Tulalip Pride Shines at Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary

Photo/Micheal Rios
Photo/Brandi N. Montreuil

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary gym was packed wall to wall with students and community members who assembled to celebrate Tulalip Heritage Day. Students were encouraged to wear traditional regalia according to their tribal cultures. Tulalip pride was on full display as many students wore traditional Coast Salish garb featuring cedar headbands, abalone shells and wool. Other students wore traditional pow wow regalia according to their style of dance. Traditional Tulalip song and dance was performed for audience members, including Marysville School District Superintendent Dr. Becky Berg who was in attendance as a show of support for Native students and respect of Tulalip culture.

Students were encouraged to bring their drums. As Co-principal Dr. Craig said, “Some students have never drummed before and learn by attending and drumming with the Tulalip members who attend the morning assemblies. This gives Native students an opportunity to learn their culture in a safe positive environment.”

Children adorned in their tribal regalia danced in the middle of the gym while the Tulalip drummers and singers filled the air with their traditional, enchanting sound.


Photo/Micheal Rios
Photo/Micheal Rios


The proud heritage of Tulalip was best demonstrated when the Tulalip Canoe Family sang their “Happy Song.” All the elementary students are familiar with the “Happy Song” as they sing it with school faculty at every morning assembly. When the Tulalip Canoe Family performed, their hand movements were gleefully mirrored by the students as they sang along. During the “Happy Song” performance, all the students were transformed into Tulalip performers.

Matt Remle, tribal liaison for Marysville School District and Lakota Native from the Standing Rock Reservation, shared a traditional Lakota song about uplifting one another. During the event he took to Facebook to remark on the importance of the even for Native students posting, “It was beautiful to see the tremendous community support, as well as, see so many young ones singing, drumming, and dancing. This is real education, indigenous education, and empowerment.”

The morning’s assembly marks an important change in history for Tulalip students who previously were not allowed to celebrate or practice their traditional customs, which were prohibited during the boarding school era.


Photo/Micheal Rios
Photo/Micheal Rios


Theresa Sheldon, Tulalip Tribes board member, was also in attendance and spoke to the students about the origins of Tulalip Day. As she explained, “In the 1980s, our Board of Directors actually changed the holiday and made the Friday after Thanksgiving Tulalip Day. Tulalip does not actually recognize Columbus Day, we recognize Tulalip Day.”

After the assembly concluded Principal DeWitte commented on the impact of displaying and teaching Tulalip culture to the students. “Because we do it every day it becomes a part of who we are.”

Photo/Brandi N. Montreuil
Photo/Brandi N. Montreuil
Photo/Brandi N. Montreuil
Photo/Brandi N. Montreuil
Photo/Brandi N. Montreuil
Photo/Brandi N. Montreuil


School Board hears First Reading of “Since Time Immemorial” Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum

Source: Marysville School District
On November 17, 2014, the Marysville School District Board of Directors heard a report from Dr. Kyle Kinoshita, Executive Director of Learning and Teaching, for the following instructional materials:  “Since Time Immemorial” Tribal sovereignty curriculum

In 2009, the state legislature passed State House Bill 1495, strongly encouraging all districts, especially those in proximity to Tribal Nations, to incorporate the history and culture of the local tribes into the curriculum.  In 2011, OSPI created the “Since Time Immemorial” Tribal sovereignty curriculum to outline the general history of Washington State Tribes for grades K – 12.
The curriculum materials will be available for public inspection at the Marysville School District Service Center beginning November 24, 2014 until December 7, 2014, from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.  More information is available at:  www.indian-ed.org.  Public comment on the proposed adoption is welcomed.  Written comments may be addressed to the Assistant Superintendent, at 4220 80th Street NE, Marysville, WA  98270.  Comments received will be forwarded to the Instructional Materials and Curriculum Committee and the Board of Directors.  The Board of Directors will take action on the proposed curriculum at the December 8th board meeting.


Swinomish tribe worries rising sea levels threaten tradition, culture

Scott Terrell photoTribal fisherman Randy Fornsby hoists a chinook salmon on the bank of the Skagit River west of Mount Vernon, Wash., Sept. 2, 1987. The Swinomish and Upper Skagit tribes shared a fishing area just upriver from where the Skagit breaks into its north and south forks.
Scott Terrell photo
Tribal fisherman Randy Fornsby hoists a chinook salmon on the bank of the Skagit River west of Mount Vernon, Wash., Sept. 2, 1987. The Swinomish and Upper Skagit tribes shared a fishing area just upriver from where the Skagit breaks into its north and south forks.


By: Kimberly Cauvel, Skagit Valley Herald, August 31, 2014


LA CONNER, Wash. – With 95 percent of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community’s reservation borders on the water, the tribe is concerned about the rise in sea level and storm surges expected as the planet warms.

As sea level rise pushes high tides and winter storm surges farther inland, coastal tribes in the Northwest worry that their archaeological sites will be wiped out, Swinomish Tribal historic preservation officer Larry Campbell said. They also worry that traditional food sources like salmon and oysters may be affected.

Campbell said food and medicine resources used by tribes around the country have moved or disappeared altogether in some places from where they were traditionally gathered, which is believed to be a result of the changing climate and shifting weather patterns. Those changes affect not only physical access to the natural resources, but the cultural well-being of the tribes.

“It’s important when you look at overall health to look at not just the foods and the resources, but the gathering,” Campbell said. “There’s a process of gathering these things that’s traditional in nature.”

Traditions are passed down through generations as elders share family gathering secrets with their next of kin, he said.

The Swinomish tribe has gained national recognition for its commitment to protecting the culture and natural resources of the Skagit Valley in the face of climate change and is gearing up to begin a new research project. Building off past studies, the tribe will evaluate both the physical and social impacts climate change may have on local near-shore environments.

Swinomish environmental health analyst Jamie Donatuto said the study will build upon earlier research by looking at indigenous health indicators, which take into account cultural, familial and emotional aspects of the impacts climate change may have on the natural resources the tribe values.

Over the course of the three-year study, Swinomish environmental specialist Sarah Grossman will lead efforts to monitor waves and winds on the shorelines during the winter, when storm surges roll in. She will also lead beach surveys to document characteristics like sediment, wood debris and eelgrass cover.

Donatuto will lead the social science side, organizing a series of spring workshops to invite the community to review and discuss the scientific data collected.

“You can’t assess health without actual conversations with community members,” she said.

A $756,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results program grant was awarded in June to support the multiyear project.

Swinomish intergovernmental affairs liaison Debra Lekanof said the Swinomish have invested $17 million in collaborative work on the nation’s natural resources over the past 10 years.

“We’re protecting the universal resource rather than the tribal resource. We’re doing a lot more for the state and the county, and then in the end the tribe benefits by taking care of the whole,” Campbell said. “We’re a very aggressive tribe when it comes to our environment.”

The tribe has also been chosen as a finalist for the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development’s Honoring Nations Program. The program, run by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, “identifies, celebrates and shares excellence in American Indian tribal governance.” This year, the tribe gained its place among 18 finalists in the running for the single “High Honor” because of its climate change initiative. The winner will be announced in October.

The Swinomish Indian Senate passed a proclamation on its climate change initiative Oct. 2, 2007, that marked the start of the tribe’s commitment to addressing the potential effects of climate change. The tribe developed an Impact Assessment Technical Report in 2009 and a Climate Adaptation Plan in 2010 that have provided a framework for other tribes to follow, and has continued to conduct related research, Donatuto said.

Associated Press photoA tribal canoe, in view of the Space Needle, arrives July 20, 2011, at Seattle’s Alki Beach. The landing of about a dozen canoes marked one leg of an annual journey of tribal canoes from the Salish Sea, heading to Swinomish, Wash.
Associated Press photo
A tribal canoe, in view of the Space Needle, arrives July 20, 2011, at Seattle’s Alki Beach. The landing of about a dozen canoes marked one leg of an annual journey of tribal canoes from the Salish Sea, heading to Swinomish, Wash.


Meet The Generation Of Incredible Native American Women Fighting To Preserve Their Culture

by Danielle Seewalker, Marie Claire

Native Americans represent just one per cent of the US population and some languages have only one speaker left. Now a new generation is fighting to preserve the culture.

Meet the women leading that fight:

Evereta Thinn
Age: 30
Tribe Affiliation: Diné (Navajo)
Occupation: Administrator at a Shonto School District

When Evereta entered college as the only Native American in her English 101 class, it was at that moment she realized that she needed to speak up and not be that stereotypical ‘shy’ Indian that keeps to herself. She started bywriting an essay in that very class about living in ‘two worlds’; living in the traditional world and living in the modern world and how Native Americans need to find that balance in today’s society. ‘Knowing who you are as a Native, know the teachings from your elders and engraining them as you go out into the modern world is how you maintain that balance’. She further explains that ‘once the language fades, the culture will slowly start to go too. If the younger generations cannot speak the language, how will they be equipped to make decisions on policies and protect our tribes in the future?’ She aspires to start a language and cultural immersion school for the Diné (Navajo) people.


Alayna Eagle Shield (left) and Tonia Jo Hall (right)
Age: 24
Tribe Affiliation: Lakota & Arikara
Occupation: Teacher in the Lakota Language Nest Head Start program/Medical student

Alayna currently holds a seat in the National Native Youth Cabinet under the National Congress of American Indians (CNAI). Three key issues that she addresses on behalf of the Native youth population are the importance of language and culture, bullying, and lack of education. Her passion to keep the language alive stems from her father being one of the few fluent Lakota speakers. He chose not to speak it to her as a child, but as she grew older, she understood the importance of keeping the language alive. ‘Speaking your language is a guide to knowing who you are as a Native’, says Alayna.

Shawn Little Thunder
Age: 26
Tribe Affiliation: Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
Occupation: Poet / Singer / Songwriter

Growing up, Shawn was severely shy and timid. It wasn’t until after graduating high school that she was urged by a musician friend to be featured in one of his songs. This was a freeing moment for her and a new outlet to express herself. She began to write poetry and join local talent shows. While holding a work position at a teen group home, Shawn encouraged the teens to keep a journal and write how they felt. Most of what the teens wrote was poetry and songs so Shawn began a poetry workshop that led to an open mic at the group home. She decided to expand her efforts and encourage others to speak freely at local events and pow wows. Rez Poetry: ‘Wičhóiye Wašaka’ (Strong Words) was the name she coined for her events. ‘That’s what I want to do, empower other Natives, especially the younger generations’.

Sage Honga
Age: 22
Tribe Affiliation: Hualapai, Hopi & Diné (Navajo)
Occupation: Server at W Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona

Sage earned the title of 1st attendant in the 2012 annual pageant, Miss Native American USA. From that point forward, she has been encouraging Native youth to travel off the reservation to explore opportunities. In Native American culture, knowledge is power and the youth are encouraged to leave the reservations, get an education and then come home to give back to your people. ‘My tribe, the Hualapai people, is so small that I want to be a role model to show my community and youth that it is possible to come off our land and do big things’.

Juliana Brown Eyes-Clifford
Age: 23
Tribe Affiliation: Oglala Lakota & Samoan
Occupation: Musician, photographer, film maker, artist

Juliana and her husband, Scotti Clifford, have formed the band, ‘Scatter Their Own’ (which is the English translation for the word Oglala). They travel to various Indian reservations and other parts of the country to play their music. They are self-taught, cannot read music and play what comes out naturally from their hearts. Juliana is inspired to play for the youth and inspire them to branch out and learn about the arts and music which are topics not generally exposed on the reservation. The songs they write are about Mother Earth, social justice and about the Native American culture.

Kelli Brooke Haney

Age: 33
Tribe Affiliation: Seminole, Creek and Choctaw
Occupation: Musician / Artist

As the daughter the internationally recognized Native American artist and former Chief of the Seminole Nation, Enoch Kelly Haney, it’s no shock that artistic and bold talent radiate from the ever-inspiring Kelli Brooke. In the early 2000s she formed a rockabilly band with her best friend called The Oh Johnny! Girls and also has a solo music project called Hudson Roar. Kelli grew up in a household where her parents spoke Seminole Creek as the first language. She is also the mother to a sweet five-year old boy, Jack, and expresses the importance of raising him with Native American traditions as well as encouraging him to embrace his own artistic talents.

Juanita C. Toledo
Age: 28
Tribe Affiliation: Walatowa-Pueblo of Jemez
Occupation: Works for the Community Wellness Program on Jemez Pueblo Reservation

Growing up, Juanita was valedictorian of her charter school, President of the Native American Youth Empowerment (NAYE) group, and on the executive committee of UNITY (United National Indian Tribal Youth Organization). During college things changed dramatically for Juanita. She felt the pressure of life and quickly fell into depression, anxiety and succumbed to drugs and alcohol after dealing with a very traumatizing family event. ‘It was the worst time of my life; I really thought I was going to die and I wanted to die’. In 2012, she had a turning point. ‘I started to believe in my dreams and in myself again.’ She ran for Miss Indian World, one of the most prestigious honours a Native American woman could receive. Although she didn’t take the title, her tribal community was extremely proud of her representation. Today, she works for the Community Wellness program on her reservation and has truly influenced positive changes in the program and in her community.

See more images and read the full story in the September issue of Marie Claire.

Read more at http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/blogs/547176/meet-the-generation-of-incredible-native-american-women-fighting-to-preserve-their-culture.html#MWbYWw3Kys2cYPEv.99

Academics, Behavior, Culture help school improve test scores


By Steve Powell, Marysville Globe

MARYSVILLE – In an effort to improve state test scores, two local schools are concentrating on their ABC’s.

Not the alphabet; it’s not that simple. They are focusing on Academics, Behavior and Culture.

Quil Ceda and Tulalip elementary schools have been labeled a Required Action District because of lower-than-required state test scores. This new state RAD funding replaces extra federal funding the schools have received for three years.

“Three years is not enough time to turn around a school,” said Kristin DeWitte, who along with Anthony Craig are principals at the now-combined schools.

DeWitte said because these programs are fairly new, there is no book of directions.

“It’s like building an airplane while flying it,” she said.

She said some schools that didn’t make the grade have tried to “score bump” so they would look better on the state tests. She and Craig decided not to do that because it wouldn’t represent lasting change.

So, instead of focusing on the third- through sixth-graders who take the test, their schools started working with kindergarteners.

“That will be best in the long run,” she said.

DeWitte said the plan has worked, as their youngest students went from the bottom of the Marysville School District in scores to the top.

The change has come about because of targeted instruction. Individual plans are made for each student. Small groups are formed to give students the special instruction they need.

Craig said the systematic approach has benefitted the teachers, too.

“We have trouble retaining teachers,” he said, but the new teachers are excited about the direction.

“With the collaboration they feel valued and listened to,” he said. “There’s an openness to figure things out.”

Teachers work together on strategies and lessons and even watch each other teach.

“There’s no ‘my secret lesson.’ They all share,” DeWitte said.

Despite the extra funding, state scores are still down for the schools, except for science. But the true results of the effort will come when the former kindergarteners start taking the tests when they reach third grade.

Meanwhile, Marysville School District board members showed support for the schools at a recent meeting.

While Craig got choked up by the support from staff, the district president became downright upset.

“Institutional racism,” is what school district President Tom Albright called it.

Albright spoke out because only three other schools in the state have reached RAD status, and all are “historically underserved with students of color,” Craig said.

Albright said the state is singling the schools out in a negative way instead of taking responsibility for not helping them in the past.

Craig got emotional when he looked into the packed house at the board meeting May 19 and saw many of his teachers. He has been with the district since 1999 and is in his third year as principal.

I’ve always wanted a quality team out there, and “we have them now – top-notch teachers,” he said.

Assistant Superintendent Ray Houser said the two schools already are improving their test scores.

“This is all about the achievement gap,” he said. “We are just not quite closing the gap quickly enough.”

As a result of test scores, the district underwent an academic audit and wrote a school improvement plan.

Under RAD, it will get extra funding for three more years.

Craig said the district is focusing on academics, behavior and culture. He said leadership at all levels also is a priority.

“Everyone owns a piece of the success,” he said.

Craig said he wished there was a book he could get to find out how schools like his can improve, but “it’s something we don’t know yet.”

School board members applauded the effort.

“Maybe when we’re done we can write the book,” director Pete Lundberg said. “No one else is doing this work at this level. This is nothing short of heroic.”

Lundberg said the improvement plan values culture, teaches culture and values how decisions are made.

“It’s truly a community effort,” he said.

Member Chris Nation added: “Everyone took an active role and created an environment where all can excel. That’s not the way it used to be.”

Nation said just looking at the test scores can make a school look bad.

“But this is far beyond what other schools have done,” Nation said.


Historical fish hook draws community together

Makah tribal member Alex Wise works to wrap one of the halibut hooks during a community volunteer session where the hooks were made. He later used them in a test fishing project.
Makah tribal member Alex Wise works to wrap one of the halibut hooks during a community volunteer session where the hooks were made. He later used them in a test fishing project.

Source: Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

A fish hook has tied history, culture and the Makah community together in unexpected ways.

The čibu·d (pronounced “cha bood”), or halibut hook, became the subject of a student project during an internship with Makah Fisheries Management.

“I had a student, Larry Buzzell, come to me wanting to do a project that related to historical fishing methods,” said Jonathan Scordino, marine mammal biologist for the Makah Tribe.

Historically the hooks were made of both wood and bone. As the tribe gained access to new materials, they also made hooks from metal.

“The goal of the project was to test if the čibu·d was more selective for catching halibut than contemporary circle hooks when fished on a longline,” Scordino said.

Setting up the experiment was challenging because the study required 200 čibu·d to be made by hand.

“We decided to put it out to the community to see if they would come in and help us make them,” Scordino said.
The Makah Cultural and Research Center (MCRC) opened its exhibit preparation space for several weeks to allow community members to come in and help make the hooks.

“The response was terrific,” Scordino said. “Several volunteers put in more than 20 hours making čibu·d.”
Through trial and error, the group learned it was better to bend the metal hooks cold rather than heat the metal. The design of the hook more closely mimics Polynesian fishing gear than historical North American fishing gear.

Elder Jesse Ides (Hushta) watched as young people learned to make the hook he used in his youth.
“It’s terrific seeing them show the determination to make it and use it,” Ides said.
He recalled his father hauling canoes out to the halibut grounds to fish. “You’d catch just halibut with that gear, nothing else,” he said.

Alex Wise discusses his halibut hook project with Jacqueline Laverdure, education specialist for the Olympic Coast Marine Sanctuary prior to receiving a Student Scientist award from the Ferio Marine Life Center.

Makah tribal member Alex Wise discusses his halibut hook project with Jacqueline Laverdure, education specialist for the Olympic Coast Marine Sanctuary prior to receiving a Student Scientist award from the Feiro Marine Life Center.


Alex Wise is finishing the project by writing up how the catch of halibut and bycatch compared between čibu·d and circle hooks during the study. “It was an interesting project. I have always been interested in fisheries and it just seemed like the right choice for me,” said Wise, who won a Art Feiro Science Student of the Year award recently from the Feiro Marine Life Center in Port Angeles for his work on the hooks.

“The čibu·d was known to not only fish selectively for halibut, but not catch too small or too big a halibut,” Scordino said. “From a management perspective, that’s exactly the size you want to catch so the older spawners remain and the young grow to be a harvestable size.”

Tribal member Polly McCarty, who helps prepare exhibits at the MCRC, was thrilled to see the community participation.

“This museum and its contents belong to the village,” McCarty said. “It was wonderful to have them come in and interact with the history.”

A parallel project is to film the creation of wooden čibu·ds. Additionally an exhibit was created in the Makah Fisheries Management building with the kelp line and hooks, and descriptions of the history. A Preserve America and a cooperative National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant helped pay for the projects.

Indians 101: Tulalip Canoes (Photo Diary)

By Ojibwa for Native American Netroots

For the Salish-speaking tribes of the Washington coast, canoes were traditionally not only their most important form of transportation, they were also cultural icons. The Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve honors the Tulalip (Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skykomish, and others) cultures.

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The importance of canoes to the Tulalip peoples is evident in the Hibulb Culture Center. The canoe theme shown in the windows above is repeated throughout the Center.

Canoes were made by hollowing out a single log with fire and adzes. By filling the hollowed out log with hot water, the canoe makers could then widen the canoe by forcing stout cross-pieces between the gunwales.

Carving a canoe begins with spiritual preparation: the carvers must prepare themselves with fasting, prayers, and the sweatlodge. It is not uncommon for the task of carving a large canoe to take two years. Once the log is chosen, a prayer is said for the cedar and an offering is given to thank it for its sacrifice.

The final stage in carving the canoe involves the use of hot rocks and water to steam-bend the sides outwards. This steaming also draws the bow and stern upwards as well as adding strength to the vessel. For the large ocean-going canoes, the prow and stern pieces are added last, the thwarts and seats are installed, and the exterior is finished. Then the canoe is given a name and is ready to begin its life on the water.

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Three canoes are displayed in the Center.

River Canoe:

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The river canoe shown above was carved about 1880 by William Shelton. It was restored by the Tulalip Tribes Carving and Arts Department.

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The bow of the canoe is shown above.

Small Canoe:

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This small canoe was carved about 1930 from a single log by William Shelton.

Ocean-Going Canoe:

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This canoe was made about 1880 as part of a wedding dowry. The canoe was built by the bride’s family from the Quinault Nation and given to the Tulalip groom is a wedding present.

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Shown above is a detail of where the mast would have been placed. Sails, prior to the arrival of the Europeans, were made from woven mats.

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The canoe was made from hollowing out a single large cedar log. The sides were then spread apart and the bow and stern pieces were then added.

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The bow is shown above.

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The stern of the canoe is shown above. The stern piece was added to the dugout form.

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The photograph above shows the additional piece which was added to the gunnels.

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The photograph above shows how the thwarts (i.e. seats) were attached.

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Santa Fe Indian Market Week Is Ultimate Summer Vacation Venue

Indian Country Today Media Network

With only two months remaining until the ultimate venue for world-class Native art opens in Santa Fe, New Mexico, you might want to start planning your travel now.

From Saturday, August 17 to Sunday, August 18, thousands of esteemed Native artists and collectors will flock to the 92nd Annual Santa Fe Indian Market, presented by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA). The Santa Fe Indian Market, which draws more than a thousand artists from more than 130 tribes from across the United States and Canada, showcases traditional and contemporary Native art of the highest caliber and quality.

Indian Market Week, a weeklong celebration of Native arts and culture that will begin on Monday, August 12, will precede Indian Market weekend. With an abundance of fine art, famous artists, and exciting events, the 2013 Santa Fe Indian Market will be the cultural and artistic event of a lifetime.

 Miss Indian World, Jessa Rae Growing Thunder at 2012 Santa Fe Indian Market Week. (©2012 SWAIA/Max McDonald)
Miss Indian World, Jessa Rae Growing Thunder at 2012 Santa Fe Indian Market Week. (©2012 SWAIA/Max McDonald)


The Santa Fe Indian Market offers collectors the unique opportunity to view and purchase stunning pieces of Native artwork in innovative forms of media. In addition, it provides an ideal venue for meeting and celebrating with the artists themselves. The prestigious group of artists, which includes such acclaimed fixtures of the Native art world as Roxanne Swentzell, Virgil Ortiz, Jamie Okuma, Jeremy Frey, and Jesse Monongya, is subject to strict regulations that ensure the authenticity and superiority of the work brought to the Santa Fe Indian Market. Each artist meets SWAIA’s rigorous standards – and brings pieces of the utmost aesthetic and cultural quality.

 Git Hoan Dancers from Alaska on Plaza stage last year (©2012 SWAIA/Max McDonald)
Git Hoan Dancers from Alaska on Plaza stage last year (©2012 SWAIA/Max McDonald)


In addition to enriching their collections with new pieces of Native art, visitors to the Santa Fe Indian Market can rub shoulders with the artists at various events and parties throughout Indian Market Week. Art aficionados should be sure to attend the Best of Show Ceremony and Luncheon on Friday, August 16 to toast the lauded artists of this year’s Market. The celebration will continue at the elegant Live Auction Gala on Saturday, August 17, where guests will bid over fabulous works and enjoy a formal dinner with new and old friends. The Santa Fe Indian Market allows collectors to develop life-long relationships with the artists – relationships that will extend over many years and Indian Markets, and even more works of world-class Native art.

For more information on the Santa Fe Indian Market, please visit Santafeindianmarket.com.


Read more at https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/06/18/santa-fe-indian-market-week-ultimate-summer-vacation-venue-149965

Diane Janes has been collecting and preserving tribal photos for years

Photo courtesy Diane JanesBob and Johanna Sheldon are shown in a wedding photo from around 1885-1890. The two were Diane Janes' great-grandparents on her father's side.
Photo courtesy Diane Janes
Bob and Johanna Sheldon are shown in a wedding photo from around 1885-1890. The two were Diane Janes’ great-grandparents on her father’s side.

By Bill Sheets, The Herald

TULALIP — Often when people on the Tulalip Indian Reservation have old photos of family members they can’t identify, they call Diane Janes.

If she doesn’t know who they are, often she can find someone who does.

She’s been collecting tribal photographs for close to 50 years. For more than a decade, she’s been preserving history by compiling the photos into self-published books.

Countless tribal members, their ancestors and many events on the reservation are chronicled in a dozen volumes, each an inch thick or more. About 10,000 photos are shown in 2,000 pages.

The books are available to the public at the tribes’ Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve.

Photo courtesy Diane JanesThomas Adams, a non-tribal member, laid the first telegraph lines across the Tulalip reservation, in the 1860s. His wife, standing, was S'Klallam tribal member Ellen Giddings. The couple lived at Warm Beach. The photo is from the late 19th century.
Photo courtesy Diane Janes
Thomas Adams, a non-tribal member, laid the first telegraph lines across the Tulalip reservation, in the 1860s. His wife, standing, was S’Klallam tribal member Ellen Giddings. The couple lived at Warm Beach. The photo is from the late 19th century.

Though many tribal members know of Janes, 70, and her books, a lot of others don’t, she believes.

“I’m hoping as more people see these, they’ll say, ‘That’s my relative,'” she said.

When Janes was about 20, she started getting photos reproduced for her parents so they could have multiple copies — piquing her curiosity about her family in the process.

Later, Janes began taking photos at Tulalip events. She compiled tribal photos for the Everett centennial celebration in 1993.

“It just sort of grew from there,” she said. “I thought it was going to be simple.”

Janes is not a certified genealogist but, through her work, has helped many tribal members learn more about their ancestry — starting with her own family.

Stan Jones Sr., a longtime tribal leader and board member, is Janes’ uncle. Jones and his sister, Gloria, Janes’ mother, for a long time wanted to find the grave of their mother, who had died at a young age. They heard it was at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Monroe, but didn’t have an exact location.

Several times over the years, they looked through the cemetery but couldn’t find the grave.

Later, in the early 1990s, they were discussing the matter with Janes and she produced an extended-family photo that included a half-brother, Mickey Malone.

He was contacted and knew exactly where the grave was located, in the same cemetery.

“They were looking in the wrong place,” Janes said.

Stan Jones’ wife, JoAnn, said Janes’ photo collections have meant a lot to their family.

Having the photos helps put faces to names when relating family history to young people, she said.

“We really appreciate them, she’s done so much work on those and done such a good job,” JoAnn Jones said.

Tribal Chairman Mel Sheldon Jr. is a cousin of Janes’ on her father’s side.

“It was really good looking at the pictures to know how far my family went back,” he said.

“She’s done a great job of compiling the pictures that many of us might not have had access to or didn’t know existed. What a great service not only to our families but to our whole community.”

As Janes began to collect more images, she felt the need to get them organized and documented.

“I thought, ‘This could go on forever, and I’m getting older,'” she said.

She began typing up captions and pasting them along with the photos on 8½-by-11 inch pieces of paper. She took them to a printer and had the pages reproduced and bound into a paperback.

Photo courtesy Diane JanesTulalip tribal member George Jones is shown in ceremonial regalia at the opening of the tribal longhouse in 1914. Jones was the maternal grandfather of Diane Janes, who has compiled a series of books of tribal photos.
Photo courtesy Diane Janes
Tulalip tribal member George Jones is shown in ceremonial regalia at the opening of the tribal longhouse in 1914. Jones was the maternal grandfather of Diane Janes, who has compiled a series of books of tribal photos.

The first book, “The Children of the Owl Clan,” was devoted to photos of the Jones side of her family. Two more volumes of photos on the Owl Clan and closely related families were to follow. She then produced three volumes focused on her Sheldon side.

After that, she broadened her scope into other families, tribes and different aspects of reservation life.

“Tulalips and Friends” and “The Mountain, River and Sound People” include photos of members of neighboring tribes, such as Lummi, Sauk-Suiattle, Swinomish, Upper Skagit and others, as well as Tulalips.

One photo shows well-known Upper Skagit tribal member Vi Hilbert at age 4 or 5, taken in the early 1920s. Hilbert played a key role in preserving tribal culture through her storytelling and work on reviving Lushootseed, the native language of the area. She died in 2008 at the age of 90.

Another of Janes’ books, “The Children of the Longhouse,” shows photos of Tulalip ceremonial events from the early 1900s to the present day.

“Paddle to Tulalip” features photos of the intertribal canoe journey and ceremony hosted by the Tulalips in 2003. “Tulalip Salmon Ceremony” spotlights the annual tribal ceremony honoring the summertime return of salmon to streams. Janes took many of her own photos for this ceremony and some of the others.

Another book is devoted to the history of education on the reservation, including photos and narrative about the white boarding schools where young tribal children were sent in the early 1900s.

In borrowing photos from tribal members to reproduce, at first she’d take them to photo stores and pay to have them copied. She then tried to learn how to use scanning equipment, but that didn’t go well, she said.

Then someone told her she could take photos of photos, and that made her work much easier, she said.

Janes cares for a disabled daughter, Julie, 51, who was hit by a drunken driver at age 19. Janes doesn’t have to work at a regular job, which gives her time for her work. And it does take time, she said. In visiting a family to borrow photos, “You don’t just go in there, you sit and talk,” she said.

Diane Janes
Diane Janes

She doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. The next book will be titled “Images of our Ancestors.” She’s also planning a book about her daughter.

“All I want to do is record history as it comes, for whoever decides to share their photos,” Janes said.

“There are so many tribal members who are historians. They don’t realize it, but they carry our history.

“I try to make my books so the next generation will take over.”



Where to buy

Diane Janes’ books of photos about tribal life are available for $30 at the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve, 6410 23rd Ave. W., Tulalip.

For more information, go to hibulbculturalcenter.org or call 360-716-2600.