beda?chelh program designed to FIT your family’s needs

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

Did you know that there is a program that helps with resources, education, and general support designed specifically for Tulalip tribal families living with children?  If not, you’re not alone as the program is still relatively new. A division of beda?chelh, the young program is spreading the word about their services and what they can offer Tribal families. 

Stated beda?chelh manager, Natasha Fryberg, “I want to bring forth our FIT team to start getting more resources out in the community so we can create positive engagement with potential clients and families.”

The Family Intervention Team, or FIT, currently consists of two social workers, Lena Hoeflich and Kayleigh Canby, who are dedicated to aiding Tulalip families by helping them along their journey through tough times. Whether you are a single pregnant mother or a family dealing with a rebellious teen, they are available and ready to help support you and provide any services or needs you may require. 

“I always describe it to clients as a voluntary program,” said Kayleigh. “Our goal is to kind of bolster the family, or bring in supports, to help them be successful in whatever they want to do. Usually, the goal is to try and keep their families together and we bring in those supports to help them be successful. We support parents, we support children, we support everybody.”

The FIT mission is to achieve immediate and lasting positive change for families, in the best interest of the children, whether you live on or off the reservation. FIT makes it their priority to see that you receive assistance and will refer you to a program, professional or specialist who will provide you with further care. 

Lena explains, “We try to bridge a gap that a family might be experiencing, a hardship – whatever that may be. We meet with families and it is family-led. It’s not prescriptive, because it just depends on whatever the family needs, and whatever they’re going through at that time. For example, if someone calls and says this person was driving and their kid wasn’t in a car seat, we can come in and ask if we can educate them on the necessity of a car seat. Can we provide them with a car seat? We can ask, what else do they need? Do they need groceries? Do they need help paying bills? Do their kids need assistance being set up in online schooling?”

Some resources and services that FIT assists families with include parenting skills, housing, food and nutrition, domestic violence, independent living skills, chemical dependency, teen support and mental health. 

“If a family is experiencing a really difficult time with their teenager, we work with them and get them set-up with Family Haven. We will work with them before, during, and after they have those intervention services, just to make sure that everything is continuing to go well. Or we might work with families who may have difficulty paying a bill. We look to see if there are resources within the Tribe or within the state or Snohomish County, just to try to find different ways to help,” said Lena.

Kayleigh added, “I have a mom that I’m working with right now and I’m trying to help her find a mental health counselor. At the same time, I reached out to a couple different agencies locally, she’s a pregnant mom, so she needs a bed to sleep on. We do the legwork of trying to find those materials. I have another family and their children are in need of winter clothes, so we find those resources in the community to get warm clothes for those kids.”

The majority of clients and families that FIT has helped so far are referrals from Child Protective Services. However, FIT wishes to assure Tribal members that they are here for the people, and welcome any community-referred and self-referred clients. Although they are an extension of beda?chelh, their focus is to work with clients and take preventive measures and progressive steps to help keep families together. 

“A lot of families have a huge support network, but there are other individuals who don’t have any support networks at all,” Kayleigh expressed. “We’re here to help support them, we are apart from CPS. We are a voluntary program, we’re not going to hunt you down or tell you what to do. I think that’s the biggest message is that we’re just here to help, we’re here to raise-up the community in the ways that they want.”

Lena agreed, saying, “I think that’s a distinction that we’re trying hard to make people understand, because when we do call and say we’re a new program with beda?chelh, that usually closes the door immediately. We’re very different. The whole point of our program is to prevent families from having interventions or any interaction, really, with CPS or the court systems. We’ll work with any family who we think would be a good ‘fit’ in the program.”

For additional information about the Family Intervention Team, please contact (360) 716-3284.

Foraging wild Pacific Northwest mushrooms

Submitted by AnneCherise Jensen 

People from many cultures have a long history of gathering mushrooms for food, medicine, dyes, clothing and decoration. Over the centuries, humans have accumulated a considerable amount of knowledge about mushrooms, whether they be poisonous, edible or medicinal species. However, because of their variety of health effects, many people have steered away from incorporating wild mushrooms and other fungi into their diet. 

Mushrooms are a common, and plentiful wild edibles that grows naturally in the Pacific Northwest. If we have the proper tools, hands on experience, education and resources, we can easily identify and locate some edible species and incorporate them into our diet. This article will dive deeper into some common variations of local, edible mushrooms, their health properties, and how to incorporate them into meals in the kitchen. Let’s get started!

Did you know that there are over 2,000 varieties of edible mushrooms? In fact, there are actually more species of edible mushrooms than poisonous mushrooms. Most poisonous mushrooms won’t kill you, side effects usually include upset stomach, vomiting and/or food poisoning symptoms. Some common poisonous mushrooms grown in the PNW include Sulfur Tufts and certain types of Amanitas. Keep in mind, poisonous mushrooms are only harmful when eaten. The harmful toxins they contain cannot penetrate the skin, and won’t harm you if touched, only digested. Make sure to always cross reference a species before consuming.

Edible mushrooms are tasty, nutritious and can be used in a wide variety of dishes. Mushrooms contain the 5th flavor called umami, which is also known as savory and having a meat-like taste and texture. In fact, mushrooms can often be used as a meat substitute in the kitchen.  Foraging for local mushrooms is an economical and nutritious way to enhance meals at home (they’re free). There are thousands of nutrient dense mushrooms in the forest just waiting to be eaten. The best part is the more you forage wild mushrooms, the more abundant they grow the following year. Here are some tips to help you on your next mushroom forage. 

Mushroom Foraging Tips:

  • Spring and Autumn are the best months to forage for mushrooms. Winter temps are usually too cold with snow and frost on the ground, while Summer is typically too hot and dry. Some species grow all year round, but generally mushrooms prefer moist damp soils in the cooler months. This is a great hobby to pick up especially in Fall. 
  • Don’t pick or eat mushrooms that you don’t know are safe. Be sure to study field guide books before and after a mushroom forage. Use multiple identification books to properly identify before consuming. 
  • Be sure to bring a basket to carry your foraged mushrooms in. Having holes at the bottom of the basket allows the spores (mushroom seeds) to fall onto the ground and allow for more potential fungi growth in the forest.
  • Start by searching your local forests. Go on a walk in the woods. Search for mushrooms on the ground, in the soil, on the fallen trees, and in the timber. Observe what types of mushrooms you find, take a couple pictures from different angles. Go home and research what you saw. 
  • Go mushroom foraging after a few days of rain. Mushrooms and other fungi require lots of rain and water for them to grow and thrive. This will increase your chances of finding fresh, healthy specimens. 
  • “Choose mushrooms with a firm texture, even color and tightly closed caps. They can be stored in the refrigerator in a paper bag for up to one week, but best used within a few days. To prep: Brush them off with your finger then rinse and pat dry with a paper towel or clean towel. Some mushrooms, such as shiitakes, should have their stem trimmed before cooking”. (Wolfram)
  • Be prepared. Other common tools used on a mushroom forage include a pocket knife, field guide book, camera or phone, and family or friends to share the experience with. 

Common species of locally foraged, edible mushrooms:

There are over 100 species of edible mushrooms that are common in the Pacific Northwest region. Some species are rarer and some are generally easier to find. Here are five common wild mushrooms I’ve personally identified and located in our region, starting from most common to least common.

Chanterelles: Chanterelles rank among the most popular edible wild mushrooms. Chanterelles are usually vase or trumpet-shaped mushrooms with wavy-like gills. This mushroom has a fruity, apricot-like aroma and mild, peppery taste. Most are yellow or orange. In its healthiest form, this is a very firm & rigid mushroom, don’t harvest if mushy or gooey. 

King Bolete: There are about 20 different types of Boletes that grow in the Pacific Northwest. They contain spores underneath their caps, and are usually very spongy. Most Boletes are edible, but vary in flavor. The King Bolete is one of the most common edible Boletes in this region. They are medium to large in size, caps are usually yellow-brown, red-brown, or dark red. This is the largest Bolete and is usually pretty easy to identify. 

Lobster Mushrooms: Medium to large sized mushroom, in a layer of bright orange to vibrant red tissues, usually shaped like an upside down pyramid. Found in woods, especially under conifer trees in the Pacific Northwest. Lots of flavor and considered a high quality edible. With its unique vibrant red colors, this mushroom is one of the easiest to identify. 

Morel: Morels have a distinctive honeycomb-like shape and vary in color from light yellow to dark brown. They are earthy in flavor and should be cooked before eating. However, these are usually only harvested in the spring months in recent forest burn areas. 

Oyster Mushroom: Oyster mushrooms are usually white, light grey or light yellow. They are smooth, trumpet-shaped that grow in clusters and have a light flavor. There are a few species of oyster mushrooms. All are edible but vary in flavor, color and shape. 

Mushroom Identification Resources: Below are some mushroom identification books that I use frequently. There are others out there, but these are just a few that I’ve used. I find it helpful to use books that are specific to your area. Mushrooms of the PNW is probably my most used and helpful book. Check your local bookstore or find these off Amazon. 

  • The Fungal Pharmacy: Robert Rodgers
  • Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest: Steve Trudell & Joe Ammirati
  • All That Rain Promises and More… : David Arora
  • National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms: Gary H. Lincoff  
  • Mushrooms – How to Identify & Gather Wild Mushrooms & Other Fungi: Thomas Laessoe 

Nutrition Properties 

“One cup of raw sliced mushrooms has approximately 20 calories and are a good source of potassium and, depending on the variety, can provide selenium and copper. Mushrooms have significant amounts of three B-complex vitamins: riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. The B vitamins help release energy from the fat, protein and carbohydrates in food. They also can be excellent sources of vitamin D if they have been exposed to ultraviolet light right before or after harvesting”. (Wolfram) 

Cooking & Consuming 

Mushrooms provide a wide range of flavors and opportunity in the kitchen. However, when first starting to eat wild edible mushrooms, it’s best to start by eating them in small portions. Some individuals have a hard time digesting wild mushrooms and get a mild upset stomach at first. The best way to overcome this, is to start with small portions and gradually eat more wild mushrooms as you get more comfortable with them. A suggestion to those who pick a mushroom variety for the first time – have an adult cook and taste a small amount of the mushroom first, and wait 24 hours to be sure there is no reaction, before making a large portion to serve to family, especially kids. When cooking, make sure the mushrooms are fully cooked, usually about 10-20 minutes of frying, steaming, sautéing, or baking will cook them thoroughly. 


  • All That the Rain Promises and More.. : by David Arora 
  • Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest : Steve Trudell & Joe Ammirati 
  • **This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Continuing Native teachings with craft and medicinal kits

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

As the original caretakers of this region, the Tulalip people share a deep connection with Mother Earth. Generation after generation, the youth are taught about the natural world; the knowledge of plants and their medicinal components, as well as their use for sustenance and ceremonial purposes, including but not limited to regalia and blessings. The traditions are usually passed on through families. Today, classes are offered by a number of departments and traditional ceremonies are often open to the public, helping pass down that knowledge on a larger scale and ensuring the sduhubš way of life is preserved and lives well into the future of Tulalip lineage. 

One such program that develops cultural lessons and projects, and thereby provides the Tulalip people with a deeper understanding of the local Native plants and their many uses, is the Rediscovery Program. Originally started by Tribal members Hank Gobin and Inez Bill, Rediscovery was recently, in traditional fashion, handed off to the next generation as Virginia Jones and Taylor Henry take the knowledge learned, working alongside Inez, and prepare to put a new spin on tradition. 

The program has been invested in the annual Tribal Canoe Journey and makes traditional medicinal supplies with the community, not only for the Tulalip Canoe families, but also to gift to the hosting tribes along the way. Throughout the year, the program will hold classes at the Hibulb Cultural Center where tribal members can create handmade products such as lip balm, sunscreen, salves, headache and sinus oil, tea, and also sage and cedar bundles for Journey. With the cancelation of Canoe Journey this year, the Rediscovery had an abundance of product that would expire if not used within the year. 

While determining what to do with the handmade goods, the program was met with yet another challenge – how to provide their services to the tribal membership during a worldwide pandemic.

Explained Virginia, “We had to find a way to provide a cultural connection for our people. And when we were thinking about classes, it didn’t feel like that was reasonable around COVID. We were considering how many different family members and households we could reach if we put together this drive-thru kit idea, and we’ve been able to reach a lot more families than if we were just providing classes.”

Once-a-month, you can catch the Rediscovery team offering medicine, in the form of both laughter and DIY craft kits, at the far end of the Hibulb Cultural Center parking lot. Since the kits are offered to Tulalip tribal members only, Virginia and Taylor advertised the first two events solely on the Tulalip tribal member Facebook page. Those advertisements alone brought hundreds of people by the carload to see what the program has to offer their families. Each tribal member chooses one kit of their liking and receive one bottle of sinus and headache oil. 

“Some of that smudge from Journey are in these kits because we figured that maybe the Tulalip families could use those things even though they were put together with the intention of being for Journey,” Virginia continued. “The sinus and headache oil was another one of the items that people got together to make. With a lot of these plant medicines, it’s better that they get used than waiting until next Journey, so we decided we would provide them to the community.”

On the morning of October 22, Rediscovery set up shop and were busy throughout the day while cars trickled in and out of the Hibulb parking lot. People had three options to choose from; shawl kits complete with thread and needle, rawhide rattle kits or a smudge blend and loose-leaf tea kit. Tribal member Theresa Sheldon expressed that COVID cannot stop the culture when she dropped by to pick up several kits for herself and her nieces to construct while they spend a little family time together. 

“I love this, because we are all at home and this really helps,” said Theresa. “I have nieces who we’ve been doing art projects with, so it’s perfect being able to teach them how to do this stuff, because they’re going to carry this on after us. And it doesn’t stop, the teachings and the time to learn, that doesn’t stop as time goes on.”

Overall, 251 DIY kits were handed out during October’s drive-thru event, as well as 261 medicinal plant kits with items such as four thieves room spray, smudge blends, tea and sinus and headache oil. The next drive-thru kit-giveaway will take place on November 4th, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Rediscovery is currently planning drive-thru events through March 2021, but Virginia warns that could change depending on any new developments of the COVID-19 virus. 

“I would say that they’re all very happy when they come through to pick up their kits,” assessed Virginia. “It’s hard for them to choose because they want a little bit of everything. I’ve seen a couple people respond to us, showing their completed crafts. We hope to offer different kits at each drive-thru for each month. The November drive-thru will probably be necklace kits – it’ll be a carved paddle or a carved canoe head with string and sandpaper, but they’ll have to do their own beads this time. 

“We miss being able to offer the classes and the culture night events in-person. We miss being able to spend time, sharing-in all of those cultural activities, like gathering together and making items. But, we are definitely glad to see the families who come through and take some of these kits home because then at least we know that they can spend that time with their family making those things.”

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Submitted by Sydney Gilbert, Forensic Interview Coordinator, Tulalip Children’s Advocacy Center    

October is National Domestic Violence (DV) Awareness Month. This year with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important now than ever that we learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of DV as it often thrives in the secrecy and silence of the home. Many people are staying home to stay safe from the pandemic. But for the 84% of Native people who have experience violence in their lives, home is not always a safe place to be (Rosay, 2016). 

According to the Rosay study, more than 56 % of Native women had experienced sexual violence and more than 55% had experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime. 27% of Native men had experienced sexual violence and over 43% had experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Intimate Partner Violence describes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy”. 

It important that we understand the high rates of violence against Native Americans. Strong Hearts Native Helpline reminds us that “the parallels that can be drawn between colonialism and domestic violence can be seen through their definitions and through a review of Native American history. Having lived through genocide and horrific suffering, the aftermath of European contact and colonization continues to not only haunt Native Americans, it wreaks havoc in their everyday lives” (Strong Hearts Native Helpline, 2017). This is likely why 84% of Native women and 81% of Native men have experienced sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, and/or psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (Rosay, 2016). 

One thing we can do as a community to combat DV is to be open to talking about and learning about it. If we want to end intimate partner violence we need to be willing to stop thinking of it as a “family issue” that is to be kept quiet. Common signs of abusive behavior in a partner include: 

  • Telling you that you never do anything right. 
  • Showing extreme jealousy and controlling behavior. 
  • Preventing or discouraging you from spending time with your friends or family. 
  • Insulting, demeaning, or shaming you. Especially in front of other people. 
  • Controlling finances, household decisions, or who you spend your time with. 
  • Intimidating you with threatening looks or the threat of violence. 
  • Destroying your belongings or your home or harming your pets. 
  • Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol. 
  • Pressuring you to have sex or perform acts you’re not comfortable with. 
  • Intimidating you with weapons like guns, knives, bats, or mace. 
  • Any type of physical assault. 

Tulalip Tribes Legacy of Healing is here to listen and help in any way we can. If you’re experiencing DV or know someone who is and want resources on how to help, Legacy of Healing is here for you. Our mission is to promote a safe, healthy, and non-violent community for non-offending tribal members and their families by providing education, survivor advocacy, and accountability through a coordinated community response. Our services include civil and legal advocacy for adult victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking, outreach, and education.

Legacy of Healing is located at 7720 Waterworks Road in Tulalip. We are open Monday-Friday 8:00-4:30. Call us at 360-716-4100 or email at Please scan our QR code and “like” our Facebook page for additional trainings and resources. 

If you are in crisis you can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Strong Hearts Native Helpline can be reached at 1-844-762-8483.


Center for Disease Control. (2018, October 23). Intimate Partner Violence. Retrieved October 7, 2020 from

Rosay, André B., “Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men,” NIJ Journal 277 (2016): 38-45, available at

Strong Hearts Native Helpline. (2017). Domestic Violence in Indian Country and Alaska. Retrieved October 7, 2020 from 

Stress Management 101

Submitted by AnneCherise Jensen

This past year has been challenging for everyone, from adults, to teens, and even children, people of all ages are experiencing high levels of stress. Being in a chronic state of stress can cause both long and short term  health problems, so it’s important to try and manage stress as much as possible. In addition to feeling anxious, many may become depressed, struggle to get a good night’s sleep or experience digestive issues. The good news is, there are many healthy outlets available to help individuals manage their specific stress factors. But first, let’s go over what stress really is, and how it can also be a good thing too. 

What is Stress? Our Bodies Flight or Fight Response 

Stress can either stem from something positive (preparing for a vacation) or negative (dealing with virtual learning at home). Stress is the natural, human reaction to a situation where a person feels threatened or anxious, and it’s something everyone copes with.  In these intense moments, our central nervous system releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones trigger the fight or flight response, which gets your body ready for action. Having a healthy portion of stress, can motivate you to accomplish tasks on your To Do List, or accomplish a series of goals. We need these stress hormones to feel ambitious and willing to take on the day! However, having too much unmanaged stress can lead to lethargy, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and other serious health conditions if not dealt with. 

Common reactions to stressful / traumatic events can include:

After a stressful event, or series of stressful events, individuals may have strong and lingering reactions. These events may include personal or environmental disasters, threats with an assault, excessive stress, loss of loved one, financial disparities, safety concerns, or simply being overworked and over exhausted. The symptoms may be physical, emotional, spiritual or all of the above. Common symptoms of having excessive amounts of stress include; 

  • Disbelief, shock, and numbness.
  • Feeling sad, frustrated, and helpless.
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions.
  • Headaches, back pains, and stomach problems. 
  • Smoking or excessive use of drugs and alcohol. 
  • Tired, lethargic and lack of energy. 
  • Rapid heartbeat, rise in blood pressure, increased heavy breathing 
  • Sugar & salt cravings 

How Do I Deal with Stress? Stress-Busters! 

Learning healthy ways to cope is crucial for the health and well being of our emotional and physical self.  Our health not only affects us, but those around us and in our household as well. Getting the right care and support is crucial when trying to reduce those stressful feelings and symptoms. But this big question is, how can we manage and control stress? Well, we can’t always control what’s happening around us, but we can control how we react to those stressful environmental situations. When life gets hard and those negative emotions start to kick in, give these following stress busters a try! Chances are, one or more of these tips will help relieve some of the stress you are currently carrying on your shoulders. 

Slow Down, Stop what you’re doing, Take a deep breath! In today day and age, our day to day life is often filled with excessive responsibilities that keep us running from one place to the next, from task to task. When you start to feel overwhelmed, take a moment, stop what you’re doing, and focus on getting some deep fresh breaths into your brain and lungs. Taking a moment to get some fresh oxygen to your organs can help lower stressful symptoms, while also helping you think more clearly. Do this for 3-5 minutes and examine how you feel afterwards. 

Healthy Food, Healthy Moods: When it comes to food and stress, one of the best things you can do for your body is to choose a well balanced, healthful eating style. Focus on eating whole foods and eliminating processed foods.  Processed foods often contain harmful chemicals and ingredients that can add to more stress to your physical body. 

Physical Activity & Active Relaxation: Engaging in physical activities and active relaxation is one of the best things you can do to help manage stress! When we physically engage in movement, such as walking, running, or stretching, our body releases happy chemicals like dopamine and serotonin that help us feel happy and at ease.  The more physically active you are, the more happy brain chemicals are released. However, as little as five minutes of exercise a day can be beneficial. If you would like to visit the gym, check out the Marysville YMCA hours for business, they are open!  

Massage or Acupuncture Therapy: Both of these alternative healing treatments can be very beneficial to managing both physical and emotional stress. Treat yourself to a spa day, or visit the Tulalip Health Clinic for a deep tissue massage. 

Hobbies: Hobbies are a terrific way to destress! They allow our left brain, or the artistic side of our brain, to thrive and engage, which can be great for our mental health. Hobbies can include anything from painting, foraging, weaving, sports, playing an instrument, reading, drawing and so much more. Tune into your creative side and turn your stress into something positive! 

Socializing with friends and family Being around a supportive and loving group of individuals is crucial for our mental health. A supportive community allows us to reach out for help and encourage others when needed. Be sure to check in on your Elders and family members at this time! And please don’t be afraid to reach out to trusted loved ones if you need someone to talk to. 

Control Cravings: If stress has you craving crunchy foods, reach for lower calorie, healthful foods such as veggie chips, carrots, celery or plain popcorn. If you have a sweet tooth, try replacing ice cream and pastries with fruit parfaits, fruit smoothies, or fruit pies. Or, try modifying your favorite baked goods by adding pumpkin, banana,  zucchini and almonds in your favorite homemade bread! 

Reduce Caffeine & Excessive Sugar Intake:  Excessive amounts of caffeine and sugar can often amplify the stress symptoms you are currently dealing with. Try reducing caffeine by drinking herbal plant teas instead. They usually have much lower levels of caffeine and consist of many other great health benefits as well. Instead of loading up on sugar when the sugar cravings kick in, eat a well balanced meal that includes lean protein, and fiber from fruits, vegetables, whole grains or beans. Examine and see how you feel afterwards. 

Hiking & Nature Walks: Getting outside for a breath of fresh air will help rejuvenate the heart, mind and soul. Being surrounded by trees, lakes, oceans and plants is healing beyond measure. Whether you go for a quick 10 minute walk in the woods, or a 10 mile hike to the mountains, both have so much to offer! 

Avoid drugs and alcohol. Yes, these may seem to help ease the pain at first, but they can create additional problems and increase the stress you are already feeling. Though it can be hard or you may be struggling with addiction, I highly recommend seeking relationships with friends and family who will support and encourage sobriety. We are capable of so much more when we allow ourselves to be our best, sober, self! 

**This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.