Annual Veteran’s Pow Wow

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

The first weekend of June marked the 27th Annual Tulalip Veterans Powwow. The extremely popular event welcomed hundreds of traditional dancers and singers to the Greg Williams Court to honor our veterans and celebrate Indigenous culture. The event kicked-off on June 1 and ended on the evening of June 3, as Natives of all ages and from across the Nation journeyed to Tulalip to participate in the powwow. 

“I came from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and am Blackfeet and Colville,” said Dave Madera. “I came to dance and sing.  It’s really positive, it feels good to get out on the floor and dance it’s really a celebration of our lives and uplifting our people through song and dance.”

The powwow featured a number of grand entries throughout the weekend, but the most popular was perhaps on the evening of June 2, as the entire gym was rocking to the beats provided by the many drum groups and the jingle of traditional regalia. 

“It’s about visiting with your family and friends and at the same time you’re sharing the culture,” said Russell McCloud (Puyallup/Yakima) “Song and dance brings everyone together. For the powwow it’s that drum, the drum brings everybody here. When they’re drumming and singing, everybody’s on the same beat and that unites all of us together.”

Ruben Littlehead served as Master of Ceremonies during the powwow and Northern Cree provided loud, rhythmic drumbeats throughout the event as the host drum circle. This year featured a playground for the kids that overlooked Tulalip Bay as well as numerous vendors. 

The annual powwow continues to inspire a new generation of dancers as kids of all ages took to the floor to honor our vets and ancestors by showcasing their traditional dance skills. Adults and elders also joined in on the fun by dancing their hearts out and getting lost in the culture.

“I love everything about this powwow,” expressed young Tulalip tribal member, Jordan Power. “I come to dance for the people, share our culture and continue practicing our traditions.”

UW Presents 46th Annual Spring PowWow

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Tribal families from all over the Coastal Pacific Northwest gathered on Saturday, April 8 to partake in the Grand Entry that marked the beginning of the University of Washington’s 46th annual Spring PowWow. The yearly UW powwow is hosted by the First Nations @ UW student organization and takes place at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Ed Pavilion.

The purpose of the annual Spring PowWow is to preserve the customs and traditions of the University of Washington Native American community and to promote cultural education and diversity on campus. The powwow is the largest student-run event on campus, attracting over 5,000 people expected to attend throughout the weekend every year.

First Nations @ UW is run by both undergraduate and graduate students of Native and non-Native descent. They hold weekly meetings for Native students to socialize, eat food, and plan events. The First Nations organization often partners up with other Native establishments on campus for field trips and cultural educational activities.

When it comes to cultural activities it doesn’t get any bigger than the coming together of Natives from all across Indian Country to celebrate heritage and pride in the form of a powwow. The indigenous mentality was clearly on display through the traditional regalia, songs, dances, and heartfelt words shared by all those involved.

“It’s just not something you see every day, all these Native people coming together as a community,” said Lyndsey Brollini, a member of the UW student group First Nations and a Haida native. “Powwows have become kind of a pan-Native thing instead of just one tribe.”

Over a dozen Northwestern tribes were represented at the powwow, including the Yakima, Spokane, Quinault, Tulalip and Skokomish Nations. Among this year’s Spring PowWow participants were several Tulalip tribal members (e.g. Myrna Redleaf, Terrell Jack and Jobey Williams) who represented their tribe and heritage proudly on the main stage during the Grand Entry.

The Spring PowWow is a competitive powwow, meaning it includes dance contests according to age (junior, teen, adult, 50 and up) and style. The dancers specialized in a variety of styles: grass, cloth, jingle, fancy, chicken, their regalia reflecting the style. Dancers compete for monetary prizes.

Grand Entry not only opens the powwow, but allows the dancers to showcase their ceremonial regalia for all the spectators in attendance. The MCs announced the Grand Entry in an upbeat, enthusiastic voice, while dancers entered in a line, led by veterans bearing the U.S. and Canadian flags. The arena was filled with Native American dancers of all ages, representing a multitude of styles and regalia. The stage was awash with color and movement, glittering gold and silver, the earth tones of leather and feathers, and all manner of bright colors.

Hibulb United Schools Spring Pow Wow brings community together



by Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

The Hibulb United Schools Spring Pow Wow was held at Totem Middle School on Saturday May 14, 2016. The venue was small, however, it was a more intimate setting, which allowed everybody to take part in the festivities. There were five drum circles, and several vendors selling clothing, beadwork, art prints, sage, and sweet grass.

A dinner, featuring hamburger stew, dinner rolls, and fresh fruit, took place before the grand entry. Once everybody made their way to the gym, Totem Middle School Principal, Tarra Patrick, briefly spoke of the importance culture, and keeping traditions alive. MC, Arlie Neskahi, then welcomed everybody and a culture filled night with drums, singing, dancing, competition and laughter followed.

In the middle of the ceremony, all dancers stopped on a whistle, elder Charlie Pierce, signaled for everybody to stop momentarily. “Thank you all for stopping immediately, there is a pressing issue that I must acknowledge right now,” said Pierce, “Three times I was stopped in my tracks, there is somebody here who is hurting, three separate occasions something came to me and told me I have to address this situation.” He then called for complete silence while he prayed for the gym. Pierce continued, “Whoever you are, if you are going through a tough time, then get yourself out here, there is medicine on this dancefloor come and receive your healing.”



The evening really began after that moment; dozens of on-lookers came out and danced, seeking healing, A father, who brought his new born out to dance said “That was amazing, I am not sure if there was a particular person that was addressed to, but there were many people who needed this, and his words gave them the courage to get up, share memories and have some fun.”

In between dances there were raffles, donations, and birthday wishes. Gifts were also handed out. One of the gifts were coloring books for every kid that danced. “I think the books were a great gift, we worked with Everett Community College, and we just wanted to encourage kids to stay in school.” stated committee member Terrance Sabbas,“I am very happy with the turn out, especially because our community had so many events going on in the same night.”




Terrance expressed that the vision of the Hibulb Pow Wow was to create a more traditional experience. “It’s officially Pow Wow season! We just wanted to have a more traditional vibe, we paid drums equally, we had competitions, but we didn’t want it to be about the prizes. We wanted to bring it back to the days where the community got together and enjoyed good song and dance.”



Hundreds attend Tulalip Veterans Pow Wow



By  Mara Hill, Tulalip News 

The vibrancy of color and beauty in Native American regalia and the sound of drums is enough to give you goose bumps throughout your body, and a shiver down your spine. The intensity of the drum beat matches the heartbeat of the bystanders as they watch 15 drum groups and hundreds of dancers compete in the Annual Veterans Pow Wow. The dancing, round drums, and singing can give the sensation of being in a meditative state of mind.  Attendees travel long distances to be a part of this pow wow, to not only honor our veterans, but to meet and connect with other communities and tribes.

The Veterans Pow Wow was held June 5-7 in the Don Hatch Youth Center.



Contact Mara Hill,

Heritage students mix art with traditional teachings

Students in the video production class get hands-on experience working with cameras and conducting interviews. Photo/Mara Hill
Students in the video production class get hands-on experience working with cameras and conducting interviews.
Photo/Brian Berry


by Mara Hill, Tulalip News 

Students at Tulalip Heritage High School were given the opportunity to experience different types of art in a program called Artists in Residency (AIR). Eight artists from the area came to the school to instruct students in a fourteen-week course, giving each student an option to learn, create, and perform two different types of art. The art classes offered were cedar weaving, carving, yoga, pow wow 101, Native American flute making/playing and video production. The teachings from each instructor allowed students a hands-on and individualized experience.

Shelly Lacy, the principal at Heritage, explained that the students not only learn the craft that the artist is sharing, but they learn traditional teachings as well.


Heritage students with the paddles they made during carving class. Photo/Mara Hill
Heritage students with the paddles they made during carving class.
Photo/Mara Hill


The video production class, instructed by Brian Berry and Rick Valentine, video producers from the Tulalip Tribes Communications Department, introduced students to the basics of video production and film making and then progressed into some of the more technical aspects. Students learned about framing, lighting, b-roll, audio, and editing. They were also taught how to interview people and operate a high definition video camera.

Nina Fryberg, a senior at Heritage, talked about why she chose video production. “At first I decided to take yoga and cedar weaving, but I asked to switch into film-making for both periods instead.” Fryberg had experience working on a short-film last year in another program, which helped with her decision to participate in video production this year. She also earned a position as a student producer, which allowed her to give other students instructions and tell them which crew positions they were assigned to.

Berry explains that students weren’t selected as producers, but that they more or less “earn the position by showing a significant level of initiative and attention.” Student producers also run the productions and make editing decisions.

“It takes a lot of effort to put into film-making. You have to plan everything out and make sure everything is okay and ready to go before you start filming” said Fryberg.

In the final weeks, students in each class finished their projects and prepared to perform for the other students, instructors and faculty members. The video production class created a short film, “Heritage High School – A Small Learning Community” which previewed on May 15th, about what makes Tulalip Heritage High School unique and why students chose Heritage over other schools in the district. The video was a product of what the students learned over the course of 14 weeks.

“The student body, faculty and fellow AIR artists screened the video and it received a round of applause and cheers” said Berry.


Students from the Pow Wow 101 class perform for students and faculty. photo/Mara Hill
Students from the Pow Wow 101 class perform for students and faculty.
photo/Mara Hill


The six additional artists who shared their gifts, teachings, knowledge, and talent with the students were Clarissa Johnny, Kelly Moses, Mytyl Hernandez, Ian LaFontaine, Sheri Thunder Hawk and Paul Wagner.

“Heritage High School – A Small Learning Community”can be watched on demand at and found in the Tulalip Culture section of the main menu.

The video will also be included in the May 25th edition of Tulalip Matters, which will air daily for a week, beginning May 25, on Tulalip TV channel 99, at 12: a.m., 8:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m.

Tulalip Matters can also be viewed anytime, on demand, at


Contact Mara Hill,

Yakama Tribe Celebrates Treaty of 1855 With Annual Pow Wow and Parade

Jackie McNeelGovernor Jay Inslee, and his wife Trudi, (center) with Navajo Code Talker Kee Etsicitty, (far right) and Yakama Tribal Council Chairman JoDe Goudy on June 9, 2014.
Jackie McNeel
Governor Jay Inslee, and his wife Trudi, (center) with Navajo Code Talker Kee Etsicitty, (far right) and Yakama Tribal Council Chairman JoDe Goudy on June 9, 2014.

Jack McNeel, Indian Country Today


Washington state Governor Jay Inslee and his wife, Trudi, took part in the Yakama Treaty Days Parade on June 9, recognizing the Treaty of 1855 between the U.S. and the Yakama Nation. Governor Inslee stopped frequently to shake hands and exchange a few words with onlookers, as he made his way to the podium to join Tribal Council Chairman JoDe Goudy, who rode behind him on horseback in full regalia, and Navajo Code Talker Kee Etsicitty.

The parade included a rodeo, pow wow, golf tournament, softball tournament, salmon bake and some unofficial business — talks between the the governor and tribal leaders were held on the grounds of the Yakama Cultural Center. A group of young dancers, the Swan Dancers, also honored guests with a Welcome Dance.

Chairman Goudy proclaimed June 9 as “Governor Jay Inslee Day”’ for his commitment to the Yakama Nation. Goudy presented Inslee with a copy of the original treaty and the tribe gave, “so he could read it over and over and over again,” Goudy said.

The softball tournament was held a few blocks away and 14 teams participated. Most of the men’s teams were made up of players from different tribes. But team “Tribes,” from the Yakama Nation, took first place, and in second were the Muckleshoot “Warriors.”

On the women’s side, the Silver Bullets, made up of players from various reservations throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho, took first place and the Ice Ice Natives from Elwha finished in second. The winners received sweaters and a $400 payout.

Eighty golfers from 13 tribes gathered at the Mt. Adams Country Club. Golfers had the option of playing in a 4-man scramble tournament, divided between duffer and stroker divisions. They also had the option of singles match play.

The pow wow was held about 20 miles away at White Swan. Dancers gathered from far and near for the two-day event. The indoor pavilion was filled and vendors surrounded the building selling everything from frybread and Indian tacos to jewelry and beadwork. An adjacent building held stick game competitions.

Miss Yakama Nation, Jeanetta Garcia, and Junior Miss Yakama, Abigail Totus, were both presented at the parade and at the pow wow along with young royalty from other tribes.

The Treaty of 1855 involved all 14 bands of the Yakama Nation. Representatives of those bands make up the Tribal Council. The population is now upwards of 10,000 members on the 1.2 million acre reservation.



Tulalip holds annual veteran’s pow wow

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News


TULALIP – Tulalip Tribes held their 23rd Annual Veteran’s Pow Wow on May 30 through June 1, at the Tulalip Resort Casino. The annual pow wow celebrates current and past Native American military servicemen and women.

Master of ceremonies was Tulalip tribal member Ray Fryberg Sr., with Sonny Eagle Speaker as arena director and Eagle Warriors as host drum.

Dancing styles included women’s fancy shawl, buckskin, and jingle while men’s dance included fancy feather, grass, and northern traditional.



Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402;

WWU Spring Pow wow pictures





The Native American Student Union of Western Washington University hosted a spring pow-wow, April 26, 2014, in MAC Gym at WWU in Bellingham. The meaning of the pow-wow is to bring people together in a traditional celebration to share the mind body and spirit. The spring pow-wow featured vending, music, traditional dancing food and more. MATT MCDONALD — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo  Read more here:


(Click Image to see more photos.)

The Native American Student Union of Western Washington University hosted a spring pow-wow, April 26, 2014, in MAC Gym at WWU in Bellingham. The meaning of the pow-wow is to bring people together in a traditional celebration to share the mind body and spirit. The spring pow-wow featured vending, music, traditional dancing food and more. MATT MCDONALD — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

Read more here:

Salmon Homecoming Celebration, Sept 19-21

The 21st Annual Salmon Homecoming Celebration is scheduled for September 19-21, 2013.

Salmon Homecoming is all about the people of the Pacific Northwest, whoever they are and whatever they do. That means we’re here for you, because your health, spirit and even your sustainable economy is most certainly about the salmon.

Want to volunteer? Fill out our volunteer form or contact Salmon Homecoming Coordinator, Linda James-Laville, by phone at (206) 999-0532 or email shcacoordinator (a) gmail (dot) com .

The Salmon Homecoming Alliance is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit foundation, established to organize, plan, develop and facilitate programs and events associated with Salmon Homecoming. Board members represent a variety of governments, associations, foundations and industries. Our objectives are to provide opportunities for tribal and non-tribal communities to come together in a positive atmosphere, learn from one another, and explore ways to support cooperative spirit in salmon restoration and protection.

We are happy to continue the tradition by celebrating the 21st annual Salmon Homecoming ceremony. The celebrations have always included cultural presentations, such as Northwest traditional gatherings, Pow Wows and Cedar Canoe events. We’ve sponsored environmental fairs, educational outreach activities, salmon bakes and even salmon runs. We present “Seventh Generation Legacy Awards” every year to people who have made important contributions to natural resources and Indian/non-Indian relations. We have accomplished much, but our Salmon Story has just begun.

“Salmon are the measuring stick of well-being in the Pacific Northwest.”
-Billy Frank, Jr., Chairman, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

salmon homecoming