I would like to give a brief update of what the Board of Directors has been working on.
On April 22nd, I received an invitation to go to Seward Park for Earth Day, where President Biden was signing a Force Protection Act. There were many representatives and senators at the signing, along with four other tribal chairmen.
As you know, we’re always looking at what we could do to clean up our lands, to protect our forests, for the next generations.
On May 3rd, Vice-Chairwoman Misty Napeahi and I were invited to a dinner at Lake Washington in Seattle where Nancy Pelosi spoke along with other Democratic representatives. They were there to bring us the message on continued support for the Democratic Party in the upcoming elections.
We are having continued meetings with Snohomish County about the health districts not following through on nuisance property and failing septic systems. This is a big issue because where the drain fields are going is back into our water supply and causing contamination where it seeps to the surface. It’s really an issue that our Compliance Department is trying to take care of with Snohomish County, but we had to bring it to the table to those above them to make sure this is happening. We have also asked about the possibility of taking over jurisdiction of all of this. We will be continuing these talks with Snohomish County
I would also like to talk about the election that’s coming up for our state representative in the 38th District One. We have Daryl Williams, who is a tribal member who’s actually worked for the tribe for over forty years in Tulalip’s Natural Resources Department and legislature.
We’re really excited about bringing his experience forward and making sure that we have a seat at the table with one of our tribal members. Ballots will be mailed out on July 14th and have to be returned by August 2nd. Darryl has a long history of working for our tribe and he’s also been in Olympia with us, representing the Tribe and all kinds of cases, especially those concerning natural resources.
If elected, some of Darrell’s priorities are to take care of the chronic homeless, deal with addiction and mental health issues, and also address living wage jobs because it’s so important to be able to take care of your families. But, his biggest priority and expertise is in the environment and how we need to clean up the streams to take care of our salmon and to continue our way of life.
We recently held a meeting on the constitutional amendments. We, the Board, all worked together and we went through everything. We wanted to clean it up, do some housekeeping, and to bring it into the 21st century. We took out language where it said he and put he/she, from Chairman to Chair and also took out Indian and replaced it with Native or Native American.
We also removed the sections about allotted land because that doesn’t apply anymore. It also talked about landless Indians because these constitutions were sent out by the BIA and there were templates back in 1936. This is just our first stage in the constitutional amendment. We’ll have one more meeting prior to the Board taking a vote to send it to the BIA.
It has to go through the BIA process to change the Constitution. They will send out documents describing what needs to be done. Each person will have to register to vote with the BIA and at that time there will be 90 days in between when they receive our constitutional amendment and that election process will happen if they approve it to move forward.
Of those who register, 30% have to participate in the vote to have it to be a legitimate vote, and then the majority will rule. Now, this is just for the clean up section to make sure that we update our Constitution. This has been needed for a long time and we’re glad that we’re finally at this point.
This was something that was brought forward at the General Counsel and we wanted to do it within that time frame and we have accomplished our first meeting by that timeframe. We’re proud to have got that far. So we will be setting one more meeting with changes that were brought forward at the meeting.
We recently approved the Washington Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and what that does is protect the Tribe and moving forward with the issues that we had in the past.
So prior to bringing any issues out onto the Reservation, they have to forward them to our Fisheries and Wildlife Department and to our Police Department to handle the issues. The MOU outlines the rules that we will follow, and the process of doing so, to make sure that we respect each other’s jurisdiction and that we hold our jurisdiction on this Reservation.
We have started some spring cleanup and as you all know, there have been dumpsters delivered to some of our housing development sites. Public Works will also be picking up refrigerators and stoves upon request, and they are also working with the Tulalip Police Department on removing unwanted junk vehicles on your property. Contact Officer Jim Williams at 360-716-5990 for more information.
Now is the time of year you can start to get out and to do gardening and clean up your area, but it takes everybody to do their part. This land is sacred, so we need to protect it. We just recently finished the Salmon Ceremony and it was a wonderful event. We are really excited about all of the youth that were involved.
It’s good to pass the culture on to the next generation. When we talk about that, we talked about it at the Salmon Ceremony, how you started out with my father’s generation that passed it down to mine. There are five to six generations that have been involved in the Salmon Ceremony, and with this being its the forty-sixth year, it was really exciting to see all of the youth involved.
We have a number of events that are going to be happening very soon.
On July 16th, we will be having our Spee-Bi-Dah event. Then on July 21st through the 26th there will be a canoe trip to Lopez Island. There will also be a recovery trip that’s going to be up there. They’ll be camping there and fundraising to bring people who are fresh in recovery out to camp.
The Membership Financial Meeting will be held on June 23rd at 5 p.m. in the Orca Ballroom. Prior to the meeting, you can pick up your financial booklets at the Board Reception on June 21st between 1pm – 4pm.
August 18th, there will be the Elders luncheon at Tulalip.
August 20th through the 21st, we will be hosting the canoe races here at Tulalip.
There will also be the annual Marysville Strawberry Parade this Saturday June 18th and it starts at 7:45 p.m. I would like to congratulate all the high school graduates this year we had sixty Tulalip Tribal Members, eighteen other Natives and seven students with 3.5 GPA or higher. I’d also like to congratulate those who graduated from fifth grade and the eighth grade. We also had college graduates and the total vocational training center.
Each and every one of you accomplished a great feat in moving on to the next level in your life. And for those that are moving on to college or vocational training, you can accomplish whatever you want. But what’s most important as you set an example for the all of those that come behind you, they can look up to what you’ve accomplished and you’re taking care of your family.
So I just want to thank each and every one of you for reading my report. And once again, a shout out to all the graduates.