Moms suit up to raise money for youth football

Marysville Powderpuff Football Team during a scrimmage game against the Arlington Eagle Mamas on October 13, 2015. Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil
Marysville Powderpuff Football Team during a scrimmage game against the Arlington Eagle Mamas on October 13, 2015.
Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

MARYSVILLE – They are a team of 31. They are tough. They are proud and they play with heart. They are moms who play football to support their kids. Through a combination of tackle and flag football, called “flackle,’ the Marysville Powderpuff team raises funds for youth in the Marysville Youth Football League through ticket sales. While the goal is to raise money for the kids, these moms say they also play for themselves.

Marysville Powderpuff is comprised of mothers with youth playing football and cheerleading through the MYFL. Ticket sales from each game go to support MYFL through uniforms, protective gear, and travel costs.  This year the team boasts three Tulalip tribal members.

Mytyl Hernandez is in her second season. She joined to help support her daughter who cheers through MFYL. But that isn’t her only reason.  “I love the competitive aspect of it and being with this amazing group of women a few days a week. I don’t love the bruises, most of the other girls love their bruises but that isn’t my favorite part.”

Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil
Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil

Team organizer Kym Gallo has been playing since the start and is now in her sixth season. She knows it might be strange to see moms suiting up for practice right along with their kids who are running drills on the opposite side of the field, but says the kids think it’s awesome. And the large ticket sales on game day show people are intrigued to see these moms showcase their skills in one of the fastest growing sport across the nation.

Women’s football is becoming a role model for young women by breaking barriers in traditionally assigned gender sports. More and more girls are joining flag and tackle football teams, such as the professional women’s tackle football team, Everett Reign.

“In the first year we struggled just to get 17 women playing. Now we have 31 on our roster.” Gallo credits this appeal to play football to those early women who were brave enough to break the stereotype of football as a male only sport.

Gallo explains other moms in MYFL and women attending game day who caught the flackle bug quickly signed up to join Powderpuff.

“They see us on game day and they want to try it. Our kids are so proud of us; that just helps boost us up. Each one of these women make you want to come back and be around them, not only are we learning football, we are picking each other up. We are a sisterhood,” said Gallo.

Tulalip tribal member Veronica Iukes #20 if known as the "Wreckingball" for her hard hitting style. Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil
Tulalip tribal member Veronica Iukes #20 if known as the “Wreckingball” for her hard hitting style.
Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil

This sisterhood is what drew Tulalip tribal member Veronica Iukes, known as “Wreckingball” on the field, who is playing her first season as a Powderpuff.

“I lost my sister almost two years ago and have had a hard time adapting. I feel like I gained 20 more sisters being on this team. We have created a bond. When one of us is having an off day, everyone is there to pick one another up. They are the strongest mammas I know who will go above and beyond for their kids,” said Iukes, who has two daughters who cheer for MYFL and a son who plays football and encouraged her to start playing this year.

Also a newcomer to this year’s season is Tulalip tribal member Yvonne Williams whose son has played with MYFL for the past six years.  Although interested in joining she was unable to find the time until now.

“When suiting up with full gear it’s game time, whether we are in a game or getting in a good practice. We get a glimpse of what our kids do on the field. The real MVPs are these amazing kids,” said Williams.

“These women are doing what mom’s do best, working hard for their kids. I know some younger girls that can’t wait to play for our team,” continued Williams, who hopes her daughter will join her on the field some day.

Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil
Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil

While the idea of women playing football is still a new concept it has gained popularity as women athletes challenge stereotypes.

“We break the stereotype just by looking at us,” said Hernandez. “We are all different ages and sizes in full gear. We are more than just a bunch of moms. This is a sisterhood. We all want to see each other do our best so it’s a constant stream of encouragement, positivity and helping each other get stronger and better. It’s really quite amazing.”

“I would strongly recommend and encourage all mother, aunts, sisters and guardians of children who participate in MYFL or Marysville Junior Cheer Association to play,” said Clarissa Young-Weiser who played with the team last year. “You have a better understanding of the sport and what your child has to go through when playing. There is no other intensity like football.” An injury this season is preventing Young-Weiser from playing this year. She hopes to return the following season.

Marysville Powderpuff team plays their first game on June 26 at 7 p.m. at the Quil Ceda Stadium at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. You can check out their Facebook page at Marysville Powderpuff Football for more information on tickets and team updates.


Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402;

Yvonne WilliamsPhoto courtesy of Yvonne Williams
Yvonne Williams
Photo courtesy of Yvonne Williams
Tulalip tribal member Yvonne Williams #58 gets ready to perform a play during a scrimmage game against Arlington Eagle Mommas on October 13, 2015. Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil
Tulalip tribal member Yvonne Williams #58 gets ready to perform a play during a scrimmage game against Arlington Eagle Mamas on October 13, 2015.
Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil


Tulalip tribal member Mytyl Hernandez known for her speed is in her second season with the Marysville Powderpuff Football Team. Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil
Tulalip tribal member Mytyl Hernandez known for her speed is in her second season with the Marysville Powderpuff Football Team.
Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil
Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil
Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil
Marysville Powderpuff Football team performs practice drills before their upcoming game against the Lakewood Cougar Moms on June 26, 2015. Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil
Marysville Powderpuff Football team performs practice drills before their upcoming game against the Lakewood Cougar Moms on June 26, 2015.
Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil
Tulalip tribal member Yvonne Williams #58 gets ready to perform a play during a scrimmage game against Arlington Eagle Mommas on October 13, 2015. Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil
Tulalip tribal member Yvonne Williams #58 gets ready to perform a play during a scrimmage game against Arlington Eagle Mommas on October 13, 2015.
Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil
Marysville Powderpuff Football team performs practice drills. Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil
Marysville Powderpuff Football team performs practice drills.
Photo/ Tulalip News, Brandi N. Montreuil
Mytyl HernandezCourtesy of Mytyl Hernandez
Mytyl Hernandez
Courtesy of Mytyl Hernandez









Hightek Lowlives debut video for “Error Code 504″


By Tulalip News staff

Check out Hightek Lowlives debut video off record label Cabin Games, which is co-owned by Tulalip Tribal member, Brodie Stevens.

This is their debut video directed by Dave Wilson and released through the channels of Seattle EMP museum.

Hightek Lowlives includes vocalist/ songwriter Otieno Terry, winner of the 2014 EMP Sound Off!, and producer/ instrumentalist, Kjell Nelson.

Hightek Lowlives explore a variety of topics and issues throughout their music including ideas of love, human existence and artificial intelligence. By blending elements of the future and past Terry has developed the character Brother Damien, a humanoid with Artificial Intelligence from the year 2047, who has returned to our time to seek love and is a descendant of Otieno Terry.

Combing an array of sounds ranging from hip-hop, R&B, electronic and science fiction Hightek Lowlives are establishing themselves as a unique contestant in Seattle’s music scene.

NPR heavy weight Ann Powers describes their debut album, “Humanoid Void,” as one of the best break through albums of the year.

Cabin Games is owned and ran by former Sub Pop president Rich Jensen, and Up Records known for Built to Spill and Modest Mouse, as well as Tulalip Tribes tribal member, Brodie Stevens.

Tulalip athlete seeks help through fundraising

Invited to play basketball in Italy, Adiya Jones needs community support

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

TULALIP – Former Heritage High School Lady Hawk and Tulalip tribal member Adiya Jones is joining the ranks of Tulalip athletes who are showcasing their skills internationally. Jones, a junior at La Connor High School, has her sights set on Italian basketball courts, where she hopes to join an elite group of players from across the globe, to compete and test their skills while representing their countries. The only thing that can stop her isn’t fear, it’s fundraising.

Jones was nominated to join Team USA, which consists of 12 other girls selected from across the United States, by a coach who saw her play.

To help her raise the $4,000 needed by March 2, Jones has created a account, which works like Gofundme, where people can donate funds to her cause or benefit, in Jones’s case, her trip to Italy.

The money she raises will pay for hotels and meals as Jones travels around Italy with Team USA. To guarantee her slot on the team, Jones is using the same type of dedication she shows on the court to fundraise as much as she can before the deadline. In addition to her account she has created a lottery board where you can purchase one or more squares for a fee. If you choose the wining square number you win half the money the board generated.

“I need to have half the money by a certain date. I plan to use some of my Christmas bonus money to help. The Tribe is also going to help with matching funds I raise,” said Jones, who is also planning a spaghetti feed with the help of her grandmother to raise more funds. Jones will also be participating in the annual Tulalip Tribes All Native Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament, held November 28-30, to test and sharpen her court skills and hopefully do a little fundraising.

“I am excited but also nervous. Once we started the board I started to get really nervous, like, this is it,” said Jones about her anxiousness to travel abroad for the first time by herself.

Jones, who has aspirations to play basketball at Washington State University, said, “I am looking forward to meeting new people. Just the experience of getting to play basketball with a whole new team, and learning some new moves and about the culture is going to be amazing.”

To support Adiya’s fundraising attempts, please visit her account at


Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402;

Jade Parks, finding her own beauty

A story of weight loss, self-esteem and learning who you are beyond the scale

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

 Jade Parks and her fiancé’ Leonardo Carela before her sleeve gastrectomy. Photo courtesy/ Jade Parks
Jade Parks and her fiancé Leonardo Carela before her sleeve gastrectomy.
Photo courtesy/ Jade Parks

TULALIP – On January 17, of this year, Tulalip tribal member Jade Parks was in Mexico, following a major surgery, she was 350 pounds and a dress size 26. She was alone except for her best friend and had just started a journey that would alter her life drastically to reveal a woman she never knew existed.

Growing up, Jade was always larger than her peers. Shopping in plus size stores became regular as she entered adulthood. She didn’t shy away from life despite her larger size, she learned to accommodate it instead. Yet as her weight continued to increase, her usual bubbly personality began to shrink, eventually leading to depression after years of losing and gaining weight. Something had to change.

Parks sought help from her tribal council to pay for a surgical procedure to help her lose weight. Due to a policy that required her to be experiencing two major health issues as a result of her weight, she was denied. She weighed over 300 pounds and suffered high blood pressure and sleep apnea. These did not qualify.

Despite being denied the monetary help, Parks was determined to lose weight. Through diet, exercise and enrollment as an outpatient in treatment for food addiction, Parks lost 73 pounds in 9 months. But it didn’t last. Parks eventually gained back the pounds she lost, plus seven more.

“It was extremely depressing. I was really sad and I didn’t know what I was going to do. You wake up in the morning not wanting to eat bad things, wanting to make good choices, wanting to work out and then you look in the mirror, and you just feel like a failure because of your weight. You think, how could I let myself get like this,” said Parks, about a typical day for her.

“It is hard. For plus size people, when you walk into the room everyone knows your issue. It is not something you can hide. I can’t hide my addiction. I can’t hide what my issue is, because it is the first thing you see when you see me, because it is my weight. A lot of times drug addicts can hide their substance abuse, people do not know that they abuse drugs. For us, as soon as we walk into a room, every single person is going to know and that makes it hard. It came basically down to: I can’t live like this anymore. I can’t live at being 350 pounds. I decided to pay for the weight loss surgery on my own, so I went to Mexico because it is cheaper.”

Although risks can be associated with medical treatment in other countries, Parks’ research led her to a private hospital and a surgical staff that she was comfortable with and she made plans to travel.

“I have never had surgery in my life before. I was worried about it, but I was more worried about not ever being able to have kids because of my weight,” said Parks, who developed polycystic ovary syndrome as a result of her weight, which caused her to stop menstruating.

Parks had a sleeve gastrectomy, which involves a portion of the stomach being separated and removed from the body. According to the Mayo Clinic, the “remaining section is formed into a tube-like structure. The smaller stomach cannot hold as much food. It also produces less of the appetite-regulating hormone ghrelin, which may lessen your desire to eat. However, sleeve gastrectomy does not affect absorption of calories and nutrients in the intestines.” This type of surgery, unlike other weight loss surgeries such as the gastric banding, is irreversible and still considered a relatively new procedure in America, meaning its long-term effects are still being evaluated.

Jade Parks, six months after her sleeve gastrectomy in January 2014. Photo courtesy/ Jade Parks
Jade Parks, six months after her sleeve gastrectomy in January 2014.
Photo courtesy/ Jade Parks

“People think that weight loss surgery is the easy way out, but I am here to say that it is not an easy way out. It is extremely hard, because you still battle cravings and wanting foods. I can eat about four bites of food and I am full,” said Parks, who had 80 percent of her stomach removed during the surgery and can only take quarter sized bites while

After her sleeve gastrectomy surgery in January 2014, which removed 80 percent of her stomach, Jade Park, with fiancé Leonardo Carela, has lost 131 pounds and wears a 14 pant size, at the time of the article.
After her sleeve gastrectomy surgery in January 2014, which removed 80 percent of her stomach, Jade Park, with fiancé Leonardo Carela, has lost 131 pounds and wears a 14 pant size, at the time of the article.


“There are a lot of people who get weight loss surgery and abuse it. They stretch out their stomachs and gain the weight back. I have followed the diet from the doctor very strictly. For instance, you cannot eat and drink at the same time. You have to do it within half an hour of each other, and that’s because there is not enough room. If you do, it will stretch out your stomach,” explains Parks, who also cannot have carbonated beverages and will need to maintain the strict diet for the rest of her life.

Due to the diet’s strict portion control, Parks takes a regimen of vitamins to ensure she receives the proper amount of nutrients for her body, including choosing portion options that include the natural nutrients in them.

Weight loss surgery creates dramatic changes in physical appearance, causing unexpected emotional impacts in patients. These sudden changes often leave patients unprepared to cope with the lifestyle and dieting required following surgery, leading to a continuance or return to the eating habits that led to their weight gain. A majority of patients view weight loss surgery as a cure-all to their weight issues which can mislead them, resulting in unsuccessful weight loss. Patients considering weight loss surgery should consider the pros and cons related to the surgery and following it.

“You have to be careful because you are getting rid of one of your addictions,” said Parks, who was on a liquid diet the first month following her surgery. “That first month I was a wreck. I couldn’t smoke. I couldn’t workout and I couldn’t eat. Those are my vices. I did a lot of crying, a lot of sitting with my feelings and having to just deal with life. At the same time, it helped to prepare me for the rest of my weight loss journey, because I can’t continue to use food as my coping mechanism. It helped me learn to sit with my feelings and learn that feeling emotions is not going to kill you, and that you have to let yourself feel emotions.”

“My biggest fear about getting the weight loss surgery was that I would get the surgery and then I would regret it. There is nothing that I have experienced through this journey that has ever made me regret my surgery. It truly is the best decision I have made for myself,” said Parks, who has lost a total of 131 pounds at the time of this article.

Although weight loss surgery is not recommended for everyone, or may not be successful for everyone who has it, Parks explains that the nine months following her surgery has taught her more about herself than she ever expected.

“I have always known I am a strong woman, but now I truly believe it. To know that so many people get weight loss surgery and it just doesn’t work for them, it makes me feel stronger and gives me such a sense of pride to know have come this far. That I am able to follow the rules and stick to what I am supposed to and not throw up, is a huge thing. Now I don’t need a seat belt extender on an airplane. When I park really close to another car, I can squeeze out without my car door hitting the other car. I can fit into chairs. I can cross my legs. I have had to move my seat up in my car. I have been able to shop in non-plus size stores. Normal jewelry fits me,” said Parks about the little things she enjoys about her weight loss.

Before her sleeve gastrectomy surgery, Jade Parks weighed 350 pounds. Parks with her nephew Cyles Parks and niece Kerrigyn Parks shortly before her surgery. Photo courtesy/ Jade Parks
Before her sleeve gastrectomy surgery, Jade Parks weighed 350 pounds. Parks with her nephew Cyles Parks and niece Kerrigyn Parks shortly before her surgery.
Photo courtesy/ Jade Parks

“You really have to know that this is something that you want and you are willing to make the sacrifices it takes to get it done, and do it the right way. A lot of people think they are ready because they are just tired of being big for so long, but it is a hard road. It is a good idea to be in therapy or something to help you through the journey, because when you can no longer use food as your coping mechanism, you need to be able to work through your emotions and whatever life is throwing at you. In the end it is worth it. I wouldn’t take it back for anything,” said Parks, who plans to continue her doctors’ diet plan, working out and living a healthier life.

“I am never going back to 350 pounds. I am never going to go back to a size 26. I am never going back to using food as a way to deal with life.”



Source: Press Release Cabin Games LLC

Seattle, WA (9/3/2014) – Cabin Games emcee Redskin is gearing up to release a new mixtape titled Big Red, in which he spits hard-hitting rhymes over 14 classic Notorious B.I.G. instrumentals. This tribute to Biggie has been in the making for quite some time, and Redskin did not take the challenge of paying homage lightly, attacking each beat with the same calculated force and delivery as the last. With select features from Pez Paradise and Mya Rose, and mixing by Cabin Games producer Kjell Nelson, Big Red builds on the rapidly growing catalogue of dope music coming out of the Cabin.

The cover art for the mixtape features both the legendary Biggie Smalls and Redskin himself, and was designed by Native American artist Steven Judd. The project will be released on September 11th, 2014.

Cabin Games is a new music label co-founded in Seattle by Rich Jensen, former Co-President of Sub Pop Records, and Redskin, a Tulalip Tribal member.  Current artists include Silas Blak, Hightek Lowlives, Pigeonhed, Richie Dagger’s Crime, Redskin, Yardbirds and Steve Fisk.

For bookings and more information about Cabin Games:


Tulalip man, 25, dies in crash

By The Arlington Times

TULALIP — A 25-year-old Tulalip man killed in a car accident Thursday in the 1500 block of Marine Drive on the Tulalip Indian Reservation has been identified.
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified him as Cody J. Dunn, an enrolled member of the Tulalip tribes.
On Tuesday, Gina M. Fletcher, 47, of Chelsea, Okla., died in a one-car crash on Marine Drive at Hermosa Beach Drive. Her husband, who had been driving, was injured and taken to a local hospital.

Tulalip Tribal Member Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison For Second Degree Murder In Death Of Toddler

One Child Dead, Second Critically Injured after Long-time Neglect

Source Press Release: United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington, August 4, 2014

An enrolled member of the Tulalip Tribes was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 15 years in prison and five years of supervised release for second degree murder and criminal mistreatment in the death of one daughter and the neglect of the second, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  CHRISTINA D. CARLSON, 38, was indicted by the grand jury last May and pleaded guilty in April 2014, following the October, 2012 death of her 19-month-old daughter and the neglect of her 33-month-old daughter.  At sentencing U.S. District Judge James L. Robart said, “The details of the murder and mistreatment are nauseating…. She knew she needed to care for her children and she chose not to.”

CARLSON has been in federal custody at the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac, Washington, since January 11, 2013.  The criminal complaint and plea agreement describe how on October 8, 2012, emergency crews were called to an address on Marine Drive NE on the Tulalip Tribal Reservation where CARLSON was performing CPR on her 19-month-old daughter who was unresponsive on a blanket on the ground.  The child was unconscious, not breathing and covered in urine and feces.  A second child, a 33-month old girl, was found strapped in her car seat in a nearby vehicle.  The child was pale, unresponsive and covered in urine and feces.  The girl was transported to the hospital and later recovered.  The 19-month old child died and the Snohomish County Medical examiner classified the manner of death as homicide by parental neglect.  According to the report the child was malnourished and dehydrated, weighing only 19 pounds.  The child’s skin in the diaper area was excoriated and infested with maggots.  Her hair was infested with lice.

The investigation revealed that CARLSON had been living in the car with the girls on the property since mid-September.  On October 8, 2012 CARLSON had left the girls in the car while she went to use a phone at the residence on the property.  CARLSON admits in her plea agreement that she was away from the car for several hours, attempting to obtain drugs for her personal use.  About 20 minutes after the neighbors told her to go back to the car and her children, CARLSON returned asking them to call 9-1-1 because the youngest child was unresponsive.

The case was investigated by the Tulalip Tribal Police and the FBI.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Tate London.

Echoes of her ancestors

Tulalip storyteller Lois Landgrebe discusses life as a storyteller

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

Lois-LandgrebeTULALIP – Tulalip tribal member Lois Landgrebe has always been a storyteller. What started out as an entertaining way to comfort her younger sister during childhood has evolved into a beautiful craft she uses to connect people to her tribal culture.

Bilingual in English and her tribe’s traditional language, Lushootseed, she gracefully uses the two languages interchangeably to help the listener understand the historical importance of her stories, while also being entertained.

A steady increase of requests from across the region to hear native stories has catapulted this once local storyteller into a larger audience venue. Through the use of storytelling she is able to educate local communities about tribal history and culture, as well as teach listeners about ethics and morals in the same manner as her ancestors would have.

Tulalip News/See-Yaht-Sub recently sat down with Landgrebe to discuss the art of storytelling and how she uses the words of her elders to continue one of the oldest ways to communicate and pass on history for the next generation.

TN/SYS: When did you begin to tell stories?

Landgrebe: I started with my adoptive baby sister. Our mother passed away when I was 11 and she was 3, so we ended up sharing a bedroom together when we were relocated. She felt alone and scared, so I would go to bed early just to keep her company and ended up starting to tell her stories. I was about 12 or 13 years old when that started, and I learned through my birth mother Carol that her father was a storyteller. He had told stories to my mother and uncles when they were little, so she tells me storytelling is in my blood.

I used to tell stories to the elementary kids on my school bus route, and this was way out in the country boondocks and it takes almost an hour to get to school. I always had a saved seat among the elementary kids because I would carry on a saga of a story that would continue and continue and would last for weeks. They were unique stories that I made up about animals and they absolutely loved it. I would give each animal personality characteristics and they had conflicts and such, so it was like a movie.

TN/SYS: How did you come to tell Tulalip stories?

Landgrebe: I was hired as a Lushootseed language assistant in 1994 and I started learning traditional stories. This is where I also met Dr. Toby Langen and learned from Ray ‘Te At Mus’ Moses, Vi Hilbert and Grace Goedel. Each time I hear a story I am able to retain most of it. I can do Te At Mus’ stories word for word because I have heard them a dozen times; so I really try to keep to his format.

TN/SYS: What is it that you love the most about storytelling? You are naturally a calm, quiet person, but when you tell a story there is a transformation.

Landgrebe: I think most of the time I take kind of a back seat to things in life and such because I am a quiet person, but when it comes to storytelling and presentation, and even the state of the Tulalip Tribes, I take an absolute passion. Sharing that gives me the strength to take the front seat and get out there.

TN/SYS: What is your favorite story to tell?

Landgrebe: I think my favorite is the “Pheasant and Raven”. I like it because it has a repetition in it so I can pause and the audience can blurt out what comes next, because they know exactly what is going to happen because it happens to the other characters.

TN/SYS: Do you prepare yourself before you have to tell a story? Is there a routine that you do right before telling a story?

Landgrebe: Usually my mind is set and I have to give myself a few minutes. Sometimes I think it is the spirit of a storyteller that I take on because sometimes I don’t plan it. I just stand up and introduce or do a song, and it is like stories line up. It is hard to explain. Some that come right to me are in the back of my mind and I know that is the story that needs to be told.

Lois Landgrebe tells the story of "Beaver and the Field Mouse," to a large crowd in the Hibulb Cultural Center longhousePhoto/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News
Lois Landgrebe tells the story of “Beaver and the Field Mouse,” to a large crowd in the Hibulb Cultural Center longhouse
Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

TN/SYS: Do you write your stories down or is it all by memorization and how do you remember all those stories?

Landgrebe: A lot of it is by memorization. I do actually write them down upon request for an article or something.

Sometimes I catch myself in the wrong character. I will get done with “Mink and Whale” and start “Coyote and Rock,’and I will suddenly say whale instead of rock, so you have to be careful, especially in Lushootseed.

TN/SYS: When you tell the stories in Lushootseed do you feel it adds a deeper meaning to you and to your audience?

Landgrebe: Yes I do. I definitely do. I think that sometimes as Lushootseed speakers we take it for granted that we can write it down without thinking about it. And folks watch us write it down and they are amazed. I think that audiences that hear ancient Native languages, that when you first announce that this is endangered, and when you pronounce words that they have never ever heard or think would exist with the hard and guttural sounds, there are people that come up later and say they love to hear it. It is a way of preserving it.

TN/SYS: There are not many storytellers, and just like traditional carving, you have to be taught, you just can’t get up and tell a story. How do you feel as a Tulalip storyteller and Tulalip tribal member to be able to travel to different places with the teachings of your elders and from the people that taught you their stories?

Landgrebe: I feel like an echo of my ancestors. I really adhere to protocol to make sure that they are acknowledged. If the story is from Te At Mus and the Moses family I always make sure, as tribal members, they are mentioned. I always make sure there is that acknowledgement.

It makes me feel nostalgic. Not to toot my own horn because I feel humbled, but when I get on the stage, I feel important to be able to tell these stories. Stories are kept alive. When you are telling them you are breathing new life into them and it keeps that story going. And when you are listening to it, you continue to bring life to it as well, because it can’t move on without going into your ears and mind and being remembered. When I am telling them to little kids, I always pause for a moment and tell them about respect. We have to respect our traditional stories. We don’t know how old these stories are and how long they have been passed on from storyteller to children to another storyteller, so that makes children really stop and listen.

TN/SYS: When did you know that you were ready to step out and tell these traditional stories and that this was your path?

Landgrebe: I think it was right after I started working at the Hibulb Cultural Center. I started to become more known for storytelling with audiences that would visit. I knew I was a storyteller between 2001 and 2010, when I was with the Lushootseed program. They would receive requests to story tell and they would turn them over to me. To me, storytelling isn’t something that gives me anxiety, I feel privileged to be able to tell them.


TN/SYS: Do you consider storytelling an art form?

Landgrebe: Yes definitely. Most would look at it as more of an entertainment, which it was and is a form of entertainment. But there is also, locked in, an obligation to share a, or several, traditional teachings within it. It is almost like keeping in with a design, you can’t necessarily change it too much; you might be able to a little, only to fit to an audience. I have a way of clueing in to what my audience is. If they are younger children I can voice to them. If it was high school students I wouldn’t go, “ok and then they…” I just have that feel and I think as a storyteller you really know your audience and where their level of understanding is, so you can raise that level of complexity based on that.

TN/SYS: Storytelling is a very traditional form of communication, where do you see it fitting into the lives of our youth today, where mostly you compete with them checking Instagram and Facebook?

Landgrebe: That is a hard one. Our lives are very instamatic. Pulling away from technology can sometimes be a treat. Silencing the devices and being in a moment that is not a part of electricity or technology can give a whole another human interaction. Storytelling can be as enriching as watching a movie. You engage with your mind and your ears, and even your heart. When you listen you visualize the words. I have had groups, that when it is over, they are not ready for it to end.

TN/SYS: Can you tell me the elements of storytelling or the process you go through when you are learning a new story?

Landgrebe: I think the best way for me is to just hear it. I grasp onto stories better when I hear it told. I have learned stories on paper or on the Internet, but it takes me a little bit more time to learn them. I think the oral presentation is more susceptible for me to pick up. Sometimes scribbling down an outline because you are not quite as familiar with it as much, but as a storyteller you grasp onto the patterns of the story. A lot of our traditional stories have a pattern, we call them pattern episodes. The same thing will happen more than once in the story to different characters. It helps listeners learn the teaching.

My MO is patterns episode. When I stand up to tell the story it comes out stronger when it is in a pattern than if it wasn’t. Sometimes a story will just come out that way.

TN/SYS: Can you explain what you experience when you are telling a story?

Landgrebe: It is almost like an adrenaline and heaviness on your heart, but your heart is pumping through it. It is hard to explain. You are happy. You pause and you look for a lot of eye contact. It is really unique to see that connection and you pan across and you look to make sure your audience is with you. If you notice they are not then there is something you are not getting across to them.

It is amazing how everything melts away except for yourself and the audience. Afterwards you notice the stage and everything; you want to get off and get away. It is amazing how it all just shrinks away.

TN/SYS: What is your favorite age group to tell stories to?

Landgrebe: Third, fourth and fifth grade. They are old enough to understand the complexities of the story and not too old to think they know it all. Grown ups are a good group to but I really enjoy the youth.


Landgrebe is scheduled to appear on August 30 at 1:30 p.m. at the Hibulb Cultural Center for their monthly storytelling series. For more information on future storytelling events featuring Landgrebe or to request a story, please contact her at


Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402;

In their words

Youth at the 19th Annual Tulalip Lushootseed Language Camp's week one group debut their play "The Seal Hunting Brothers," at the Tulalip Kenny Moses Building on July 25. Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News
Youth at the 19th Annual Tulalip Lushootseed Language Camp’s week one group debut their play “The Seal Hunting Brothers,” at the Tulalip Kenny Moses Building on July 25.
Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

Annual camp immerses youth in traditional language

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

TULALIP – Tulalip youth welcomed their family and friends to the 19th Annual Lushootseed Language Camp where they presented the play “The Seal Hunting Brothers,” a traditional Tulalip story told by Martha LaMont.

Throughout this week language warriors, ages 5–12, have been adding to their expanding Lushootseed vocabulary while learning a condensed version of the original “The Seal Hunting Brothers,” which is comprised of 900 lines. The story explores topics about greed, honesty, providing for family and community, as well as how the Tulalip Tribes emblem came to be the killer whale.

Tulalip Lushootseed teachers and staff, who coordinate the camp every year, teach youth basic Lushootseed phrases, prayers and traditional stories through interactive workstations. The camp, which features two sessions each a weeklong focuses on a different traditional story each year. This year a handful of Quil Ceda & Tulalip Elementary teachers joined youth in learning the traditional values and stories of Tulalip, resulting in a continued collaborative effort between the Marysville School District and Tulalip Tribes.

Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News
Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

“Each year we pick a theme,” said Lushootseed teacher Natosha Gobin to the audience before the play. “This year we learned about the seal hunting brothers and we are excited for you to hear what the kids learned during camp. Each year we have returning students. We only have ages 5 through 12, but when they reach that 12 year mark, most return to be group leaders and are excited to participate as a group leader.”

This year’s play was held at the Kenny Moses Building in Tulalip, a change from last year’s venue, held at the Hibulb Cultural Center’s longhouse. The longhouse setting is traditionally a place oral history; stories and traditions were told. Despite the change in venue, the youth put on a spectacular play, featuring a decorated set, costumes and props.

Keeping with Tulalip tradition, two witnesses were called forth to watch the play and speak a few words to the youth about their work. This year, the honor went to Tulalip elder Hank Williams, whose mother is Martha LaMont, and Tulalip tribal member Patti Gobin.

“I thank everyone for being here to watch the kids learn our language,” said Williams following the play. “This lifts my heart and makes me feel good to know that these children have learned our language and I hope they do not forget it, and they carry it on.”

Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News
Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

“What I witnessed was a dream come true,” Gobin said to the youth. “ The old people used to say they were waiting for this day. They were waiting for the day when we could speak our traditional language. My grandmother was forced into the boarding school when she was just five years old. She entered speaking Lushootseed and left at the age of 19 speaking English. She refused to teach me our language because she said she didn’t want me to get hurt like she was for speaking Lushootseed. These children are privileged to be able to speak our language. It is exciting to see this. I thank the you children for speaking our language, and I thank the staff for being here to teach it to them.”

For more information about the Lushootseed language or the camp, please contact the Tulalip Lushootseed Department at 360-716-4495 or visit their website at


Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402;



Hibulb adds new events for May

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

hibulb logoTULALIPHibulb Cultural Center is changing up their event series this month. The center, known for its monthly events featuring cultural demonstrations, lectures, traditional storytelling and workshops, has added a children’s reading series, Hibulb Reading Time, and a new film event, “Bring your own family history film night.”

The two new events resulted in creative ideas being exchanged between staff and volunteers earlier this spring. Hibulb Reading Time features Tulalip tribal members, including Tulalip Tribes board member Theresa Sheldon, volunteering to read books that explore Native American themes and identity, followed with a craft based on the story.

“Bring your family history film night,” is a special film event based on local family submissions that honor and capture family history.  The event will be held May 29, in the center’s longhouse, and continues the center’s history of screening films that highlight Coast Salish life and Indian Country issues. Film submissions for this event will be accepted until May 28, and should include a 15-minute video that focuses on your family or family history.

Tulalip elder Sandra Swanson is hosting a quilting class every Sunday throughout the month, featuring her quilting expertise and the basics of quilting. You will need to provide your own fabric for this workshop.

This month also marks the last chance to view the Coast Salish Inheritance: Celebrating Artistic Innovation exhibit featuring art from Tulalip artists. The exhibit will close on May 21.

Events and workshops are included in the Hibulb Cultural Center admission price. Admission is free for Tulalip tribal members. Adults (18 years and over) $10.00, senior (50+ and over) $7.00, students (6-17 years old), military and veterans $7.00, children (5 years and under) free, and families $25.00. The first Thursday of each month is free admission.

For information on Hibulb Cultural Center events and lectures, please visit their website at Please contact, Lena Jones at 360-716-2640 or Mary Jane Topash at 360-716-2657 regarding film submissions for “Bring your family history film night.”


Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402;