Wellbriety Rocks!

Celebration of healthy living

Article and photos by Jeannie Briones

The Orca Ballroom at the Tulalip Resort Casino was filled with the sounds of music from the 50’s and 60’s, setting the tone to twist the night away and kick off the annual Wellbriety Rocks celebration on September 7th.

The evening was about celebrating sobriety, as family and friends listened to the success stories of boot camp and talking circle graduates.

“I went through boot camp in January, 2011; I was addicted to heroine and meth. I got one year and ninety three days, today, clean and sober,” said Tribal member Cyrina Williams. “If I can do it, I think anybody else who wants help can do it.”

“The healing [talking] circle, if they didn’t have that, I wouldn’t be here as far as I am now,” said Toniena Adams, Tribal member. Toniena says that the talking circle has also helped her granddaughter to realize her abilities through recovery.

Also on the evening’s agenda, Tulalip Behavioral Health introduced the new Aftercare Wraparound Recovery Extension Program (AWARE) program, while also bidding farewell to the Alternative Resource Management (ARM) boot camp program.

AWARE is replacing the ARM program, and offers after care services to help tribal members and their families maintain a healthy and drug-free life.

“The AWARE program is an extension of services for after care, so that we can begin to help our people learn how to live sober and clean; learn how to have fun and laugh and start connecting with each other so they are not alone,” said Helen Gobin-Henson, Aware Program Manager.

“We are going to do a new workshop called the ‘Real Workshop’ that will continue to teach our people about recovery tools, enabling, co-dependency, hard facts of drugs and alcohol, and how it’s killing our people,” continued Helen.

The evening was packed with exciting events that included hula hoop, twist dance, karaoke, and bubble gum blowing contests, along with a comedian and guest speakers. Tulalip Tribes General Manager, Sheryl Fryberg, won first place with her cool dance moves in the twist contest, and tribal member Pauline Jones placed first in the hula hoop contest. Cool prizes were given away throughout the event.

For more information on the AWARE Program or the Talking Circle, contact program manager Helen Gobin-Henson at 360-716-4022.

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.


Heritage Hawks triumph over Rainer Christian Mustangs

Tulalip Heritage Hawks during practice.

Article by Sarah Miller and Brian Berry

In the 2012 Heritage Hawks football opener, a home game played at Quil Ceda Stadium on the Maysville/Pilchuck High School campus, the Tulalip Heritage Hawks hit the field looking strong and determined. The weather was still quite warm for the 5pm kick-off on Saturday, September 8th and both teams looked fired-up and eager to play. The Heritage Hawks scored first, within the first minute of play, and never looked back. By Halftime the Rainier Christian Mustangs managed to put only 6 points on the scoreboard against the 20 points earned by Tulalip Heritage.

After the half the Hawks dominated the Mustangs and won the contest with a final score of 60 to 14. D.J. Kidd, twelfth grade tailback for the Hawks, ran for 135 yards and scored three of the touchdowns for the team. The Hawks scored twelve points in the first quarter, eight points in the second, twenty for the third and another twenty for the fourth quarter. Let it be noted that the Heritage coaches didn’t intentionally run up the score. Heritage just dominated Rainier Christian, and short of stopping and waiting to be tackled, the scoring came as part of normal play. It’s a nice start to their football season; let’s hope they keep their momentum going.

You can watch the Heritage Hawks game on-demand at www.kanutv.com. Click on “Sports” at the top right of your computer screen and navigate to Heritage Hawks Boys FOOTBALL vs. Rainier Christian Mustangs 9-8-12.

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.

Squats, lunges and pushups, oh my!

Tamara Brushert planks during the Trim Down Tulalip










Article by Sarah Miller, photo by Patrece Gates

The summer is winding down. The days are slowly getting colder. Soon fall will be here. For some, the summer is a time to hit the beach and soak up the rays. However, some decided to participate in the Trim Down Tulalip fitness challenge, held by the Health Clinic’s Fitness Trainer Patrece Gates. During the trim down, Patrece helped people get into better shape and encouraged them to not only become more active but to be more wary of what they eat.

“In the beginning, we had 36 people sign up,” Patrece commented. “However at the end, we only had thirteen. There was a total of 72 pounds lost during the challenge.”

This is Patrece’s third year doing the challenge. She brought in Snohomish Boot Camp to help whip everyone into shape. Each week, on Thursdays, a fitness challenge was held at the Boys and Girls Club gym. The boot camp style exercises helped get the ball rolling on not only losing weight, but conditioning muscles.

“This year, they did a lot of squats, lunges, push-ups and sit-ups,” Patrece continued. “It was a lot of basic work outs. We had the gym split up into different stations. Everyone would be at one station for a couple of minutes and then we would rotate. People were really into it.”

The trim down held weekly raffles for different workout equipment such as weights, stability balls, and yoga mats.

“The participants were really disciplined and they really enjoyed working out hard,” Patrece said. “There weren’t a whole lot of problems with it this year, everything ran smoothly. Seeing everyone show up and seeing them excited to weigh in was my favorite. I think these challenges are very important to the community. It helps them become more disciplined with weight loss and healthy eating, it keeps them active and gives them ideas on working out and it brings people together in a positive way.”

To get started on your own journey to weight loss and healthy living, you can contact Patrece at 360-716-5643.

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.

Let Move! in Indian Country

By Sarah Miller
Nowadays, it is hard to instill healthy choices in our children. Why cook a nutritious meal when fast food is so readily available? Why go outside and play with your children when it’s easier to set them in front of the television with a video game? We live in a fast paced world where people have a desire for quick and easy. While it makes life simpler, it can cause problems in the long run. By not encouraging your child to eat the right foods and exercise regularly, the child can start to put on too much weight. While no parent wants to deny their child what they want, they end up contributing accidentally to their child’s obesity. No one is perfect, but there is a way to start making mindful decisions about how much exercise your child gets and what they put in their body. The Let’s Move in Indian Country program is here to help!
Created by First Lady Michelle Obama, the Let’s Move program began in February 2010, with the intent to tackle the obesity problem in children in the United States. Over the past three decades, obesity rates have tripled. A majority of the increase in childhood obesity since 2004 has occurred in Native American and Alaska Native children. This prompted the First Lady to take measures to get these numbers down and to reduce risks such as diabetes and asthma in native children. In May of 2011, Let’s Move! In Indian Country, a program aimed specifically for combating the obesity problem in Native American children, began.
One in three children are overweight by the age of five in Indian Country, according to the Let’s Move website. This program is an initiative to solve the obesity problem within a generation. It will help children grow up healthier and teaches them to make wiser choices when it comes to what they eat and how they exercise.
The program looks to tribal communities and leaders to help set examples of proper diet and exercise for children. By doing this, Native children will grow, thrive and meet their potential. In addition, it reduces many health risks. Healthy eating, combined with proper exercise, can reduce health risks such as heart disease, cancer and strokes.
Let’s Move works by utilizing four main goals specifically designed for this program. The goals are creating a healthy start on life, developing healthy learning communities, increasing physical activities, and increasing access to affordable, healthy and traditional foods. For those interested, the Let’s Move! in Indian Country website has a variety of tools for parents and community members that help them make better lifestyle choices not only for their kids, but themselves as well.
At the Let’s Move! in Indian Country website, www.letsmove.gov, parents are offered a way to look at how they can change the diet of their children. There are tips for setting up meal plans for your kids and it even offers traditional healthy recipes. While on the website you can also sign up for the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) challenge. PALA is not just for kids but adults too. This program requires you to maintain a healthy diet and exercise for six weeks. Adults are required to get thirty minutes of daily exercise for five days a week while kids are required to get sixty minutes of exercise a day. The challenge also helps you set up healthy eating goals. Visit the website to get signed up and to get more information on the challenge.
It may seem difficult to make these kinds of lifestyle changes, but there is help to be found at Tulalip. Sara Pattison, Dietician at the Karen Fryberg Health Clinic, offers insight on what kinds of foods to eat or shop for and how to plan meals. Her number is 360-716-5626. Also at the health clinic is Patrece Gates, Fitness Trainer. She can assist you with an exercise plan. And you can visit her fitness room to do a little exercising to see where you are physically and how much you can handle. Her number is 360-716-5643.
But that’s not it. Tulalip Youth Services has open gym at the Don Hatch Gym Greg Williams Court. With school starting, you can encourage your child to get into school sports. And don’t forget that all Tulalip tribal members have a free membership to the Marysville YMCA, where you can use the exercise equipment, take a yoga or zumba class, or even just swim around in the pool.
It’s a big lifestyle change that can seem scary and intimidating when it comes to a child, but it will benefit them in the long run. Just take it one step at a time and join in with their healthy lifestyle change.

Show us your backpack! Students sort through hundreds of backpacks at annual back to school event

Sage Herrera is shows off how big her new back pack is

Article and photos by Brandi N. Montreuil
“I’ve been coming to this [event] since I was in the 1st grade, this year the backpacks are pretty awesome, and the backpack distribution helps my family out a lot with the back to school cost,” said Jazlynn Gibson who is entering the 8th grade.

Joining Jazlyn were kids of all ages to kick off the final stages of back to school preparations with the annual Tulalip Tribes backpack distribution on August 28th, at Quil Ceda and Tulalip Elementary schools.

The Tulalip Tribes Education Department, with help from the Johnson-O’Malley grant, has provided much needed backpacks stuffed with school supplies, according to age and grade, free to Native American students enrolled in the Marysville School District.

Last year an amazing 1,400 backpacks were prepared and this year the backpacks were in no shortage as new kindergarten and Montessori students joined the lines to choose their backpacks.

This year, computer tablets were used to check students in and out faster. With a quick show of the students’ tribal ID and a signature scrawled across the tablet, the information was quickly recorded and students were on their way to enjoy the free activities the event hosts every year, such as a gaming station, bouncy house, rock climbing, and tasty treats.

Students who were unable to attend the day’s events will not miss out on the yearly choosing of backpacks. All unclaimed backpacks will be held throughout the school year until the students can claim them.

Now that backpacks have been chosen, the students will say goodbye to summer vacation and look forward to the first day of class. We wish all the students a fantastic school year!


Master Jumpers: Competitors of all ages show off their bullfrog skills

Article and photos by Brandi N. Montreuil

            In its 10th year of competition, the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club once again brought out their jumping superstars and veteran handlers for another bullfrog contest on Friday, July 20th.

Although only four bullfrogs were available to select from, these amphibians were ready to compete, many leaping out of palms before they reached the gym’s floor.

The competition has only two rules, no hands and only three jumps allowed, but all creative methods are welcome. Many chose to use an eagle feather found on the club’s playground, while some brave contenders decided to get down close and blow on their star jumpers to get fantastic distance in jumping.

Club staff member, Kyle Cullum, who explained the night was all about making memories with family, caught this year’s eager leapers.

It was the ladies who swept the competition this year with their froggy techniques; prompting their chosen bullfrogs to leap through air and crowds.

The reigning champion of the night was Kaycie Hill Thomas whose bullfrog jumped an incredible 96 inches. While second place winner, Tony Hatch, was all smiles as she planted a winner’s kiss on her bullfrog that jumped an amazing 94 inches. And not to be forgotten is Henna (last name), who became the frog whisper, coaxing her bullfrog to leap a whopping 92 inches.

This year’s competitors will be added to the club’s wall of fame and a large trophy was given to the first place winner, while remaining winners and contestants were treated to fun whacky frog toys to take home.

After jumps had been leaped and bullfrogs kissed, the leaping stars were returned to their habitat to await next years annual bullfrog contest.

Alexia Ramsdell uses a feather to entice her frug to jump.