Community-led cleanup crew removes over 2,000 pounds of litter from Tulalip streets

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

“The motivation is to bring our Tribe and community together for unity, while creating necessary awareness for a safe and clean environment,” shared Josh Fryberg as he walked along the embankment of a popular Tulalip road searching for litter. “Keeping our land beautiful benefits our youth, elders and greater community. It is up to each of us, as individuals, to have a safe environment, not only for us here today but for future generations as well. We are the land protectors.”

These words resonated with an estimated forty Tulalip residents who volunteered several hours out of their Sunday afternoon to help beautify a 2-mile stretch of Turk Drive. One of the most commuted roads on the Tulalip Reservation because of its accessibility to the Mission Highlands neighborhood, it’s also become a common spot to dump trash or casually toss out litter from passing vehicles.

Brothers Josh Fryberg and Rocky Harrison reside with their families near the end of Turk Drive and see the littered area on a daily basis. They decided to do something about it by coordinating a community cleanup. Calling on local residents who want to see a pristine Tulalip and any other volunteers who are eco-conscious, the brothers organized their first neighborhood cleanup on February 21.

“It’s time to organize and get the job done,” said Rocky. “I want to see a clean Tulalip. I want to see a brighter future for my children. I come from dirty neighborhoods and even contributed to them in my younger years, but I’m mature enough now to realize the error of my ways and am committed to make positive change for our people.

“It’s time to organize and get the job done,” said Rocky. “I want to see a clean Tulalip. I want to see a brighter future for my children. I come from dirty neighborhoods and even contributed to them in my younger years, but I’m mature enough now to realize the error of my ways and am committed to make positive change for our people.

“This is a good turnout for today’s cleanup, almost forty people taking time out of their weekend, but I hope even more people come together for future cleanups,” he continued. “Together we can raise awareness about the amount of littering that happens on our Rez. Maybe people seeing our efforts as they drive by or on social media will help deter others from littering in the future. We can’t forget the true value of our Tribe isn’t money or businesses, our real wealth is our homeland and the strength of our people.”

A community cleanup brings reservation neighbors together to clean and improve public spaces that have been neglected and misused. Members of the Tulalip Youth Council helped restore the naturally green conditions alongside Turk Drive that had become plagued with trash of all sorts. Working with members of Sacred Riders motorcycle club, youth and adults worked side by side to remove litter by the bag load.

Cleanups show that people who use an area care about its appearance. According to the Department of Justice, crime is less likely to occur when a neighborhood is clean and used frequently by residents and their friends. By reclaiming residential areas, eliminating debris from vacant areas and roadsides, or sprucing up public spaces along the street, Tulalip citizens can make the reservation less attractive to criminals and more attractive to the community, which makes everyone safer. 

Promoting safety in all its forms is a priority for both Tulalip Bay Fire and Tulalip Police departments. United by a shared vision with the very community they protect, six of Tulalip’s first responders joined the volunteer cleanup crew. Several tribal members rejoiced at the fact they could count on Tulalip’s firefighters and police to participate in events that really benefit the community.

“It means a lot being able to participate in today’s cleanup,” said firefighter Ava Schweiger. “We love getting out into the community and support local events that make the area safer for everyone. I really enjoy being out with the community because everyone is so nice and thankful for what we do.”

“Tulalip has always done such a good job of making us feel appreciated, so any chance we have to give back and pay forward that mutual respect we’ll take advantage of, “ added firefighter John Carlson, 5-year veteran of Tulalip Bay. “We take a lot of pride in where we work. Tulalip is a beautiful place and is definitely worth the time to make sure it’s natural surroundings are clean and litter-free.”

Litter is more than just an eyesore on Tulalip’s landscape. Litter is costly to clean up, and it negatively impacts quality of life and economic development. Most of all, it has damaging environment impacts. Considering how the ocean waters border Tulalip, it’s an awful reality that local litter eventually ends up in our waterways and contaminates the ocean. 

“A lot of teachings were carried down by our ancestors that tell us we need to protect the earth Creator gave to us. That’s our responsibility,” reflected 14-year-old Image Enick. “For us to carry on those teachings and take care of Mother Earth means picking up garbage when we see it and not disrespecting the land by littering.”

After several hours working tirelessly on a Sunday afternoon to clean up their community, the forty volunteers had collected just over 2,000 pounds of trash. That’s nearly one metric ton!

“Today we are grateful for unity and being able to work together,” said Josh at the cleanup’s conclusion. “We are looking forward to many more cleanups in the months to come.

Our goal is to have a different cleanup site every two-weeks and work on passing a no littering ordinance, along with having signs put up. It will take all of us to create a bright future for our current and future generations. Together we can make this happen.”

The next community cleanup is planned for Sunday, March 7 at 11:30am. Meeting location will be outside Tulalip Data Services, across the street from Tulalip Bingo. Cleanup site will be 27th Avenue, locally referred to as ‘the Quil’. All environmentally conscious individuals are invited to participate. High visibility vests, garbage bags, latex gloves, hand sanitizer, and garbage picks will be provided.

For more information please contact co-coordinators Josh Fryberg at 206-665-5780 or Rocky Harrison at 360-454-6946.

Heartwork: Donna Chambers rekindles love for Native tradition

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

“I bead pretty much every day,” said Tulalip tribal member, Donna Chambers. “I really want good energy to go out to the people through the gifts I make. I don’t make anything sad, mad or upset. I do everything with good spirit in my heart and I just go by what my heart says to do.”

Sometimes life gives you a sneak peek into your future when you find something you absolutely love, care for and are deeply passionate about. For some it’s sewing, drawing, carving, singing, dancing, photography – you name it. You know instantly when your passion finds you. And it matters little if you practice every day from that point on or if you acknowledge that connection and agree to revisit it later on in life. When your soul and your life’s passion align, that bond cannot be broken, not even by the hands of time, especially when your culture has significant ties to your calling. 

This was something Donna knew when she fell in love with her passion at the age of 18. When she picked up a thread and needle to bead her first pair of earrings, she couldn’t tear herself away from her newfound traditional hobby for months on end. She also knew it when she no longer had enough time in her day to continue her practice while raising a young family and working a full-time job. When she set down her beads only one year later, she knew it was temporary and that she would return to her art one day in the future. Over thirty years later, after living a fulfilled life, watching her kids grow up and caring for her parents until they transitioned to their next journey, Donna’s passion found its way back into her life and has brought her endless joy and good vibes, which she in turn cycles back into her artwork and therefore, into the Tulalip community. 

“I originally started when I was young just to get involved with our culture, to try to get in-tune with my heritage,” she said. “I didn’t live here on the reservation during my childhood. I was born and raised in Oregon, so I pretty much lived away from the area until I was about the age of 12 when I moved back here. At the beginning, I did bead a lot and made a few things for myself like my dangly earrings, just learning the basics. I was beading before my kids were born and I put it away because I was busy with the kids and the family all the time. I decided to pick it back up after I lost my mom and dad. I’ve been going for about three years now and I’m now 56.” 

Donna’s kids knew little about her passion and her heart’s desire to bead. In fact, her daughter, Alicia Budd, is the person who reintroduced her back into the world of beading. According to Donna, Alicia attended a beading-circle over a long weekend, returned home and immediately told her mom ‘you should learn how to bead, this would be really good for you’. 

“I like to do things with my hands, I also like to crotchet,” Donna expressed. “I’ve made lap blankets for my family and the kids who’ve come into my life, so that they have blankets when they are reading their books or watching TV. My daughter sat down with me and showed me what she learned. She refreshed my brain because I lost it for so many years. I picked it up that day and never set it back down. Now it’s something I look forward to doing every single day.”

Almost as important as the artform itself is the creator’s personal environment, how they set themselves up in order to get into the proverbial ‘zone’ while maximizing production and minimizing distractions. Some artists require certain foods, vices, lighting and people around in order to generate their best work. Donna claims that all she needs is the love of her family and friends, some good tunes (ranging from classic oldies to Hip Hop and R&B, all the way to heavy metal), and her beads. She goes into each project with good intentions and sans game plan, letting her heart freestyle the design and guide her until the work is complete. Her workstation includes her late father’s comfortable chair, her work materials meticulously arranged all around her and of course, a variety of vibrant beads. 

When asked what type of items she creates today she replied, “Oh just about everything! I still occasionally make my dangly earrings, but most of the things I make now are lanyards. Somebody at the clinic saw the lanyards my daughter and I wear and asked where they could get them, so some of the nurses at our health clinic ended up buying a lot of lanyards from me. I make sure to make a lot of them because lanyards are something that people can always use. The other things I make are keychains, earrings, headbands, medallions, bracelets, barrettes, broaches, bolo ties. I made an entire wallet from scratch once. I also made Seahawk medallions for myself and my grandson, JD Rinker, and I made him a full-length tie that he can wear at Youth Council meetings and gatherings where they have to dress up.”

She continued, “I’ve also beaded center pieces for the headbands that some of our youth wear with their regalia during salmon ceremony. And I’ve made bracelets for the guys, I made three of them, one I gave to Louie [Pablo], it had Eddy’s name on it, he was Louie’s brother who passed away. I gifted him one because it felt like it was the right thing to do at the time, something to remember his brother by.”

Several times Donna expressed that she allows her heart to lead when it comes to her art. And my oh my, Donna has quite the big heart. Not only does she bead cool custom pieces for family or bracelets to honor loved ones, Donna also gifts a lot of her work to our local heroes including police officers, judges, firefighters, and the men and women who bravely serve in the US military.  

“My daughter works at the courthouse so I surprised everybody at her work with a gift,” Donna said. “All the judges got something from me, as well as the clerks and the secretaries. I’ve done work for some of the funerals out here, I made their families keychains and necklaces. I also make a lot of pieces for police officers. I made these little medals, shaped like a police badge, and I beaded around them and put them on a necklace. I’ve given about twenty away so far. I just give them to any police officer that I see and feel like that’s the one. I’ve given some to our Tribal police officers and three to Marysville police officers. I usually carry some of my work in my car, so if I do see a police officer, a fireman, or somebody serving in the army or the military, I can offer it to them as a way to thank them for their service and everything they do. I’ve gifted pieces to [TPD] Officer Jeff Jira and just completed something for our Chief of Police.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, Donna was presented with the opportunity to focus more on her beadwork. In addition to beading, she also poured her efforts into a new project, creating masks. She explained that after she saw the need for more masks in the community, and the demand for something a little more aesthetically pleasing than the standard surgical mask, she started sewing immediately, creating clothed masks with Native, floral and paisley designs. Whenever she leaves home and is headed to the local grocer, she is sure to grab a handful of masks, which are often distributed to the store’s employees and shoppers before she even checks-off the first item of her shopping list.  

Donna strongly believes that beading is an essential tradition to the Native American culture, noting that it is an artform that is easily identifiable and synonymous with the Indigenous way of life and teachings. The relationship between Indigenous people and beadwork dates back generations prior to colonial times to when our ancestors crafted beads from bone and stone. Beads were worn as a status symbol of wealth and beaded items were featured on traditional regalia, jewelry and artwork. Due to the introduction of glass, metal, crystal and various beads through trade, the colorway and pattern possibilities for Native beadwork holds no bounds. 

Donna is doing her part to keep the tradition going, teaching the future generations of Tulalip all of her tricks of the trade, ensuring the art of beading extends well past her children’s children. Since returning to the bead game, she has shared her knowledge with many Tribal and community members, including Facebook friends, and many of the kids from her neighborhood. Donna also has some future classes with the Tribe in the works and plans to conduct Facebook Live tutorials in order to help aspiring beaders with the fundamentals.  

“I just hope the more I bead, the more kids around me will want to pick it up,” she said. “Sometimes it does show. Louie’s three little kids were over here last summer, watching me bead. They kept saying they wanted to learn how to bead. They were persistent, so I made them each a beading packet with all the tools and showed them how to do it. They sat here for over two hours with me and they picked it up really fast. They each made something that day. When they were done, I told them they couldn’t keep it and they looked at me kind of sad because it was their first piece. I explained that since it was the first thing they ever made, they had to give it away in order to get good vibes back. They decided to gift them to their mom and grandpa so their very first pieces could stay in the family.”

Donna hopes that by sharing her story and her passion for beadwork, she can garner enough attention to reach the representatives of one Ellen DeGeneres, stating “I have an Ellen DeGeneres piece. My dad was really into Ellen, he faithfully watched her show. When he passed, I felt like I needed to bead her name on a medallion. I have not yet been able to gift it to her because I don’t know how to go about giving it to her or getting it there.”

With a new and fully-restored love for beadwork, there is no project that Donna is afraid to tackle. In fact, she is happily welcoming any challenge that comes her way because, as she said, all she needs is her beads and her beats. All of Donna’s work comes with a guarantee, as she tells all of her customers that if anything happens to a piece you purchase from her, she will fix it for free. If you are interested in purchasing any of Donna’s work, please contact her via Facebook for more information. 

“There’re things that I make to sell, but there are a lot of things I make simply because my heart tells me to do it,” Donna said. “I gift them to all types of different people because it feels like something I need to do. But I do enjoy selling items when I can because it does put extra money into my funds so I can continue to bead more. It gives me good energy, that’s why I like to put good energy back into it. It makes you feel good that you’ve accomplished something for the day. All I can say is if you’re interested in beading, try it out, pick it up. I bet you’ll like it because I definitely do.”

Danielle Louwella Jones

January 9, 2001 – February 15, 2021

My beloved granddaughter Danielle Jones has gone home to our heavenly father. 
It was my greatest honor and privilege to have raised her and loved her.

Every day of her life she told me she loved me, and I her. I will miss her with every breath I take. She was a lovely young woman who loved with her whole heart. She had a fabulous crazy sense of humor, and loved to laugh. She had a love for Anime, reading about history and watching scary movies.

She will be missed by so many people, but she was welcomed home by Jesus. She was preceded in death by her great grandmother, Louwella Jones (granny), great grandfather, Glenn Jones (papa), grandma Cam Walden and so many others who passed before her. I know they were all waiting at the gate to greet her.

Danielle was very proud of her Native American heritage, and loved telling people that she was native. She was getting back to her Native American roots. She was also Christian, and had been saved, excepting Jesus Christ as her savior. She is now in His arms. 

Danielle is survived by her baby daughter Lucille Jones, mother, Heather Jones, father, Leroy Henry, grandmothers, Glenda Heath and Pam Peters; special sister, Kaley Henry; and five younger siblings, Great-great Uncle Pete Henry, Aunt Debbie(ebby debby), Uncle Ken, Uncle Garry, Aunt Cheryl, Uncle Beau, Aunt Michelle, Uncle Allen, Grandpa Mike, and too many family and friends to mention including family in Tulalip.. We all loved her more than I can say. I will honor her memory by telling her little girl how much her mother loved her. I will share with her the story of her life. She is preceded in death by her grandfather, Duane Henry and uncle Robert Myers Jr.


In lieu of flowers please honor Danielle’s memory by donating to University of Washington Mental Health Research


A graveside service will be held Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021 at 12:00 Noon at Mission Beach Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Schaefer-Shipman Funeral Home. 

Tulalip Transit: Getting you where you need to go

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

Need a lift in a pinch? Did your ride bail on you at the last second? Too young for a license but you need transportation to a local Tulalip event or family gathering? Or are you in need of the vaccine but have no wheels to the scene? Tulalip Transit has your back! From 8:50 a.m. to 4:33 p.m., Monday through Friday, you can catch the transit at any one of their various stops throughout the village including the neighborhoods of Silver Village and Mission Highlands as well as at the Admin building and the Tulalip Health Clinic. 

“Tulalip Transit has been operating since January 2011 and we have provided nearly 69,000 rides,” explained Tulalip Transit Supervisor Mary Hargrove.

Celebrating a decades-worth of providing rides to the Tulalip citizenship this year, the Transit department has been an important facet of the Tribe, helping elders, youth, and everyone in-between reach the destination of their choosing around the reservation. 

“The Transit is public transportation, meaning it’s for everybody in the community,” Mary stated. “There’s only one route. It’s primarily in the Tulalip Bay area, and it circulates the main human services; the Administration building, Health Clinic, the Boys & Girls club, the gym, Family Services, beda?chelh.”

After nearly ten years in service, the two transit buses that are known throughout the community, with the blue and white tribal graphics, are getting a well-deserved rest with the introduction of a brand-spanking new bus that is loaded with features to accommodate the needs of the local populous. 

“We have three buses total including the new bus,” Mary stated. “They’re called cutaways, or 12+2’s, seating twelve ambulatory passengers and two wheelchairs. We were trying for about five years for a new bus. When we finally got it, it was ready to be picked up right as we got the stay-at-home order. So, it didn’t actually get delivered to us until August. It took me a good length of time to get all of the protective equipment installed, and we started operating at the end of October.”

She continued, “The new bus features front boarding and seating for wheelchair passengers, destination signs, pull cord stop requests, onboard cameras, StabiliTrak system, Telma transmission retarder, and engine fire suppression system. 80% of the money came from a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) competitive grant opportunity. Everybody that has seen it loves it. Even people who aren’t getting on to ride; people driving about the community have actually stopped the driver to take a look at the bus.”

Lead Transit Operator Darlene Pittman, a driver for Tulalip Transit from the very start, is at the helm of the new bus, navigating the streets of Tulalip while also connecting with her riders on a personal level, learning each person’s first name and their story, upon entry to the bus. Darlene admitted her excitement for the new vehicle, stating the bus’s new toys have already come in handy. 

“I haven’t had a rider that is in a wheelchair yet, but I have had people who are handicapped who needed to use the ramp,” Darlene stated. “The seatbelts strap in and we have these little black bags on the side by the wheelchair spaces, those are wheelchair tie-downs. They tie down at four points, so you don’t put any stress on it or break it if you stop suddenly. Another new feature that we didn’t have before, and I think people will really like, is the bike rack located at the front of the bus. I also have the marquee board up in the front and on the side, it says ‘Tulalip Bay’ and ‘Masks Required’. When I have to go get fuel, it will read ‘Out of Service’ and if there is an emergency on the bus and I don’t want somebody to know I’m calling 9-1-1, I can change the marquee board to flash ‘Emergency, call 9-1-1’.”

Initially, when the pandemic hit, the transit services came to a complete halt. But as months went by and more information was learned about the virus, the department was able to open operations, with a great amount of emphasis on safety for the driver and the rider alike. The Transit department took several precautions and set forth new rules to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. The department also received access to funding through the CARES Act, funding granted to help the Tribe withstand the global outbreak. 

Said Mary, “The buses are equipped with a protective driver shield, sanitation supplies, reduced seating with availability to socially-distance, and we are requiring that masks be worn. All of this is for us to do everything we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19. I would also like to mention that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that if you have COVID-19 to avoid public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis. Our driver is masked, the passengers are required to wear masks, we have signage posted on the bus, we disinfect the bus, and we have masks on board in the event somebody wants to board but doesn’t have a mask.”

Mary explained that the Transit adheres to a strict, set route but the driver is able to deviate from the route up to 3/4 of a mile, depending on the drivers schedule and if proper arrangements are made at least one day in advance. 

“We have a fixed route but we also provide route deviation for registered passengers,” she stated. “We will do deviation upon request. We’re making efforts to provide more personalized services to the community. For instance, we had an elder who was at her friend’s house and she needed to get home. Her friend didn’t want her to walk down to the bus stop. The bus stop was just down the street from where she was, so we picked her up at her friend’s door and took her directly to her home. But like I mentioned, we can only deviate up to 3/4 of a mile off the route.”

The Tulalip Transit is currently running on a reduced schedule due to COVID-19, operating with one driver throughout the business week. The Transit does not offer services on the major holidays, so please keep that in mind when planning your travels.  Please refer to their current schedule and the map provided to determine the closest bus stop in your area. For more information please visit their webpage at www.tulaliptribes-nsn.gov/Home/Community/ TulalipTransit.aspx or dial 360-716-4206.

Darlene reflected, “I’ve been here for eleven years and it’s exciting to see how we grew in everything that we do, and how we can make it better. I’m glad we finally got a new bus. The Tulalip Transit is important because what if you were stuck at home and needed to get to the Tulalip pharmacy but you didn’t drive, how would you get there? We’re here to serve the public and I think we’re hitting it on the mark pretty well. We just want to continue to let people know we’re here and we’d be happy to get them where they need to go.”

Katherine Maryanne Monger

March 31, 1937 – February 5, 2021

Katherine Maryanne Monger of Tulalip WA went to be with our lord on Feb 5, 2021.

She was born March 31, 1937 in Auburn WA. She loved to travel with the 1910 shaker members and cedar circle. She was very traditional, would share her teachings with everybody that would listen every chance she could. She served on the enrollment committee for the Tulalip Tribes for years. She loved to travel with the seniors and enjoyed playing bingo and slots. She also enjoyed sewing, crocheting.

She loved cooking especially for special events at the Tulalip Amphitheatre, Boom City, kid’s fundraiser events for sports, family and spiritual functions. 
Although she was a raider fan she supported our Seahawks and enjoyed game days with family. 

She was proceeded in death by her husband of 47 years James (Jim) Monger Dad & Mom Robert & Ivy Guss, daughters Ivy Guss II & Ella Sanchez, Brother Alvin Charles, Grandsons Albert Power and John Gibson and son in law Robert Power. And her fur baby- baby.

She is survived by her favorite cousin Lillian (Baby) Gomez and family, daughter Elizabeth Monger Grandchildren Michael (Crystal) Monger, Chris (Heidi) Enick, Dakota (Darla) Monger, David and Andrew Enick, Robert (Lisa) Guss, Ivy and Selena Guss and Anthony Power, 27 great grandchildren 15 great great-grandchildren and numerous adopted kids and grandkids and extended family. 

She touched many lives and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Viewing at Schafer-Shipman funeral home Wed Feb 10, 2021 8am-10:30 am 
Burial to follow at Mission Beach Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Schaefer-Shipman Funeral Home. 

New Quil Ceda Creek Casino offers ‘more to love’

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

“What a beautiful day!” marveled Chairwoman Teri Gobin to hundreds of Tulalip citizens, elders, and anxiously awaiting gamblers who attended the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino’s grand opening on February 3.

“I’d like to thank everyone for being here today. This has been a long project. It’s been four years since we broke ground, but what an awesome finished product we have now,” she continued. “There really is so much more to love with this new facility.

“Tulalip’s gaming revenue funds our tribal government and tribal services, so for us and many other Native communities gaming is an essential business. Our gaming organization brings economic development to not only us, but to our surrounding communities and local businesses that benefit from our visitor overflow.”

The highly anticipated new casino spans 126,000 square feet – nearly twice the size of the property it replaced across the street. The new “Q” will spotlight a beautifully designed and greatly expanded main casino, a contemporary food hall and additional dining options, an innovative entertainment venue and a six-story parking garage. The $125 million casino and parking garage is situated on 15 acres of Tulalip land located directly off I-5 at exit 199.

Following a traditional Tulalip prayer and ceremonial blessing, each Tulalip Board of Director offered words of encouragement for the future and reflection for past leaders and ancestors whose vision and sacrifice made present day accomplishments possible.

“It’s been a long journey for Tulalip to get to where we are today,” said Board of Director Glen Gobin. “From our humble teachings to our humble beginnings to being an economic powerhouse in Snohomish County, we hope this continues to strengthen us as we go forward in a positive way and provide for the needs of our growing membership. We’ve got a lot to be thankful for.”

“I want to acknowledge everyone who participated in this project,” added Board of Director Marie Zackuse. “It was our ancestors and elders before us who had the vision to set aside land for their future generations. All [the success] of Quil Ceda Village and our casinos is thanks to them. We thank our ancestors for this opportunity and our elders who are here in attendance today to support us.”

The new “Q” features a radiant gaming floor with 1,500 gaming machines and 16 table games. Millions of high definition pixels span the walls for patrons to view rivalry weeks galore and competitive matchups across the sporting spectrum. A state of the line air filtration system combined with vaulted ceilings keeps the air fresh and atmosphere desirable. Just as it was previously, the new casino will operate as a 100% smoke-free, vape-free property. 

For thousands of Tulalip Reservation residents, the prospect of having more local dining options, especially top notch quality meals at reasonable prices, is the real jackpot. Inside the new “Q” is a food lover’s dream – a food hall dubbed The Kitchen offers seven cooked-to-order food venues. Menu items will spotlight fresh, local ingredients from Northwest suppliers prepared with the latest green cooking techniques. The Kitchen provides a tasty lineup including freshly prepared pizza and pasta, steaks, seafood, breakfast all-day, sandwiches/soups, global cuisine, frybread and more. 

“I hope the Tulalip membership is proud of the new facility because this is our future,” said Belinda Hegnes, the Q’s interim executive VP. “I’ve had the opportunity for 28 years now to be a part of the Tulalip Gaming Organization family. We’ll continue to provide the friendly, casual guest experience we’re known for, but now in a larger casino with more room to enjoy all that we offer. We mean it when we say there will be more to love in gaming, dining and entertainment. More slots, more jackpots, more food venues, more fun, and more exciting times to celebrate as we move forward together.”

The Quil Ceda Creek Casino will continue to safeguard the health and safety of guests and team members with multiple programs: limited capacity, guests and team members are required to wear properly fitting masks, no-touch temperature checks performed upon entry, social distancing, aggressive deep cleaning procedures, and entertainment areas closed based on COVID-19 guidelines. For more information on sanitation, health and safety measures visit the casino’s website: www.quilcedacreekcasino.com

Family Spirit: MCHC First class to be held Feb 18

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

Last month, when the collective known as the Maternal Child Health Committee (MCHC) formally introduced themselves to the community via Tulalip News, the people showed a great amount of interest for the new committee and the possibilities it offers their families. Comprised of Family Haven, TELA, Community Health and beda?chelh, the group of Tulalip programs aims to provide assistance, education and resources to expectant mothers and young families by uniting as one.

“Our goal is to bring together all the different departments within the tribe, that serve families with children under five, to provide information that will be helpful to the community as well as resources that might help families out,” said Family Haven Manager, Alison Bowen. “Each department complements each other and we’re able to look at the child and the family in a really global or holistic way.”

The committee meets regularly, brainstorming ideas for upcoming classes and activities, as well as discussing how to reach more mothers and young families who can utilize their services. Each month, MCHC will host an online Zoom class for the Tulalip community where participants can interact with other parents, learn new skills, ask any questions and win prizes. The departments will alternate hosting duties every month and each lesson will focus on a new topic, which that month’s respective department specializes in. Now officially underway, MCHC is gearing up for their very first Zoom lesson on February 18, which will be led by Family Haven.

“We will be teaching from the Family Spirit curriculum, from Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health,” said Sasha Smith, Family Haven’s Family and Youth Support Coordinator. “We’re going to teach from our Infant Care section, which is called ‘how to protect’. We are going to teach three main subjects. How to protect yourself, that focuses on blocked airways and poisonings; all about falls, infants experiencing fall related injuries; and burns. And we’ll be going over water safety.”

Sasha explained that the Family Spirit curriculum promotes the health and wellbeing of young families. The program is known nationally for its culturally-relevant and community-based approach to maternal health and early childhood development. The Family Spirit model was created and based off of years of research conducted by the Johns Hopkins University. 

Thanks to Family Haven’s involvement with MCHC, those who attend the first Zoom lesson of the year will get the first-glance at the Family Spirit curriculum and hopefully learn a few new tips, tricks and skills to try at home. As Sasha stated, the class will focus on three subjects regarding infant safety, specifically choking, falling and burns. When asked if these are common issues that mothers and families face, she replied that they are indeed and that the upcoming online lesson will provide tips on how to avoid those types of accidents. 

Sasha stated that the lesson is full of reminders that urge parents to pay a little more attention to the things they may not think often about, such as the temperature settings of your water heater. She explained that since many people in the community deal with Tribal housing, you can request that they come out and check and/or adjust your water heater temp, in order to avoid accidentally using scolding hot water on you and your baby. She also indicated that the lessons are tailored to the Indigenous community and features illustrated characters who are of Native American complexion, an important detail so young Native parents can see themselves in the lessons throughout the curriculum. 

She said, “I think that there are some things that we all tend to overlook. We forget about those simple things like checking the water before you put your child in the tub or thinking that because they’re only six months old, and they’re still in their car seat, you can set them up on the table and they’ll be fine. Most parents know a lot of this stuff already, but it’s a good reminder to reinforce those habits of checking your surroundings, making sure things are picked up off the floor and not setting down or allowing your child to climb up on the table.” 

MCHC plans on hosting in-person classes as soon as it is possible and safe to do so during the era of the coronavirus. For now, they have arrangements extending into the summer months for more fun, online interactive lessons. TELA is up next in March and they will teach a lesson on early childhood development. Be sure to stay tuned to Tulalip News for more details. 

For those who are unable to attend the first MCHC Zoom lesson, Sasha wants to provide a link to a free, online First Aid & CPR training, https://www.southsnofire.org/education/a-c-t-first-aid-class, as well as the number for the Nationwide Poison Control Center, 1-800-222-1222, just in case.

The first MCHC Zoom lesson is taking place on Thursday 2/18 at 3:00 p.m. If you wish to attend, please contact Family Haven for more details or simply follow this Zoom link on the date and time listed above. https://zoom.us/j/92147697876?pwd=b0hPK0psN05Fem9DMzZRbzBGNjZ5Zz09

“I think this is all important and a great way for the larger community to learn some new information,” expressed Alison. “As parents, we learn more based on new information that is constantly coming out. At one point in time, a lot of people thought it was perfectly fine to feed your kids hotdogs, and hotdogs are now known as one of the top choking hazards for children. You would think that it is safe and healthy feeding them lots of fruits and vegetables, but foods like grapes are an easy thing to choke on. So yes, there are things that are considered common knowledge that we kind of forget about and need reminding of, but a lot of this is also based on new information, new studies and statistics – how we should start doing things a little different for the future generations.”