Nike N7 ignites a Tulalip Move Moment

Tulalip youth, energized and inspired, gather around the $10,000 check the N& fund awarded the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club.Photo/Micheal Rios
Tulalip youth, energized and inspired, gather around the $10,000 check the N& fund awarded the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club.
Photo/Micheal Rios


By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

During this past fall season Nike N7 ignited a series of ‘move moments’ across tribal and aboriginal communities in North America and Canada. Tulalip was among the very select few chosen to participate in the Nike N7 event. In all there were seven communities selected, three in Canada (Siksika, Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, and the Aboriginal Friendship Center) and four in the United States (Gila River Indian Community in Arizona, Inter Tribal Sports in California, a Native Urban Center in Oklahoma, and the Tulalip Tribes).

“Tulalip was a community that we picked a few months ago. Every time we release product we like to do an event within the Native community,” Tessa Sayers, Nike N7 Product Specialist, explains. “The latest Nike N7 holiday collection product is inspired by coastal design. We worked with an artist named Peter Boome, a Salish artist, and he worked with our Nike designers to focus on a collection that was inspired by coastal design. When we were picking communities we could only pick one community in Oregon or Washington, and partly why we chose Tulalip is because you have a Nike Factory Store where we sell Nike N7 product. So I called and spoke with Tori Torrolova (Athletic Director for the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club) who said ‘Absolutely, we are game. Bring the event to us.’”

The goal of the N7 Move Moments is to inspire and enable youth to be physically active. They look a lot like mini-camps, but the Nike brand calls them ‘move moments’ because it is a moment in time they are getting the youth active and participating in a sport. This year the events were basketball themed, last year it was soccer. Bringing basketball into our community in an fun and energizing way that will inspire participants to move themselves and their generation is all part of the Nike N7 philosophy. N7 is inspired by Native American wisdom of the Seven Generations: In every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the seventh generation.


Tulalip youth mimc motions of their trainer during the warm-up session. Photo/Micheal Rios
Tulalip youth mimc motions of their trainer during the warm-up session.
Photo/Micheal Rios


Nike originally planned to have the N7 Move Moment in Tulalip at the Boys and Girls Club during the month of November, but decided to push the date back in the wake of the Marysville Pilchuck High School shooting. Pushing the date back several weeks was part of Nike N7’s plan to make the event much more impactful for the Tulalip youth.

“Everybody on the N7 staff and our media group are all Native American and this stuff we are naturally passionate about,” Sayers says. “When we heard about the unfortunate incident that happened out here it was not something we had to think about, we called Tori and arranged to come out and actually put on the event with you guys and make it a bigger thing, so we can really bring something positive and uplifting to the Tulalip community. The other six communities had their ‘move moments’ on their own, but we decided to come up and bring our own trainers and put on the event for Tulalip. It was a no brainer for N7.”

Unlike the N7 Move Moments that were held at the other six Native and aboriginal communities chosen, Tulalip was given twice as much product and equipment in order to allow up to 160 youth to participate. To further add to the significance for Tulalip the Nike N7 team personally delivered the product, spoke to our youth, and brought along a 12 person training crew to engage with our youth while participating in the activities.

Tulalip’s very own specialized N7 Move Moment, titled ‘Move Your Generation’ was held Monday, December 15, 2014 at the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Youth who participated in the event were provided with plenty of Nike N7 freebies upon entry. Nike N7 wrist bands, stickers, and t-shirts were among the free merchandise.

An estimated ninety 5-12 year-olds and thirty 13-18 year-olds, for a grand total of 120 Tulalip community youth, were inspired and enabled to be physically active while participating in the premium and energetic basketball experience.


Trainers, volunteers and child participants huddle up to celebrate their evening of physical activity. Photo/ Micheal Rios
Trainers, volunteers and child participants huddle up to celebrate their evening of physical activity.
Photo/ Micheal Rios


The Tulalip youth were treated to a 10 minute warm-up session by nationally certified strength and conditioning coach and trainer at Nike World Headquarters, Henry Barrera. Following the warm-up session the kids were broken up into five groups where they would alternate between 5 mini-camp stations, each one lasting 10 minutes.

The ball skills station taught basketball-specific skills, like alternating dribbles between both hands, basics of a crossover, and then a quick dribble into a crossover. The training cones station taught body control and body mechanics by having kids quickly change directions in a 5-10-5 agility drill. The mini-bands station taught stability and body control by placing a mini-band around the ankles and having participants perform a series of movements all the while stepping and stabilizing with each movement. The speed rope station taught rhythm, body control and coordination. Lastly, the agility balls station taught athletic stance and body control.

A special workshop was also added to the mix when Nike N7 decided to put on the event for Tulalip. Nike made it possible for Jillene Joseph, Executive Director of the Native Wellness Institute, to spend an hour with each age group (5-12 and 13-18). In her workshop Joseph promoted well-being through a series of activities that embrace the teachings and traditions of our Native American ancestors.

“We know your community is grieving and healing at this time therefore we wanted to bring you an uplifting, fun and energetic experience. We hope you leave here feeling invigorated, refreshed, inspired and motivated to take leadership among your community,” said Sam McCracken, GM for Nike N7, to all the Tulalip youth and community members present.

Adding to the already youth impacting event, N7 surprisingly held a check ceremony in their evening wrap up. Boys and Girls Club executive staff members Chuck Thacker and Tori Torrolova were presented with a $10,000 grant award from the N7 Fund to the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club. The money will help support the club’s athletic program says Torrolova. “Those funds I’m hoping to use to benefit our coaches, volunteers and people who constantly work with the program. Making sure kids are fed when we have home games and away games and snacks to take with us. All this money I want to concentrate on the athletic programs that we run here on a yearly basis.”

After the N7 Move Moment was over, Torrolova took a moment to reflect on the evening’s activities, “I think it turned out great and all the kids had a blast. They saw different ways of moving and using different types of equipment all the while everything was being tied to basketball. We received so much brand new basketball equipment thanks to Nike N7. Now, our staff and coaches have access to that equipment will use it for future practices and activities.”

Henry Barrera, N7 trainer, practices dribbling fundamentals with the Tulalip youth. Photo/Micheal Rios
Henry Barrera, N7 trainer, practices dribbling fundamentals with the Tulalip youth.
Photo/Micheal Rios


Micheal Rios,

Grove Church iheart outreach campaign comes to Tulalip



By Kim Kalliber, Tulalip News and Patty Thometz, Grove Church

Staff and volunteers from the Grove Church in Marysville continue to expand their iheart outreach campaign in an effort to better reach out to the Marysville and Tulalip communities.

Each year, 150 plus volunteers pay a fee to go on a missions’ trip to serve our community by beautifying grounds of local schools, repairing/painting, building shelters, park benches and dug-outs for parks and baseball fields around Marysville.

Patty Thometz, Children’s Pastor at the Grove Church said, “This summer, we will be expanding our reach to children through iheartGO, a big block party for kids at various locations in Marysville. We want to go where there’s a lot of children.”

Youth in fourth through eighth grade are encouraged to volunteer a week of their time to serve others and give back to their communities. This includes everything from set up, clean up, leading the games and crafts.

The Tulalip Boys and Girls Club is one of five host locations. Chuck Thacker, Unit Director of the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club, has warmly invited the Grove Church campaign folks to partner with them for a day of fun, bounce houses, face painting, crafts, games, free hot dogs and much more. This event will be on Friday, August 8, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

“It’s wonderful what you [Tulalip] do for the kids at the Boys and Girls Club and the Grove Church is excited to be a part of this learning partnership. I love outreach and I love working with kids,” said Thometz, with a smile.

For more information about the Grove Church and its outreach programs, please visit

NCAI President Commits To Strengthening Partnership With Boys And Girls Clubs Of America

Source: NCAI Press Release
 WASHINGTON, DC – Swinomish Tribal Chairman and President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Brian Cladoosby had the chance to meet with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and members of the Tulalip Tribe to discuss the importance of supporting Native youth through positive youth development programs. The Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country serves over 85,000 Native youth in over 200 clubs nationwide in Indian country.  After the meeting with Tulalip Tribe – the 6th Tribal Club – and Tulalip Chairman Mel Sheldon, President Cladoosby said:
“What an inspiration to see the incredible work of the Boys and Girls Clubs! There is nothing more important than supporting young people and encouraging them to make positive decisions. I am excited to continue working with the Clubs on bringing education, career, and healthy living choices to Native youth and the children of all communities.”
Providing opportunities for the next generation is the greatest responsibility of this generation. With that duty in mind, President Cladoosby has focused on education and Native youth in his first months at NCAI. He and the organization are committed to strengthening the partnership between NCAI and the Boys and Girls Clubs.
Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country began over 20 years ago and has grown dramatically ever since. Under the leadership of Brian Yazzie, the National Director of Native American Services for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Boys & Girls Clubs offer multiple programs specific to tribal communities. These programs include the On the T.R.A.I.L. (Together Raising Awareness for Indian Life) to Diabetes Prevention Program which provides youth with tools to prevent type 2 diabetes through self-esteem and prevention activities. The T.R.A.I.L program has served nearly 12,000 Native youth in 85 tribal communities. Robbie Callaway, of FirstPic, Inc. who was instrumental in beginning the Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country initiative stated:
“President Cladoosby and NCAI’s support for Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country has the ability to help increase opportunities for Native youth across the country and create sustainable programs throughout Native communities.”
NCAI has a long history of working hand in hand with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, including the passage of a resolution in 2004 endorsing a permanent endowment for the Boys and Girls Clubs for their work in Indian Country.  FirstPic, Inc. has worked with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and NCAI throughout this initiative to implement high quality programming for Native youth.  Executive Director Jacqueline Pata sits on the Native American Advisory Council for the Clubs and has made the partnership between NCAI and the Boys and Girls Clubs a priority for the organization.

Hazen Shopbell Jr., basketball star in the making

The Seattle Stars Youth Basketball TeamPhoto submitted by Marin Andrews
The Seattle Stars Youth Basketball Team
Photo submitted by Marin Andrews

Article by Monica Brown

Tulalip Tribal member, Hazen Shopbell Jr. is in his second season on the elite basketball team in Seattle called the Seattle Stars. Seven year old Hazen has been playing basketball since he was three years old, when he played at the Boys and Girls Club and has been on Seattle Stars team since kindergarten. Hazen is the son of Marin Andrews and Tulalip Tribal member Hazen Shopbell and Tia Shopbell (stepmother).

Hazen and his teammate’s practice every week during which they run lines, do drills and practice making shots. Hazen’s mother, Marin Andrews said, “They practice on regular-sized hoops, the hoops are eight feet high.”

Joining the Seattle Stars Youth Basketball Club provides players and their families the opportunity to travel when the team competes in California and Nevada. The club is a very structured program that is dedicated to “teaching young boys, through the game of basketball, that success is measured by giving your best.”

In School Hazen’s favorite subjects are Physical Education and Art however he is very good at Math. Even though his favorite sport to play is basketball he has also participated in T-ball, soccer and gymnastics. The Seattle Stars Basketball Youth Club has teams for kindergarten through fourth grade; Hazen plans to stay with the club through fourth grade but is excited to begin playing football next year too.