards. The awards were established in 1966 by Governor Dan Evans. In recent years, they were temporarily suspended due to budget cuts.

“We are so pleased to reinstate the awards this year,” said Kris Tucker, Executive Director of ArtsWA. “Johnny Moses has incredible skill as a storyteller and a wealth of irreplaceable information about the Northwest’s Native cultures. Recognizing and honoring his contributions to the heritage of Washington state affirms that traditions of the past are vitally important to the cultural legacy we leave to future generations.”

First Gentleman Mike Gregoire and Kris Tucker presented the awards, which were acid-etched, translucent glass bowls by glass artists Jeremy Newman and Allison Ciancibelli, commissioned through Vetri Glass Studio, in Seattle.

Others receiving the Governor’s Heritage Award:

  • Bailadores de Bronce, Seattle, a volunteer group that teaches and performs Mexican folkloric dances
  • Heritage University, Toppenish, provides strong art and cultural education programs for multicultural populations that are geographically and educationally isolated
  • Maurice Rouman, Everett, Egyptian oud player and composer, nominated for the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship Award. (The oud is a stringed instrument resembling the lute.)

Receiving the Governor’s Arts Award:

  • Lucia Perillo, Olympia, Pulitzer Prize finalist and MacArthur fellow in poetry
  • Robert Maki, Kingston, sculptor and public art advocate
  • Book-It Repertory Theatre, Seattle, which creates great theater from great literature

For more information about ArtsWA programs and the Governor’s Arts and Heritage Awards, go to

First Gentleman, Mike Gregoire, and ArtsWA Executive Director, Kris Tucker, with the Governor’s Arts and Heritage Award recipients in the Governor’s Mansion, Oct. 15. Photo by Weldon Wilson.