Elevate your game with strength and conditioning

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

“I think it’s important to stay fit and healthy,” expressed young Tribal member Kyla Fryberg. “I play a lot of sports and I don’t want to get super tired in games or practices. I’d like to see more people get up, come out and do this with us instead of staying inside because I know quarantine has been a lot on everybody. I think it would be nice to see more kids.”

Glimpses of normalcy can be spotted every now and again in a world post the global COVID-19 pandemic. As restrictions are lifted, vaccines administered and the outside world continues to open back-up, people are re-engaging and re-igniting their love for activities that were either limited or altogether banned to stop the spread of the disease. 

Throughout the pandemic, the Tulalip Youth and Family Enrichment program has remained a space for Tulalip youth to experience some of that normalcy by continuing to provide services, host gatherings, and offer all sorts of fun for in a safe, responsible manner. As school districts turned to Zoom to offer teachings and instruction to their kids, the Youth and Family Enrichment department converted their entire campus into a socially-distant learning environment, where students could work online and complete assignments in their own safe-spaces. 

Now that schools are back to teaching in-person lessons and many youth sports have fully-resumed, Youth and Family Enrichment are slowly rolling out some of their activities and events that were popular amongst the public, pre-coronavirus, as well as debuting many new ideas. 

The Youth and Family Enrichment department recently began a new activity-program called Strength and Conditioning, to help build endurance as well as promote health and fitness to kids who spent the majority of 2020 indoors and more-than-likely in front of a screen.

Youth and Family Enrichment Manager Josh Fryberg explained, “We’re doing basketball conditioning every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Right now, it’s open to 6th – 12th grade. Eventually, we want to do family nights to encourage the families to come workout together and be as healthy as we can. Conditioning, overall, is something all of us need and something that all of us should practice on a regular basis, so we can have nice long healthy lives.”

 With good early 2000’s hip-hop blasting in the background, a group of five showed up to the Greg Williams Court on April 27, for the tip-off, so-to-speak, of the new Strength and Conditioning program. With a shared goal of fine-tuning their game in anticipation of summertime tournaments, the group was locked and zoned-in throughout the hour-and-a-half class, sprinting the full-length of the court multiple times and hustling their tail-ends off during drills. 

“A lot of things we’re doing right now are fundamentals for lay-ups, left-hand and right-hand dribbling, we’re also working on spin-moves as well as doing a lot of cardio and shooting on our shooting machine,” said Josh. “I usually have them go about three to five minutes in each area. We’ll also stretch, drink a lot of water and work on breathing techniques, in through the nostrils and out through the mouth, so you get the maximum amount of oxygen.”

 Basketball is an important aspect in many Native cultures as countless bonds have been made through the sport, by way of both local rez-ball pick-up games and inter-tribal tourneys. Reservation-based high school basketball games are popular community events where friends and families ban together to support their tribal teens as they showcase their on-the-court skills and love for the game. 

With only five participants at the first session, Josh led a fun and fast-paced class that had the feeling of a summertime basketball camp, like the ones often hosted by former NBA all-stars and local hardwood legends. It’s easy to envision, in the near-future, the Greg Williams Court jam-packed with youngins working hard to elevate their game. 

“Basically, what we did today was strength and conditioning and we were working on running,” said Lillyannah Fryberg. “It was like basketball training, getting us in shape for tourneys and really, it’s just better for our overall health in general.”

Added Kyla and Lillyannah’s sister, Julianna ‘Julie’ Fryberg, “It’s my dad so he goes extra hard on us. He makes us do a lot of exercises that he knows we can handle, just pushing our limits to see how far we can go. It’s really nice to see him help other kids too, other than his own. It would be nice for more people to come though, we had five people today, and we definitely want to see a bigger group. We are working on a bunch of drills; spin-moves, lay-ups, free-throws, three-pointers and running to build our conditioning. So, come on out, it’s fun and I can’t wait to see everybody next time.” 

Josh explained that there is a-whole-nother aspect of the basketball skills and stamina building program, aside from improving one’s basketball IQ and skillset, and that is diabetes prevention and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. And thanks to a strong relationship with the Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention Program, the Youth and Family Enrichment team received two basketball shooting machines that automatically rebounds your shot and feeds you the rock at different locations on the court.  

“A big thing that we face in Indian Country is diabetes,” he stated. “With these shooting machines, that were donated by our Diabetes program from Roni Leahy and Dale Jones, the goal is to get as many shots for diabetes as you can. So, that’s one of the things we’re doing with this program as well, prevention work for us to be as healthy as we can.”

Josh assures that this is just the beginning, stating that the Youth and Family Enrichment program is planning more activities, events and programs extending into the Summer and Fall months. And after helping establish both a little league division and a football program, the department is now in the early-planning process of bringing yet another new sporting league to the community. 

Josh shared, “One thing we’re currently working on is starting up a Tulalip AAU [Amateur Athletic Union] program. We want to start with three divisions and work our way up, for all of our players and volunteer coaches to participate in. That way we can really bring our youth in and get them to that next level of competition, so that we can get more of our athletes into college and the recognition that they deserve.”

The Strength and Conditioning course takes place from 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at the Greg Williams Court. For more information, please contact the Tulalip Youth and Family Enrichment program at (360) 716-4909. 

Sexual assault safety, prevention and resources

Submitted by Sydney Gilbert, Children’s Advocacy Center and Legacy of Healing Coordinator

April is Sexual Assault awareness month and Legacy of Healing wants to share some information about sexual assault safety, prevention and resources.  Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Sexual violence effects hundreds of thousands of American’s each year and unfortunately only 5 out of every 1,000 rapists will end up in prison1. We also know national statistics do not reflect the disproportionately higher rate that native women are sexually assaulted.  The Justice Department reports that 1 in 3 Native women is raped over her lifetime and that American Indians are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault crimes compared to all other races2

While it is never the fault of the victim and always the fault of the perpetrator, unfortunately we have to take our safety and education into our own hands. There are several tips you can follow to stay safe in many types of situations outlined on the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network’s website: 

Safety Tips for Traveling

  • Before you leave, share your travel plans and schedule with someone you trust. Include the address and phone number for where you will be staying as well as transportation information like flight number. 
  • Research transportation at your destination and go with a provider that is reputable in the area. Is there a number for them you can call if you have a bad experience? 
  • Familiarize yourself with the destination by using tools like google maps to scout it out. Is there a police station or hospital near where you’re staying? 
  • When you get there, beware of “vacation brain”. We want to relax when we travel but listen to your intuition and try not to let your guard down with people you don’t know. 
  • Alcohol Safety
  • Keep an eye on your friends. If you’re out in a group, plan to arrive and leave together. If you decide to leave early, let your friends know. Check in with them throughout the night to see how they’re doing and if something doesn’t look right, step in. 
  • Know what you’re drinking. Consider avoiding large-batch drinks like punches that may have a deceptively high alcohol content and avoid leaving your drink unattended. Also don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know or trust. Be aware of sudden changes in how your body feels. Some drugs are odorless and tasteless and can be added to your drink without you noticing. 
  • Remember that even if you were consuming alcohol when a sexual assault occurs, it’s not your fault!
  • How you can respond if someone is pressuring you 
  • Trust your gut! Don’t feel obligated to do anything you don’t want to. 
  • Have a code word or phrase with friends or family that indicates to them that you need help. 
  • Plan an escape route; figure out how you would leave quickly if you needed to do so and identify who might be able to help you.  

One more thing you can do to prevent sexual assault is to talk about consent and what that means with your friends, family and children. Consent means a wholehearted “yes” and agreement to whatever it is that is being propositioned. Never feel pressured to say yes to anything that you don’t want to do; sexual in nature or otherwise. Practice building those boundaries in everyday situations to learn to recognize consent and become empowered to use it. 

If you’ve been sexually assaulted, know that you are not alone and it was not your fault. Know that you can call the police and make a report, even if considerable time has passed since the assault. If the assault was recent (within 96 hours) it’s important to go the emergency room for a Sexual Assault Nurse Exam (SANE). This is important for evidence collection, emergency contraception, and to make sure you’re healthy. While it makes sense that the first thing you would want to do after a sexual assault would be to shower, change your clothes, brush your teeth; avoid doing these activities to aid in the evidence collection process. If you did change your clothes, bring the ones you were wearing before/during the assault without washing them to the SANE. Even if you don’t want to pursue criminal charges, SANE’s are extremely important for your health. Our Legacy of Healing advocates can accompany you to this exam and support you during this process. And if it’s been more than 96 hours since the assault, we encourage you to schedule and exam to make sure you’re healthy. It’s important to know that if you live in or near Tulalip and you need a SANE to go to the Providence Hospital ER in Everett; Cascade Hospital in Arlington is not equipped or trained in SANE exams. 

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, encourage them to contact Legacy of Healing at 360-716-4100 if they are an adult. If you or someone you know was sexually assaulted and they are under the age of 18, contact the police as well as the Tulalip Children’s Advocacy Center at 360-716-5437 for services. If you are a Tulalip Tribes employee, you are a mandated reporter and you MUST report concerns of sexual abuse/assault to 1-866-END-HARM. Have as much detail as possible ready when you make the report such as the child’s name, address, date of birth, and the family’s contact information. If you don’t have all of that information that’s okay; proceed with what you do have. 


About sexual assault. (n.d.). Retrieved April 06, 2021, from https://www.rainn.org/about-sexual-assault

Erdrich, L. (n.d.). Sexual assault. Retrieved April 06, 2021, from https://vawnet.org/sc/gender-based-violence-and-intersecting-challenges-impacting-native-american-alaskan-village-1#:~:text=American%20Indians%20are%202.5%20times,are%20raped%20in%20their%20lifetimes.

MCHC: Building healthy eating habits for future generations

By Kalvin Valdillez

“Kids eat frequently because they have small stomachs, they digest food quickly and then they need a refill,” said Erika Queen, Child Health Educator at Tulalip Community Health.  “Kids, and adults really, should be eating every 2-3 hours, that helps their bodies realize that they’re going to get fed routinely and helps curb huge cravings”

At the beginning of the year, four Tulalip programs combined forces to bring teachings, provide resources and instill a sense of community for first time mothers and young families of Tulalip. The collective is known as the Maternal Child Health Committee (MCHC) and consists of Family Haven, Tulalip Community Health, the Betty J. Taylor Early Learning Academy and beda?chelh. 

The MCHC’s goal is to bring once-a-month trainings, via Zoom, to the families while also providing a space for parents to discuss, relate, share and learn from each other’s personal experience with parenthood. The committee’s classes have already garnered much attention over the months, with Family Haven and TELA hosting the first of the online classes that focused on topics such infant care and early childhood brain development. 

For MCHC’s third Zoom get-together, Erika Queen lent her expertise to those who logged onto the virtual open-discussion seminar, which highlighted the eating habits of the future generation. 

Said Erika, “We focused on ages birth to kindergarten specifically but it definitely works for most kids. The broad topic was why kids want to eat all the time.”

Erika is a certified lactation educator and stated she is willing to share any information to mothers about infant feeding during their baby’s first journey around the sun. She also shared the Satter Division of Responsibility in Feeding (sDOR) with the group. This is a set of tested and proven guidelines that helps develop healthy eating habits in young children, that can actually be practiced all the way through adolescence. 

“The bottom line is, adults are responsible for what, when and where the kids eat and the kiddos are responsible for how much and if,” explained Erika. “Kids ask for snacks all the time because they see us snacking and want what we have. They are learning about how this world works and they see their parents and family grabbing a snack and they’re like, ‘hey, how come I don’t get one?’.”

She continued, “Generally, feed your kids what you’re eating. Kids learn to eat what you cook. Pretty much all you need is a little extra time to let the food cool-off and kids can eat pretty much anything as long as they’re not allergic to it and as long as it’s cut appropriately so they can’t choke on it.”

The MCHC is excited to continue offering trainings each month throughout the year. Stay tuned to Tulalip News to find out what the MCHC has in store for May. 

“Our long-term goal is to improve health outcome for children and families,” expressed Erika. “We are putting these on as a way to connect with parents, to engage with families who might have questions and who might be stuck home with kids and don’t have normal access to groups and friends since the pandemic. We are here to provide information, support and resources to those families so they can make the best decision for the situation that they are in. If any parents want us to focus on a specific topic, please reach out to any of our programs and let us know.”

For those who were unable to attend this month’s training, more information about the Satter Division of Responsibility in Feeding can be found at https://www.ellynsatterinstitute.org/how-to-feed/the-division-of-responsibility-in-feeding/

Boom City vax site halted amid Johnson & Johnson setback

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

A partnership between the Tulalip Tribes and the Snohomish County Health District was showcased and executed with the opening of the mass vaccination site at Boom City. 

“We were approached by the county, our partners, to see if we’d be able to provide a site for mass vaccination for our whole community. We can’t do this alone. Everyone needs to be involved. Everyone needs to get their vaccine for this pandemic to slow down, so we can really curve that and get back to normal,” expressed Tulalip Emergency Preparedness Manager, Ashlynn Danielson, prior to the site’s opening. 

After weeks of planning, the partnership’s shared vision of providing vaccinations to the greater community came to fruition on April 6, when the Health District administered the first round of vax shots to the public. The shots were administered by appointment only and one receiving the vaccine had to meet a number of qualifications to be considered eligible for the COVID defense serum. 

The large lot located behind the Tulalip Resort Casino, home to many firework stands during the summertime, is divided into sections by small orange cones, strategically placed throughout the gravel lot to create multiple driving lanes. The site features four checkpoints, designed to keep the patient on-track and the flow of appointments running smooth. During the first week of the site’s opening, patients were in-and-out of the drive-thru style site in under an hour.

On the second day of operations, the Boom City Site Pod Manager, Peyton Plucker, explained the layout of the site. “We’re just kind of bringing people through, getting them where they need to go,” he said. “Through the security to make sure they have an appointment, where we write a number on the windshield – how many people in the car are eligible and have an appointment to get their vaccine. We bring them over to the screening station and we give them their vaccine record cards, so they have proof that they got their vaccine. And they head to the vaccination tent and they get asked a couple more questions there and then get their vaccine. And then lastly, they go to either their 15-minute or 30-minute observation time, and then they exit the property.”

The Boom City location is Snohomish County’s sixth mass vax site and was projected to serve upwards of 2,000 patients a day, depending on vaccine allocation. The planning committee of the site believed the location could easily administer 50,000 doses per week, if and when the vaccine was made readily available. 

After receiving her vaccine, Snohomish County citizen, Dynae Ingle, shared her experience at the Boom City site expressing, “It was a really easy process and no wait. It was all on-time and everything went great. At first, I was against getting the vaccine, because of nerves. But I work with the public and I didn’t want to take a chance on infecting other people.” 

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the health district is currently not taking appointments at the Boom City site, after only one week of operations. When the FDA and CDC issued a temporary halt on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to reported blood clots, that also put a pause on vax distributions at Boom City, as that site was prepared to primarily provide the Johnson & Johnson brand, though they did initially administer Moderna on the first day of appointments. 

There are no reported updates about when the on-the-reservation site will re-open, however, other mass vaccination sites are still in operation, where Moderna and Pfzier are offered, including the Boeing Everett Activity Center, Edmonds College as well as drive-thru locations stationed in Arlington and Monroe. To find out more information, such as eligibility, availability and how to schedule an appointment, please visit the Snohomish County Health District website, https://www.snohd.org