Indigenous film screened to raise awareness about domestic violence

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

The lights in room 162 of the Tulalip Administration Building were switched off on the evening of September 20. All eyes were watching a large projection screen at the front of the conference room as a movie was cast from the Panasonic overhead projector. There were over twenty ladies seated throughout the room. And although only visible by silhouette, they could not hold back some of the emotions brought on by the film, and were seen wiping tears from their eyes, shaking their heads in astonishment, and audibly gasping in shock as six Indigenous women shared their story in an 84-minute documentary titled, Sisters Rising. 

The 2020 film is a moving, heartbreaking, and empowering watch that details the abuse and domestic violence (DV) that Native women face in today’s society. The film exposed the frustrating roadblock that those individuals experienced when they attempted to report the crimes committed against them and their loved ones.

A Supreme Court ruling in the late ‘70’s ruled that tribal courts do not have the jurisdiction to try and prosecute non-tribal members who commit crimes against their membership. For decades, non-Natives targeted Native women, children and men on reservations throughout the country and got away with child abuse, sexual abuse, DV and much more, resulting from that ruling. 

The women featured in Sisters Rising retold their stories and showed how survived those horrific experiences of abuse and DV. More importantly, it showcased their resilience as each of the six women went on to help their communities, whether through prevention and awareness work or taking the initiative to change legislation in their respective homelands. All of the women are making a big impact in their tribal communities. 

The film’s synopsis leads with some eye-opening statistics: “Sisters Rising is a powerful feature documentary about six Native American women reclaiming personal & tribal sovereignty. Native American women are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault than all other American women. 1 in 3 Native women report having been raped during her lifetime and 86% of the offenses are committed by non-Native men. These perpetrators exploit gaps in tribal jurisdictional authority and target Native women as ‘safe victims’. Their stories shine an unflinching light on righting injustice on both an individual and systemic level.”

Following the film screening, Tulalip Prosecutor Brian Kilgore was on-hand for a quick Q&A and to talk about how the film relates to the Tulalip Court and community. He shared, “The Supreme Court took away the jurisdiction of tribes to prosecute non-Indians. In 2013 we got back the ability to prosecute domestic violence crimes with Indian victims, with a couple of exceptions. One of those exceptions was there had to be a tie to this reservation. If you had people that were just passing through, we didn’t have jurisdiction. In October of this year, it was expanded again. Now we have jurisdiction over everybody.”

He continued, “This year I have gotten a felony DV referral every week, on average. It’s a lot. The other overlay here is that it’s not just jurisdiction over people. Tribes until very recently didn’t have any jurisdiction, we could only charge the not serious stuff. And what often happened is that the serious stuff got charged as not serious stuff. So, there might have been felony conduct but they still got a misdemeanor. Felony is anything greater than a year, misdemeanor is up to a year. The Tulalip Tribes had felony jurisdiction since 2012. We had two felony cases in 2015, and we had 70 this last year. It’s increasing; it’s not a good thing, right? But my sense is that there isn’t more crime, we’re just catching more of it, and we’re able to prosecute more of it. I think it is a good thing. I think the numbers we’re seeing are more realistic, and it doesn’t really represent more violence.”

The film screening was hosted by the Tulalip Legacy of Healing (LOH) and the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in observance of National DV Awareness Month. Throughout October, the two programs have held a number of events to help bring attention to the DV that occurs within Native America and more specifically, here at Tulalip. In addition to the Sisters Rising screening, they have also hosted a Resolving Trauma workshop with the Director/Consultant of the Midwest Trauma Services Network, Frank Grijalva MSCC, MSPH, as well as a self-defense class led by the Tulalip Police Department. 

“One of the core focuses with DV Awareness Month is the importance of breaking the silence,” expressed Sydney Gilbert, CAC/LOH Coordinator and Forensic Interviewer. “If people are not talking about and it’s not coming to light, it lives in the shadow. The more we can talk about it, the more we can bring it to attention, the more we can normalize the conversation around it. We know that there’s higher rates of intimate partner violence in communities that have experienced trauma. Another focus we have for this month is addressing that trauma, and not only bringing attention to intimate partner violence, but bringing attention on how we can heal from that as a community.”

After the documentary’s credits finished rolling, Tulalip tribal member Lena Hammons, who sat attentively in the front row, expressed, “I loved that they were in front of tribal council proposing new codes to protect their women. I think that we need more people doing that, and if not go to General Council because it is a serious issue. I didn’t know there was 70 cases already this year and I’m out in the community a lot so that was kind of scary for me. I love the strong women who were standing up, helping each other and helping themselves. I’m a DV survivor myself, and had to fight for myself and my kids. It was nice to see they weren’t presenting themselves as victims, they were presenting themselves as survivors and supporters. Women need to know that they’re not alone and we need to support each other. Whether you know someone or not, if you know something is happening you need to report it. 

“And for men and our women who are violators, it’s important for them to know that it won’t be tolerated. It’s not our way. It’s not traditional. It’s not cultural. It’s colonized behavior. It’s important for everybody to know that. You don’t have to tolerate DV. If you’re a perpetrator of DV, there’s help for you. Go get the help. Because we love everybody, and we don’t give up on anybody.”

If you or anybody you know is experiencing an abusive relationship, please do not hesitate to call the LOH at (360) 716-4100 for assistance. And if you are in a crisis or an emergency situation, the LOH provided a list of three additional hotline numbers that you can utilize during your time of need: 

  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • Strong Hearts Native Helpline: 1-844-762-8483
  • Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County 425-25-ABUSE (22873).

Centennial Accord addresses Native concerns

By Shaelyn Smead, Tulalip News

On October 24-25, Tulalip Tribes hosted the 33rd annual Centennial Accord at the Tulalip Resort Casino and the Tulalip Gathering Hall. Washington Tribal leaders, State legislators, Governor Jay Inslee, and numerous government agencies were in attendance to discuss policies and issues regarding tribal sovereignty, humanitarian efforts, and other tribal concerns.

The Centennial Accord was developed in 1989 by the federally recognized Indian tribes of Washington State and the State of Washington to build trust and confidence among the parties in the government-to-government relationship. Meetings like the Accord help strengthen the foundation for the future of tribes in Washington and how our people operate. Having a Native voice to discuss, change, and implement state policies significantly affects how Washington handles Native issues in the future. 

Chairwoman Teri Gobin began the meeting by saying, “Thank everyone for all your efforts and being here today. My dad Stan Jones was a part of history and participated when the first Centennial Accord was passed. I remember praying that we would reach a point where our people would be treated as equals, our rights would be respected, and our sovereignty would be protected. Years of hard work have gone into this, and we are at a pivotal point in history where so many issues require us to take action now. Our ancestors are here with us and watching over us as we make these changes.”

Throughout the day, the parties discussed specific issues involving education, health, the Climate Commitment Act, the HEAL Act, environmental justice, Social Services, and Natural Resources. The first day of the Accord is used to finalize details and answer concerns before presenting these agendas to the state Governor on the second day.

This year’s Centennial Accord was the first gathering that Higher Education acquired its own roundtable discussion. One of the many topics discussed was the lack of Native employee and counselor representation within colleges, funding towards Native students, and hardships that first-generation Native college students face. And though many of the public colleges are willing and able to work with tribes, establishing the foundation of these efforts is what many tribal leaders are trying to develop. 

Representative Debra Lekanoff, D-Bow, was in attendance for the Accord and spoke about the actions that she is taking for Higher Education, “I’m proposing a Bill this year that provides free tuition, housing, and a stipend for food. This will apply to Native Americans of all federally recognized tribes across the nation attending (public) universities and colleges in Washington. If you are a Native from a federally recognized tribe from Montana and enroll in a university or college in Washington, then you can receive funding.” 

During the Social Services meeting conversation focused on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and the possibility of it being overturned by the Supreme Court on November 9. Ross Hunter, Secretary of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, and Honorable Loni Greninger, Vice-Chair of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, assured that they are working to prepare an argument for November 9 to preserve ICWA, and have been diligently working with other states in the US to do the same.

When speaking about the health struggles that Native people face, a State of Emergency was discussed, as Native Americans accounted for 63% of the suicide attempts in Washington in  2020. It was also noted that in 2001 the Native American mortality rate increased by 58%. To help mitigate this issue, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) set up a 24/7 emergency hotline dedicated to mental health crises called the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. When a Native is suffering a mental health crisis, they can dial 988, explain that they are Native, and be transferred to a Native mental health and substance use disorder professional in their territory and seek specific cultural and spiritual guidance. It is a new program that SAMHSA hopes to have operational soon. 

The opioid crisis was also heavily discussed at the Accord. Lummi Chairman William Jones Sr was transparent about their declaration of emergency, their struggles, and concerns about fentanyl, saying, “We keep talking about how it’s a crisis, and how devastating it is for our people, but why isn’t the government attacking this issue like they did Covid? I’m sure everyone in this room can say they have been affected by fentanyl. We’re becoming almost numb to hearing about overdoses, but we must figure out a solution and need real help from the state.” 

Many other tribes shared their problems with fentanyl and how the lack of law enforcement and healthcare on reservations only continues to play into the crisis. The Chair of the American Indian Health Commission, Steve Kutz, responded by saying there is a need for a summit dedicated towards fentanyl, to which Governor Inslee agreed.

Another concern for many tribes is the Salmon crisis. Some tribes explained a severe decline in the salmon population in their area and an urge for government involvement and funding towards rehabilitation.

  Senior Policy Advisor for Natural Resources for Washington, Ruth Musgrave, responded, “Although the Lorraine Loomis Act was not successful, this process is still ongoing, the two provisos were put into place. One was finding all the voluntary and regulatory programs agencies have for riparian restoration and protection. The other was to interview many of you [tribal leaders] and stakeholders about what would work for riparian restoration.”

  She continued to speak on the 3.2 billion dollars that have been used towards salmon recovery, the Lower Snake River Dam initiative, erecting fish passage barriers, seeking tribal consultation, and the various ways departments continue to work together to try and institute change. 

A historical moment occurred at the Accord as the Tulalip Tribes and the Department of Corrections held an additional signing ceremony for Senate Bill 5694, which Governor Inslee initially signed in March. The Bill recognizes tribes’ sovereign nations, equitable with any other state, state agency, county, or federal jurisdiction in decisions regarding the Department of Corrections. It also authorizes the Washington State Department of Corrections to negotiate agreements with Washington tribes to allow tribal court inmates to serve their felony sentences in an appropriate facility with access to Native rehabilitative services.

Throughout American history, our ancestors have struggled to protect our culture and way of life. With so many adversaries, the Accord continues to hold a place where tribal leaders get direct face time with Washington legislation, the state Governor, and government department leads. And though discussions can sometimes get heated, Governor Inslee stated, “Native Americans have a voice, and it is powerful.” 

The state and tribes continue to work together, hold meaningful dialogue, and fight for our peoples’ voices and generations to come. 

Culture on Campus

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

On October 14, the University of Washington hosted a Tulalip-led coastal jam as part of it’s back to school celebration. The mission was to empower the university’s Native American student population, while embracing the rich culture and traditions of local Coast Salish tribes. 

Tulalip tribal member Chenoa Henry, former manager of the Grants and Self-Governance department, was announced as the new director of UW’s wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ Intellectual House back in August. The 30-year-old husky alum wasted no time in coordinating the campus-based longhouse’s first ever coastal jam.

“After an inspiration lunch with Puyallup tribal member Danica Miller, where we pondered different ways to bring music, drumming, singing and all that kind of life and medicine into this UW longhouse space, a coastal jam just made sense,” said Chenoa, wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ director. “I started the planning phase by reaching out to my cousins Thomas and Cary Michael Williams. They helped me out so much during this entire process by announcing and posting about the jam at other gatherings. The turnout was better than I could’ve imagined.”

The Intellectual House is a longhouse-style facility on the UW Seattle campus. It provides a multi-service learning and gathering space for Native students, faculty and staff, as well as others from various cultures and communities to come together in a welcoming environment to share knowledge. Its purpose came to life during the coastal jam as cohorts of tribal members from Tulalip, Lummi and Puyallup gave the longhouse a drum heartbeat and enchanting voice that rang out to anyone within earshot.

During the three-hour coastal jam, Native culture bearers from four different generations drummed, sang, and shared their culture to those who sat inside or stood outside looking onward in complete amazement. The seemingly endless supply of energy from the elementary and middle school aged Native dancers was contagious to the older generations who happily shared the floor.

“In bringing a coastal jam here to the UW, I’m healing my past version of myself who did not have access to such events or community as an undergrad,” shared Chenoa. “To witness our Native students and other minority students who showed up because they felt like they are a part of something, actually embracing our sense of community on campus, it just shows how much the university, it’s students and our culture has grown.

“For the future generations and all the young ones who helped express what it means to be Coast Salish, I want them to keep coming back and to know they belong here. I want that sense of belonging to be ingrained in them long before its time to apply for college.”

The University of Washington is estimated to have less than 1% Native student population, according to Data USA, yet with so many casino tribes in Washington State paying near full tuition rates for their tribal members seeking a college education, that number should be much higher. It’s the hope of student advocate Hailey Enick, First Nations @ UW co-chair and Tulalip tribal member, that hosting more culturally relevant events while being more welcoming to the original stewards of this land could cause UW to see a significant increase in its Native student admissions.

“To me the Intellectual House feels like a piece of home on campus. Hosting a coastal jam is only appropriate then with our mission to make our Native students feel comfortable and let them know our culture is celebrated,” explained Hailey, a fourth-year undergad student studying Education. “It was important we make this event coastal specific because we don’t have many events that are actually geared to our coastal traditions. We are on coastal lands, the traditional lands of Coast Salish people. Showcasing our space and traditions while building community with new students is how we bridge cultures and understanding. 

“UW First Nations does host a big powwow every year and that’s cool, but these coastal songs are the sounds that I recognize, these are the sounds that I grew up with from home,” she added. “Powwow music is amazing in its own right, but it shouldn’t be synonymous with the tribes of this area. We have our own music, our own sounds and traditions.

“My fellow students gaining insight to the beauty we have at home in Tulalip is amazing and healing and makes me feel comfortable to succeed as not just a UW student, but a proud Tulalip tribal member as well. It’s still early in the new academic year and I’m already so proud of the Native community we’ve built here. There is so much Native representation and culture on display every day. I’ve seen so many pairs of beaded earrings and vibrantly colored ribbons skirts already. I look forward to seeing many more in the future.” 

As successful as the evening of coastal culture on the UW campus was, it’s even more significant from the standpoint that two culturally grounded and college educated Tulalip women are implementing, in the real time, the changes that so many of the generations before could only dream of.  

Bring the holiday spirit to at-risk tribal youth

By Shaelyn Smead, photo courtesy of Tea Marquez

The beda?chelh department is looking for ‘Christmas Elves’ and sponsors to help fulfill the wants and needs of Tulalip’s foster care kids during the holiday season. People can get involved and impact the kid’s lives by changing their Christmas mornings.

Each kid receiving these gifts is a Tulalip tribal member and part of the placement home foster care system that beda?chelh has set in place. Currently, around 150 children between newborn and 18 are on the list to receive gifts, and only about 50% of the kids have received sponsorship so far. Beda?chelh hopes to fulfill every item on each child’s list and will continue accepting donations until they do.

Each child can add whatever they want to their list, giving sponsors context of what to shop for. With the encouragement of Placement Specialist Tea Marquez, she tells the kids to ‘aim high and shoot for the stars.’ The lists are also reviewed with their Placement Specialist to add any items they feel the child needs and edit any requests based on the safety and well-being of the child. Some lists include essential items like diapers, clothes, and gear for young babies. For a little older children, their lists could request toys, school supplies, or new shoes. And for a child about to age out of foster care and preparing for college, it could be items like a new laptop, cell phone, or tv. Every child’s needs are different, but the possibilities are endless with various donations and sponsorships.

Currently, beda?chelh is fortunate enough to maintain large donors like Nike, Under Armour, Tulalip Resort Casino, the Arlington Lifeway Church, and others. These donors help support some of the more costly and name-brand items on the kids’ lists. But as Tea said, they are looking for anyone to help sponsor at any dollar amount. Tea explained that every donation is appreciated, no matter how high or low.  

Beyond reaching out to their re-occurring sponsors, beda?chelh is also looking for more Natives and sponsors within the community to get involved. “To know that your community is helping one another and supporting our youth that needs it, says a lot about the community. Some of these kids feel like their community has turned its back on them, and it would make such a difference knowing that tribal members are willing to step up and help them in these ways,” Tea said.

The department is also planning a Christmas Party for the kids to gather together, receive their gifts, and spend time on tribal land with other tribal children. Because of the confidentiality of the beda?chelh department, the party will not be open to the public. The party will still consist of plenty of cultural activities to maintain each child’s connection to the community and our people.

“The party is an added bonus for [foster] families. We know it’s hard for some of these kids to be away from their families or parents, and we know we can’t make up for that time. But we are doing our best, doing what we can to make sure they feel loved and supported and giving them a great holiday experience,” Tea explained.

In many ways, providing a holiday experience is one of the reasons that the beda?chelh department differs from state-sourced foster care systems. Beyond providing placement homes for the children, beda?chelh strives to keep tribal youth involved in cultural activities, engage with other tribal youth, and offer childhood experiences that every child should have.

“I’m excited to get our families engaged and have everyone interact with the other families and staff. I love that we can put a smile on their faces. We always try to stretch our funds to the max so we can make the most out of experiences like the Christmas party, the best. We want them to have the fun and exciting experiences that the holidays bring,” Tea explained.

Children who cannot attend the Christmas party or pick up their gifts will still be able to receive them in the mail.

Even when every sponsor spot is filled and the holiday season is over, beda?chelh will continue to accept donations. Anyone wanting to get involved can give a monetary donation or donate gifts like clothes, school supplies, toiletry items, and toys. Beda?chelh requires any donated physical items to be new, with tags, and unopened. Beda?chelh is also still looking for more respite care and placement home volunteers.

If you or someone you know would like to get involved or help donate to tribal youth, don’t hesitate to contact Tea Marquez at 360-716-4047 for the remaining list of children.

Empowerment through Self-Defense

LOH and TPD team up to bring safety tactics to the community during DV Awareness Month

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

“I feel confident now. A lot more confident,” reflected Tulalip tribal member, Carlotta Davis. “I feel like if somebody came at me, I’d be able to not freak out and apply what I learned in this class tonight. There’s a lot of weirdos out there. Even going to the grocery store, we have to be alert and be able to protect ourselves.” 

Empowered is the word that best describes a group of ten ladies, all hailing from the Tulalip community, who attended the Legacy of Healing’s (LOH) self-defense class on the evening of October 13. 

Over the past several years, the LOH has taken part in a national initiative known as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Through this initiative, the program has brought attention to a problem that plagues Native communities across the nation, while also providing resources, support, information and help to Tulalip tribal members, other tribal members, as well as parents, guardians, and spouses of Tulalip members who are experiencing DV in the household.  

TPD officer Justin Lee instructing the class on self-defense techniques.

Through a 2016 study conducted by the National Institute of Justice, it is apparent that Indigenous women and men are faced with DV situations more than any other race or community in the U.S. The official statistic shows that 84% of Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime as well as 81% of Native men. That same study stated that more than four in five American Indian and Alaskan Native women and men experienced DV in 2016 alone. 

To say that the LOH is active during DV Awareness Month is an understatement. During each week of October, the LOH team, along with the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) team, can be found out in the community, imparting knowledge to the people about what DV is and how it affects the home and community at large.

This year, LOH is hosting a total of four classes to raise awareness. The first event was an eye-opening and moving workshop dubbed Resolving Trauma that was taught by Director/Consultant of the Midwest Trauma Services Network, Frank Grijalva MSCC, MSPH. And to follow that event, LOH partnered with the Tulalip Police Department (TPD) for the first self-defense class at Tulalip since the pandemic hit.

“A few years ago, we put together some self-defense classes for one of our awareness months and there was a lot of interest from the community,” explained LOH and CAC Director, Jade Carela. “And so, the idea came up within our staff about doing another one. I reached out to TPD Chief of Police, Chris Sutter, to see what he thought about it. The chief is extremely supportive of our two departments and thought it was a great idea. This is so good for our community, and another way of promoting something within our community to teach them ways of protecting themselves.”

The hour-and-a-half class was led by TPD Officer Justin Lee, with assistance from Officer Cheyenne Bear and Detective James Cabras. After taking some time to stretch out, the group circled up in room 162 and were taught a variety of techniques including stances, breakaway and blocking maneuvers, as well as kicks, strikes, and punches. The class leaders also spoke about the importance of knowing the vulnerable areas of an attacker and carrying personal protection such as pepper spray, mace, and tasers.

Although the attendees took the lesson very seriously, they still found time to share a few laughs together throughout the beginner’s course. The TPD officers showed the ladies each self-defense move at 20% speed, then they walked about the classroom and gave them the opportunity to correctly demonstrate the techniques back on them. Once the class got the moves down pat, they partnered up and tried their newly acquired skill on each other.  

Said Officer Lee, “We all have been affected by domestic violence. We all have experienced it in one way or the other. So that’s why it’s important for us continue with this training and continue this awareness, so that we as a community can continue to better ourselves, empower ourselves, and not be victims anymore. Having the police department actually teach the class versus hiring a company, which they have done in the past, didn’t really work out, because I think the heart is not there. For us, we serve Tulalip, this is our community, this is our police department, this is our people. We want to empower our people, and we want to give them tools and also the confidence.” 

 “It was an awesome turnout, everybody was really engaged,” added Detective Cabras. “I think the goal of this class was to empower the women of the community to take back their individuality and make connections with other people, and they received it well. We talked about the difference between self-defense and defensive tactics, we spoke on the difference between what law enforcement does as far as defensive tactics and what private citizens can do. We also equipped them with some tools to defend themselves when they’re faced with situations, and we talked about the mindset that they should have. We tried to focus on the fact that they’re no longer victims; they’re strong, independent women who can handle themselves if needed.”

Following the self-defense class, attendees were provided a sandwich-spread dinner and learned about the DV Awareness Month raffle. Prizes include a custom-designed hand drum, beaded earrings, tribal member artwork, Under Armor shoes, and much more. Raffle tickets can be purchased at any of the remaining DV Awareness month events or during their pop-ups at the ti kuphihali café at the Tulalip Admin building on Fridays between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20. 

 “This event was extremely important,” Jade stated. “A lot of people, even people who don’t experience DV necessarily, were able to learn different ways of protecting themselves in safe ways, because we never know what is going to happen. You could be put in a dangerous situation at any second of your life. This class provided more tools to keep themselves safe.”

She continued, “I think it was important to have TPD teach the class because it gives the community the opportunity to see them in a different light. It helps them feel safer and learn from them in a different type of space and bond with them. I love seeing that interaction and it makes me so happy to know that we have community members coming together to support these activities. At the end of the day, it shows that we have people supporting our victims and survivors of DV.” 

DV Awareness Month continues with the last two events held on Thursday October 20 and Tuesday October 25 respectively. The next event is a film screening of the Indigenous film, Sisters Rising, and the last event is a Beading as Healing class. Both events begin at 5:30 in room 162 of the Administration Building. And if you would like to show your support for DV victims and survivors, be sure to wear purple on October 25th

 If you or anybody you know is experiencing an abusive relationship, please do not hesitate to call the LOH at (360) 716-4100 for assistance. And if you are in a crisis or an emergency situation, the LOH provided a list of three additional hotline numbers that you can utilize during your time of need: 

  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • Strong Hearts Native Helpline: 1-844-762-8483
  • Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County 425-25-ABUSE (22873)

Ten years of videography and culture

By Shaelyn Smead, Tulalip News

Filmmakers, creators, and artists gathered at the Hibulb Cultural Center on October 8 for the 10th Annual Film Festival. With nine Native and non-Native films, ranging from animation, music videos, drama, and documentaries, the festival delivered a diverse collection for all to enjoy. 

Created in 2012 by Hibulb Cultural Center Education Curator Lena Jones, this year’s film festival theme was Healing Generation to Generation. It is a concept centered around generational healing and recognizing those that provide hope for the future.

Honoring the theme, a couple of standout films were ‘We Still Live Here’ by Anne Makepeace, which follows Wampanoag social worker Jessie Little Doe and her journey to reviving the lost language of her people, and ‘From Programs to Pilgrims’ by Simme Bobrosky. The film portrays Simme’s discovery of her Ukrainian roots and familial journey into America. She used old photos of her family and animated them to look alive as if they were speaking into the camera.

Film festival emcee Faith Iukes and Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Eero Johnson.

Two cinematographers were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, Robert Lundahl and Eero Johnson, during the event. Each award winner shared information about their works and the different inspirations they derived from.

Robert received recognition for his role in regional, cultural, and environmental sharing. His film “The Burden of Proof,” based on the use of Agent Orange in national forests, was used as a demonstration screening for a U.S. Senate subcommittee about the environment. He also created “Unconquering the Last Frontier,” which was filmed in Washington and based on the salmon crisis within the Pacific Northwest. It centered more specifically on the Elwha River and its removal.

Eero received recognition for Coast Salish cultural sharing and storytelling. Throughout his career, Eero has maintained a close connection to Indigenous people. He has worked closely with Tulalip Media and Marketing and worked for Northwest Indian News. He spent several years following the canoe journey and shared the many stories of canoe families. He produced many pieces centered around popular Native artists, painters, performers, and carvers. He also created films involving issues like Treaty Rights, the Boldt decision, and Residential Boarding Schools. His countless efforts to share the perspectives and stories of Native American people made him an ideal candidate for the theme and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

In his thank you speech, Eero said, “Twenty years ago, when I started working with Indigenous people, it was a turning point for me professionally and personally. It was a chance to visit a place I ordinarily wouldn’t have gone to, be involved in events I wouldn’t have known about, and meet some amazing people. One of my first stories was about the Cushman Boarding School, and it’s sad to say, but in my non-Native upbringing, I didn’t know any of the history until I found myself doing this work. This has been a journey of learning about pieces of history that deserve to be talked about.”

Film festival judges Robin Carneen, Antonia Ramos and Mike Van Luvan. 

The Film Festival judges consisted of film advisor Antonia Ramos (Tulalip), filmmaker Mike Van Luvan, and Native radio Host/Producer Robin Carneen (Swinomish). Each submission to the film festival was reviewed by the judges and nominated for an award. The awards varied from best feature, best music composition, best acting male/female, best experimental, best directing, etc. Judges are asked to pay close attention to and judge based on script, creativity, coherence, meaningfulness, and editing.

In addition, a special emcee was introduced to this year’s festival, “This year, we were very fortunate to have Tulalip’s own Faith Iukes emcee our event. We’re very grateful there are youth willing to help make our film festival successful,” Lena said. 

Hibulb staff encourages all filmmakers to participate in the film festival. If you or someone you know is looking to submit for the next film festival, please call the cultural center at (360) 716 – 2600.

2022 Film Festival submissions:

  • ‘It Gets in Your Blood’ by Ed Hartman
  • ‘Starlight’ by Ed Hartman
  • ‘From Programs to Pilgrims’ by Simme Bobrosky
  • ‘Tough Love’ by Ryan Craig
  • ‘Dreams on the Duwamish’ by Elke Hatula and Michael Kleven
  • ‘The Train I Missed’ by Elke Hatula and Michael Kleven
  • ‘We Still Live Here’ by Anne Makepeace
  • ‘For Sale’ by Melinda Raebyne
  • ‘Walrus Skin Boat’ by Robert Lundahl

Resolving trauma with Frank Grijalva

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

Recently, the Tulalip Tribes held the second annual community gathering in recognition of National Residential Boarding School Awareness Day. This year, the event brought out hundreds of tribal members and community members in an effort to bring attention to the truth about the terrible actions that occurred during the boarding school era. And equally important, the gathering presents an opportunity to start the healing process from that trauma, which has been passed down through the generations.

Now that many are beginning to understand what generational trauma is and how it affects Native America, as well as themselves personally, they want to take action. There has been a concentrated effort amongst tribal nations to identify what their people’s traumas are and how to address it now, so our future tribal leaders do not have to live through the number of struggles that came before them. 

Frank Grijalva

Generational trauma affects not only the community, but the individual homes of each tribal member as well. Our habits, behaviors, decision making abilities and trigger responses are all results of our trauma, as is our physical and spiritual well-being. As Native people, our trauma might look like substance abuse, depression, suicide. Trauma does not only affect the individual, but also the people they are surrounded by, such as their children, spouses, and their extended family, and community. And although not always, trauma can often lead to domestic violence (DV) situations inside the household. 

Tackling the issue head-on, following the healing experience from the September 30th community gathering, the Legacy of Healing (LOH) hosted a two-and-a-half-hour workshop on October 6th at the Tulalip Administration Building. The workshop was focused on resolving trauma and served as the kick-off event for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and approximately twenty community members took part in LOH’s first event of the month. 

“The traumas that we experience are a direct link to the domestic violence that people also experience in their lives,” said LOH Director, Jade Carela. “I believe that a lot of it stems from the trauma that we’ve had in our lives and the things that we learned growing up.”

The informative and insightful workshop was led by the Director/Consultant of the Midwest Trauma Services Network, Frank Grijalva MSCC, MSPH. Frank has been in the Tulalip and Marysville community for several years and has worked with the Tribe’s education division, the community health department, and also the Marysville School District.

Frank’s presentation gave an in-depth look at what trauma is and how it rewires our brains and central nervous systems. He spoke about how trauma plays a role in the early childhood development stages and how some traumas are passed along before the birthing process. Throughout the workshop, he took plenty of time to pause to see if the people were following along and if there were any highlights or topics they could relate to in their own homes and families.

Frank said, “What we did in the boarding schools three generations ago, is we fractured all the families. So, auntie wasn’t there to pick up the baby when the baby was too much for the mom. Or sissy, cousin, grandma, or whoever wasn’t there to take over, to pass the baton to, so their mom could get some rest. Everywhere I go, it’s grandparents who are taking care of the kids because so many kids in this generation have lost themselves, lost their ability to attach and stay in rhythm and be vulnerable, and to stay in love and stay connected.”

After taking time to discuss what trauma is, and what it looks like at Tulalip, Frank explained that people can begin the work of healing their trauma wounds, and over time they can rewire their brains and central nervous systems, essentially becoming an entirely new person with a new outlook on life.  

“Indigenous practice knows more about what it’s doing than the colonized practice,” he stated. “Colonizer practice wants to use pills, talk therapy, and all these cognitive engagement processes. The human being who is traumatized is compromised and changed; their central nervous system, their brains, the way that they perceive the future, their access to narrative, their access to comprehension, the way they think about things linear and logically, those are all altered. And the practice of wrapping around, nurturing, ritual, connection, consistency, and nourishment, all of these things that are meant to address the whole human being, are actually the things that are most useful in trauma resolution.”

Frank continued, “For a lot of people, I ask what your baseline heart rate is. It’s too high if it’s over eighty, unless you’re on some type of medication. The only way you bring your baseline heart rate down is by doing a grounding practice, an internal practice. It could be drumming, dancing, sweats, smokehouse, it could be sitting and looking at nature, it could be yoga. The metaphor I always use is driving a car. Remember when you first learned how to drive and how scary it was? Merging into traffic at 70 mph, all of that. And now, you’re probably driving to work, and you don’t even think about it. You didn’t get that way by avoiding it, you got that way by going head-on with it and working on it.”

Workshop attendees were treated to a spaghetti dinner while Frank gave his presentation, and upon entering room 162, they received notebooks with resources for DV victims, and LOH heart-shaped stress balls. They also had the first opportunity to enter the LOH’s DV Awareness Month raffle, which includes prizes such as an 18-inch hand drum by Les Parks, art and photography by Tribal member Monie Ordonia, beaded earrings and much more. 

And just as an FYI, the LOH will be holding pop-up events on Fridays throughout October at the Tulalip Administration Building from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. by the café, ti kupihali. All proceeds from the raffle will go towards supporting survivors of intimate partner domestic violence and the tickets are $5 each or five for $20.

To end the workshop, the LOH asked several individuals what they took away from the workshop. Each person who volunteered to share received a sage and smudge kit.

“I find a lot of what Frank talks about really interesting,” said Tribal member, Marc Robinson. “What I try to do personally is to understand what everybody and their reactions are, and how they walk about in their everyday lives. I am a student advocate at two middle schools and two elementaries. What I like to do is build that relationship and try to understand the triggers the students may have for their behavior outbreaks. I try to be that person who bridges the gap between admin, teachers, and the staff so I can advocate for the student. Understanding trauma for me is really interesting and helpful both personally and professionally.” 

  Following the workshop, Frank expressed a desire to hold more trauma classes in the community. He stated, “I think we need to do it more frequently because human beings who are struggling, they don’t often hear the message the first time, second time, or third time because they got their own stuff going on. We have to make sure that we are doing this with a frequency that more people can come to the table and bring their own lived experiences because we are a learning community, we are learning about this together. I don’t know the Tulalip tribal trauma, I know the science of trauma and I know my own journey through it, and the more people I can learn from here, the better practice I get to help build the program. My office is at the youth center, and I meet with people individually as well as with families; psycho-educating, problem solving, coaching, I do a variety of things.”

As Frank mentioned, he can be reached at the Tulalip Youth Center at (360) 716-4909. Please reach out to him for further details regarding trauma and how to begin your healing process. 

The LOH’s DV Awareness Month continues with weekly events that are scheduled to be held in room 162 of the Tulalip Admin Building. All the events begin at 5:30 p.m. and are listed below.  

  • Thursday, 10/13: Self-Defense Class (ADULTS ONLY – limited to first 20 people only. E-mail to register)
  • Thursday, 10/20: Sisters Rising Film Screening (ages 14+)
  • Tuesday, 10/25: Beading as Healing Class (Wear Purple Day)

After witnessing the turnout for the first DV Awareness Month event, Jade expressed, “This shows that our community is ready. They’re ready to heal and ready to learn. They’re ready to start being vulnerable with each other and ready to start learning how we as a community can heal together. I’m really excited for this month, and I hope more people can join the different events that we have going on.”

If you or anybody you know is experiencing an abusive relationship, please do not hesitate to call the LOH at (360) 716-4100 for assistance. And if you are in a crisis or an emergency situation, the LOH provided a list of three additional hotline numbers that you can utilize during your time of need: 

  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • Strong Hearts Native Helpline: 1-844-762-8483
  • Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County 425-25-ABUSE (22873)

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples, the Daybreak Star way

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

For the eighth consecutive year, the greater-Seattle area and its tens of thousands of proud Native American citizens celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day. Replacing the former misbegotten holiday dedicated to a slave trader and lost Italian navigator, the commemorative day to honor the past, present and future of Indigenous culture takes place annually on the second Monday in October.

“People ask, ‘Why Indigenous Peoples Day and why not American Indian Day or Native American Day?’ It’s only appropriate that we honor the legacy of work that’s been done,” explained educator Matt Remle (Lakota). His efforts, along with many other Native activists, were instrumental in getting a proclamation voted on by the Seattle City Council and signed into law by then-mayor Ed Murray in 2014. “It’s not only honoring legacy, but when we say ‘Indigenous peoples,’ it’s referring to more than just the tribes of the colonized United States. We’re talking about all Indigenous peoples who’ve been impacted by settler colonialism around the world.”

Since its inception into Puget Sound lexicon, the Indigenous Peoples Day movement has spread to hundreds of cities across the nation. It’s been formally adopted by 19 state governments, and even universities and entire school districts are now indoctrinating the day to celebrate global Indigenous cultures into their holiday calendars. 

On Monday, October 14, Native people and their allies from around the Pacific Northwest gathered at Westlake Park, on ancestral Duwamish land, for a march and rally to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Seattle. The dedicated early morning group proudly wore cultural garb and traditional regalia while traversing from Westlake Park to Seattle City Hall, where a rally of celebratory song and dance was held. 

“I love this moment. Feeling my drum vibrate through my soul, out of my feet into Mother Earth, and back up into my body,” shared Sarah Hart (Tulalip) after marching through Seattle’s urban landscape. “Empowering is an understatement. Being who we are as [Native] people is a way of life, it’s every aspect of who we are and it’s in every fabric of our being. We don’t celebrate the genocide of our people, we celebrate who we are as people. We celebrate together. One heart. One drum. One voice. Together.”

Hours later, the festivities continued at Daybreak Star Cultural Center with a host of activities intended to celebrate all the sovereign nations that comprise the Puget Sound region, known colloquially as Coast Salish territory. Sponsored by the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, the Daybreak Star gathering included hundreds of urban Natives, culture bearers from a variety tribal community, and non-Natives who wanted to share in the memorable event.

The American Indian Movement honor song was an appropriate opening the evening’s event. 

Quick history lesson. Daybreak Star was built on what was formerly a decommissioned Fort Lawton army installation. On the morning of March 8, 1970, a convoy of vehicles reached their destinations, both the north and south sides of Fort Lawton, when the occupants of the cars launched a coordinated effort to occupy the fort and establish it as a cultural and social services center for Seattle’s growing Native American population. In the midst of the ensuing struggle, the occupation’s principal organizer Bernie Whitebear stated, “We, the Native Americans, reclaim the land known as Fort Lawton in the name of all American Indians by right of discovery.”

The Native activists who invaded Fort Lawton that day were ultimately successful in their goal of establishing an urban Indian cultural center at the site. While similar centers already existed in San Francisco, Minneapolis, and New York, what was to become Daybreak Star Center was the first to be established through militant protest. *

Fifty-two years after that legendary occupation, the American Indian Movement (AIM) anthem rang out on the reclaimed grounds of what is today Daybreak Star. Elder Randy Lewis (Colville) is one of the last remaining ‘fence jumpers’ who protested side by side with Bernie Whitebear. He took to the mic following the AIM anthem and said, “Why are we here? Take a look around you. See all the beautiful people wearing their traditional regalia and symbols of their ancestors. See all the happy children running around outside. They are living resistance and don’t even know it. That is why we are here.

“For those of us who occupied Fort Lawton on that day in 1970, this was our dream. To claim a space, a piece of this land, for Native people. To create a house where we can come together and be in community through our shared culture,” he continued. “The wood used to build this building come from local Tribes. The first wood logs brought in were from Colville, then Red Cedar from Quinault, and cross beams made from Snoqualmie spruce trees. Some of the trees go back to the year 1268. Let these trees be a reminder of the sacrifices required by so many that allow us to thrive today.”

A series of high-energy cultural offerings, representing Indigenous communities across the Americas, kept the multi-generational audience engaged well into the evening. There were many tribal songs with accompanying drum, the digital beats of DJ Big Rez and a mesmerizing Aztec fire dance One particularly standout performance occurred when the overflowing Daybreak Star crowd was treated to several songs and stories offered up by enchanting flute player George Montero (Tlingit).

There were gift bags of traditional medicines, artworks of all mediums, and an appetite quenching plate of salmon accompanied on a bed of wild rice pilaf given to event attendees.  

“At its core, Indigenous Peoples Day aims to celebrate and honor the past, present and future of Native peoples throughout the United States. It also served to acknowledge the legacy of colonialism that has devastated Indigenous communities around the globe historically, while continuing to negatively impact them today,” summed up Remle. “More importantly, Indigenous Peoples Day moves beyond the classic narrative of oppression and instead honors the histories, cultures and resiliency of contemporary Native peoples.”

Every day is a great day to be Indigenous. It’s just a little more meaningful when surrounded by family and friends united in common cause – celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day. 


Tribal youth are in need of tribal homes

By Shaelyn Smead; photos courtesy of Delia Williams and Theodore Sam

Helping beda?chelh is essential for at-risk tribal youth

The beda?chelh department is in desperate need for respite care workers (daycare) and placement homes (fostering). Unfortunately, with very few tribal volunteers, many of the cases are forced to lean on state-sourced foster resources and non-tribal homes. Leaving a lot of questions and concerns about where these children will end up, and how they will remain connected to the tribe and their culture. 

The process for beda?chelh to locate a respite care provider or placement home can be quite grueling. They create a list of family members related to the child and anyone who is 18 years old or over will be contacted and asked if they would be willing to step up and take in their family member. 

Delia Williams,  beda?chelh Placement Specialist.

Tribal member and beda?chelh Placement Specialist Delia Williams who is on the frontlines and helps make these phone calls, said, “Our whole goal is to try and keep our kids here with us. We want to keep families together, but it’s sad because 97% to 98% of the time, these family members will say no. They either aren’t willing or aren’t able to take their family in.” At which point, beda?chelh continues down the list to see if there are any other tribal homes that would be willing to help. After finishing these efforts, and they aren’t able to place into a tribal home, that is where beda?chelh is cornered and forced to utilize State-sourced foster homes.

The reality of having laws like the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 and the 1989 Centennial Accord, can be a double-edged sword. The laws have allowed for tribes to maintain jurisdiction over at-risk tribal youth and their wellbeing. Creating a separation between state programs like Child Protective Service and the beda?chelh department. However, it is also up to its tribal members to support the system that is in place and provide services that would otherwise be available through the state. In other words, if there are no tribal respite care workers or tribal placement homes available, then the department is forced to outsource to State and non-tribal workers and homes. At which point, a tribal child could end up living anywhere within the state of Washington, and could be hundreds of miles away from their people. 

Why are tribal members skeptical of beda?chelh?

To some, it might seem like simple math. If tribal members want to keep their youth close to their community, they must be willing to open their homes and support their lost cousins, nieces, nephews, etc. So why is beda?chelh struggling to find tribal volunteers?

For some tribal members, it’s the concern that they would be opening up their home to futures investigations and the threat they might have their own kids taken. For others, it’s the risk of behavioral issues that at-risk youth could bring into their home could have an effect on their other kids. Some families feel as though they might not be able to financially afford the costs that come with taking in another child. And for some, it’s simply living in a small community and knowing the backlash they might be facing from their peers. 

How is beda?chelh tackling these concerns?

Delia talked about how the department handles some of these concerns. “In any case where a volunteer has a child in their home and in their care, we do a background check, and run a home study to make sure the home is safe, clean, and able to take care of a child. In other cases, where the volunteer just babysits in the family’s home, it doesn’t require a home study. Still, the background checks only go back as far as six years, this allows for tribal members that only have mild records, the opportunity to still volunteer and help,” she said. 

When discussing the extrinsic nature of the volunteer respite care or placement position, Delia illustrated that visits from the beda?chelh social worker are only about once a month, just to ensure the well-being of the tribal child. Other than that, the social worker is also helping remind the volunteer of upcoming cultural events that the tribal child can attend, to observe cultural practices, providing sport and extracurricular opportunities, and resources that the child may want/need. These visits are also an opportunity to check on the mental and emotional state of the volunteers in making sure that they are doing okay with their transition. The social worker will then provide the volunteers with any assistance they may be needing as well. If there is a point in which the volunteer feels overwhelmed, they also reserve the right to forfeit their services. 

Some families fear that by opening up their home, they risk beda?chelh potentially taking their own kids away from them. Delia spoke that a situation like this would only occur in severe cases that required it. Even then, in her experience she has not witnessed this happen. 

Delia said, “If we notice a respite care worker, or placement home provider struggling in any way, we want to help. We know the sacrifices that these people are making, and we want to help our tribal youth as much as possible. Whether we’re helping guide them to programs, or grants, our goal is to help these providers, not hurt them. By helping them, we are helping our tribal kids.”

There is compensation available for respite care workers and/or placement homes. Once a home study and background check has been conducted, and care services have been designated, then compensation will become obtainable. Respite care and family grant amounts vary applicant to applicant. 

Money aside, there is still the fear of backlash that a respite care worker or placement home fears. Beda?chelh does ensure confidentiality with every case, however with the coming of social media and living in such a small community, sometimes being anonymous on paper, doesn’t help the reality of the world. Word travels fast and sometimes your services become public knowledge. 

One thing that Delia said in regards to this was, “Ultimately these families that are helping only have to tell people what they feel comfortable with. There’s not much we can control when word starts spreading, but I encourage our volunteers to feel comfortable enough to just own it. They’re doing something great for our community and not a lot of people would be willing to do what they’re doing. Every time someone steps up to help a tribal child, it sows that seed that our community is willing to help each other.” 

This same backlash is unfortunately what employees within the department face, and Delia deems the reason as to why is there aren’t as many tribal employees working for the department as there should be. “Our people are just as scared and intimidated sometimes by the retaliation we face,” she said. “But we know what is going on with these cases, and we support the decisions that our tribal and non-tribal coworkers make.” 

Families that have gone through beda?chelh intake

Unfortunately the beda?chelh department also simply doesn’t have a great relationship with many tribal members and there is a level of distrust. Those families sometimes even speak very publicly about their difficult experience, which in turn carries out a negative perception of the department. 

One person who has posted on social media frequently about their experience and has shared her story is Skyla Henry. In 2015, Skyla and her husband struggled with addiction and separated from one another. Skyla’s mother realized all that was going on and took in their kids and raised them for some time. Skyla’s addiction grew deeper and resulted in her being put into prison. During which, life became too difficult for Skyla’s mother, and the kids ended up in beda?chelh’s care, and placed into a home. Years went by as the parents struggled with their sobriety, and the case subsequently closed. Skyla’s husband is now two years sober, and Skyla is four months sober. Now with the two being back together, sober, in a home and working, the couple is anxious and wondering what possibilities there are to be back in their children’s lives. With the case being closed three years ago, it leaves a lot of questions for them.

“I’m really upset because I want some answers,” said Skyla. “I know I haven’t been in my kids’ lives for a long time, and I appreciate all that the placement family has done for them, but you can’t fight the bond between parents and their kids. I just want to know what options I have and what possibility there is for us to be in their lives, even if it’s just visitation. It’s the emptiest feeling in the world being so close to my kids, knowing I could run into them anywhere but not being able to see or talk to them.” 

 Theodore Sam and family..

Another tribal family shared a similar story. Theodore Sam struggled with addiction. His four kids were not living in a stable home, and were missing frequent amounts of school. When Theodore first encountered beda?chelh, they were at the beginning of their investigation. “They were coming by and offering different treatment plans and services and were trying to help us. Beda?chelh wanted us to get better, but I didn’t want to receive help,” Theodore said. 

Unfortunately, after spending time with the children’s mother, and the parents still struggling with their addiction, the case was taken to Tribal Court and the children were placed into placement homes. At this point, Family Wellness Court provided resources that Family Services has and a case manager stepped in with IOP support, helping Theodore find a home, and create goals and a game plan to get his kids back. Theodore was able to keep contact with his children during that time, but he knew that he needed to do more. 

After some time, hard work and dedication, Theodore was doing three Urine Analysis (UA) tests a week, found a job, and a shelter to live in. In March 2022, Theodore earned custody of all four kids. “Beda?chelh has been really helpful, and my case manager even has helped me with picking up my kids, or taking to them to appointments or the doctors. I know beda?chelh receives a lot of hate, but parents need to be able to do the work. It takes time, and you have to do the right things to get your kids back,” Theodore explained.

Delia, who not only is a tribal member and works for beda?chelh, also was once a child in the system. She ended up living most of her life with some of her family in Spokane, away from the reservation. And even though she remained in a tribal home, she was able to witness and give a unique perspective to both sides of the system. She spoke about her experiences with the community turning a blind eye to the levels of addiction, physical and sexual abuse that are prevalent in the community and how it affects tribal families. 

“I think it stems from generational trauma and the effects of our elders’ experience in residential boarding schools,” she said. “We hear the stories of the physical, mental, spiritual and sexual abuse that our ancestors and elders went through. The trauma that they endured made it so they couldn’t speak on it, and it has caused and taught our people to be quiet and not speak about what happens behind closed doors. But we have to change that.” 

Now is the time to get involved

Currently the ICWA is at risk within the US Supreme Court, and is set to be reviewed in the fall. If the ICWA is overturned, that means many tribes across the nation will struggle to maintain oversight of their at-risk tribal youth. The state in which they live will then oversee the investigation and put tribal children into their state foster care system, and the child risks no longer having ties with their people. Luckily for tribes within the state of Washington, the Washington Supreme Court came to a unanimous decision in 2020 that require the courts to use active efforts to recognize when a child is belonging to a tribe and prevent the breakup of an Indian family. Since then, an official ‘opinion’ in July 2022 was presented by the Washington Supreme Court supporting those same 2020 decisions and the works of the Washington Indian Child Welfare Act (WICWA). Making issues of tribal welfare organizations less at risk in the state of Washington. However, it doesn’t take away the need for respite care workers and placement homes with Tulalip Tribes. Tulalip youth need their community to lean on.

“We need Tulalip’s influencers and leadership to step up and speak out about these issues that we’re facing. It needs to be talked about”, Delia said. 

If you or anyone you know is interesting in helping with respite care or are willing to provide placement home services, please contact beda?chelh at 360-716-3284.

Truth, Justice, Healing

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

In anticipation of their second annual community gathering to recognize Residential Boarding School Awareness Day, the Tulalip Education Division once again planned to hand out orange t-shirts on September 30th

Last year, the Education Division reached out to Tulalip artist, Marysa Sylvester for the very first t-shirt design, which featured a hummingbird and a flower in traditional formline. Keeping true to their theme of supporting and promoting Tulalip artists, the Education Division commissioned this year’s design from Ty Juvinel. 

Leading up to the gathering, the design was kept under wraps and was set to be unveiled the day of the event. Hours prior to the ceremony, Tulalip News got an exclusive sneak peek at the design, which displayed the words truth, justice, healing in the traditional Lushootseed language. The design was leaked on the Tulalip News Facebook page and received a lot of heartfelt reactions and comments, and hopefully prompted many to take part in the annual gathering.

Said Ty, “The design represents a thunderbird and the creator watching over the community, with two warrior drummers watching over the children, and the children have their dance paddles showing they still have their heritage.”

Hundreds of t-shirts were handed out at the start of the ceremony, and together as a community, the people brought some truth, justice, and healing through traditional song and dance while proudly donning Ty’s design.