Let Move! in Indian Country

By Sarah Miller
Nowadays, it is hard to instill healthy choices in our children. Why cook a nutritious meal when fast food is so readily available? Why go outside and play with your children when it’s easier to set them in front of the television with a video game? We live in a fast paced world where people have a desire for quick and easy. While it makes life simpler, it can cause problems in the long run. By not encouraging your child to eat the right foods and exercise regularly, the child can start to put on too much weight. While no parent wants to deny their child what they want, they end up contributing accidentally to their child’s obesity. No one is perfect, but there is a way to start making mindful decisions about how much exercise your child gets and what they put in their body. The Let’s Move in Indian Country program is here to help!
Created by First Lady Michelle Obama, the Let’s Move program began in February 2010, with the intent to tackle the obesity problem in children in the United States. Over the past three decades, obesity rates have tripled. A majority of the increase in childhood obesity since 2004 has occurred in Native American and Alaska Native children. This prompted the First Lady to take measures to get these numbers down and to reduce risks such as diabetes and asthma in native children. In May of 2011, Let’s Move! In Indian Country, a program aimed specifically for combating the obesity problem in Native American children, began.
One in three children are overweight by the age of five in Indian Country, according to the Let’s Move website. This program is an initiative to solve the obesity problem within a generation. It will help children grow up healthier and teaches them to make wiser choices when it comes to what they eat and how they exercise.
The program looks to tribal communities and leaders to help set examples of proper diet and exercise for children. By doing this, Native children will grow, thrive and meet their potential. In addition, it reduces many health risks. Healthy eating, combined with proper exercise, can reduce health risks such as heart disease, cancer and strokes.
Let’s Move works by utilizing four main goals specifically designed for this program. The goals are creating a healthy start on life, developing healthy learning communities, increasing physical activities, and increasing access to affordable, healthy and traditional foods. For those interested, the Let’s Move! in Indian Country website has a variety of tools for parents and community members that help them make better lifestyle choices not only for their kids, but themselves as well.
At the Let’s Move! in Indian Country website, www.letsmove.gov, parents are offered a way to look at how they can change the diet of their children. There are tips for setting up meal plans for your kids and it even offers traditional healthy recipes. While on the website you can also sign up for the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) challenge. PALA is not just for kids but adults too. This program requires you to maintain a healthy diet and exercise for six weeks. Adults are required to get thirty minutes of daily exercise for five days a week while kids are required to get sixty minutes of exercise a day. The challenge also helps you set up healthy eating goals. Visit the website to get signed up and to get more information on the challenge.
It may seem difficult to make these kinds of lifestyle changes, but there is help to be found at Tulalip. Sara Pattison, Dietician at the Karen Fryberg Health Clinic, offers insight on what kinds of foods to eat or shop for and how to plan meals. Her number is 360-716-5626. Also at the health clinic is Patrece Gates, Fitness Trainer. She can assist you with an exercise plan. And you can visit her fitness room to do a little exercising to see where you are physically and how much you can handle. Her number is 360-716-5643.
But that’s not it. Tulalip Youth Services has open gym at the Don Hatch Gym Greg Williams Court. With school starting, you can encourage your child to get into school sports. And don’t forget that all Tulalip tribal members have a free membership to the Marysville YMCA, where you can use the exercise equipment, take a yoga or zumba class, or even just swim around in the pool.
It’s a big lifestyle change that can seem scary and intimidating when it comes to a child, but it will benefit them in the long run. Just take it one step at a time and join in with their healthy lifestyle change.

Show us your backpack! Students sort through hundreds of backpacks at annual back to school event

Sage Herrera is shows off how big her new back pack is

Article and photos by Brandi N. Montreuil
“I’ve been coming to this [event] since I was in the 1st grade, this year the backpacks are pretty awesome, and the backpack distribution helps my family out a lot with the back to school cost,” said Jazlynn Gibson who is entering the 8th grade.

Joining Jazlyn were kids of all ages to kick off the final stages of back to school preparations with the annual Tulalip Tribes backpack distribution on August 28th, at Quil Ceda and Tulalip Elementary schools.

The Tulalip Tribes Education Department, with help from the Johnson-O’Malley grant, has provided much needed backpacks stuffed with school supplies, according to age and grade, free to Native American students enrolled in the Marysville School District.

Last year an amazing 1,400 backpacks were prepared and this year the backpacks were in no shortage as new kindergarten and Montessori students joined the lines to choose their backpacks.

This year, computer tablets were used to check students in and out faster. With a quick show of the students’ tribal ID and a signature scrawled across the tablet, the information was quickly recorded and students were on their way to enjoy the free activities the event hosts every year, such as a gaming station, bouncy house, rock climbing, and tasty treats.

Students who were unable to attend the day’s events will not miss out on the yearly choosing of backpacks. All unclaimed backpacks will be held throughout the school year until the students can claim them.

Now that backpacks have been chosen, the students will say goodbye to summer vacation and look forward to the first day of class. We wish all the students a fantastic school year!

 

Master Jumpers: Competitors of all ages show off their bullfrog skills

Article and photos by Brandi N. Montreuil

            In its 10th year of competition, the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club once again brought out their jumping superstars and veteran handlers for another bullfrog contest on Friday, July 20th.

Although only four bullfrogs were available to select from, these amphibians were ready to compete, many leaping out of palms before they reached the gym’s floor.

The competition has only two rules, no hands and only three jumps allowed, but all creative methods are welcome. Many chose to use an eagle feather found on the club’s playground, while some brave contenders decided to get down close and blow on their star jumpers to get fantastic distance in jumping.

Club staff member, Kyle Cullum, who explained the night was all about making memories with family, caught this year’s eager leapers.

It was the ladies who swept the competition this year with their froggy techniques; prompting their chosen bullfrogs to leap through air and crowds.

The reigning champion of the night was Kaycie Hill Thomas whose bullfrog jumped an incredible 96 inches. While second place winner, Tony Hatch, was all smiles as she planted a winner’s kiss on her bullfrog that jumped an amazing 94 inches. And not to be forgotten is Henna (last name), who became the frog whisper, coaxing her bullfrog to leap a whopping 92 inches.

This year’s competitors will be added to the club’s wall of fame and a large trophy was given to the first place winner, while remaining winners and contestants were treated to fun whacky frog toys to take home.

After jumps had been leaped and bullfrogs kissed, the leaping stars were returned to their habitat to await next years annual bullfrog contest.

Alexia Ramsdell uses a feather to entice her frug to jump.

Tribal member named King County Police Chief

Article by Sarah Miller, photo submitted by Shawn Ledford

Shawn Ledford


King County recently got a new police chief and that is Tulalip tribal member Shawn Ledford. Shawn will be performing his duties in the city of Shoreline. Due to Shoreline not having their own police force, they contract out to King County for police services.

Shawn has worked for the King County Sheriff’s Office for 23 years now. His recent position was Zone Commander of Patrol Operations. Shawn has held other law enforcement positions, including patrol officer in Federal Way, a training officer and negotiator on a hostage negotiations team and he was also a detective in the Special Assault and Major Crimes Robbery/Homicide Unit. Shawn has definitely been busy.

With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Criminology from Western Washington University, Shawn started his new position on June 1st and is looking forward to serving the community.

“I always had an interest in law enforcement,” Shawn remembers. “I once did a couple of ride along with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. The deputies I talked with really enjoyed their job; it was exciting, something new each day and there were opportunities to do a variety of assignments.”

Shawn has much inspiration to do his job. He wants to keep the community safe and lead by example while setting expectations for the Shoreline officers.

“I want them to be respectful, listen, work with the community to solve problems and be fair and professional when enforcing the law,” he said.
While in this position, Shawn wants to make a difference in the community. He plans on doing this by improving communications with the community, keep the people informed about what is going on with their city, their neighborhood and be responsive to their concerns.

“Public safety is a priority in all communities,” Shawn states. “It’s a big responsibility at all levels within a police agency. I feel fortunate to work with good, talented people. It’s important to keep the trust of the community and that people feel safe in their homes and neighborhoods.”

Though he has many goals, Shawn understands that challenges lurk at every corner and he looks forward to overcoming them.

“Finding efficiencies with a right budget and limited resources will be difficult,” Shawn continues. “I want to make sure we have adequate staffing and that the officers have the proper training and equipment to do their job safely and effectively.”

A few of Shawn’s goals for Shoreline are to work cooperatively with the Shoreline Fire Department, city departments such as roads, public works, community development and the Shoreline School District.

“Public safety takes more than just the police department,” Shawn responds. “It’s truly a team effort.”

Shawn is grateful for the opportunity to serve and protect the city of Shoreline. It’s not always an easy job but it’s a worthwhile job to keep the community in safe arms.

“When we get a thank you, a nice letter or a positive comment, that makes our job worth it,” Shawn says. “Police officers have a difficult job to do; it’s the simple things that remind us that we can make a difference and most people support what we do.”

Spee-Di-Dah gathering honors a traditional way of life

Kennedy Eanes, Kanoe Williams, Ryan Keith and Rick Spencer are hauling in the day’s catch.

Article and photos by Jeannie Briones

On July 21st, the air at Spee-Bi-Dah beach was filled with the aroma of fresh seafood cooking over a fire and the sounds of children playing in the water. This annual gathering unites the community for a day of traditional cooking, seining (hand pulling fish nets) and recapturing a past way of life. Salmon, oysters, clams, and crab are cooked in a traditional fashion and shared with family and friends. Tribal members get to experience and learn the culture of their ancestors and the value of working together, while elders reminisce and tell stories of their own experiences that are passed down to younger generations.

“To me, it brings back our culture and tradition. It makes our elders feel good to be able to come down here and hang out like the olden days when they used to live on the beach and fish all summer long. They get to come here one time a year where we set it up and feed them with traditional foods. I’m cooking clams, oysters and crab, and uncle Cy is cooking fish. It’s really important for our kids to learn where we come from and how we used to live,” said Tony Hatch, Tulalip Tribal member

“It brings our community together and helps us to experience a small portion of the way we use to live our life. I grew up on this beach. From May until October we never went home. We just lived here the whole time fishing like this. As children this was our playground and learning ground. Family to family living, eating, and sharing it was a wonderful way of life. This helps our young kids to experience some of what we used to have and for us that lived this way; it reliving memories,” said Patty Gobin, Tulalip Tribal member.

Food Preservation classes teach salmon canning

Article and photos by Brandi N. Montreuil

           

Courtney Sheldon fills the jars with salmon

Millions of canners around the world can food items such as fish, fruit, vegetables, jams, and jellies as a way to preserve fresh ingredients for a shelf life up to one year. The list of benefits to canning is large and includes knowing where your food comes from, and the ability to incorporate healthy foods into meals at any time, while also knowing that fresh foods will be available to you throughout the year.

While canning has gone through many stages of evolution since its introduction to the masses in the late 1700s, it continues to offer the main benefit of fresh foods at low cost.

In collaboration with the Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic’s Diabetes Program and Restoring Program, a series of Food Preservation classes are being held at the Hibulb Cultural Center for community members interested in learning how native foods can be preserved and incorporated into a modern diet.

With donated king and sockeye salmon by the Tulalip Tribes Forestry Department, on July 19th Food Preservation students were able to have a hands-on lesson in pressurized salmon canning with instructor Suzy Hymus.

“This is an opportunity for our people to choose what to eat. We have always had ways to preserve our foods for what we needed, but since we have been put onto reservations, our diets have been forced to change. This will help us to take responsibility of our own foods,” explained the Hibulb Cultural Center Rediscovery Coordinator, Inez Bill.

In addition to canning, health clinic staff were on site to offer A1C testing to participants. The A1C is a common blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes, with results reflecting an average blood sugar level for up to three months. The test will measure the percentage of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carry oxygen, coated with sugar. If your A1C test shows a high level you can be at risk of diabetes.

“I think it is wonderful we have this collaboration of resources and preserving the food. It is a great opportunity, and by this we are also preserving culture,” remarked Bryan Cooper, Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic Nurse Practitioner.

“I have been canning fish for years, I even taught my husband to can. But it has been years since I’ve done it. So this class is a refresher course for me. They have all these new tools for canning. I am excited, this is my motivation to teach my kids,” said tribal member, Valerie Matta.

Instructor Suzy Hymus introduced students to the pressurized canning pots used to seal glass jars from bacteria and contamination. Jars filled with pre-measured and sliced salmon are cooked during the pressurization stage, which takes roughly one hundred minutes at 240 degrees Fahrenheit.

For sustained nutritional value, bones are not removed during the cutting stage. Suzy also advises when canning salmon only add two or three inches of water to each jar.

“When we use pressurized canning, we use it for meat and low acid fruits. To pressure can you don’t actually add anything, but people do add sugar if they have smoked salmon, or they add garlic cloves to the jars,” explained Suzy.

Suzy also explained that using a thin layer of paraffin wax to seal canned jams is no guarantee that jars are sealed completely, allowing mold and bacteria to fester under the layer of wax, and advises against using it.

Once salmon has been properly pressurized it can be stored for one year before it is no longer edible, and since the salmon is cooked during the pressurizing, it is available for consumption during the length of its shelf life.

“By preserving the food, we are able to harvest at the peak of the season through various methods. Our goal in this program is to have these methods available for our people to experience and learn so they can apply these simple techniques for their families. These methods are often less expensive and healthier than processed or store purchased foods,” said health clinic staff member, Roni Leahy.

For more information on the Food Preservation Classes please, contact Roni Leahy at 360-716-5642.