Next Gen leaders step forward


By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

On Saturday, January 14, eight representatives of Tulalip’s future leaders were introduced to the Board of Directors. These eight strong-spirited, young men and women were sworn in to be the next cohort to make-up the Tulalip Youth Council.

“Congratulations to the Tulalip Tribes new 2017 Tulalip Youth Council. I’m excited to work with them and look forward to seeing them grow and prosper,” said Board of Director Theresa Sheldon. “Our youth are so important and when they are given a positive opportunity, they always rise to the occasion. I believe in them and am so proud of them. We are so thankful for the amazing staff who continually supports them and provides them with a safe place to be creative and build as a team.”



Being willing to step up and represent your community is a huge undertaking for anyone, especially true for our youth. They have each opted to take this critical step together and aim to be role models in and out of the classroom for their peers. When you see these youth, please congratulate them for committing to a productive year of making positive change for their peers and community, and thank them for taking on this important role of leadership.




Jlynn Joseph, Chairwoman
Kordelle Hammons, Co-Vice Chairman
Keely Gobin Mcghie, Co-Vice Chairwoman
Shayleigh Tucker, Treasurer
Irista Reeves, Media Coordinator
Ilivia Hatch, Media Coordinator
Tamiah Joseph, Junior Representative
Dexter Smith, Junior Representative

Tulalip Resort and Casino: Renovated to Modern Luxury


By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

In January of 2016, the Tulalip Resort and Casino (TRC) began renovations to the guest rooms of the luxurious twelve-story resort.

“We wanted to build upon [the rooms] that were designed nine years ago and elevate it to the next level,” states the Resort General Manager, Sam Askew.

The year-long project results are spectacular. Each room was designed to stay true to Tulalip’s luxurious Four Diamond brand, adding modern features such as LED bedside reading lamps, 55” smart TV’s, refrigerators, and a fog-free Bluetooth smart mirror to each guest room.




Perhaps the most incredible update Askew’s team commissioned is the carpeting throughout the resort. As soon as a guest reaches their floor, they are met with beautiful carpeting with vibrant colors and graphics throughout the corridors. Durkan, the company who designed the carpeting, used new technology to create the first-of-its-kind product exclusively for Tulalip. The corridors of each floor differ from one another and incorporate Native American artwork. On the twelfth floor, orcas and salmon appear to be swimming along the sides of the hallway.

Another major update TRC has made is the conversion of a Specialty Suite. Specialty Suites are uniquely themed, such as the Player’s Suite, offering a bachelor-esque vibe with a pool table and sports memorabilia. Other specialty suites offered are the Tulalip Suite and the Grand Asian Suite. The newly renovated Cascade Suite, previously the Tech Suite, is inspired by the Cascade Mountain Range and is easily the new fan favorite.

Askew states, “The one type of room we were really missing was a room that is representative of the Northwest. So we made a room that is mid-century craftsman style with a raised bathroom, a great beautiful soaking tub, and a waterfall in the shower to go along with the Cascade theme.”


Furnishings from the previous rooms were donated to the Tulalip Tribes and were dispersed to the community.  However, the furnishings from the Tech Suite were donated to the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club, including a variety of video game systems and games.

The resort highlights tribal artwork beautifully, intertwining extravagance with Native American culture, which Tulalip is famous for. Canvas oil paintings, with traditional tribal designs, hang on each wall of every guest room. Upon entry guests are immediately welcomed with information about Tulalip’s history, a cedar rose, and information about the Hibulb Cultural Center.

“We want our guests to walk into a new room and feel a sense of belonging and experience the Tulalip culture, the raised hands welcome,” says Askew.

Tours of the rooms are available to guests and are encouraged during the weekdays. For more information about the new guest rooms visit


Promoting Men’s Health


By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Early detection is key for the treatment of heart disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, and many other diseases that disproportionately affect men. However, men are less likely to seek preventative care than women. Despite growing awareness, men usually take a back seat approach to maintaining their health. We will shy away from seeking advice, delaying possible treatment and/or waiting until symptoms become so bad we have no other option but to seek medical attention. To make matters worse, we refuse to participate in the simple and harmless pursuit of undergoing annual screenings.

Enter the Annual Men’s Health Fair held at the Karen I. Fryberg Tulalip Health Clinic on Friday, December 16. This year’s health fair provided us men the opportunity to become more aware of our own health. With various health screenings being offered for the low, low price of FREE, we were able to get in the driver’s seat and take charge of our own health. Blood sugar, cholesterol, and prostate screenings were among the options for men to participate in. Along with all the preventative health benefits of participating in these screenings, as if that was not reason enough, they gave out numerous goodies and a complimentary “Indian taco” lunch to every man who showed up to take charge of his health.

At 16.1 percent, Native Americans have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes among all U.S. racial and ethnic groups. Also, Native Americans are 2.2 times more likely to have diabetes compared with non-Hispanic whites (per Clearly we are at a greater risk when it comes to diabetes, making it all more crucial to have glucose testing and diabetes screenings performed on an annual basis. For those men who attended the health fair, they were able to quickly have their glucose (blood sugar) tested with just a prick of the finger.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the first and stroke the sixth leading cause of death among Native Americans. High blood pressure is a precursor to possible heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure is also very easily detected by having routine checks of your blood pressure taken periodically.



Representatives from Health First Chiropractic, the Marysville branch, were on hand as well to offer a free posture analysis. Using a spinal analysis machine, the patient advocate conducted postural exams on a number of men and reviewed the results with each participant. Good posture can help you exercise more safely and achieve better general health. When you sit or stand correctly, your organs will be better aligned, which reduces indigestion and helps your lungs to function at full capacity. Your core muscles will be strengthened and your back and shoulders will feel more comfortable.

Along with the various health screenings being offered there were information booths available that ranged from alternative health care options in the local area, ways to have cleaner air in your home, and methods to change eating habits to live a heathier lifestyle. There was a booth where we could have our grip tested, a method used for assessing joint and muscle fatigue. Another booth offered us the opportunity to have our BMI (body mass index) and body fat percentage measured. Wondered if you need to cut back on those weekend treats? Or if you need to start leading a more active lifestyle? Well if that BMI was too high and you didn’t like what your body fat percentage was, now you know the answer.



Face it, as we get older, we all need to become more aware of the inevitable health concerns that may one day affect us. The possibility of having to deal with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or the possibility of prostate cancer looms over us all. The only way to avoid such health concerns to heighten our awareness of these preventable conditions. Health educators empower us to be more proactive about our health by getting annual screenings, detecting issues early, as well as seeking medical treatment before a simple, treatable issue becomes life altering.

At the conclusion of the Men’s Health Fair, Jennie Fryberg, Health Information Manager, said the following, “I’d like to personally thank all the men that came out and participated in the men’s health fair today! Way to come and take care of your health, men.”


Mapping the future with Geographic Information Systems


By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Each year during the month of December, maps are displayed at the Tulalip Administration building.  The maps aren’t in preparation of a long road trip nor for a treasure hunt adventure, instead they hold a more significant value to Tulalip tribal members, employees and the community.

A necessity to governments, especially sovereign nations, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) play a huge role in preserving resources for future generations. GIS is the technology that allows the tribe to monitor, question, analyze, and interpret geographically referenced data to understand relationships and patterns throughout the reservation.

The GIS team creates a variety of maps to study a range of topics including historical events as well as natural and cultural resources. The tribe uses GIS to track salmon during spawning season to find how far they travel.  During this process the tribe often finds blocked culverts and alerts Washington’s Department of Transportation. The GIS team uses this information to assist with the Culvert Replacement project the State recently passed.


Other maps displayed the progress of the Qwuloolt Estuary Project, traditional names of local cities, neighboring Salish tribes who also speak Lushootseed, and a map depicting how far each tribe had to travel to sign the Point Elliot Treaty of 1855.

GIS specialist Michelle Totman was available for personal tours, giving detailed descriptions and teaching community members how to read and analyze the maps. She states, “It’s a unique way to see the world and a great way to understand how we are connected to each other.”

During its eleventh year, the map and technology expo attracted plenty of curiosity. The event included live land-surveying demonstrations and activities. Several departments that collaborate with the GIS team were present to speak about the importance of GIS in tribal government. Community members dropped in throughout the day to learn about GIS and how the technology is assisting the tribe’s vision for a thriving environment for future generations.

For further information about Tulalip’s Geographic Information Systems visit

The Gift of Conifers

by Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Since time immemorial the Indigenous Peoples of America have been the protectors of this planet. The recent events in North Dakota has shown the entire world the deep connection Native Americans share with Mother Earth to this day. With all the recent attention focused on water, Tulalip’s Hibulb Cultural Center hosted an event during the first weekend of December, to talk about the importance of another precious resource, plants.

Hibulb’s Rediscovery Program held the special holiday event, The Gift of Conifers, exclusively for Tulalip tribal members. The theme was inspired by the holiday season, particularly the Christmas tree. Staying true to the Christmas Spirt, the Rediscovery Program presented the opportunity for their event attendees to make gifts, such as tea mixtures, while simultaneously learning about the benefits different plants and herbs have to offer.



Guest Speaker, Valarie Segrest, is known state-wide for her work with the Northwest Indian College and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe on traditional foods. Segrest made the comparison between Native communities and trees, expressing that the environment is key for growth. She states, “If you look at the seed of a tree and an elder, you will see they have the same amount of life. In order for a seed to send down a root it has to choose at the moment that it is going to stay in one place and not roam around anymore and commit to living right there, in that same spot. That transition is necessary; the individual has to take a chance in order to thrive.” Segrest then spoke of the connection between Natives and plants. “The ability to learn that process, how to grow, use those medicines, and how to live in this environment among other nations of tree people, is really beautiful.”



Aside from traditional teachings and gift making, the Rediscovery Program also featured storytelling from several traditional teachers including Roger Fernandez, Tammy Cooper-Woodrich, and Kelly Moses. Contributing to the event’s tree theme, Kelly explained the story of Fall and why the leaves shed from trees during this time of year.

The Gift of Conifers attracted many community members, from different generations, that shared stories and good times while learning essential lessons on the growing, harvesting, and medicinal purposes of plants from the Northwest region that Coast Salish Ancestors depended on for centuries.

A weekend of buckets and bricks



By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Thanksgiving weekend has become synonymous with tournament basketball on the Tulalip Reservation. For years now, the annual men’s All-Native Turkey Throwdown, women’s Thanksgiving Iron-5, and 14U boys and girls Open Thanksgiving Tournament have all occurred on the weekend following the holiday.

This year was no different. Ballers from all over the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Canada journeyed to Tulalip to put their basketball prowess on display in the hopes of taking home some 1st prize money. Josh Fryberg, Youth Services Activities Coordinator, estimated 260 players took part in the three tournaments.

With no shortage of free entertainment taking place all weekend across three separate basketball courts, the gyms and parking lots of the Tulalip Youth Center and Boys & Girls Club were jam packed with hoopers and their spectating friends and family.

Non-stop buckets and bricks for three straight days yielded quality competition and sportsmanship on the court, plenty of time for friends and family to catch-up and bonding time for the young ones.

Two Tulalip teams took home top honors and the bragging rights that come with it. The “Tulalip Players” led by Shawn Sanchey, Bradley Fryberg, and Deyamonta Diaz claimed 1st place in the men’s tournament and the “Tulalip Boys” coached by Willy Enick got 1st in the boys 14U tourney.

“I want to thank all of the players, coaches, staff workers, the Tulalip Youth Services team, and the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club on helping make the Thanksgiving tournament weekend a success,” stated Josh, who also worked as a tournament co-coordinator. “We had a lot of good compliments and feedback. Looking forward to many more great tournaments in the future. Safe travels to everyone and thoughts and prayers go out to all in need.”


Honoring our tribal Veterans



By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Tulalip community members gathered at the Hibulb Cultural Center on November 11, to honor our veterans. They paid tribute and gave thanks to the brave men and women of Tulalip and its surrounding communities, who served and are currently serving in the United States Military of Armed Forces.

Several Tulalip tribal member quilters banned together and made quilts to present to, and recognize, a handful of the Veterans. After many weeks of hard work, the group made a total of seven quilts to gift to the elders who fought for this nation.






In the Hibulb longhouse, community members gathered and showed appreciation to those who protected the rights and freedom of Americans nationwide. During roll call, the community listened to the Vets as they shared stories and experiences from their time in the service. Once roll call came to a close, a moment of silence was taken in remembrance of the fallen soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice, as well as to pay tribute to Tulalip’s Golden Mothers.

The Veterans Day event concluded with lunch, a carving demonstration by Tulalip Master Carver Mike Gobin (Navy Veteran), and a Veteran’s Healing Forum that was led by Reverend Bill Eagleheart Topash (Marine Veteran).










Tulalip Tribal Employment Rights Office Family Day





On Friday November 4th the Tulalip Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO) held a “Family Day” at its vocational training center. Children, parents, and uncles and aunties gathered together at the training center to paint the bookshelves this years students have built as their first construction project. The school year started in September. Families enjoyed the painting and then had a wonderful hot lunch of fried chicken and salad.

Tulalip Employment Rights Office (TERO) provides training, hiring, and contracting to Tulalip members, their families, and spouses. The Tulalip Vocational Training Center (TVTC) was open in 2014 to provide an opportunity for students to learn a variety of trade skills in order to enter into the construction trades. TVTC trains Native Americans in the trades but offers so much more. After receiving a grant from the Kellogg Foundation two years ago TVTC has been implementing a new philosophy with additional services. That philosophy looks at the individual seeking training but also offers services to the larger family in order to help create success for the next generation.

TVTV staff interacts with students and help to build a foundation of trust and communication. It is through this process that the student’s family needs are identified and the program is then able to identify obstacles that may be interfering with student success. They may help pay for childcare, the education needs of the student, as well as help identify education barriers their children may have; they create linkages and bridges to address these barriers. An adult is not going to have success if they are overwhelmed by worry for their children. Basically, the idea is that in order to create a healthy and productive employee means identifying, and assessing the family stressors, wand then provides the extra services, which in turn creates healthier families; thus, the second generation model.



The training program is accredited through South Seattle Community College and Renton Technical College; all the students taking this program earn 24 college credits.

Teri Gobin, director of the Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO): “What we do is enforce preference of hiring and contracting. A part of that is getting the work force ready. We created the TERO vocational training center back in 2001 to respond to this need. The Washington State Apprenticeship Trades Council now recognizes it as the only pre-apprenticeship program for Native Americans, and the only program of its kind in the nation that is recognized by a state.”

Lisa Telford, the family career navigator, explains the different types of certificates students receive: “First Aid, CPR, AAP, Flaggers, Forklift, Boom Lift, Scissor Lift, OSHA 10; they get all those certifications at the end of the program. The students think about what unions or trades they are interested in and we work on filling out applications towards those places.”

Mark Newland, TERO Vocational Training Center instructor, talking about projects they work on during the 13 week course: “The students get introduced to all the facets of the trades: safety, blueprint drawing and reading, what the construction business is all about, building a personal project to scale with cut list. We do all the ground up, building footing, foundation wall, framing, they learn how to frame windows and walls. They build rafters, calculate scales, and learn about plumbing and electrical.

Lynne Bansemer, TVTC program coordinator, says: “Students will be able to take the information they learn and apply it into their own lives and houses.” We want to start working with Heritage High School, bringing in the students to start helping build Tiny Houses. It would be empowering to the kids who come and work on a project like this to see there is more things going on in life, be a part of people thanking them for building these houses.



What other local projects have TVTC been involved with? “We do a lot of projects for the tribe right now, the gardens you see at the Boys and Girls Club, the Clinic, and we built those. The students help build the garden structure and get an idea for what it’s like to grow your own food.”

Family day is about kids coming in and seeing what their parents are doing every day, how they are bettering their future, being truly focused, and successful people.

Talking to a student, Ralph Flores, about why he joined the program “It was definitely something I was interested in and I had to go for it; I couldn’t pass it up.”

Nicholas Brown and Caleb Hatch, two students in the TERO program, traveled far to be in this program “We came from Wyoming to take this program. We traveled and are staying at a relative’s house, trying to find opportunities that we can take advantage of in Washington. I lived here before, I grew up in Washington, I enjoy it here.”

When asked why they took this program they responded, “You get to learn the basic knowledge of construction trades, power tools, and learning the process of soft skills. I’ve learned presentation skills like proper dress codes; you don’t want to go in wearing a suit and tie. You want to go into an interview ready to work, steel toe boots, here I am, let’s go work.”


It’s all about the buckets



By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

From November 4-6, the Tulalip Youth Center hosted the 1st annual Rep Your Tribe basketball tournament. Sponsored by Tulalip Youth Services, this tournament put a unique spin on the idea of reppin’ for your tribe. There was a men’s and women’s bracket, and in order to qualify as a team all players had to be from the same tribe.

Tribes from across Washington State made the journey to Tulalip in order to rep their tribe and do battle on the hardwood. Lummi, Muckleshoot, Puyallup, Colville, and of course the hosting Tulalip Tribes were among those who participated.




After a weekend’s worth of inner-tribal battles, it was the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation who stood tallest, having a team on both the men’s and women’s side reach the Championship game.

On the men’s side, Colville defeated Lummi in the Championship game. While on the women’s side, it was Puyallup earning the victory over Colville.

“This tournament was a very exciting one. We had a lot of very close games, but overall the sportsmanship between the teams was awesome,” says Lonnie Enick, Activities Specialist for Youth Services. “I think also it brings all the tribes closer to each other and, as a team, it brings family and friends together. Looking forward for the 2nd annual Rep Your Tribe, as of now Colville has the bragging rights. Also, great job to the Youth Service staff Darcy Enick, Shawn Sanchey, Sheena Robinson and Josh Fryberg.”





Tulalip community joins colorful way to combat bullying, drugs and suicide



By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Tulalip Youth Services ended the extremely popular and successful Tulalip/Marysville Unity Month in the most insanely fun way possible, a one-mile color run from the Boys and Girls Club to the Greg Williams Gym.

Youth Service team members set up inflatable check marks in between the start and finish line and awaited runners, with bags of multi-colored powder chalk in hand. The event started precisely at sundown on the last Friday of October. Over 50 participants of all ages joined in the fun. Dressed in white t-shirts, participants made the dash to bring awareness to important, serious topics such as bullying, drug abuse, and suicide.

Upon reaching the gym, the chalk-covered participants were able to freshen up. Following the run, a dance and dinner was held at the gym as the youth celebrated the completion of the first Annual Tulalip Unity Month.