Avelaka Launches Spring/Summer 2013 Collection, Celebrating Native American Traditions

Press Release, Kaitlin Egan, Ballantines PR

Avelaka 2013 CollectionLos Angeles, CA, January 3, 2013– Avelaka is the only apparel line on the market today heralded for its embrace of Native American inspired fashions with a modern woman’s flair. And founder Laura Miranda expands her successful line of unique signature looks even further today with the launch of her 2013 spring/summer collection.

Filled with bright hues such as flame, mimosa, turquoise blue and teaberry, the collection feels like a bouquet of fresh spring flowers. Underscoring that feel are her signature peplum tops and the use of colored laces and bright solids. But the line also draws on strong themes from the American Indian heritage, specifically Southern California’s Pechanga Tribe, where Miranda is a member. For this season’s inspiration, she turned to the Indian songstress Buffy St. Marie, famous for expressing her experiences as a First Cree Woman through music.

“The concept of Avelaka was born out of a passion for sharing my native culture through apparel design,” Miranda said. “Buffy St. Marie expressed her Native heritage through song, before it was fashionable to do so. I want modern woman to see this collection and get lost in the beauty and wonderment of the symbols and designs, just like being lost in the sounds and words of Buffy St. Marie.”

The result is a striking collection of fashionable, yet easy-to-wear designs imprinted with classic Indian themes, such as the lace print inspired by the intricate latticework and antique crochet designs traditionally created by tribal women. Also imbedded into the line are print images inspired by such Native American icons as the Canadian Cree teardrop design moccasin and weave work from Canadian First Nations.

Miranda believes that by using authentic themes and motifs from her heritage for modern day wear, she is not just sharing the beauty of the Native culture.

“I believe it is also a way to encourage women to seize the spirited moments in life,” Miranda said. “We want to inspire women to embrace the beauty in each moment as they move down their paths in life.”

Miranda’s passion for Native American inspired fashions stems from her experiences as a tribal lawyer for more than a decade, advocating for Native American rights. Miranda eventually transitioned into fashion work, founding Avelaka (which means “white butterfly” in the traditional Luiseno language) in Spring 2011. Miranda hoped that by using aspects of the indigenous culture for inspiration, her work could redefine how popular culture depicts the Native American people and their way of life.

Avelaka is sold at fashion forward boutiques across the country, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Austin and Aspen. Her fashions have been featured in Women’s Health, Seventeen, California Apparel News, Los Angeles Business Journal, Refinery 29, Lucky.com, and various regional magazines and fashion blogs. Visit her website at http://www.avelaka.com/


Laura MirandaAbout Avelaka:

Avelaka maintains a unique creativity different from other brands. Looking to indigenous landscapes, authentic themes and motifs, Avelaka shares the beauty of Native cultures encouraging women to embrace the spirited moments in life.

For Spring 2013, Avelaka looks to Indian Country’s fearless songbird, Buffy St. Marie. Through her strong and sweet folk songs she expressed her Native heritage before it was fashionable to do so. By telling her personal story, as a Cree Canadian woman, and staking claim to First Nations tradition her voice sought to reclaim Native symbols while sharing their meaning with all who listened. This collection imagines a classic but modern woman being lost in the sounds and words of Buffy St. Marie.

Miranda, a Native American rights lawyer for over 13 years says she founded Avelaka to, “share the beauty of her heritage and also inspire women in their individual paths through life.”

Avelaka is sold in stores such as Anthropologie, and boutiques throughout the country in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Aspen, Austin, Brooklyn and more. Please also visit: www.avelaka.com.

Help Break Guinness World Record for Largest Snowball Fight

Seattle is attempting to break the record for the World’s Largest Snowball Fight which is officially held by the Republic of Korea at 5,387 participants.

The Snowball fight will be held at the Seattle Center January 12th 2013. Tickets are $25 per person and all proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of King County. Participants must be at least 18 years of age or older. Photo ID will be required for entry.

So much Snow and so many people

162,000 lbs. of snow, enough to fill 34 dump trucks.

6,000+ people building forts and participating in the world record.

12 bars and pubs in lower Queen Anne will be offering discounted Snow Day drink and food specials. Click here and visit “Pub Crawl” for the complete bar listing.



12:00pm – Registration opens at Seattle Center

1:00pm — Snow Fort and Snow Castle competition begins

4:30pm — Snow Fort and Snow Castle winners announced

5:00pm — World’s largest snowball fight

5:30pm — Guinness World Record presentation

6:00pm — Pub crawl and war stories!

Snow Fort Competition – Anyone is welcome to come early and play in the snow but teams participating in the snow fort competition have raised at least $1,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of King County. Participants will receive ten free tickets, Snow Day shirts, a massive amount of snow and prizes if they win! If you’re interested in participating please email us at forts@snow.co.

For more details about the attempt to break the Guinness record for largest Snowball fight check out this website.


It’s bingo time at the Senior Center


Bingo at the Tulalip Senior Center
Bingo at the Tulalip Senior Center


Article and photo by Jeannie Briones

TULALIP, Wash. –  Tulalip tribal elders and community members started New Year festivities early on December 31st, with a game of bingo where the top three winners won cash prizes.

“We  come down to have breakfast, socialize, and to see everybody,” said Tulalip elder April Moses.

The staff at the Tulalip Senior Center work to put together daily meals and provide a safe place for elders to feel comfortable.

For more information about activities, schedules, or other question, please call the Senior Center Main Line at 360-716-4684.


Jeannie Briones: 360-716-4188;jbriones@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

Tulalip fishermen spruce up their vessels for 2013

Tribal members Joe Hatch Jr and Joe Hatch Sr working together to install a rebuilt motor.
Tribal members Joe Hatch Jr and Joe Hatch Sr working together to install a rebuilt motor.

Article and photo by Jeannie Briones


TULALIP, Wash. – For Tulalip Tribal fisherman Joe Hatch Sr, fishing is in his blood.  For 30 years he has fished the waters around Tulalip and  is passing down his line of work to his son Joe Hatch, Jr. On December 28th, both father and son were in good spirits at the Tulalip Marina as they worked on transporting the rebuilt motor that the F/V WinterHalter will be sporting when it carries in the next catch of geoduck, clams and halibut.


Jeannie Briones: 360-716-4188; jbriones@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

MOHAI reopens in new location

Article by Monica Brown

The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) is reopening in its new location on the weekend before the New Year. The new location is at Lake Union Park within a restored facility which offers 50,000 square feet of exhibit space.

The two permanent exhibits comprise of, True Northwest: The Seattle Journey which features thousands of artifacts and images which tell the regions history and Waterways to the World a maritime gallery with artifacts from the MOHAI and Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society. The two temporary exhibits will on display are; Celluloid Seattle, examines Seattle’s relationship with film and how it has developed over history on display till Sept 8th, 2013 and Punctum/Poetry, will help bring to life MOHAI’s historic photo collection through poetry and spoken word produced by Seattle high school students and will be on display till May 27th, 2013.

Exhibits soon to come are; Still Afloat, Seattle’s Floating Homes and The Center for Innovation an exploration and showcase of the region’s history of innovation.


The MOHAI is located at:

860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109


Hours of Operation:

Open daily from 10am to 5pm and Thursdays 10am to 5pm, except Christmas and Thanksgiving.


Admission prices:

Free for youth, 14 and under (with adult)

$14 for adults
$12 for seniors (65 and older), Students and Military


Admission is free the first Thursday of every month.


For inquiries please either visit their site MOHAI or call at 206-324-1126

Top Ten Most Regifted Gifts


Did you know there’s a Web site devoted to the art of regifting? Regiftable.com is a veritable treasure-trove of regifting rules and ideas. The mission of the superslick site, from Money Management International, is to make regifting less shameful. And in these humbuggy financial times, more people than ever are passing things along and around. So in the spirit of cheap-o gift giving, here are our top 10 most regifted items:

10. Booze- The ultimate last-minute hostess gift — an unopened bottle of whatever from your liquor cabinet! Just make sure it truly is unopened and isn’t something that can go bad, like a cream liqueur or a corked bottle of wine. And please, clean off the dust and put it in a nice gift bag.

9. Gift cards- Perfectly acceptable and even a hot commodity on eBay, gift cards are fine to regift if you’re not a fan of the store but know someone who is. Just make sure the gift card hasn’t expired or the store hasn’t gone out of business.

8. Fruitcake – Sure, make fun of the citron-studded brick, but some people actually like them. Especially if they’re made by monks, like the ones from Assumption Abbey.

7. Candles – Candles are fine to regift if you don’t like the scent or the shape. A bad idea (and a dead giveaway) if the wick is burned

6. Cookbooks – Not a fan of Peruvian vegetarian cuisine? Regift away. Make it more special by using wooden spoons as a decorative bow accent.

5. Jewelry – Hey, you can always say that you found the perfect piece at an estate sale, when actually the estate sale was the bottom of your jewelry box. Just get yourself some good jewelry cleaner and you’re good to go.

4. Picture frame- Hey, Mrs. Newlywed, did you get way too many lovely silver picture frames for your wedding? Here’s an idea: Find a picture of your best bud, put it in one of those frames and voila! An instant personal regift.

3. Gift basket – This can either be a great regift or a horrible mistake. Before you slap a bow on an unloved gift basket, make sure the food hasn’t expired or the hand lotion hasn’t gone funky or you’ll have some ‘splainin’ to do.

2. Housewares – Coffee grinders, blenders, wine openers — all can become great regifts with just a simple addition. Add a pound of coffee with the grinder, a drink mix with the blender and a bottle of wine (‘natch!) with the wine opener.

1. Clothing – According to many surveys, clothing is the No. 1 most regifted item. Probably most often the oh-so-cutesy holiday sweater!


Holiday wreath making

Article and Photos by Moncia Brown

The Hibulb Cultural Center hosted “The Greens of the Earth” holiday wreath making day on Wednesday, December 19th. From 9am to 3:30pm people were invited to come and make holiday wreaths with fresh picked cedar boughs, salal, ferns, twigs and pinecones and decorate with items such as bows, presents and ornaments. Attendees arrived eager to make their own holiday arrangment and enjoyed refreshments of cider, fireweed tea, cookies, fruit, cheese and crackers.

For information about this event contact:

Veronica (Roni) Leahy, Diabetes Care and Prevention Program (360) 716-2635

Inez Bill Ce um ton not, Cultrual Resources (360) 716-2638

Grab a camera and head to the beach “King Tides” are here

By Monica Brown, Tulalip Tribes Communications Department Photo By Brandi Montreuil

Washington’s department of Ecology is inviting residents and visitors to help track the high tides that occur in the December and January months. During these months the moon and sun align and cause an increase in the gravitational pull on our Earth’s oceans. Residents can upload and view photos from shores along Washington coastlines. Flickr account is located here; Washington King Tides Photos Initiative’s Flickr Group.

The purpose of this initiative is to track the rising sea levels and the impact they have on the environment.  The Ecology department has tide schedules and maps available on their site, Department of Ecology. Other areas taking part in this project are British Columbia, Oregon and parts of California: San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Monica and San Diego .

Two Indians, by Matika Wilbur

By Kim Kalliber; photos by Matika Wilbur

SEATTLE, Washington – Photography can have such an impact on our lives. Discovering nature’s beauty and exploring new cultures and opening minds to new ideas, these concepts are all found in the work of Matika Wilbur.  Her emotionally complex photographs examine how Native people face cultural dualities and the connection between their culture and contemporary pop culture.

Matika is from the Swinomish and Tulalip Tribes. Her work has been shown in regional, national and international venues, such as the Royal British Columbia Museum of Fine Arts, the Nantes Museum of Fine Arts in France, the Seattle Art Museum and the Burke Museum.

Now you can find Matika’s latest project on Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects. Kickstarter is an online site full of independent, ambitious and imaginative projects that are brought to life through direct support of others.

Matika’s project on Kickstarter, 562 A Photo Project Documenting Native America, is currently accepting donations.  The goal is to create a publication, exhibition, and lecture series documenting all 562 Tribes in the United States, although the ultimate goal is education. Matika will be traveling the United States in a photo studio equipped RV, paying a visit to all 52 states, and all 562 Federally Recognized Tribes. She will be using these donations for travel expenses, film and darkroom supplies and website development.

“I am so excited about my upcoming journey,” said Matika. “I feel as though all of the work that I have done up until this point has prepared me for a project of this magnitude.”

My mom, Matika Wilbur

Matika goes on to describe events in her life that led her to explore Native cultures through the camera  lens.

“When I was 17 years old I got sober, and have remained sober for the last 11 years and it was because of this experience that I had the courage to pursue higher education at The Brooks Institute of Photography. After I graduated, I took my first internship with Round Earth Productions photographing indigenous people in South America, where I realized that I hadn’t ever photographed my own people – so I came home, and began ‘We Are One People,’ a series of character study portraits documenting Coast Salish Elders. ‘We Are One People’ hangs in the Tulalip Admin Building, and has been shown at several museums. The success of ‘We Are One People’ catapulted my career into projects that explore our “indian-ness.”

Organic vs Origin, Matika Wilbur

“All of those experiences led me back to Tulalip Heritage High School to teach photography, where I learned so much working with our youth, and really had the opportunity to re-connect,” Matika continued. “I didn’t realize that all of that travel, exhibition and teaching would lead me to this- but I’m glad that it did. I’m so grateful for all of the support that I’ve received from my family and friends, I feel so blessed.”

Funding levels vary on Kickstarter and each pledge level offers the backers specific items in return. For instance, with a pledge of $10 or more, backers will receive a digital copy of the “562” book, while a pledge of $2,500 or more will entitle backers to join Matika on the road for two days as she explores Indian Country, along with receiving the awards offered at the $1,000 level.

Matika will be having an “End of Kickstarter” bash on October 28th in Seattle, with live music performed by Kore Ionz and Bakra Bata. Visit www.matikawilbur.com for more information and location of this event.

This project will only be funded if at least $30,000 is pledged on Kickstarter by Novemer 1st. For information and to become a backer, visit www.kickstarter.com and enter 562 under “search projects.”

For more information on Matika Wilbur, visit www.matikawilbur.com.