The artistry of knitting maven, Anita Sheldon

By Wade Sheldon, Tulalip News

In the gentle rhythm of needles and the soft embrace of yarn, Tulalip tribal member Anita “Keeta” Sheldon’s craft unfolds like a rich tapestry of tradition and enduring artistry. Born and raised in Tulalip, Anita, turning 84 this year, has been wielding knitting needles and crochet hooks for nearly six decades, crafting not just hats and sweaters but a legacy of warmth that spans generations. From the tender beginnings of making tiny garments for her babies, Anita’s hands have spun tales of love and comfort through her creations’ intricate loops and stitches. In her words, knitting and crocheting are not merely crafts; they are therapeutic, good for the soul, and a timeless art passed down through familial threads.

Recently, on January 27, Tulalip News sat down with Keeta and talked about knitting/crocheting and what that means to her. 

When did you first start learning to knit and crochet?

I started knitting and crocheting about 58 years ago. I started making hats and sweaters for my babies. Then, I began making Afghans by crocheting. When I’m not knitting, I am crocheting them.

Who was a significant influence in learning how to knit/crochet?

I would watch the renowned Sarah Sheldon knit. When one of my relatives was in the hospital with a broken back for six months, Grandma Sarah was there with a knitting needle and yarn and showed me how to knit. I watched her knit; she didn’t even have to look at her work while talking to you. She could knit nine pairs of socks a day and would sell them in Seattle. She would also raise her own sheep to create her own wool. She had her own spinning wheel and would make her own yarn. She was good. 

What is the difference between knitting and crocheting?

The difference between crocheting and knitting is one has a straight needle, and the other has a hook at the end. You go one knot at a time when crocheting and use the whole needle when knitting. It’s faster to crochet, and the stitches are slightly looser. I like knitting, and it is more relaxing than crocheting. 

Recently, you had a bad fall. How has it been getting back into knitting/crocheting?

It keeps my hands busy, it’s good therapy, and it’s also good for your mental health. Recently I fell and broke my wrist and couldn’t do anything for a few months. Now, I am doing therapy to help heal my hand. My doctor agreed to keep knitting; when I get tired, I put it down and rest, and I can do more each day. 

How long have you been selling your hats?

I just recently started selling my hats when I learned about the bazaar that happens around the year’s end. Before that, I made them as gifts for Christmas, birthdays, and when it gets cold out. They are well made, comfortable, and will last. My husky hat is over 40 years old and still keeps me warm. 

What are some fond memories you have from making hats?

I made the husky hat because I am a Washington husky fan, and I made my husband a cougar one because he likes Washington State. But his was stolen from the boat dock the first time he wore it out. Then I made another, and it was stolen, so I never made him another one and instead made a blanket that he used to keep on his work chair. And when he passed, it was sent with him onto the other side. 

Where did you get the canoe design from on your recent hats?

The design I used on some of my most recent hats was from the canoe that used to be at the old entrance to the reservation. I liked that design and feel like it represents our people.  It can take two days to make a hat like that if you have the right tools and some suitable yarn. 

If you are interested in purchasing or learning more about Anita’s hats or other products she creates, you can give her a call at (360) 653-8163. 

Caring Warriors extend the season of giving

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

It’s been a cold winter in the Pacific Northwest. Although we’ve seen just a limited amount of snow so far, we recently braved an arctic front that dropped the temperature to single-digit degrees on several nights during a near two-week span this January. And while many of us experienced a number of troublesome annoyances that come with the cold weather, such as burst pipes, frozen windshields, and icy roadways, at the end of the day, we could count ourselves fortunate to have a warm home to reside at during the extreme cold. 

Unfortunately, there were over a thousand unhoused locals who had to tough out the freezing temperatures in the streets, out in wilderness, and anywhere they could find shelter. According to Snohomish County’s 2023 Point-in-Time Count of Homelessness, there was an 8.5 percent increase of unhoused citizens since 2022. The yearly count identified an additional 101 unhoused citizens, bringing the total count to 1,285, the highest it’s been in over a decade. 

What started out as an idea to give back to their community during the holiday season has blossomed into a monthly donation drive organized by a local group known as the Tulalip Caring Warriors. After hosting two successful ‘warmth drives’ around Thanksgiving and Christmastime, the group decided to extend the season of giving for the foreseeable future.

The Tulalip Caring Warrior’s donation drives are for the community, by the community. Upon seeing the impact of their first drive, in which they delivered homecooked meals to the homeless population of Tulalip, Marysville, and Everett, the Caring Warriors expanded their donation drive to include warm winter wear and blankets for their holiday drive in December. The ladies reached out to their community, asking for donations of gently used scarves, hats, coats, blankets, gloves, and snacks. 

They recevied heartwarming responses from the community as countless bags of clothes and several boxes of non-perishable foods, as well as numerous monetary donations, were collected for the group’s second donation drive. Over 100 unhoused individuals received blankets, warm clothing, winter care kits, and hot meal resulting from the community’s generous donations and the hard work put in by the Caring Warriors. 

The successful donation drives inspired other Tulalip locals to join in on the Warrior’s give-back efforts. Consisting of both Tulalip tribal members and citizens, the group originally began with Angelica Trinidad, Kayla Joseph, Odessa Flores, Melissa Young, Kylee Sohappy, and Janae Zackuse, and now additional members include Mahayla Flores and Chena Joseph as well. 

The distribution for their third donation drive took place on January 14. In the freezing cold, on a day that had a high of 33 degrees and a low of 12 degrees, the Tulalip Caring Warriors loaded up their vehicles with donations and freshly prepared meals and hit the streets of Tulalip and its surrounding municipalities to bring a little warmth to those most in need. 

Tulalip Caring Warrior, Odessa Flores, stated “We united once again for our give back event, extending support to the unhoused community during this harsh winter. We served 100 unhoused community members in Snohomish County. We provided warm bags, distributed donations, and served stew with rolls and waters. Our group is expanding and growing in numbers. Together, we organized the generous donations from our community, recreating a heartfelt family recipe from Melissa Young’s mother, Evangelina McGill (Angie). Angie shared her homemade stew recipe, and we worked collaboratively to prepare it.”

She continued, “Due to dropping temperatures, we extended our efforts to locate individuals seeking cold shelters. The gratitude from those we encountered was overwhelming – appreciating not just a warm meal but also blankets and coats for the chilly nights. They also eagerly provided leads on where more donations and meals could make a difference.”

Over the years, we’ve heard time and time again from Tulalip artists that you must have a good mind and heart when conducting cultural, spiritual, or community work, and that it’s all about the energy you put into your craft or project. These traditional values and that cultural mentality seeped into the Tulalip Caring Warriors’ donation drives. 

Now, of course one of the main highlights for the Caring Warriors is bringing smiles to those in need on distribution day. However, another major aspect of this work is the environment in which it’s conducted. Since the Tulalip Caring Warriors’ foundation was originally built on a close-knit friendship, the ever-growing group puts in a vast amount of good vibes and love into their work. And in the weeks of preparation leading up into distribution day, you can bet that Caring Warriors are having a blast, filling the room up with laughter each and every time they gather to discuss planning efforts, sort through donations, and cook meals on a large scale for their monthly events. 

Tulalip Caring Warrior Kayla Joseph shared a quote by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Potawatomi Nation) from the book ‘Braiding Sweetgrass’: “Wealth among traditional people is measured by having enough to give away”. 

Said Kayla, “When asked why we do this, this [quote] sums it up completely. Having the ability to give back to those that are in need, in the best ways that we know how – food is a universal way of saying we care about you. Next month we are doing spaghetti, it’s my turn to bring the recipe. In between sorting the donations and cooking the meal, we got a few laps around the track to get in our daily steps. We work to build each other up in all ways of life.”

The Warriors also encourage youth participation and often recruit their own kids and young relatives to help out with the donation drives. Tulalip Caring Warrior Angelica Trinidad expressed, “I love this opportunity to teach my son about the importance of giving back, because we’re all struggling. In this day and age our economy sucks. We all have different battles and struggles. We don’t know what’s going on in people’s daily lives. I firmly believe that if you want to see change in the world, be the change you want to see. It’s awesome to be able to set that example for my son.”

The next distribution day will be held in mid-February. The Tulalip Caring Warriors are now accepting donations for their next drive until February 17. They are asking for your help to make this another successful drive for the unhoused citizens of our community. If you have any gently used warm winter gear you would like to donate, you can make your contribution at their new drop-off location at the Tulalip teen center. 

The Caring Warriors are also taking donations for their next homecooked meal and are accepting snacks, spaghetti noodles, spaghetti sauce, rolls, and bottled waters. If you would like to take it a step further and donate your time and efforts to the cause, they would like to extend an invite for you to join their team. Please reach out to Odessa Flores at (425) 319-4868, or Angelica Trinidad at (425) 404-1211 for further details. 

New Year’s resolution series: Ty Juvinel elevates Coast Salish culture with Kraken collaboration

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a New Year’s resolution as a promise to do something differently in the new year. That definition doesn’t really do justice for the true dream chasers out there. Individuals with the courage to take risks and push themselves beyond their perceived limits to achieve something incredible. For these types, resolutions are merely goal-oriented tasks that bring them one step closer to fulfilling a dream.

Enter Tulalip artist Ty Juvinel and his dream of fusing formline, the traditional art form of our Coast Salish ancestors, with his passion for the Washington’s professional sports scene. Following the newly minted Seattle Kraken officially announcing their team name and logo, in July 2020, it was a perfect blend of rhyme and reason for Ty to attempt to manifest his dream.

“The first helmet I did was simply a passion project. Something I wanted to do to challenge myself by creating something new,” recalled Ty. “I’m a big hockey fan. Other people may not view it this way, but I view hockey as an evolution of Lacrosse, which is an Indigenous sport. But also, if you do some research and look up Mic-Mac hockey sticks, you’ll find the best hockey sticks of the early twentieth century were made by First Nations people….[rest of quote]

“After I finished the helmet I posted it online and shared with people close to the Kraken organization. Seemingly, there was no interest,” he divulged. “But that didn’t stop me from continuing to try and make my dream a reality.”

As 2020 rolled into 2021 and then 2022, a new development began to take form within the intersection of creativity and athletics. A new trend emerged as up-and-coming artists began finding unique opportunities to collaborate with professional sports teams. This innovative partnership is redefining the way sports and art converge, turning the gigantic fan bases of professional teams into a platform for artists to showcase their talents to a much broader audience.

Seattle Kraken vice-president of brand, Aaron Wiggan, recalled how it became a priority for to collaborate with local Indigenous artists. “It began by understanding how much representation matters. When we think about Seattle and the fabric of culture in this place, so much of it is rooted within the Coast Salish people and history. It’s something that really separates this region from other places across the United States. 

“It became a foundational component of who we want to be as a team, to connect with different communities, specifically tribal communities. There’s probably no better way for a mass audience to engage with, relate to, and understand a culture better than through art,” he added. “Ty is such a generous person. He showed up wanting to participate, willing to give a lot of himself and his artwork to us, but also desiring to share with us his history and his people’s history.”

More than two years after fusing formline and fandom, an opportunity afforded to him by Marysville local Bill Yates who sent him the initial mask to mock-up, Ty received an invitation by the Kraken to collaborate. What was just a farfetched idea planted by a Tulalip artisan strolling the sands of Mission Beach looking for inspiration was about to bloom into a true cross culture collaboration.

Ty began working closely with Aaron and his fellow members of the Kraken’s brand team to infuse his creative vision into various aspects of the team’s identity. This included several brainstorming sessions regarding custom traditional item with remixed Kraken imagery (paddle and drum), conceptualizing stunning Coast Salish awareness campaigns (land acknowledgement), and even designing iconic team merchandise (masks and jerseys) that resonate with local hockey fans on a deeper level. All while paying homage to the ever-vibrant tribal culture that remains omnipresent in our Coast Salish territory. 

Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke and Ty before one of their creative meetings.

As fate would have it, Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke kept a carved and painted paddle gifted from Ty in his office. In a meeting between the CEO, Brand VP, and Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer to discuss his desire to have a one-of-a-kind mask created for the team’s upcoming Indigenous People’s Night, Philipp spotted the paddle and asked, “Who made this?”

In the weeks after that fateful meeting, Philipp, who is a German citizen, would befriend Ty. Even going so far as to visit the Tulalip Reservation multiple times, including bringing his German parents with to visit the Hibulb Cultural Center while Ty offered his cultural perspective as tour guide. Philipp and Ty discussed design imagery for the intended mask, with each subsequent conversation serving to strengthen the bond between professional player and devout fan.

Kraken goalie and 12-year NHL pro Philipp Grubauer has ventured to Tulalip multiple times after meeting Ty.

“Philipp really wanted something that represented all the Tribes in Washington State, which as we know is a difficult concept for such a small canvas like a goalie helmet, so I chose some iconic Coast Salish imagery,” explained Ty. “Using the air vent holes as eyes, there are Kraken with salmon spirits on each side, a spirit bird on the crown, a wolf along the chin strap, and on the back plate is a bear fishing for salmon. The design also includes a German eagle to represent Philipp’s ancestry.”  

Upon receiving the freshly painted helmet and seeing all the fabulous formline gracing its contoured shape, Philipp, the 12-year NHL pro goalie, shared, “Unbelievable! This is one of the coolest masks or the coolest mask I’ve ever had. Incredible work. I’m so happy with it and so excited to wear it.”

Ty’s mask made it’s professional debut last month, when the Kraken held their Indigenous People’s Night at Climate Pledge Arena on December 9. Among 17,000 fans in the sold-out arena was Ty and his family, including 13-year-old son Landon and 11-year-old daughter Teagan.

“Being able to share that moment with family was everything. I had tears in my eyes because it was such a powerful moment seeing our culture be recognized in a way that’s never happened before,” said Ty. “It’s recognition on a different level, a national level. How many people from around the continent watched that game and got to see our culture be recognized and honored? It’s powerful, that’s the best I can put it.

“Definitely a lot of emotion because this whole thing started as an idea I had for what it would look like if Seattle’s newest sports team used our art, our aesthetic to create their designs,” he continued. “It went from that idea to one phone call, a couple years later, inviting me to collaborate that made my dream a reality. Now, I can use this experience to tell my fellow artists and the ones coming up to never stop dreaming. I’m just a kid from the Rez. If I can do something like this, then others can, too.”

As the trend of up-and-coming artists collaborating with professional sports teams continues to gain momentum, the future looks promising for both worlds. This mutually beneficial relationship not only provides artists with unprecedented visibility, it also enriches the fan experience by introducing diverse visual elements to the world of sports.

“Philipp Grubauer only uses a two-mask rotation and Ty’s is one of them, so seeing his mask on TV will continue to be routine,” stated Aaron, Kraken Brand VP. “Ty is in a roster of pretty incredible artists, and we absolutely plan on continuing our partnership with him.”

Collaborations, like that between the Seattle Kraken and Tulalip’s own Ty Juvinel, are not just about creating beautiful visuals, which they absolutely do, but they are also about celebrating the shared passion that unites fans and artists alike. It’s an amazing fusion that unites love for the game with the power of artistic expression that can capture an entire culture.

Tulalip youth explore the great outdoors

By Wade Sheldon, Tulalip News

As the year progresses and we sprint towards the end of the first month in 2024, exploring new activities becomes a focus, especially in the cold weather. If you enjoy outdoor activities and revel in playing in the snow, snowshoeing might be worth a try.

Crafted with a broad footprint that disperses the user’s weight, snowshoes offer a unique ability to glide atop snow-covered landscapes. Historical records, including those on Wikipedia, trace the invention of snowshoes back 4000 to 6000 years in Central Asia. Their evolutionary peak, particularly before the 20th century, manifested in the hands of North America’s Indigenous peoples. These communities, with distinct styles tailored to varied regional conditions, ingeniously utilized snowshoes not only for practical purposes such as hunting and travel, but also as integral elements in their cultural expressions, including traditional dances.

On January 20, Melissa Gobin, Tulalip Tribes Environmental and Education Outreach Coordinator, along with colleagues from the education department, and a few members of the YMCA Bold and Gold, an outdoor adventure tour group, invited tribal youth for a snowshoeing trip at Gold Creek Pond near Snoqualmie Pass. The hike would be about 2.8 miles roundtrip and relatively easy on the difficulty level. 

During the hike, Melissa expressed her need for the youth to become more involved and learn how they could be the ones to help shape the future. As the youth trekked through the snow-covered landscapes, the journey wasn’t merely a physical exploration but also a venture into potential career paths. With unwavering passion, Melissa Gobin seized this opportunity to share insights on how connecting with nature could translate into meaningful professions within the tribe. Amidst the captivating beauty of the frozen scenery, Melissa underscored the significance of environmental stewardship and the vital role the younger generation plays in the future of the Tulalip community.

“That was my first snowshoeing trip, and it was pretty easy,” said Melissa. “I think getting the kids out and seeing a different area and that much snow while doing something out of the norm and watching them play and roll around in the snow was my favorite part. I like seeing the kids get excited, especially when they don’t want to go, but end up having fun. That makes me happy.

“I wanted the kids to know and appreciate that this is a beautiful surrounding. Protecting these types of areas is important to keep them safe for our future and our seven generations down the line. Getting the kids to appreciate the outdoors is something that my program is trying to establish. We are looking for kids who want to do these things and to be out in nature as stewards of the land. I want to educate the kids, but I want them to want to be there. I am trying to mold kids into becoming biologists, getting into forestry, and learning our treaty rights. That’s why we are doing this program to educate and get the kids involved so that we have a future in natural resources with our people. We have a lot of people that will be retiring, and we will need people to step up and take the mantle.”

“I have never been snowshoeing before,” said Santana Shopbell of the Tulalip Education department. “I was nervous because the snowshoes didn’t look very durable, but man, are they good. I might need to invest in some because I might not be able to snowboard, but I can snowshoe. It was fun being out there with my mate and all the youth. This is my first week back with the education division, and it’s good to collaborate with Melissa and the YMCA. Hopefully, the trip sparked something in one of the kids to want to pursue a job in natural resources.”

“Never been snowshoeing before, it was nice,” said Tulalip tribal member Luciano Flores. “It was fun and nice walking around the trail. My favorite part was walking across the frozen lake. If you were going, be prepared and have all the right gear.”

For information on future trips or the program, contact Melissa Gobin at mgobin@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov.

Treaty Days: Tulalip commemorates the signing of the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliot 

“Our treaties are everything. As Native American people, we need to protect our treaties as much as possible and thank our ancestors for fighting for what we have today. Without everything they suffered for, we wouldn’t have a lot of things that we have today, as far as our fishing and hunting rights. And also, just being Native American in general – to be able to sing our songs, carry our culture, and preserve that for our future generations.”

– Josh Fryberg, Tulalip tribal member

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

On a chilly Friday evening, the descendants of the sduhubš were joined by several families from nearby tribes to commemorate the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott. With temperatures in the low 30s, the people found warmth around large firepits on the inside of the cedar plank longhouse that overlooks Tulalip Bay. Through strong drumming and powerful singing, the tribes conducted cultural and spiritual work at the yearly potlatch, known locally as Treaty Days.

Each winter, the tribes take time to celebrate their culture, honor longstanding traditions, and also thank their ancestors who signed the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott. The treaty guaranteed the continuance of their traditional way of life, pertaining to fishing, hunting, and gathering rights, and it also identified a number of tribes, including Tulalip, as sovereign nations. 

Virginia Carpenter, Tulalip Elder, stated, “The treaty is important to me because it gives us a permanent place to live and because it gives us all of our rights. If we didn’t have the treaty, we really wouldn’t have anything, they would’ve kicked us off of our land. It’s an umbrella for us to live safely and the way we want to live.”

January 22 marked 169 years since the historical signing took place at present day Mukilteo. Close to 5,000 Coast Salish people gathered to witness their leadership negotiate terms of the treaty with Washington Territory Governor Isaac Stevens. The 2024 Treaty Days gathering was held at Tulalip on January 19, 110 years after the first treaty commemoration event was organized by William Shelton in 1914. 

“Treaty Days is a commemoration of the signing of the 1855 Point Elliot that affected the coastal tribes,” shared Tulalip Elder, Inez Bill. “At this time, we remember and acknowledge our ancestors who signed the treaty and reflect on the importance of that treaty – who we are as a people and how to continue our way of life.”

With future generations in mind, the tribal leaders ceded millions of acres of their ancestral land to the US government for white settlement, which currently makes up Washington’s King, Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom counties. In exchange for ceding such large portions of land, each tribe reserved the right to fish at their usual and accustomed grounds and stations, as well as the right to hunt and gather on open and unclaimed lands. In addition, the treaty established home bases for the tribes, which are now known as the Tulalip, Swinomish, Lummi, and Port Madison reservations. 

Tulalip Chairwoman, Teri Gobin, said, “Our people met together, and all agreed to sign the treaty. By ceding that land, from the water to the mountains, they guaranteed us our treaty rights for future generations. I’m so glad that our ancestors thought about that – because they were trying to protect our tribes.”

Because of those rights that the tribal ancestors fought to include in the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott, each Tribe has grown and persevered over the years, with the ability to govern their own affairs while also continuing their traditional way of life. 

Tribal member Brian Green expressed, “The treaty is literally my livelihood. We fight for our rights every day – fight to keep our treaty rights. I want my kid’s kids to come out here and be able to exercise their treaty rights. Not everyone has to be a fisherman, but it should be there if they want to exercise it.”

Ever since the treaties were signed in the late 1800’s, tribal nations across America have worked hard to protect and defend their treaty rights whenever the US government attempted to ignore or defy them, in instances such as the Fishing Wars in the ‘70s. Thanks to the fearless activism of tribal leaders such as Billy Frank Jr., the Fishing Wars conflict ultimately led to the Boldt decision in 1974, where the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed that the fishing rights of the northwest treaty tribes were the supreme law of the land. 

“Treaty rights are an inherent right,” explained Ryan Miller, Tulalip Tribes Director of Treaty Rights and Governmental Affairs. “Treaty rights were not given to tribes. It’s a common misconception that the government gives Native peoples special rights. That’s the exact opposite of how it works. Tribes are sovereign nations; they give up rights and they retain rights. Treaty rights are rights that are not given up by tribes, and they’re upheld by the federal government as part of their trust relationship with the treaty tribes.”

In 1905, 50 years after the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott was signed, an Indian boarding school was established on the Tulalip reservation. Through brutal and cruel practices, the US government began assimilation efforts to ‘kill the Indian, save the man’. During this dark era in American colonial history, Native children were forcibly removed from their families and had to attend the catholic boarding schools. If the kids were caught speaking their ancestral language or practicing their culture, they were often physically punished. Many children did not make it out of the boarding schools alive, and those who did would unintentionally pass that horrific trauma down their bloodlines. 

At this same time, tribal adults and elders were also banned from cultural and spiritual practices. Longhouses across the region were burned down and those found guilty of carrying on their traditions were jailed and viewed as demonic. 

Against all odds, and in the face of adversity, Tulalip tribal member William Shelton took the initiative to ensure that the cultural lifeways of his people would not be lost and would live on well into the future. Through persistent correspondence with the Tulalip Superintendent and the US Secretary of Interior, Shelton convinced the government to allow Tulalip to build a longhouse along their shore in 1912. 

The longhouse, Shelton detailed in his letters with the government, would serve as a place where all of the tribes could celebrate the treaty together on an annual basis. Following its construction, the longhouse became a safe space where the tribes could engage in their culture once year from 1914 until 1967, when the current smokehouse was built to replace Shelton’s historical longhouse. 

“Treaty Days is really important to me because all of us, as sduhubš people, come from that longhouse way of life,” expressed Tribal member, Roselle Fryberg. “That’s the way our ancestors prayed, that was their healing, that’s how they protected their families. And it was also a way for our people to celebrate our treaty at a time when practicing our culture was outlawed, and we were thrown in jail for singing and dancing.”

Students at the boarding schools were able to attend the Treaty Days celebration and under this guise, the tribes were able to preserve their traditions and pass on their teachings to the next generation year after year. And though the Tulalip Boarding School was closed in 1932, the descendants of the signatories of the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott continued to gather at the smokehouse every January to honor the treaty and take part in cultural practices that were once prohibited throughout the country. 

“It’s spiritual healing,” voiced Tulalip tribal member, Celum Hatch. “When I go, it’s because of the strength of everybody’s songs. The strength within those four walls gets me through the next couple of months. When I go in there, I go with a good head. Because I know what I’m going in with, I’m not walking out with. I go for healing. And I go to help everyone else and support them.”

To this day, Treaty Days continues to be a major event that tribal members across the region look forward to every year. And as William Shelton envisioned, the longhouse remains a sacred place where innumerable teachings of the culture and traditions are passed along and kept alive. Many of those songs, dances, spiritual practices, and stories made it through the passage of time and are still practiced more than 100 years after they were originally banned.

Said Tulalip Elder, Ray Fryberg, “We gave up a lot in the treaty to keep our sovereignty – to be able to determine our own future and our own direction in our tribal path. And also, living on the reservation – protecting those rights that were reserved for us, as well as the spiritual and cultural way of life. We have the responsibility to revisit the treaty all the time, so we know we are keeping our younger people abreast and informed as much as possible.” 

New Year’s resolution series: 14 TVTC graduates construct new career aspirations. So can you!

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

New year, new me. A popular phrase used to express the idea of a fresh start. The sentiment behind the phrase suggests a desire for change, self-improvement, and the opportunity to reshape one’s future. A simple, four-word phrase with a larger-than-life meaning that truly encompasses the long-held tradition of New Year’s resolutions.

Each year, as the calendar turns from December to January, many people find themselves inspired to pursue fresh opportunities and set ambitious goals. For those considering a shift in their professional trajectory, New Year’s resolutions can serve as a guiding force by offering a structured roadmap for personal and career growth.

At the heart of the New Year’s resolution process could be the pursuit of clarity in one’s career aspirations. Whether it’s a desire for a career change or the acquisition of new skills, resolutions provide the foundation for a clear and well-defined path forward.  For resolutioners unafraid of getting their hands dirty and learning the true meaning of a hard day’s work, there is an abundance of opportunity within the construction industry. That’s where Tulalip’s own TERO Vocational Training Center (TVTC) comes in, manifesting itself as an actual lifeline to those looking to construct new careers.

“Not everybody wants to be a doctor or lawyer. Not everybody wants a desk job. I’m a lifetime fisherman that started a construction company when it became apparent we could no longer sustain ourselves simply by living off the land,” explained former board of director Glen Gobin. “Some want to be outside working with their hands. That’s what brings people to our training program. It gives them an opportunity to get exposure to all the different trades, learn how to function on a job site and how to get work. Graduates of TVTC enter a section of the workforce that is in high demand.”

Whether it be laborer, carpenter, ironworker, electrician or heavy equipment operator, there are countless positions available for work and advancement within the trades, especially for sought after minorities like Native Americans and women. A major access point for entry into these desirable career paths for tribal citizens and their families continues to be the one-of-a-kind TVTC.

Along the I-5 corridor, from Olympia to Mt. Vernon, construction projects are booming and many on-site jobs continue to go unfilled. While other career pathways may be oversaturated and hard to come by, those within construction trades are thriving. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, open construction positions are expected to increase by more than 700,000 jobs nationally through 2028, a faster growth than any other occupation. In Washington State alone, there are nearly 3,000 unfilled construction jobs that pay much more than the average state wage. 

Brighter horizons and prospects galore were among the reasons family and friends gathered to celebrate the latest TVTC graduation. Fourteen students (including twelve Tulalip citizens) were honored with a banquet for their commitment to building a better future. Among those in attendance were trade union representatives, construction company managers, and a horde of cheerful family members.
“Being a part of the community and actually living in the same neighborhood as a couple of the students, they’ve all made me so proud over the last couple months as I watched them step out of their comfort zones, learn so many practical skills, and become graduates ready to enter a new workforce,” said TVTC’s newest instructor and homegrown Tulalip citizen, Lukas Reyes Sr. He brings nearly three decades of construction experience and all manner of past leadership roles to his latest venture as TVTC instructor. “Something I reiterated to them over and over again was the importance of taking pride in their work and to never sell themselves short, but instead place high expectations for both themselves and their quality of work.

“Being a construction worker, a laborer, a carpenter, these are just labels on the job site. I want our people to know that within the construction trades industry, they can also be artists,” continued Lukas. “From look to design to install and custom work, being a builder means seeing what is not there and creating what needs to be. That takes artistry. I have full confidence that our graduates can become artists in whichever construction field they decide to enter.”

Embarking on a new career often requires personal development. Resolutions that include goals related to gaining new skills and know-how or even completing past goals that went unfilled, like not earning a high school diploma, can all be achieved through TERO’s training center. Twenty-two-year-old Kiara Jones is a shining example of this.

“I [acquired] hands-on skills so that I can fix or build anything around the house, from patching holes in the wall to common plumbing issues in the bathroom or kitchen,” said TVTC graduate Kiara. “Before taking this class, I only had retail experience. Not having my high school diploma really limited me, but with the help of the TERO staff, who were my support system and helped me stay motivated, I earned my diploma.

“If I’m being completely honest, before this class I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t have skills for a fulfilling job, and I didn’t have a diploma. When filling out job applications, one of the first questions was, ‘Do you have a high school diploma?’ and having to check the no box doesn’t feel good,” she confessed. “Now, I feel great knowing that I have my diploma and all these skills that are in high demand. Looking into the future, I’m thinking of becoming an electrician apprentice. Just being able to say that out loud now is a game changer.”

The sixteen-week TVTC program provides 455 hours of hands-on instruction, strength-building exercises, and construction skills that can last a lifetime. In addition, students are trained and earn certifications in flagging, first aid/CPR, industrial forklift and scissor lift, 40-hour HAZWOPER, and OSHA 10-hour safety. 

Six months removed from receiving his Master’s Degree from Washington State University, local podcast personality Dom Joseph added to his skillset by being among the latest TVTC graduating cohort.

“It’s important to me to create as many opportunities as possible here at home to carve out a career or to have the flexibility to change careers if need be,” shared Dom. “The inclusivity of having a good network of people within the trades is super valuable. Plus, my brother has taken this class, and my girlfriend’s brother as well, so being able to add to that tight-knit construction community is cool. My grandpa has been a carpenter his whole life, so being able to speak his language now makes me eager to build some stuff with him.

“Looking back at all the career fields we dabbled in, I’d say there’s a plumbing aspect that stood out to me,” he added. “I’ll be keeping my eyes open to all the possible routes from here, but what I’ll remember most is the good group of people and the awesome experiences we shared. Maybe I’ll be able to come back one day as a plumber and share what plumbing is like to a future class. The instructors here (Lukas, Jared, Lisa and Billy) do such a great job and give it a real family vibe that they welcome back graduates to share their positive experiences in the trades with the students. Those experiences let us know what great things are possible for us out there.”

With hundreds of skilled trade workers retiring every day across the state, the construction industry needs the next-generation workforce to help build an ever-growing Puget Sound community. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, construction employment climbed by 17,000 jobs in December alone, while hourly earnings continue to rise at a faster clip than other industries. These are job opportunities that actually pay a living wage and are available to people straight out of TERO’s training center.

Those interested in being among the next available TVTC cohort or would like more information about the program, please call (360) 716-4760 or email tvtcstaff@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov 

Tulalip TERO is actively recruiting for its winter cohort that begins January 29. Don’t miss out on this life-changing opportunity to pronounce new year, new me with a new career.

Focusing on you: Tulalip’s optometry office prioritizes community well-being

PR photo of Raven reading glasses by Trevor Angus, Gitxsan

By Wade Sheldon, Tulalip News

Vision, a fundamental aspect of our daily lives, is undeniably crucial. And Tulalip Optometry is going beyond the importance of eyesight, to prioritizing patient care. The optometry office recently decided to part ways with its previous partner, opting instead for independence. This strategic move underscores their commitment to fostering community eye health through accessible and affordable optometry services.

“We hope to reopen in February,” said Tulalip Health Clinic Optometrist, Rachel Spillane. “The clinic used to operate on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, but now it will be open Monday through Friday. This change will provide our patients with better access to care, which was one of the primary goals when Tulalip took on running the eye clinic independently.”

Spillane continued, “We will also offer walk-in care. If someone has pink eye or gets a foreign object in their eye, we will be able to treat them. Additionally, we provide specialty medical eye care, reducing the need for external referrals. I see it as an opportunity for us to build a state-of-the-art clinic, one of the best for our tribal members, and that’s pretty cool.

“One noticeable improvement for tribal members visiting the optometry office is the incorporation of the latest technology for eye care. All the equipment will be new, and we will have more technology to provide patients with the care they deserve.

“For glasses, we plan to expand the selection of styles and brands you can choose from. Our supply was limited in the past, so we want to ensure everyone has an option. Some of the brands we will have include Luxottica, Ray-Ban, Gucci, St. Laurent, and native eyewear from artists in Canada. Additionally, we have negotiated with several brands to provide better rates.

“All tribal members will be able to receive services here, regardless of their insurance status. With everything now done in-house, it makes things easier for the patients. Having everything in one spot is particularly helpful for our patients, especially the elders, who used to have to travel all the way to Everett, and the journey was difficult for some.”

The new optometry office will be opening soon. If you have any questions or need to contact the eye clinic, please call them at (360) 716-4511.

Awakening the Language pt. II: Lushootseed Dept introduces new words for three-phrase challenge

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

“This is who we are and where we come from. Lushootseed is part of our culture, and we should be able to embrace it and share it with everyone,” expressed Lushootseed Language Warrior Michelle Myles. “It’s awakening the language. This initiative is keeping it awake, spreading it, and sharing it with everyone.”

Last September, the Tulalip Lushootseed language department embarked on an initiative that challenged the community to incorporate three words into their everyday vernacular: ʔi čəxʷ, t’igʷicid, and huyʔ, which translates to hello, thank you, and goodbye in English. 

For decades, the language department has done amazing work at both recovering the traditional sduhubš language and sharing that knowledge with the tribal community. With established partnerships with the Betty J. Early Learning Academy and the Marysville School District, the language department introduces Lushootseed to their membership at a young age, setting a strong foundation to build upon. As students progress through their academic career, Lushootseed courses are readily available, from pre-k all the way through college, for those who wish to sharpen their traditional linguistics and be a part of the language revitalization movement happening at Tulalip.

In the past, the department has come up with some impressive and innovative ideas to help spread the language community-wide. For example, the department regularly holds classes for the adults of the community and employees of the Tribe. They also host storytelling get-togethers aimed at getting the entire family unit speaking Lushootseed with each other. And on top of all of that, they developed an interactive, informative, and easy to navigate database that is jampacked with Lushootseed knowledge including the visual and audio pronunciations of hundreds of words and phrases.

What was nearly lost to assimilation efforts in the 1900’s is flourishing in 2024 thanks to the dedication and love that each Lushootseed warrior has for their ancestral language. Thanks to their hard work, it is nearly as common to hear a toddler speaking Lushootseed phrases as it is to hear a Tulalip elder speaking the same language. 

That being said, there are still numerous tribal members who are not quite as acquainted with the language as they’d like to be. There are several non-Natives, or other tribal members, throughout the reservation who would like to learn and utilize the language of the sduhubš as a sign of respect to the original inhabitants of this region. 

This initiative is the perfect place to start for newbies to the language. The idea is that by replacing three English words with their Lushootseed counterparts during your everyday conversations, you are more likely to grasp the meaning and pronunciation of the word. You’ll be all the more encouraged to use the phrases throughout your day; and every time you speak the language, you share it and inspire others to participate in the initiative. 

Known both as the Awakening the Language initiative or the three-phrase challenge, the project introduces three words and/or phrases to the community at a time. Throughout the fall and early winter season, the people became familiar with ʔi čəxʷ, t’igʷicid, and huyʔ. Many incorporated the phrases into their e-mails and professional interactions as soon as the initiative was announced. 

To keep the project fresh in everybody’s minds, the language department posted yard signs throughout the reservation, in highly visible areas, that displayed the Lushootseed words for hello, thank you, and goodbye. At the bottom of each yard sign were QR codes that the passengers of moving vehicles or those out for a walk could capture with their phone cameras. The QR code led them to the Tulalip Lushootseed website where they could learn more about the initiative and hear the pronunciation of each word. The signs did exactly what they were intended to – get the people talking. 

After the community spent close to four months with those initial phrases, the Lushootseed department introduced three new words to the people earlier this month. And if it ain’t broke, no need to fix it! The department is taking the same approach that was successful last fall. New signs are already posted all across the village in various neighborhoods and along high-traffic roadways. The new words areare ʔi (yes), xʷiʔ (no), and haʔɬ dadatu (good morning).

Brian Berry, the language department’s video producer/director, was instrumental in this getting this project started. He shared, “These are three things that everyone can say. It actually started here at the Lushootseed department. There are some signs here in the building that say, ‘English words we’re not going to use anymore’. That kind of got my brain spinning that we, as employees and tribal members, should replace these three phrases, using the Lushootseed ones instead of the English ones – just trying to get everyone to speak the language.”

This go-round we get a bonus word as red octagon signs, with the word gʷəƛ̕əlad, have been placed underneath stop signs all around Tulalip as well. Given it’s placement and shape, one could easily surmise they are Lushootseed stop signs, which is incredibly creative and entices people to learn the Lushootseed pronunciation of the word stop as soon as possible. And like the signs from the three-phrase challenge, the gʷəƛ̕əlad sign also has a QR code that people can follow to hear that pronunciation. 

As soon as the signs were posted, we shared an image of a gʷəƛ̕əlad sign to our Tulalip News Facebook which was met with great reception and many praised Tulalip for preserving their language and making it accessible to their people. 

Said Michelle, “This was something fresh we could work on to get the community speaking the language. We were looking for ways to get the language out there to share it, where it’s not in the classroom, not with a teacher, and it’s something you could use with family members and share it in that way.”

For more information about the initiative, the three phrases and how you can help spread the ancestral word, please visit www.TulalipLushootseed.com

13 moons

“The months our Snohomish ancestors knew are vastly different than the ones we know now. Our seasons were moons. These moons were named after the environment or ecosystem and what was able to be harvested during that time. This was the Snohomish people’s way of staying connected to the earth. The earth would provide for them if they took proper care of it. This meant not overharvesting fish or vegetation but leaving enough for the wildlife living beside them as well as future generations.”

 – Sarah Miller, Lushootseed Language Warrior

By Kalvin Valdillez

On a rainy and dark afternoon, close to thirty people gathered in the longhouse of the Hibulb Cultural Center. With the lights dim low, the group of locals took their seats on either side of the room constructed entirely of cedar. At the front and center of the longhouse, sat Lushootseed Warrior Sarah Miller, fittingly positioned in between four cedar carved story poles. Aided by the relaxing sound of rain hitting the rooftop, Sarah’s natural storytelling ability transported each individual to a time well before the colonization of America, a time where the lifeways of the sduhubš revolved around 13 moon cycles.

After we recently welcomed a new year in the Gregorian calendar, many were excited to learn about how Tulalip’s ancestors observed the concept of time pre-contact. Like most Salish tribes and other Indigenous nations, the sduhubš marked the time of year not only based on weather changes but also by their connection to the natural world. 

Through the traditional story, Star Child and Diaper Child, Sarah introduced the crowd to two important figures to the sduhubš people, the sun and moon. In the Tribe’s ancestral language, the two were known as dukʷibəɬ. 

She explains, “Together, the sun and moon became dukʷibəɬ; the Changer, the Transformer, or the Creator. The Changer was responsible for making the world what it is today. dukʷibəɬ changed animals from what they were to what they are. Before the change, animals talked, walked, and worked similar to humans. dukʷibəɬ also changed humans from what they were to what they are now. Before the change, humans had the ability to morph into different animals, usually their spirit power animals. dukʷibəɬ walked this land, from the east to the west and changed everything. Changer was also responsible for giving all the tribes their different languages. Changer was responsible for naming everything. The Changer was our Creator.”

During Sarah’s hour-long lecture she captivated her audience by sharing the traditions of her ancestors, many of which are still celebrated and practiced today, such as the Salmon Ceremony and the harvest of salal berries. 

With the amount of time and research Sarah put into this presentation, we urge you to attend her lecture in full, as well as any of the Lushootseed workshops that are often held at Hibulb Cultural Center throughout the year. For this publication, we are going to share the thirteen months with you, led by excerpts from Sarah’s lecture.

ƛ̕iq̓s – The time when your stomach sticks to your backbone (January)

The January moon, one of our winter moons, was called ƛ̕iq̓s. In Lushootseed, this meant as period of time when your stomach sticks to your backbone. This is because in the wintertime, food is scarce. 

During this cold time, the people relied on whatever food they had gathered and stored in prior months. 

səxʷpupuhigʷəd – The time of the blowing winds (February)

Once the winds picked up through the area, it was səxʷpupuhigʷəd, which means the time of the blowing winds. During this moon, the area would experience a lot of wind. Food was still kind of scarce, but the wind blew the biting cold around. 

Since these winter moons were scarce of food, a lot of people would fast and quest for their spirit powers. Some people would go out into the forest, away from their villages to find their power. They would bathe in icy cold rivers and lakes.

The Snohomish people would participate in ceremonies of the smokehouse faith; drumming, singing, and dancing to bring out their power. A long time ago, it was said that during the winter months, the physical world was closer to the spiritual world, which is why singing, dancing, and drumming took place.

waq̓waq̓us – The time of the singing frogs (March)

Once the frogs started singing en masse, it signified a new moon or month was starting. Smokehouse ceremonies stopped and it was time to go out into the woods and check on what was starting to bloom. By this point, the winds would start to die down and the earth was warming up a bit. 

As springtime continued to arrive, there would be many things for the Snohomish people to do, such as prepare to move from their winter villages to their summer ones.

Back in those days, the longhouses were put up in a way that they could be disassembled and reassembled as needed. The winter locations were near bodies of water, but also close to forests for hunting purposes. The summer locations were located near clam beds or accustomed fishing grounds. In the summer, longhouses were erected that also could house many people, however, a lot of times the Snohomish people utilized smaller mat houses, especially when fishing at the river or near the bay. 

Slihibus −The time of the cranes (April)

During this time, you’d hear the songs of cranes and swans as they started their migration. At this time, the earth is getting warmer, and more foods are coming into season. Game might be a little more available. The Snohomish people would journey to the Holmes Harbor area to fish for smelt and herring. 

Throughout these seasons potlatches would be held. A potlatch could be held for any reason such as a wedding, a funeral, births, or even winning a dispute against a warring tribe was a call for celebration.

pədx̌ʷiw̓aac – The time of the whistling robins (13th Moon)

This month is considered the missing month, or the thirteenth month, because it does not appear in the Lushootseed calendar that we know and use today. In order to fit with the Gregorian calendar, this moon was omitted. 

pədx̌ʷiw̓aac means the time of the whistling robins. After the cranes and swans had migrated, the robins would start in with their singing. 

While Harriette Shelton said this moon was the time of the whistling robins, her father, William Shelton called it sɬukʷaləb, which means, “little moon.” This isn’t too far off from the word commonly used for moon, which is sɬukʷalb. Perhaps Harriette and William were talking about two different moons, but maybe that they were talking about the same moon. Whatever the reason, this is technically not even the thirteenth moon; it’s the fifth of the Snohomish people. There is no information on why this month specifically was chosen to be taken out of the calendar. 

pədč̓aʔəb − The time for digging up roots (May)

During this month we start digging up roots. Camas was a popular root amongst the Snohomish. Camas root has beautiful purple blooms but is more akin to being a small onion, though sweet. At this point, most people might have packed up and started heading towards their summer homes.

Nettles were also harvested and used in soups and for various other medicinal needs. Cattail was harvested as well. Snohomish people mostly used them to make mats with. The natives would split some of the shoots and peel layers of them out to weave with. The cattail mat was said to be comfortable to lay on, especially if you piled several of them up. When I talk about mat houses, this is what they were made of. There was a frame or structure made of planks taken from the bigger longhouses and they were covered with many cattail mats to make a little house.

Horsetail was also harvested during this month, it was a good herb to remedy ulcers, wounds, and even kidney problems. Ferns were also harvested. Bracken fern, licorice fern, maidenhair fern, and sword fern were good medicinal ferns. Bracken could be used as a tonic, licorice helped with colds and sore throats, maidenhair helped the respiratory system and sword fern could be used to treat skin sores.

pədstəgʷad – The time of the salmonberries (June)

The next few months are known as the berry months, because of the different berries that grow during the summer. June is known as pədstəgʷad, or the time of the salmonberries. This month typically lasts from May to late June. By now, the Snohomish people were living at their summer village sites, either in summer longhouses or mat houses. 

This month also began the run of King Salmon, or hikʷ siʔab yubəč. The first king would be caught and celebrated in ceremony. There would be songs and dances to welcome the hikʷ siʔab yubəč and its return to the waters.

During these moons, the days were getting longer. There was more time to gather roots, gather chutes, gather berries, gather shellfish, and troll for fish. In the evening, people joined together in the longhouses to share stories and songs. Sometimes there was a potlatch, a wedding, a funeral, or a birth. Sometimes, there was no special occasion. It was just enjoying the full moon with your village. 

pədgʷədbixʷ − The time of the blackberries (July)

The blackberries would bloom during part of July. Once the stəgʷad stopped bearing fruit, it was time for the blackberry bushes to bear fruit. Blackberries would start blooming in July, but they wouldn’t officially be ready to gather until about August. 

Blackberries were good for flavoring soups but could also be used to dye wool or cedar darker colors. Tea could be made from the leaves of the blackberry vine. Blackberry leaf tea could help with illnesses and was also said to be good for the skin.

In addition to harvesting berries, clams were also harvested. After a morning of harvesting clams, someone would start a fire and the clams would be cooked amongst the hot rocks, right on the beach. 

pədt̕aqa − The time of the salal berries (August)

These delicious purple berries ripen during this moon and not only are they good to eat, but they are also medicinal. These berries are a deep purple color, which is where we get the Lushootseed word for purple: t̕aqahalus.

In addition to being a good source of food, these were also a good medicine for the Snohomish people. They helped with colic and diarrhea but also cuts, burns and respiratory illnesses such as colds and tuberculosis.

Our ancestors had a unique way of storing not only t̕aqa but other berries as well to make them last well beyond their harvesting season. Our ancestors used to eat the berries in soups and with salmon or other meals.

pədkʷəxʷic  − The time of silver salmon’s return (September)

September in Lushootseed is pədkʷəxʷic, or the time of the return of the silver salmon. Now, this doesn’t refer to the entire month of September but rather, just the length of time that the silver salmon run. Our ancestors would get into their canoes and along with their tools, go trolling for fish. Each fisherman knew how much strain their line could take. If they were to catch large fish, they knew how to carefully bring them up to the side of the canoe, where they would then spear the fish with a harpoon and put them in the canoe. The harpoon was usually made of ironwood.

Fish wasn’t the only thing on the menu for our Snohomish ancestors, for they also hunted deer and elk. Many Salish hunters were experts at mimicking the sounds of deer and their fawn. They’d set snares and then make a call like that of a fawn or a doe and wait until a deer ran into the snare.

pədxʷit̕xʷit̕il −The time of falling leaves (October)

During this time, of course, the leaves were being shaken from the trees and falling to the ground. The silver salmon runs had ended, and it would be a while before the next salmon would start to run. During this time, vegetation was dying and a different game was sought out to hunt.

The Snohomish people were very proficient duck hunters. Ducks were a very sacred animal in that their spirit power was one of wealth but also, their feathers were collected for regalia, and they were hunted in between salmon runs. 

pədƛ̕xʷayʔ − The time of the dog salmon (November)

Dog salmon, or chum, would start its run in November. This salmon was highly prized amongst the Snohomish people. The way this type of salmon was harvested was different than how the silver salmon was harvested. Silver salmon were biting fish, which meant they would bite at a bait line. Dog salmon were not biting fish, so another method was used. Long ago, the dog salmon runs used to be quite plentiful. Instead of using a bait line, our ancestors used a harpoon or a long spear. Dog salmon was dried and stored in baskets, similar to the ones that stored berries. The Snohomish people were very good at making sure they had enough dog salmon for the entire family or village so that no one went hungry. 

Other game harvested during this month were bears. At this point in the season, bears were fattening up for hibernation and it wasn’t uncommon for our ancestors to encounter them. 

Bears weren’t typically sought out for food. During the winter, it was said that bear meat didn’t taste very good because of all the salmon they’d been eating. However, in the summer bear meat was preferred because the bears had been eating berries and that sweetened their meat. 

pədšic̓əlwaʔs– The time to sheath the paddles (December)

During this time, the Snohomish people were settled in their winter villages, and they weren’t traveling so the paddles were put away and sheathed until the weather warmed up. Hunting and fishing were still being done, but mostly the Snohomish people relied on their food stores to get them through the colder seasons. 

Typically, the Snohomish people didn’t like being clothed but, in the winter, it was a necessity. They made moccasins, shirts and pants out of buckskin. Some of these items were painted on or beaded. Back then, the beads were either made of shells, pearls, or bones. Men and women alike would wear fur caps made of bearskin to keep their heads warm. Bearskin was also used to make coats or capes.

During the winter, the Snohomish people would paint their faces bright red or a dark red, depending on the material they used. This paint would be put on every morning and taken off every night. The Snohomish liked using this not only because of the vivid color it gave off but because it kept their skin smooth and free from chapping from the cold. 

$1.32 Million raised at Tulalip-hosted Festival of Trees

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

          Extravagantly festive Christmas trees and wreaths adorned the Orca Ballroom at the Tulalip Resort Casino during the 38th annual Festival of Trees. The multi-day holiday fundraiser kicked off November 29 with a free community day and teddy bear celebration. Opportunities to give generously via an online auction accompanied the much anticipated, excitement-filled Holiday Gala and Live Auction held in person on December 1. 

Each year, thousands of community members take part in the Festival of Trees – including volunteers, sponsors, and attendees – to raise funds for Children’s Services at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett. For more than three decades, Providence Children’s Center has been providing comprehensive, family-oriented care and highly specialized therapies; such as physical, occupational, speech and feeding therapy for children with a wide variety of special needs.

    When asked to explain the importance of Tulalip hosting high-impact, community-changing events at our flagship Resort Casino, Marilyn Sheldon said, “Tulalip Tribes has so much to offer our community all times of the year, but Christmas time it becomes magical. Showcasing our Resort Casino in this manner brings to light what Tulalip has: shopping, gaming, restaurants, recreation, and an amazing holiday light display for families to enjoy. It gives Tulalip a different perspective in the eyes of our community. We need that to encourage others to want to visit each and every year. We want to be that traditional Christmas event every year!”

    Beyond hosting the always astounding Festival featuring towering Christmas trees and festive fervor, the Tribe was this year’s presenting sponsor as well. 

    “An event of this scale brings all the movers and shakers of Snohomish County to our house where we can showcase how much we care and want to be a part of the solution; helping youth in their most trying times. But also, being vested in such a worthy organization, like Providence Hospital Medical Center, provides immeasurable goodwill back to Tulalip. We can always use this kind of support for our future endeavors,” added Marilyn, Charitable Contributions Director. 

A highlight of the holiday season, the Festival of Trees provides opportunities for local families and organizations to make a significant contribution to benefit their community neighbors. Not to mention the festive, memory-making opportunities for those seeking a post-Covid experience in a heart-warming atmosphere. Whether it’s a decadent black-tie gala or an afternoon with cookies and Santa, the Festival’s variety of events offer holiday cheer for all.

The tremendously decorated Christmas trees won’t soon be forgotten as their specialized themes like ‘A Night at the Nutcracker’ and ‘All Aboard the Polar Express’ to ‘Candy Land Delight’ and ‘Wintery Dreamscape’ capture the imagination.

During an elegant gala, the dazzling Christmas trees and wreaths were sold to the highest bidders during a frenetic live auction that saw auctioneer Mark Schenfeld’s contagious energy get table after table to lift bidding paddles. Of course, all proceeds raised at Festival of Trees goes directly to Providence to aid, invest in, and expand programs and infrastructure related to Children’s Services. 

The Children’s Services Fund is designed to provide a full spectrum of support for services that benefit children at Providence. Funding supports programs and services such as Pediatrics, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Children’s Center, Boyden Family Autism Center, and Camp Prov, a summer camp for children with special needs. Several of the trees lining the Orca Ballroom were reserved to be put on display throughout the Children’s Center as a special treat for hospitalized kids this holiday season.

Because of the great generosity of various donors, table sponsors, and an astounding 525 gala guests, this year’s Festival of Trees raised a whopping $1.32 Million. This enormous amount of financial support allows Providence to continue growing and expanding specialized therapies, equipment, and educational classes that make miracles happen for children and families every day.

Worth mentioning, during the live auction there were two trees bid on and won with the intention of keeping them right here on the reservation. Both trees have been installed and are on display for the local community to enjoy through the holiday season; one is at the Senior Center, while the other is at the Health Clinic.

For over two decades now, the Tulalip Tribes has been an important partner to Providence in the Northwest Washington Region by helping provide critical funding and support needed to care for the health of our growing community. Contributions made by Tulalip to Providence General Foundation since 2002 have totaled over one million dollars. For their dedication to the Festival of Trees, the Tulalip Tribes were honored with the Spirit of Festival Award during 2018’s Festival.

“The lives of thousands of children, including Tulalip tribal children, will be helped thanks to the generosity received from the Festival of Trees fundraising efforts,” said Board of Director Mel Sheldon, an eighteen-year member of the Providence General Foundation. “We are very fortunate to have a relationship with Providence Medical Center and to support such an amazing opportunity that really looks at the bigger picture. We all want to do our part to create a sustainable and healthy community.”

One of Snohomish County’s largest and most well-attended holiday events, the Festival of Trees has been a beloved community tradition for 38 years. The annual outpouring of community spirit, combined with such a magical setting, delivered a wonderful event that united so many during the holiday season.