June 1, 2020
Last night the Tulalip Reservation was the target of vandalism and looting under the pretense of a protest. Based on the tone of the social media posts that encouraged this incident, it seemed likely that violence, rather than a peaceful demonstration was the goal. With that in mind, Tulalip citizens, community members, and law enforcement mobilized to meet the potential threat and closed down the parameters of Quil Ceda Village, along with the Tulalip Resort Casino and the Quil Ceda Creek Casino.
In addition to the Tulalip Tribal Police, our local law enforcement partners, including Snohomish County Sherriff’s and their SWAT team, Washington State Patrol, Everett Police Department, Stanwood Police Department, and Marysville Police Department assisted in ensuring Tulalip stayed safe.
“Our community came together, and as we always do, shared wisdom, unity, and teachings. We stood in defense of our lands, along with our local law enforcement.
“We stand with George Floyd’s family and the families of every person who has been a victim of racial inequity and violence,” said Tulalip Chairwoman Teri Gobin. “Our people have lived through oppression; we know this pain. My heart breaks for anyone who has lost a loved one due to racial violence. His death did not need to happen, someone should have stopped it, and they should be held accountable. We raise our voice and drums in solidarity with you.”
We understand that protest is sometimes necessary to create change. But we will not stand for those who come to pillage and perpetrate even more violence on our people.” The people who came to Tulalip last night were not here to change the system. This was an attempt to loot and only targets the innocent.” I do not understand why anyone would want to target Tulalip, a sovereign nation that has suffered generations of historical trauma.
After approximately 40 people converged on Tulalip in an attempt to vandalize and loot businesses within Quil Ceda Village, several suspects were arrested for criminal trespass, while others fled the property. Tulalip and our partners will continue to secure the boundaries of the Reservation. Property damage, rioting, and looting will not be tolerated; those who are responsible will be apprehended and booked into jail.
“This has got to stop. We can’t go on this way, destroying even more lives,” said Gobin. “There are so many good people taking the brunt of this,” she continued. “Like Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’ I believe those words, and that is what I witnessed last night.
Tulalip Tribes Chairwoman