Still Alive, Not Petrified

“Gooch” Wolf Mask. Red cedar, acrylic paint, cedar bark. 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

In an era of rapid technological advancement, the art world is undergoing a profound transformation. Artists, once limited by traditional mediums, are now free to embrace modern tools and digital platforms to push the boundaries of their creative mind. 

Tulalip citizen James Madison is one such artist who isn’t simply embracing this challenge of adapting to an ever-evolving art market, he’s actually empowered by culture and tradition to forge forward and demonstrate to the next generation what’s possible. A mindset he inherited from his grandfather Frank Madison.

Self Portrait “Triptych.” 
Limited edition case bronze, carbon fiber backing, lexan base.

“I started learning how to carve at 5-years-old,” shared the now 49-year-old James in a recent episode of Hibulb Conversations. “Some of my earliest carving memories are from when I’d be dropped off at my grandma Lois and grandpa Frank’s house every day during elementary. I’d basically receive my culture teachings from them in the morning, before going to school at Whittier Elementary, then continue the culture teachings with them after school. Back then, my grandpa would carve around the kitchen table. He’d sit me down with my cousin Steven and we would watch and learn.” 

James comes from an artistic family that spans multiple generations and includes both Tulalip and Tlingit forebearers who were deeply rooted in cultural traditions and storytelling. They used a variety of tools and elements that were at their disposal at the time to preserve their culture through art. 

Whale Mask. Hand carved yellow cedar.

Today, as the world becomes increasingly interconnected and technology-driven, James and his contemporaries are finding ways to evolve their craft by blending traditional techniques with new mediums that require a functional knowledge of the latest techno wizardry. Welcome to the competitive art scene of 2023. Where true master’s of the craft must push themselves to learn exciting and innovative methods to preserve their cultural heritage like those before them.

“I always dreamt of being an artist like my grandpa and father before me,” admitted the Tulalip master carver. “There was a Haida artist named Bill Reid, who I never actually met in person, but he had a profound impact on me through his books filled with northwest coastal art and stunning sculptures that were 15 to 20-feet large. When I was young, his books were accessible to me and I’d look through them constantly; studying his technique and visualizing what I’d do if I had the ability to create things larger than life.”

Thunderbird Blackfish Panel. Hand carved red cedar, acrylic.

As his portfolio grew, so too did his public commissions; to the point that his previous childlike visions of one day creating larger than life carvings and sculptures came to fruition. James has created stunning 10, 20 and even 25-foot installations that are easily visible all across Coast Salish territory. From his home reservation (at Tulalip Resort Casino, Hibulb and the Admin Building), to Mukilteo’s Lighthouse Park, Stanwood’s Kayak Point, Arlington’s Centennial Trail, and Everett’s Evergreen Arboretum. 

Now in his first solo exhibition with Stonington Gallery, located in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood, James mastery of the latest artistic mediums is on full display. His unique cultural expression fills the gallery space and allows onlookers to explore complex themes, while immersing themselves in the awe-inspiring creations developed by a master at work. 

“I know it’ll sound kinda goofy, but I don’t look at myself as a Native artist. I look at myself as an artist,” reflected James while reviewing his latest gallery collection. “My grandpa always told me, ‘we need to not just carve things out of the books, but look to create new things to show that we’re still evolving. We’re not petrified. We’re still alive.’ That was his mantra and I’ve incorporated into my life by always pushing myself creatively to create something new. To show that we’re not petrified. We’re still alive and still evolving.”

“Eclipse” Moon Mask.
 Hard carved yellow cedar, carbon fiber.

Fittingly titled Still Alive, Not Petrified, his Stonington Gallery exhibition embodies what an artistic mind can achieve when experimenting with different techniques, collaborating across disciplines, and creating groundbreaking works that challenge conventions, while intending to inspire new ideas from the next generation of artists.

“I’ve been so enthralled by not just the level of mastery James routinely exhibits, but the sheer diversity of his mediums as well. It was his carvings and public works that really caught my eye, and why I initially contacted him over Instagram,” explained Jewelia Rosenbaum, director of Stonington. “In my 24-years with Stonington, we’ve made it a mission to spearhead the connection between this region and Coast Salish art. In 2005, we were the first to put out a wide-ranging, largescale exhibit of only Coast Salish artwork. This went hand-in-hand with our partnership with University of Washington Press to publish a book titled Contemporary Coast Salish Art.

Stonington Gallery exhibit display. 

“We are so honored to feature a James Madison solo exhibition because he truly encapsulates contemporary Coast Salish art,” she added. “From metal sculptures and glass woven panels to intricately carved cedar masks and paddles to even molded carbon fiber weaves that contrast beautifully with a carved cedar panel backdrop, he represents everything one might want when coming to the art form.”

As he continues to evolve his use of traditional storytelling through new mediums and digital tools, James is actively revitalizing the Coast Salish art scene by injecting innovation, vibrancy, and relevance into the creative process. By leveraging technological advancements to preserve and showcase his culture, he’s also bridging the gap between generations and diverse backgrounds to create a collective understanding of what it means to be alive, not petrified.

Tulalip Foundation awards mini grants to multiple tribal programs

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News; photo courtesy of Nicole Sieminski 

Six Tulalip tribal departments sang nothing but praises about the Tulalip Foundation for their assistance in getting their projects up and running this year, as well as expanding their program’s outreach and services for the community. And it’s a guarantee that if we were to speak about every project that the Foundation has helped since its inception in 2007, countless other tribal departments and outside organizations would join in on the chorus. 

Nicole Sieminski, the woman behind the scenes, has made a huge impact within the tribal community from the moment she took on the role of the Foundation’s Executive Director in the mid-teens of this millennia. Through her hard work and guidance, the non-profit has become a well-known organization, and therefore, many local businesses and nationwide corporations have donated thousands of dollars for the betterment of both Tulalip’s governmental programs as well as community-led and focused projects. 

The Tulalip Foundation has helped raise monies, and also accepted and dispersed donated funds, on behalf of numerous efforts and causes based on three core values: culture, justice and education. Undergoing a recent strategic planning process, the Foundation is excited to announce that they expanded from those three project support areas to five – culture and natural resources, law and justice, education and workforce, community and development, and health and social. These newly defined areas give the Foundation the ability to fully support Tulalip’s community at large. 

“We’re currently working with fourteen tribal programs and departments and a couple outside ones as well,” said Nicole. “We just reorganized a little and our new project support areas really gives us that flexibility that we need to support our community.”

Over the past several years, the Tulalip Foundation has been the recipient of a yearly donation from Kendall Subaru of Marysville. Throughout the winter months, Subaru dealerships participate in a nationwide initiative known as the Share the Love Event in which local dealerships contribute a donation to an organization or charity of their choosing each time a vehicle is sold throughout the duration of the event. As Kendall Subaru’s handpicked ‘hometown charity’, the Foundation has been fortunate to accept upwards of $20,000 each year that they have been selected. 

Following a springtime check presentation, the Foundation divvies up the donation into $5,000 mini grants which programs, projects, and departments can then apply for. After receiving last year’s donation of $25,000, the Foundation began their strategic planning process and decided to hold onto those funds until the reorg was completed. Combined with this year’s Share the Love donation, the Foundation was able to award a total of six mini grants in 2023.

Upon hearing where the mini grants were allocated, Tulalip News spoke with all six of those recipients to discuss how their programs will benefit from the donation and how they plan to utilize those mini grant funds. 

Tulalip Vocational Training Center – Lisa Telford, TERO TVTC Family Career Navigator

We got a mini grant to update our welding supplies so we can do a welding class. It will be focused on the basics of welding, so you’re not coming out as certified welder, but you’ll have a better understanding of how to lay a bead. The funds are going to refurbishing the machines that we already have, making sure they’re usable, and purchasing another.

We’re always trying to expand what we teach so people can have a good base for their career or to further their career. For me, I’m always looking for ways to expand their knowledge so they’re more successful, and it just so happens that the mini grant came up. 

We have a graduation this Friday (5/26) and we are recruiting for our new classes that starts in September!

Tulalip Legacy of Healing and Tulalip Child Advocacy Center – Sydney Gilbert, CAC/LOH Coordinator

It feels great and supportive to receive these funds for our clients. We were able to get one mini grant for each center, and that will be able to be used directly for client assistance. We do receive a lot of grant funding that does go towards client assistance, but often times there isn’t endless flexibility with the things you can use those funds for. So having access to these funds, we can really meet our clients where they’re at, so they can work with their advocate to identify what their needs are in their situation, so we can financially assist in a much more flexible way. 

There are so many barriers when you think about domestic violence. Leaving an abusive situation, a lot of times abusers financially silo their victims, so they don’t have access to funds. A lot of examples people run into is the ability to bring their pets, you might have to board an animal and that costs money, you might have continued vet care. Animals and pets are really important to people so being able to potentially assist with getting their pets out of the situation is a more flexible cost that we can assist with. 

We just want to honor the fact the victims and survivors are the expert in their story, they know what they need, and we need to be listening to them and supporting them. Thank you to the Tulalip Foundation and we’re really happy to have access to those funds.

Tulalip Office of Civil Legal Aid – Chori Folkman, TOCLA Lead Attorney/Youth Attorney

It’s incredibly supportive of the Tulalip Foundation to award us with this grant because it’s funding a really important piece of infrastructure that we need to be able to operate as a law office. What it’s going toward is to pay for an annual subscription to a legal case management system. A client management system that allows us to be able to serve the needs of the Tulalip community through our civil legal aid office. 

It allows us to keep all files, client contact information, the ability to conflict check, and access information all in one place. It’s through the web, so we can access it from any place we are, whether it’s in the courtroom, in the community, or on the weekend dealing with an emergency, we can access our entire case files. It also allows to ensure confidentiality between our different divisions.

The Tulalip Office of Civil Legal Aid is holding office hours every Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. where tribal members can stop by and get screened to talk to our attorney that morning about their legal needs. We’ll also be having open office hours once a month at the admin building. People can drop by anytime during normal business hours to talk to our pro se navigator who can give them guidance on how to fill out forms or the legal process, and that’s accessible by phone or in person all week. 

Natural Resources: Education and Outreach – Melissa Gobin, Environmental and Education Outreach Coordinator

“The $5,000 that we got from the Foundation mini grant is being used to get equipment for cedar pulling, for being out in the woods. I am trying to get more rain gear for the kids. 

We’re also going to be doing fish camps, because we had fish camp and mountain camp going before COVID, so we’re trying to get that back up and running. In the middle of July, we’re going to be doing our first fish camp at the youth center, so it’s close. We’re going to bring the kids out fishing, bring them back and teach them how we prepare it, how we store it for the whole year, smoking, canning, all that kind of stuff. We’re going to try to build a smoker on the beach, that’s our big goal, to have the youth help build that smoker and teach how we traditionally made sure we had salmon for the whole year.

I think the kids really need to know about natural resources in a way that’s fun, and not just on paper. I want them to see the different plants and medicines we have. And see why we’re protecting these wetlands, why we’re protecting the forest, why we’re trying to go out and make buffer zones to the fish. You can see it in their eyes once they get out there and start getting into everything, they get excited. You can see which kids want to come back and work in natural resources. And that’s what I’m really trying to do, after they go to college, get them back here and working for us.

Natural Resources: Restoration, Acquisition, and Stewardship Program – Austin Richard, Stewardship Ecologist

Receiving this mini grant is really valuable to our program to help alleviate capacity issues and support day to day functions. Our program has received multiple large grants to support salmon habitat restoration work, but the flexibility around this mini grant allows us to purchase equipment and gear in a more efficient way that will help support larger scale restoration projects from the ground up.

Funding from this mini grant will support critical efforts to provide the equipment and gear necessary to further prevent the spread of invasive plants that negatively impact Tulalip land and Tribal member’s properties. The majority of the funds will be used to purchase a Conex container, which will allow us to store our equipment (e.g., brush cutters, shovels, weed wrenches, etc…) in a more spacious and organized manner. This will also improve our ability to obtain additional gear and equipment that will help accomplish the Restoration, Acquisition, and Stewardship Program’s ultimate goal of protecting and restoring Tulalip Treaty Retained Resources through conservation, stewardship, restoration, and enhancement of critical habitat and natural processes.

It is exciting to get an inside look of the Tulalip Foundation and their process of dispersing donations throughout the community while remaining focused on those key project support areas. They recently received a surprise $25,000 donation from the Taylor Family Foundation through the Community Foundation of Snohomish County, and the Tulalip Foundation is eager to continue to build upon that newfound relationship. The Foundation also assisted the Tulalip Village of Hope by accepting a $3,000 donation on their behalf from homebuilding company, LGI Homes. And of course, the Tulalip Foundation will be hosting their annual Salmon Bake Fundraiser to benefit the Hibulb Cultural Center on August 19.

And if you are interested in learning more or looking for additional info, listed below are the contacts of the Tulalip Foundation and each of the programs that were awarded this year’s mini grants. 

  • Tulalip Foundation: (360) 716-5400
  • Tulalip TERO Vocational Training Center: (360) 716-4760
  • Tulalip Legacy of Healing: (360) 716-4100
  • Tulalip Child Advocacy Center: (360) 716-5437
  • Tulalip Office of Civil Legal Aid: (360) 716-4773
  • Tulalip Natural Resources Department: (360) 716-4617

Honoring Our Heroes: TPD holds special gathering to commemorate fallen officers

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News; photos submitted by Paula Cortez, Teri Nelson, and Anita Matta

On the morning of May 17, an intimate ceremony took place at the Tulalip Dining Hall as the community, Tribal police department, and the families of William Williams Sr. and Charlie Joe Cortez gathered to pay tribute to the two fallen heroes of Tulalip. Nationwide, police departments take the time to honor and recognize those officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice and died in the line of duty every May 15th, and its corresponding week, which is officially known as Peace Officer Memorial Day and Police Week. 

Tulalip Police Department Chief of Police, Chris Sutter, shared, “Just a little history on the importance of this day – in 1962 President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designates this week of May 15th as Peace Officer Memorial Day and Police Week. That was sixty years ago. Today and this week in Washington D.C., officers from all over the country and their loved ones are having ceremonies at the [United] States Capitol.

“This year, President Joseph Biden sent out a Presidential Proclamation and in part, this what that proclamation reads: ‘Every day when law enforcement officers pin on their badges, they make an extraordinary commit to the American people. To rush towards danger, regardless of the risks, and to faithfully stand up for the rule of law. Across our neighborhoods, towns, and cities, they put themselves in harm’s way, hoping to return safely to their families. On Peace Officers Memorial Day and during Police Week, we celebrate the remarkable courage of our law enforcement community and honor the fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect their fellow Americans’.” 

At the beginning of the month, the annual Washington State Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Project took place in Spokane. During the memorial project, a candlelight vigil is held for fallen officers from around the state. Each year, a select number of fallen officers are recognized during the memorial project and their names are etched into a granite wall outside of the Public Safety Building in Spokane. At this year’s remembrance, Tulalip tribal member and TPD Fisheries Patrolman, William Williams Sr.’s name was unveiled on the wall next to Charlie Joe Cortez.

On the Officer Down Memorial Page, a website dedicated to the memory of all of the fallen officers across the nation, Williams’ dedication states that he drowned while patrolling Quil Ceda Creek in July of 1965, and that he was reported missing after his boat was found unoccupied. His body was recovered along the creek in the days following, just west of the I-5 overpass in Marysville. 

TPD Fish and Wildlife Officer, Charlie Cortez’s End of Watch date was on November 17th of 2020. While on duty, and after assisting a distressed boater in rough and stormy conditions, Charlie’s fisheries vessel capsized in the Salish Sea. After a two-day search and recovery mission, Officer Cortez was pronounced lost at sea and his body has yet to be recovered and returned home to his family. 

These two brave men and Tulalip tribal members dedicated their lives to protecting their beloved tribal community. And with each passing day, their presence is missed more and more by their families and community, but their memory continues to live on through their loved ones and fellow TPD officers. Which is why gatherings such as Honoring Our Heroes event are of the utmost importance, to remember their sacrifice and their commitment to keeping the people of Tulalip safe.

Chief Sutter expressed, “I’m excited to see the community come together – this is good medicine for healing, supporting, and loving each other. We are gathered here today to show respect and remembrance for our fallen officers. This is a solemn event and we want to support each other and love each other and celebrate the lives of our two fallen heroes from Tulalip. And it’s not lost on me that they were both from the fish and wildlife patrol enforcement, and how dangerous and how quickly the waters can change. I want to acknowledge our fish and wildlife officers today and thank them for their sacrifice and service to the community along with all of our police officers.”

Following a blessing by Tribal youth drummers, the people were invited to share stories of their time spent with the fallen officers. Speakers included family members, their fellow brothers and sisters of the badge, and several Tribal leaders.  

“When I got up and spoke, I remember thinking that this was such a healing moment for the families and officers,” said Officer Cortez’s mother, Paula Cortez. “It was special. I’ve seen ceremonies like this held at other departments, and I’m just so grateful that TPD decided to do it as well.”

While recollecting on a time period during Charlie’s childhood, Paula continued, “I shared a cute story about Charlie when he was a little boy. We were driving down the road, he’d see a cop pass by and he’d say, ‘cheese man, cheese man!’. I looked at him like what are you talking about, and he’d be pointing at the policeman. I was wondering where in the world he got cheese man out of policeman. So, when we were driving down the road again one day, and I saw another cop, I said, ‘oh it’s the cheese’. That’s what it meant; they were the cheese men.”

The Tulalip Police Department plans on holding an Honoring Our Heroes event every year during Peace Officer Memorial Day and Police Week to bring healing to the community from here on out, by recognizing those two fallen officers who died in the line of duty while protecting their homelands.

“The honoring was really special to me, and it turned out really nice. It gave everybody who didn’t get to make it to the memorial services an opportunity to share some of their stories that they had together. As Charlie’s mother, I will always do anything and everything that I can to keep his memory alive.” 

25th Annual Auction raises record-breaking $595,000 in donations for the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

Since the late 90’s, the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club has created a positive impact in the hearts and lives of countless young tribal members and local children as they progressed through adolescence. It is not a farfetched statement to say that the first-of-its-kind reservation-based Boys and Girls Club has helped shape many of its ‘club kids’ into the upstanding citizens and respectable adults that they are today. 

Whether it played the role of asylum for kids seeking an escape from a chaotic or busy home life, or just a place where children could hang out with friends after school, the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club has been consistently available to the youth of the community throughout the years and can always be counted on as a safe space where they can get lost in the joys of being a kid. Not only is the club a spot for endless amounts fun, but it’s a place where kids can learn a vast amount of social skills, and where many lifelong bonds and friendships are created. 

Each month is jampacked with activities and outings, and therefore provides parents and guardians peace of mind during their work day, with the assurance that their children’s time is being utilized responsibly in an entertaining and constructive manner, especially during summer and holiday school breaks. And on top of all of that, the club ensures that every kid who walks through their doors is served nutritious meals and snacks.

Servicing hundreds of kids on a daily basis is no easy feat, and when you factor in the funding that it takes to accommodate all of their necessities, it becomes all the more challenging. Thankfully, a quarter century ago the club organized a fundraising event that has become a popular tradition known as the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club ‘It’s for the Kids’ annual auction. 

May 13th marked the 25th year of the annual auction, and boy was it one for the books. Shattering records across the board, this year’s gathering had an all-time high 750 attendees show out for the kids. The formal event was held at the Tulalip Resort Casino and people arrived to the party dressed to the nines and ready to dig deep into their pockets. 

Prior to the night’s headlining festivities, a silent auction was held in the conference rooms of the resort. Row upon row of donated prizes were on display, including several Indigenous themed items such as a ribbon skirt by Morning Star Creations, as well as beaded jewelry and Native designed blankets and goods. Auction goers placed their bids through their smart phones and the winner of each item was notified via text message. 

The main attraction took place across the hall, in the Orca Ballroom, and that auction was far from silent. While attendees enjoyed a fine dining experience, complete with a surf and turf meal, as well as top shelf wine and champagne, a professional auctioneer rattled off the dollar amount placed by each bidder at a rapid pace. 

The items up for bid included numerous art pieces donated by Tulalip artists, from the creative minds of James Madison, Kelly Moses, Michelle Myles, and Martin Napeahi. Other items up for grabs were Seattle sporting event tickets and memorabilia, vacation packages for several destinations around the world, and all access passes to a handful of upcoming concerts and live events. 

Addressing the packed ballroom of donors, the It’s for the Kids Auction Chairwoman, Belinda Hegnes, shared, “Because of your generosity and your unwavering support, we are here tonight celebrating 25 years of memories. As former club kids, we all know the positive impacts of having a Boys and Girls Club in our communities. The club is a safe place to meet friends, and there is always something fun to do. We have made great progress over the past 25 years, however, meeting the basic needs of our children is still a challenge. By raising your paddles tonight, we can meet those needs and make a positive impact for our children.”

The funds generated from each auction go towards the improvement and expansion of the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club. Over the past 25 years, the club has kept up with the times in a technology forward society and has routinely upgraded their computer systems. A number of modern and advanced technologies, based on both the kids needs and interests, include a complete music studio and the new multimedia teen center. Additionally, auction funds assist with the upkeep of the club such as building repairs, remodels, and daily transportation for the kids.

Shawn Sanchey, Director of the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club and a former club kid himself, detailed the club’s current projects which are funded exclusively by auction donations. He said, “I want to share some big things we have coming up in our club. We are currently in the process of remodeling our kitchen. The goal of this project is to make it last another 15, 25 years to feed our kids every day. We feed our kids three times a day.

“Our other project we have coming up is a new security system throughout our club – new camera locations, updated technology. That’s really exciting because at Tulalip Boys and Girls Club we preach safety, it’s our number one thing. The next project we have coming up is our immersion room where the kids learn biology with technology. Last go-round we had Dr. Ballard, the man who found the Titanic, come and run this program, under the sea, with our kids. That’s a great program that we’re excited to get up and running. The last thing is we’re getting new vans. This will help transport our kids to and from practices from the club. Some of the kids might not have transportation, so we’re trying to alleviate that.”

One of the many highlights of the night was a special video presentation from Tulalip college hooper and future NBA prospect RaeQuan Battle, who shared, “Every time I play basketball and step onto the floor, I think of where it all started, and that’s the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club. The club was like my second home, it provided a safe space for me to go, it’s where I started playing a lot of basketball and really found myself.”

Altogether, the auction raised over $595,000, which is the highest amount donated throughout the 25 years of the fundraising event. And though attendees surely enjoyed the glitz and glamour of the extravagant get-together, their foremost priority remained intact,  Tulalip’s club kids, and a hope they receive amazing childhood experiences. 

  Following the successful auction night, Shawn took to Facebook to share his gratitude and expressed, “Huge thank you to everyone involved who donates, helps, and supports our kids in the community! Such a great night at our auction, our team behind the scenes does such an amazing job!”

 Extreme Makeover: Tulalip Edition 

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

It was a warm and sunny day on May 11, with temperatures reaching the high 70’s for the first time since last summer. Along Mission Hill Road, between beda?chelh and the Mission Beach Cemetery, a crew of men and women were hard at work at the Village of Hope site. The focus of the day was centered on the original site’s communal building that stood for over two decades and accommodated numerous homeless tribal members and families while they worked to get back on their feet. 

Previously known as the homeless shelter, the site took on a new name when the Tribe set plans in 2018 for a revamp that would usher in new opportunities for tribal members  looking for a fresh start, by adding seventeen tiny homes to the site. Originally intended to open at a much earlier date, the Tribe held a ground breaking ceremony in October 2021, after meeting many challenges during the height of the global pandemic. And just a year and some change later, the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Village of Hope took place in December 2022, and those seventeen doors were opened for a large portion of Tulalip’s homeless population, just in time for the holiday season. 

Teri Nelson, Executive Director of Tribal Services, stated, “Since December until now in May, seventeen cottages are full of singles and families with children. Seven of those residents have gotten full-time employment and two have signed up for college classes. And they’re able to do their classes online in our computer lab, which is set up with five computer stations. Everybody has a different story as to why they ended up where they are. It has a lot to do with the cost of housing. When you’re looking at rentals over $2,000 a month, it’s kind of like well, do I want to eat, or do I want to be house poor?”

Along with the seventeen new homes, the Tribe also added a new community center where the residents can gather to break bread together and join-in on fun activities throughout the week. However, even with the addition of the new community center, the previous communal building still remains a functioning place that people visit for some quality R&R, and to also use the amenities of the building’s kitchen and laundry areas. 

Now, when looking at the old site next to the newly established Village of Hope community, it became highly noticeable that the original building needed some updates and repairs. Enter LGI Homes, a national construction company whose slogan is ‘we don’t just build houses, we build homes.’ The community-focused corporation began a company-wide initiative in 2015, known as Service Impact Day, in which they shut down business operations every May 11th to dedicate time and elbow grease to help local communities with their projects for an entire day.  

After completing a successful day of manual labor in the springtime heat, Division President of LGI Homes, Ryan Stokes, exclaimed, “This is our favorite day of the year because we get to come out and give back to our communities. We’re the 15th largest home builder across the United States. We founded Service Impact Day in 2015 and we’ve been doing it every year since. We’ve donated over $350,000 and over 450 employee service hours. This was a great project, and we got a lot of work done today. We appreciate the opportunity to come out and serve the community of Tulalip and the Village of Hope.”

In a side-by-side photo comparison of the building, provided by Teri, it is pleasing to see that the newly refurbished community center kept its signature charm, that originally stood as a sign of hope for the homeless population throughout the years. Only now, the building showcases a rejuvenated shine with a fresh coat of paint and a brand-new deck/wheelchair ramp. 

“It felt like Extreme Makeover,” said Teri. “I hung around for a while after they started and I checked in on surveillance every now and then, wondering if they were going to make it before the day ended. And they did! The original deck was dilapidated, there were carpets and plywood laying on top of it to cover up all the holes, so that was our main wish. And they even provided the lumber, which is expensive. And we also wanted painting done, so they painted the front of the building for us – they spruced it up!”

Following a group photo with LGI Homes, in front of the completed project, Teri expressed a desire to replace the ‘Homeless Shelter’ sign next, as they actively move away from that name due to the negative connotations it brings. She explained that there is a new Village of Hope sign that is similar to the current neighborhood welcome signs throughout the reservation, and that it’s just a matter of figuring out a time to install it with Public Works. 

“Homelessness is not an identity, it’s an experience,” she passionately stated. “When you are serving families and those children say they live at a homeless shelter – that is not their identity. We are always mindful to say this is your home. We help people who are in a vulnerable state in their lives, and there’s a lot of people out there who are not very friendly to the homeless population. They’re very judgmental and place a lot of blame and shame on them, and that’s not what’s going to help them. They want to feel seen. And since we became the Village of Hope, our residents are really coming together as a community. There’s a lot of community engagement, we have weekly resident dinners, monthly resident meetings, and we are working on creating a resident council that gives them a voice.”  

In addition to resident dinners and meetings, the Village of Hope partners with other Tribal departments to bring classes to their community, including a nutrition and cooking class with Snap-Ed. More classes are on the horizon for the residents as the Village of Hope plans on bringing in culture bearers for a drum making class, as well as professionals to teach a homebuyer’s class and a credit building class. Teri stated the plan is to build a robust calendar filled with activities and events for the residents. A portion of those classes will be funded thanks to a monetary donation from LGI Homes, a surprise presented on the day of the remodel. 

Said Teri, “It is amazing to have people come with compassion and good hearts, and who genuinely want to give back. It really aligns with a lot of our values as a tribal community. The Division President is over the entire Pacific Northwest region of four different states, and he picked this project. I think that’s so great, and I just have a lot of gratitude for their staff and team.”

Unofficial Mayor of QCV retires

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The longest tenured unofficial mayor in Quil Ceda Village history has retired. After serving his Tulalip community in numerous roles at various tribal entities for 29 years, the last 10 of which were as QCV general manager, Martin Napeahi said farewell to his dedicated staff and elected leaders in an emotional retirement ceremony held on Friday, May 12.

“I’ve been so blessed to empower my employees to feel like an actual team, each having not just a voice that is heard, but also being equipped with the tools to provide all the services QCV offers to our people. Because at the end of the day, all of this is for our people,” said Martin while giving his farewell speech. 

In 2001, the Bureau of Indian Affairs approved QCV’s status as a tribal municipality. Quil Ceda Village became the first tribal political subdivision in the nation established under the Indian Tribal Governmental Tax Status Act of 1982, and one of only two federal municipalities in the country. The other being Washington, D.C. As the first tribal city of its kind, Quil Ceda Village is an innovative model of tribal economic development.

QCV is widely regarded as an economic powerhouse, located entirely on federal land held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the Tulalip Tribes. The Village contains the Tulalip Resort Casino, Tulalip Bingo, Walmart, Home Depot, Cabela’s, the 110 designer store Seattle Premium Outlets, and provides jobs to over 5,000 employees. 

During his decade-long reign as QCV general manager, Martin has helped fulfill the vision of past tribal leaders who sought to create a destination marketplace on the Tulalip Reservation. 

“When I think back to all the business partnerships and significant developments that QCV has helped usher in during my time here, I think of the tax case victory, the Big Water project, and the 116th overpass project. But what I may be most proud of is Remedy,” shared Martin. “From all the behind the scenes stuff that went on just to get approval, to creating the infrastructure and building the Remedy team, to what it became now, which is probably the number one dispensary in Snohomish County. The tax revenue that it’s provided to the benefit of tribal government and QCV is incredible, and something that I can hang my hat on.”

Martin also mentioned this past winter’s stunningly successful ‘Lights & Ice’ event that brought millions of dazzling Christmas lights and an ice-skating rink to the Village as one of his favorite achievements. “To be able to bring our community together with the greater Snohomish County community in that way was amazing. I heard so many joyous stories from families who either got to ice skate for the first time ever or just loved being able to stroll all the light designs with their parents and grandparents,” he explained. 

Although the 48-year-old Tulalip citizen is now officially retired from the government life, he won’t be jobless for long. He shared that he’s already accepted a director position with Nakani Native Program. A Native-led nonprofit based in Seattle with the goal to provide programs that are grounded in Indigenous knowledge which brings traditional and western medicine together to transform the way people access healthcare.

“On behalf of Tulalip, I thank Martin for all his hard work and commitment to his tribe and community. He built a team that trusted him, appreciated him, and worked hard to fulfill all the goals he set,” said Chairwoman Teri Gobin. “We wish him the best as he starts this new journey, and want to let him know there’s always room to come back.”

Marlys Diane Dover

February 17, 1955 – April 8, 2023 

Marlys Diane Dover, 68 of Everett passed away April 8, 2023.
She was born Feb. 17, 1955 in Everett, WA to Charles and Jean Weldon. She grew up in Lake Stevens. She graduated from Lake Stevens High School. She married William Dover on Oct. 25, 1982 in Lake Stevens. They had two beautiful daughters, Carly and Courtney. She loved reading and her dream was to own a book store.

She is survived by her two daughters, Carly (Elliot Jenkins) Dover and Courtney Hymer; sisters Janet Butler and Bonnie Fortner; 3 grandchildren Zoe, Emery, and Castile, She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and brother Kenneth Jensen.
A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Schaefer-Shipman Funeral Home with burial to follow at Mission Beach Cemetery.