Women Warriors

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

Tulalip women are strong, assertive, confident, knowledgeable, caring, resilient, proud, hilarious, and inspiring. They played a key role in shaping Tulalip into the thriving community that it is today by keeping the culture alive and growing both the governmental and gaming entities of the Tribe. Their contributions locally and nationally have assisted innumerable families and people throughout the years. And their kind and understanding hearts have helped many individuals overcome adversity and find their purpose in their respective tribal communities. 

There are countless examples of current women leaders at Tulalip. Whether it’s Teri Gobin, Misty Napeahi, Debra Posey, or Pat Contraro on the Tribes Board of Directors, Jessica Bustad at the Education Division, Sheryl Fryberg at the Betty J. Taylor Early Learning Academy, Michele Balagot at the Lushootseed Language department, Jade Carela at the Legacy of Healing and Child Advocacy Center, Mytyl Hernandez at the Hibulb Cultural Center, Niki Cleary at Media & Marketing, Candy Hill at Funeral Services, Natasha Fryberg at beda?chelh, Marci Fryberg at TGO, or Tammy Taylor at Bingo, the women of Tulalip are at the helm and are steering the future of Tulalip to a brighter tomorrow. 

And that’s not to mention the countless women leaders who came before them, or the women who work within all the different departments of the Tribe, or the women who are active in the community – all of whom are making a huge impact in a good way for the well-being of Tulalip. What is even more astounding is the fact that with all the leaders listed above, there are even more women who aren’t mentioned that are doing important work for their people and community. And it goes without saying, because it is the Tulalip way, that each of these women are passing down their teachings and knowledge to the younger generations of Tulalip women, so they too can be strong leaders in the years to come. 

When holidays such as Mother’s Day, International Women’s Day, and Women’s History Month are celebrated, it’s much more special to Indigenous communities who rely on the wisdom, love, and perspective of their matriarchs with every day that passes. And it is also the reason why the pain is much more severe when these amazing women make their journey to the afterlife or when they are pronounced missing from their homelands and communities. 

The work that Tulalip women are putting in hasn’t gone unnoticed. In fact, it is inspiring young ladies throughout the reservation. On the morning of March 10, the students of Quil Ceda Elementary (QCT) held a gathering to pay homage to the ‘Women Warriors’ of Tulalip. The powerful and moving ceremony was organized by QCT’s own Ms. Palacio, and she received a helping hand from a number of students dressed in colorful ribbon skirts, who are officially known at QCT as the Salish Sisters. Heartfelt words were spoken, and tears were shed during the morning assembly as the students and faculty of the school thanked all of Tulalip’s Women Warriors for setting a positive example for the future leaders of the Tribe. 

To open the special tribute, a number of Tulalip students offered a few of the Tribe’s traditional songs, including the Women Warrior song. Guests of honor at the celebration included Deborah Parker and the women of the Aunties in Action collective for their outstanding work in uplifting the community of Tulalip, especially for the young Native women who are sure to follow their footsteps in leadership in the not-so-distant future.

Deborah Parker and the Aunties in Action shared important messages with the students.

Deborah Parker, (Indigenous Activist and Chief Executive Officer of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition)

“I thank the creator that I’m here with you, my children, and my community. With every breath that I have, I want to make sure that you know that you are loved. I want you to know that there are teachers surrounding you and parents who want to make sure you have a good education. But most of all that you feel loved, that you know how special you are, and that you know how much we care for each and every one of you. Thank you to our lady warriors who sang the Women Warrior song – that song is so special and important to us. This is the best advice I was given and I’m going to share it with you today, and that is to follow your spirit. Follow what you believe in your heart. And most importantly, treat each other with love and respect.”

Natosha Gobin (Aunties in Action)

“We want you guys to know that all of the work we do in the community, we do it because we want our community to be a better place. We want our families to be healthy, we want our children to be happy and healthy. Everything we do, we do it with each one of you in mind. We’re thinking about your families, thinking about some of the things you might need. And I just want you to know that we love you all.”

Zenitha Jimicum (Aunties in Action)

“Our Aunties in Action organization started because my cousin Tosha sent out a text during the pandemic that there was food to be donated and food to be distributed. Many of the adults remember that we had people who were laid off and were losing their jobs at this time, and parents were struggling on a daily basis. She gathered us together for our community. And that’s what I want to encourage you to do. As children you can still be leaders, you don’t have to wait to be adults. You can gather together and set goals today. I want to encourage you to build your leadership skills when you’re young and get more people to help, so we can continue to serve our people and so our community can stay strong.”

Monie Ordonia (Aunties in Action) 

“We started from a place where we wanted to be of service to our people. We wanted to help our people feel better. When we distributed the food during the pandemic, I made sure I shared a smile and greeted everyone with love and respect. You can make others feel good any time by helping someone else. When we do that, we can help those people who are feeling sad or depressed, and we can create a space for them to know that they’re supported.”

Malory Simpson (Aunties in Action) 

“I wanted to do my part to help bring our community together. A few years ago, we started the organization Together We’re Better because if we work together, we can do so many good things. When Aunties in Action was formed, it was so much fun. Through this work, we get to join together, spend time together. When we’re sad, we can reach out and talk to each other. It’s important to build those bonds with each other. Together, we can help build a better community. And for you kids, we love to see you come and join us in our activities. April 2nd we’re going to be doing an Easter Bunny run on the reservation, we’re going to be walking around the reservation with the Easter Bunny – we might have easter eggs, we might have candy. Today, I saw a little girl in her cedar belt – just beautiful. All you girls singing that song with us is just beautiful. Your culture is always going to be here for you, and we’re always going to be here to support you, and guide you, and teach you.”

Before they presented gifts to the guests of honor and headed back to their classrooms, the QCT students dedicated this special poem to all the Indigenous Women throughout history – past, present, and future :

Women Warriors

They are aunties, mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives. But above all, these women are warriors. We honor our ancestors with leadership in women that have made it crucial to the importance of our roles in our  communities today. All across time, since we can remember, women have always reminded us of the importance of working together and caring for our children, as if they were their own. We care for the whole child today because it takes a village to take care of a child. We celebrate the women warriors who taught us this. Indigenous women who are now leaders of tomorrow. Through resiliency work they have changed the narrative and are impactful leaders.

RaeQuan leads Montana State to Big Sky championship, named tournament MVP

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News; Photos courtesy Montana State Athletics

Flashback to the 2021-2022 basketball season. In his first year at Montana State University, after transferring from the University of Washington, Tulalip’s own RaeQuan Battle played the role of 6th Man. He was the first bench player into the game most nights. As a transfer, he was required to be patient while adjusting to his new role in a new system, implemented by his new coach on new team.

Biding his time watching and learning, RaeQuan continued to develop his overall game. Yet, at all times, he stayed ready with that thang on him. That thang being his ability to fire away from deep. Something that the entire collegiate sports landscape witnessed on March 5, 2022 when he hit a game-winning 3-pointer from deep that made Logo Lillard proud. His first game-winning bucket as a Montana State Bobcat ended up as ESPN’s top play of the day. 

That singular play reminded all doubters, critics, and casuals of the singular talent RaeQuan possesses. It also propelled him to even higher standards befitting a number one option in his second year at MSU.

It’s almost an understatement to say the 6’5”, 190-pound shooting guard thrived during the 2022-2023 regular season. His game soared to new levels as he led his Bobcats squad in total minutes played, field goals made, and 3-pointers made. Playing a team high 29.6 minutes per game as a starter, Rae showcased his silky-smooth jumper while scoring a team high 17.4 points per game. By the numbers, his defense improved as well, while ranking third on his team in both steals per game and blocks per game.

Montana State finished the regular season with an impressive 14-2 clip over there final sixteen games. Included in that run was RaeQuan scoring a college career high 32 points on January 18 against Sacramento State. The Bobcats finished the regular season with a (22-9) record, good for the #2 seed in the Big Sky tournament. 

In their opening game of the Big Sky tourney, Montana State secured an 84-73 win versus Northern Colorado. Then two days later, on March 7 versus Weber State, RaeQuan again made ESPN’s highlight reel with a dazzling display of athleticism and play call execution.

In double-overtime and only 13.4 seconds remaining, Montana State’s coach Danny Sprinkle drew up a play designed to get RaeQuan open along the baseline. The play worked to perfection as Weber State did indeed leave RaeQuan open, so open that he was able to slam home an emphatic dunk in front of a raucous fan base. Another W for MSU. Another game-winner for RaeQuan.

“I have about 7,000 text messages congratulating me on a great play call,” shared Coach Sprinkle after the thrilling double-overtime game that ended with a game-winning alley-oop from Darius Brown to RaeQuan. “But it wasn’t me. It was Rae. He called it.”

The Big Sky championship game pitted Montana State vs. Northern Arizona on March 8 and was televised on ESPN2 for the convenience of Tulalip households who tuned in to cheer on their beloved RezQuan. The Tulalip hooper who learned his love of the game at the local Boys & Girls Club put on an offensive showcase for the current crop of young Tulalips who dream of playing college basketball. He led all scorers with 25 points and, more importantly, led his Bobcats to an 85-78 win. 

For the second consecutive season, Montana State men’s basketball claimed the title of Big Sky conference champions. Their lead scoring guard, who went from 6th man last season to offensive focal point this season, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. 

During the post-game press conference, RaeQuan was asked what’s the best part of winning Big Sky MVP? Without hesitation he responded, “That I won it with my team. I didn’t achieve this by myself. It took the entire team to get us [in this position] and I’m just happy I was able to win a championship ring with my best friend Jubrile and one of my favorite coaches all time, Coach Sprinkle.”

Just days ago, Montana State with their (25-9) record and Big Sky championship, was designated the #14 seed in the East Region during the NCAA Tournament selection show. The Bobcats will face #3 seed Kansas State (23-9) on Friday at 6:40pm.in the opening round held in Greensboro, North Carolina. As part of March Madness, the game will be nationally televised on CBS. 

Next generation gaming computers open new world of opportunity

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Since the arrival of high-speed internet and smart phones with more computing power than 1970’s NASA super computers, there has been a growing tech divide among communities who have access to these digital goodies and those who don’t. This divide is most obvious among our youth. There are those who have access to the latest, greatest technology at their fingertips and those who don’t. This divide significantly impacts future learning opportunities and earning potential.

Fortunately, the reservation-centered Boys & Girls Club is staffed by homegrown tribal citizens who are working diligently to close this tech divide for the hundreds of Club kids who attend weekly. Since the Club expansion in 2019, which included a 4000-square-foot multimedia teen center, the evolution of technology accessible to members has grown tremendously. There are six Xbox gaming stations complete with 4k TVs, a dedicated high-speed internet server, and a sound system that rivals most music studios.

Now, the Club is excited to announce the arrival of its latest teen center tech: Legion tower 7i gaming desktops. These next generation gaming computers come preloaded with powerful processors, GeForce RTX graphics cards and future-proof, expansion-ready motherboards. With an approximate retail value of $3,000 per tower, each of the Club’s eight computer stations is designed to deliver the ultimate performance for teenage gamers and digital creators.

“The big picture goal for my staff and I is to provide our Club kids with opportunities they may not have access to at home on a daily basis, like high-speed internet and other upgraded technology they need to tap into digital communities,” explained Club director Shawn Sanchey. “Today, there are so many opportunities for youth to better their future through these technologies. There are college scholarships for e-gaming, professional sports based on digital mediums, and even podcasters and social media influencers making a real good living through sponsorships, endorsements and reviews of new technologies.” 

Since the infusion of digital tech and competitive gaming, the world of e-sports has exploded in popularity. While traditional sports like football and basketball have long been the mainstay of Tulalip athletics, e-sports are quickly emerging as a viable alternative for young people looking for an engaging and competitive activity.

As video games have become more sophisticated and accessible, they have gained a massive following. With the development of online multiplayer games, players from all over the world can compete against each other in real-time, creating a sense of community and competition that has never been seen before.

“It was so important for me to be able to help design the computer stations for the kids because there’s so much interest in e-gaming. So much of today’s world is technology and for us to offer these state of the art towers is huge. I wish these were available when I was a Club kid, that’s for sure,” said teen director Anthony McLean. “There are full-ride scholarships and a ton of careers offered now just for playing video games. At the end of the day, its our responsibility to build up the passions and interests of our kids, and for a lot of them today that’s e-sports.” 

For many young people, e-sports offer a unique opportunity to pursue their passion for gaming while also participating in a competitive and team-based activity. Rather than simply playing games for fun, they can use their skills and knowledge to compete against other players and strive for victory. This can be an incredibly rewarding experience, as it allows them to develop a sense of mastery and achievement that is difficult to find in other activities.

One of the key factors driving the rise of e-sports among youth is the availability of online resources and communities. There are a plethora of online forums, guides, and videos that offer guidance and advice for aspiring players. Additionally, there are many organizations and communities dedicated to promoting e-sports, which offer opportunities for young people to compete in tournaments, join teams, and connect with other players.

“We’ve been hosting a lot of tournaments and the kids have responded really well to them. I’ve seen the tournaments be a social outlet for some of them, like you’ll see the quiet kids get real engaged and talkative with other kids once they are playing. It’s pretty cool to see the joy and smiles they have because whether they know it or not, this is what community building is all about,” said teen director assistant Magdaleno Vela.

The rise of e-sports can simply be attributed to the changing nature of youth culture as young people have become increasingly connected and engaged with technology. Just as previous generations did and future generations ones will, youth gravitate towards activities that reflect their interests and values. E-sports offer a sense of community and camaraderie that is difficult to find in other activities. In this spirit, Tulalip’s Boys & Girls Club’s next gen computer stations are continuing the long-held tradition of allowing our young people to express themselves and develop their identities in their own unique way.


Club staff bios

Full name and age: Anthony McLean, I am 26 years of age.

Job title and years of service: Teen Director. Going on 2nd year of service. 

Describe your cultural background or heritage: I am a Tulalip tribal member.

What interested you in working at the club? Creating opportunities for all youth, and giving back to my community. It’s important for me to be a positive role model to all the youth.

What is your favorite program currently offered to the kids? My favorite program is either teen night, or the power hour we offer kids. When they first get here they get an hour to catch up on homework or read a book whatever they would like to do.

What program would you like to see made available to the kids and community? The creation of an E-sports team. Here at the Club we have everything they need to be successful within the gaming world. I think starting an E-sports team would benefit every youth that walks through the doors.

Full name and age: My name is Magdaleno Vela. I am 20 years old.

Job title and years of service: I am a Teen Director Assistant and have been working here at the Boys & Girls Club for three and a half years.

Describe your cultural background or heritage: I am Mexican/Native American.

What interested you in working at the club? I came to the club as a kid and wanted to give back to the community.

What is your favorite program currently offered to the kids? My favorite program right now is our teen program. We have a lot of good things going on. We just got brand new PC’s and Xbox’s and we’re having teen nights every other weekend for the teens.

What program would you like to see made available to the kids and community? I would like to see a boxing program. It would be really good for some kids because it could help them learn self-defense and can be an opportunity to go professional one day.

Tulalip prepares for a cultural summer

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

Nothing quite says summertime for Pacific Northwest tribes more than cedar dugout canoes on the Salish Sea and the return of the king salmon. For as far back as many can recall, the sduhubš people have engaged in cultural activities to celebrate their way of life, immersing into the natural world during the season of sunshine and adventure. 

Notably, a time for harvesting traditional foods, plants, and medicine such as huckleberries, cedar, salmon, and shellfish, summer is filled with an abundance of teachings that are important to the tribal nation of Tulalip. The act of exercising their inherent treaty rights and gathering these items is a significant aspect of their culture. And it is frequently celebrated on the reservation during the summer at a number of events including the yearly clambake known as Spee-Bi-Dah and of course, the Salmon Ceremony.

Revived nearly 50 years ago, Salmon Ceremony pays homage to the king salmon for providing nourishment for the tribal community. The ceremony also provides an opportunity for the Tribe to bless the local fisherman who are ready to begin a new season out on the water. During this cultural experience, the people don their beautiful regalia of shawls, vests, ribbon skirts, cedar headbands, and beaded jewelry, and they share traditional songs and stories all in tribute to the king salmon. 

Canoe Journey is another major cultural event that takes place in the late summer months, and it is a beloved gathering celebrated by numerous coastal tribes and first nation bands. For over three decades, tribal families have navigated the local waterways, traveling to handful of reservations before reaching the hosting tribe’s village. The final destination changes annually, as the tribes take turns hosting the event. This year’s paddle ends at Muckleshoot, where a weeklong protocol will ensue, and each tribe and band will offer their traditional family songs and dances to commemorate another successful Canoe Journey.

Equally as important as the teachings that take place at these summertime events is the preparation for those gatherings. In anticipation of this year’s Salmon Ceremony and the 2023 Canoe Journey, Tulalip tribal members of all ages joined together for the Tribe’s first Cultural Night of the year on the evening of March 7. Numerous families attended Cultural Night where they received a shawl kit and bundles of cedar to craft their own regalia. 

During Cultural Night, Tribal member, Melissa Gobin was on hand to assist the people with their projects. She stated, “We’re trying to get more people involved in Salmon Ceremony and Canoe Journey and ensure that they have regalia to dance. We’re also trying to get more elders to volunteer to talk to the little ones, and help the people understand the importance of why we come together in this way as a community. It really makes me happy to see everybody working on their projects. And, you know when you make your own regalia, it makes you that much more proud when you’re wearing it.”

She continued, “Tonight, we’re doing shawls, headbands, and cedar belts. So, we’re trying to incorporate as much of our traditional teachings as we can for the regalia. We’re also going to be doing some ribbon skirts in the future, and vests for the men.”

Occupying all three classrooms of the Hibulb Cultural Center, there were close to seventy-five people in attendance. In fact, there were so many participants at the gathering that the Tribe is considering bigger venues to host the remaining eighteen Cultural Nights this year. It was beautiful to see Tulalip’s ancestral teachings passed down to the younger generations in real-time. Many families attended the event together and were happy to share time and conversation while working on their traditional attire. 

“I have a daughter who was born in 2020, so I really want her to be able to access community in a way we haven’t since she was born,” shared Shayleigh Tucker. “I am making my shawl and we’re waiting for the baby sized shawls, so we can make one for my daughter as well. My sister is working on her shawl, and she’s going to grab some cedar and start cedar belts.”

Everywhere you looked, it was bright smiles and plenty of laughter as the community caught up with each other during the two-hour event. Tulalip pride was on full display as many of the participants shared their excitement to wear their handmade regalia at both the Salmon Ceremony and also along the Canoe Journey’s Paddle to Muckleshoot. Newcomers quickly picked up on the techniques of weaving and sewing, and are already eager to learn more and take on new projects. 

Said Melissa, “Seeing my nieces, my friends and new faces, and seeing a dad who brought his daughter out to make a shawl, makes me so happy. I think that in this new generation, some of them don’t even know what a shawl is, and so we’re bringing the teachings to them. And we’re telling them that we are going to teach you these things so that you know what to do when we’re having our ceremonies and what it means to be Tulalip.”

Cultural Nights are planned for every Tuesday, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., leading up to the Canoe Journey this July. The Cultural Night gatherings are also exclusive to Tulalip tribal members. And make sure to keep an eye out for a location change as more people confirmed on Facebook that they will be attending Cultural Nights in the upcoming weeks.

While working on a cedar belt, which she plans to gift upon completion, Tulalip Youth Council Vice-Chair, Faith Valencia, expressed, “It’s important to keep the culture alive so we can pass it on to future generations to keep it going,” 

For additional information about Cultural Nights, please contact Malory Simpson at (360) 716-4399.

Pallet shelter offers ‘a new beginning’ for Tulalip homeless

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Back in 2018, Tulalip leadership issued a declaration of emergency regarding the opioid epidemic. Under this declaration all tribal agencies and departments were able to make the opioid epidemic a priority and, when given opportunity, collaborate to develop solutions.

It took ample time and much well thought-out, strategic planning to get here, and now Tulalip has debuted several all new services including the Village of Hope, transitional units, the Recovery Resource Center, and a medical assisted treatment clinic. On Monday, February 6, in an excitement-filled grand opening of a much-needed service for Tulalip’s growing homeless population, the Tribe formally opened a pallet shelter. 

“This means the difference between life and death for some of our people,” said Chairwoman Teri Gobin. “Bringing twenty new units here to take care of our people, and also offer additional services from so many amazing staff who are dedicated to healing our community. We have debuted so many resources within the last year to help our people who suffer from addiction and homelessness. We hope these pallet shelters offer a new beginning step for those who need it most as we continue to work towards supporting each and every one of our members in their pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.”

There’s a strong correlation between homelessness and drug use. In fact, it’s estimated that about two-thirds of the perpetual homeless have a primary substance use disorder or other chronic health condition, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. 

While average rent costs in the greater Tulalip/Marsyville area continue to rise, plus the simple fact that homes on the reservation are extremely difficult to come by, it becomes a pressing social issue to offer some kind of housing solution, however temporary, in order to minimize the risk of tribal members giving into drugs as a means to escape a seemingly perilous homeless situation. 

Since Tulalip’s 2018 declaration, the opioid crisis has only gotten worse. The number of fentanyl-based overdoses and deaths in our community continues to go up, making it imperative that Tulalip makes strides to help our people find their good way.

“It’s imperative we find culturally-relevant solutions and quickly because we’re losing so many of our people, especially our young ones, to fentanyl,” said Chairwoman Gobin. “It’s heartbreaking to think of how many homeless we have sleeping outside in freezing conditions. This pallet shelter provides an alternative solution to be warm, indoors with electricity and, even more than that, a sense of community knowing we haven’t given up on our people.

“For those that are homeless and suffering from addiction, the pallet shelter will also offer services like entry into a detox program and admission to the MAT clinic in order to get them on the road to recovery.”

The pallet shelter is the result of a newly development partnership with local, Everett-based company Pallet. Their steadfast team built all the individual units on-site in Tulalip in just two days, with their deployment just so happening to occur during the latest snow storm. 

Pallet shelters provide the dignity of private space in a healing community environment. They are a proven community solution, built fast and at scale.

“This is a special moment for us as it marks our 100th village build,” shared Amy King, CEA and founder of Pallet. “My husband and I started this company seven years ago in a local shop as a way to provide jobs for people exiting homelessness, addiction recovery programs, and the state’s justice program. Today, we are in 76 cities and 21 states across the country. This build is especially meaningful because its so powerful, helpful and exciting to be part of building [potential lifelines] in our local community.

“This location holds special meaning for some Pallet employees who previously experienced homelessness in the area and are now finding purpose in building transitional housing to help others in the community,” she added.

As stated previously, the pallet community is made-up of twenty 64-square-foot shelters. Each designed and built with the right balance of efficiency and comfort, including climate-control options. 

 Over the years, Tulalip News has covered extensively the rise of tiny homes and openings of tiny home villages as an impactful means of minimizing homelessness. With special shutout to the on-reservation TERO Vocational Training Center that has churned out wood-based tiny homes for villages in Olympia, Seattle and Tulalip. That being said, these units created by Pallet are next level. 

Durable – Pallet shelters are made to last with a 10+ material year lifespan. They’re resistant to mold, rot, and pests, and can be easily cleaned as one resident moves out and another moves in.

Comfortable – Insulated walls, heat, and air conditioning provide personal climate control, and electricity powers the interior lights and outlets for personal device charging. Spacious with 9-foot vaulted ceilings.

Rapid – Made of prefabricated panels that are flat-packed for shipping at scale, each cabin can be assembled in under an hour with minimal tools. Shelters can be disassembled for flat storage or reuse.

Cost-effective – Pallet offers a cost-effective price point because they use fiberglass reinforced plastic with a foam insulating core for the panels and shelves. Plus, they use aluminum framing.

Safe – Each shelter comes with a smoke detector, carbon monoxide monitor, egress door, and fire extinguisher. Shelter villages are independently inspected by local fire inspectors to ensure adherence to local fire safety code requirements.

The pallet shelter’s grand opening marks Tulalip’s latest endeavor as part of a multi-department, tribally coordinated opioid crisis response. This response aims to address service gaps including the need for increased community outreach, education and engagement in order to expand present prevention and intervention efforts. 

 “This is a real special day for us in Tulalip,” affirmed CAO Rochelle Lubbers. “I especially want to thank our Board of Directors for guiding us in this direction and creating that vision for us that no Tulalip tribal member will ever be left behind. Every single tribal member matters and we will be here to support our people no matter where they are on their journey. Today, the pallet shelter is an important step towards making that vision a reality because it provides low-barrier access to critical services, which is a huge stepping stone to long-term recovery.

“Our goal is to truly help and provide necessary assistance to those folks in the Tulalip Tribes who are homeless and experiencing addiction,” continued Rochelle. “These pallets represent not just long-term recovery to residents, but to our whole community. The people who will be residing here are our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers. We believe that the pallet shelter offers us a chance to heal people, and for every person healed we heal an entire family.”

The easiest way to gain access to a pallet shelter unit located off the intersection of Marine Drive and 19th Avenue is to stop by its main office, the green house out front, during business days and ask for an application. Another way is to stop by the new Recovery Resource Center and speak to staff who also oversee the pallets that can provide more information. 

Quil Ceda Creek Counseling opens its doors

By Shaelyn Smead

On February 3rd, Quil Ceda Creek Counseling (QCCC) held its ribbon-cutting ceremony, welcoming everyone to tour the facility and view all the resources available to patients seeking recovery from opioid addiction. 

At the opening, Tulalip Vice Chair Misty Napeahi said, “This project has taken about five years to complete. I want to thank former board members Les Parks and Jared Parks for bringing this to the table when the tribe was against methadone. With greater understanding and more learning about harm reduction, we are here today and get to save lives… Many of our tribal members and young people are falling into addiction, and because of this [QCCC], they have a way to get their life back. Our family, community and tribal members are suffering, and their lives matter.”

Tulalip tribal member and QCCC Clinic Administrator Tanya Burns said, “This will be a drop in the bucket, but it is also necessary for this community and others. It takes a village, and we are blessed to have such wonderful staff members who are passionate and committed to helping save lives.”

The QCCC is set to serve 150 patients at any given moment and provides various services, including substance use disorder (SUD) consultations, SUD assessments, individual SUD appointments, individual treatment planning, SUD outpatient groups, medical and mental health assessments, and referrals to other community resources. The program’s three phases are induction, stabilization, and maintenance, a system designed to mitigate a patient’s chemical dependency and help them regain control of their life. While using these resources, patients must maintain confidentiality, follow their treatment plan’s urinalysis and breathalyzer guidelines, and obey the treatment team contract. 

The purpose of group treatment and mental health assessments is to help pinpoint any possible traumas that may have influenced their life and snowballed into their addiction. Group treatment also provides information to patients new in recovery, allowing them to build a community within the program and facilitate personal growth. 

In a media release Tanya stated “A lot of the folks that will come in here will have co-occurring disorders. They may have a substance use disorder which can be fairly obvious on the outside. However, they may also have a mental health disorder or something else. We want to treat the whole person.”

QCCC did receive their DEA approval and will also provide medication for SUD, such as methadone, Suboxone, and Vivitrol starting February 27th, 2023. However, clinic staff advises that any prospective patients begin their intake sooner rather than later to avoid pushing out their treatment plan. SUD professional Elissa Jules stated that intake can take around three weeks to process and approve a patient. She added that patients can still use the other program resources and courtesy dose while they wait for their medications through QCCC.

While receiving services or dosing, patients can leave their children in the playroom area, where they will be taken care of until the patient is finished. The facility does contain robust security and procedures ensuring the safety of its clients, children, and staff.

Even though addiction treatments like methadone, Suboxone, and Vivitrol have remained quite a controversial topic amongst many, staff on the ground argue that this is the most effective path for recovering patients. Elissa said, “When I first started, I wasn’t big on [patients using] methadone either. I know there is a stigma towards it, and people believe that methadone is replacing heroin or fentanyl, but that couldn’t be more false. Methadone doesn’t get you high, it blocks patients from the euphoric effects of opioid use. It is a harm reduction program, and we administer these medications and techniques to debilitate opioid use. I’ve seen it be successful for many people.”

The opioid epidemic has affected many communities and families across America. In our area alone, according to Snohomish County, in 2022, over 345 Snohomish County residents overdosed. And drug-related overdoses remain the leading cause of death within Tulalip Tribes. With many health professionals and community leaders working together to fight this epidemic, medications like methadone and Suboxone have made strides in these efforts. 

Elissa previously worked at Lummi and the didgwalic Wellness Center of Swinomish before coming to Tulalip. She has seen the effects of opioid addiction within Native communities firsthand. “I’ve seen opioid addiction spread heavily across tribes. Overdoses have increased tremendously in the last ten years of working in this field. We’re losing a lot of our Native people, and every time someone is an addict, they lose their connection to their culture, whether in the church or the longhouse. The more addicts and deaths we have in our community, the harder it is the hold on to our culture. Sometimes I see patients as young as 12 years old using methamphetamines or have tried opioids, and it’s scary.” 

The QCCC is an excellent resource for addicts ready to take that next step. It is open to tribal and non-tribal members, and referrals are not required. Operating hours for the facility will be M-F 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Saturday 6:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m., and closed on Sundays. It solely serves on a first-come-first-serve basis to avoid long waiting periods and adhere to the needs of patients more quickly. However, tribal members and pregnant women do take priority. For more information about the services, please call 360-716-2200 or drop in at 6330 31st Ave NE, Suite 101, Tulalip, WA 98271. 

A crucial levy for Marysville and Tulalip youth

By Shaelyn Smead, Tulalip News

Registered Marysville and Tulalip residences should’ve already received their voting ballots concerning the reinstatement of the Marysville School District (MSD) Levy. The levy is not a new tax; it is a reinstatement of a levy that supports student learning, achievement, health and safety, sports, and school activities. Votes must be submitted on or before Election day on February 14th. If the levy does not pass, it will hurt MSD and the Tulalip youth attending. 

MSD Executive Director of Finance David Cram said, “This levy is critical to the school district’s operations in support of its students’ learning, physical, and social-emotional health and development. Without this levy…reductions in staff and other programs district-wide will be necessary.” The levy directly affects students from preschool through high school and eliminates resources that Tulalip youth use daily. 

If the levy does not pass, what does it directly impact?

  • Sports like football, basketball, cheerleading, soccer, tennis, swimming, and others risk getting shut down
  • The Marysville Pilchuck High School pool, which has been open for over 50 years by levy dollars, risks closing its doors
  • Transportation like school buses and drivers will be cut. Therefore making students wait outside longer to be picked up or required to be driven to school
  • School nurses and counseling services risk losing their jobs, and students will be left without those resources
  • Teaching staff will be cut. Therefore class sizes will grow, and students will receive less one-on-one time making it harder to learn
  • Students will be forced to re-use older technology 
  • Creative outlets and college application resources like clubs and other extra-curricular groups will be eliminated 
  • Early learning for kids ages three to four will be cut. Studies show that students without early learning opportunities are more likely to skip class, be suspended from school, and be less academically prepared when they’re older

Why is the district struggling for funds?

Because the levy failed in 2022, this upcoming levy reinstatement has become more crucial for MSD than ever. 

Out of the revenue MSD receives, state revenue makes up 68%, federal 14%, property tax (from levies) 14%, misc. other 3%, and local non-tax 1%.

According to MSD, the state funding they receive only provides 1 out of 7 safety and security staff, 27 out of 54 counselor and emotional support staff, 5 out of 21 social services staff, and 54 out of 69 grounds and maintenance staff. 

Because Tulalip tribal youth are a big part of MSD, the district does receive 2.2 million annually from Tulalip tribal government. This funding serves three schools: Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary, Totem Middle School, and Heritage High School. However, that still only equates to part of the misc. other (3%) of the funding that MSD obtains. 

What does the levy cost you?

This is not a new tax. This levy is a proposed reinstatement and is 68 cents less than the expiring EP & O Levy rate. Levies typically run on a 4-year cycle renewed through voter-approved ballot measures. The levy is approximately $1.67 per thousand of an assessed home value and is 68 cents less per thousand than the expiring measure. It saves each household roughly $340 less per year in taxes. For example, if your home is valued at $600,000 (the median home price in Marysville), the estimated levy cost per year is approximately $1,000. 

For tribal members, land in trust won’t be affected by the levy tax.

Additionally, senior citizens and disabled persons may qualify for tax exemption. To learn more, people can call the Snohomish County’s Assessors office at 4253883433.  

What if there is mistrust with MSD?

As the Executive Director of Tulalip Tribes Education Division, Jessica Bustad, posted on Facebook, “We know that the division between Tulalip and Marysville is real. We know that racism and inequalities are alive. We know that our Native children (and all students of color) deserve better! Our children deserve an education that will build them up and contribute to their quality of life. Our people have suffered at the hands of the ‘education system,’ starting with Boarding Schools. We know, in our hearts, that these systems must be decolonized and dismantled for our children to thrive. However, it takes time to create and build a foundation for our children. Once our Tulalip school is built, the reality is that we will still have to earn the trust of our parents and families…In the meantime, we must support our children in the public school system. Supporting this Levy is supporting OUR children. When a Levy fails, it is not the School Board or Executives that are hurting, it is our students & families, and the teachers who serve them.” 

How does this levy directly impact Tulalip youth?

According to MSD Native American Program Coordinator Matthew Remle, there are around 800 Tulalip students within the district. Transportation, Pay to Play, and paraeducators are some of the heavily used resources that Tulalip students and low-income families risk losing. 

Why is tribal support so crucial?

As Jessica has already witnessed working with MSD, some of these budgetary cuts have already been made because of the failed levies last year. Class sizes have already started to grow, and middle school sports were cut and merged with the YMCA. 

 Historically speaking, the Tulalip population has consistently had a low voter turnout. According to a Snohomish County Elections breakdown, the overall turnout for the April 2022 Marysville School District Levies was 27%. Only 12,924 votes were cast out of 47,899 registered voters. And if we look more closely at the Tulalip Reservation population, the turnout was 24% or 1,799 votes cast out of 7363 registered voters.

 Looking back at the failed levies from last year, Proposition No.1 lost by 9%, and  Proposition No. 2 lost by 5%. Jessica said, “We must do what’s right for our people and students in any election. These decisions are being made without us simply because we’re not voting. Ultimately, its impacts our children and their future.” 

How does someone help?

Vote! As Superintendent Dr. Zachary Robbins said, “This is the most critical levy in the city’s, Marysville, and Tulalip community’s history.” Ballots can be turned in until February 14th at 8:00 PM. The closest ballot drop box is located by the Don Hatch Youth Center. If you have not registered to vote, please register online by February 6th at:  https://voter.votewa.gov/WhereToVote.aspx?ref=voteusa_en, or in person at 3000 Rockefeller Ave, Admin West Building, Everett, WA 98201, by February 14th.

To gain voter turnout and support for the levy, the Tulalip Education Division is hosting a Valentine’s Day ballot drop party on February 14th at the Greg Williams Court at 5:30 PM. For any additional questions, please reach out to Jessica at jbustad@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov.  

*Levy information and statistics provided by MSD 

Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan breaks glass ceilings for Natives

By Shaelyn Smead, Tulalip News

The critically acclaimed Yellowstone ‘trilogy’ [Yelowstone, 1883, 1923] broke the 2022 season premiere record, with the fifth Yellowstone season carrying over 12.5 million viewers. Of course, many viewers have loved watching the action-packed imagery, captivating storyline, and incredible cast. But for some viewers, what catches their attention is the trilogy’s storyline connections to Native Americans’ dark history and the social injustices that they suffer.  

Taylor Sheridan, speaks about the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, at the NIWRC Fundraiser and Honoring at the Montana Club in Helena, MT. Photo: NIWCR.org

The series was written and created by actor and American filmmaker Taylor Sheridan. The last seven years of his career have focused on or highlighted Native American issues. Some of his work also includes Hell or High Water, Wind River, and Tulsa King. The various storylines have Native issues like Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, addiction, interactions and betrayal between early English settlers and Native Americans, illegal pipelines built on Native land, social bounds on interracial Native relationships, forced placement onto reservations, residential boarding schools, racism, etc. 

While addressing Native struggles has been an important theme through the various shows and films, Taylor has also chosen to spotlight our culture’s irreplaceable beauty. How our people have used cultural traditions to care for our mental health, the strength and alliance within our community, the ability to persevere, and fight for our voices to be heard. In Yellowstone, being the husband to Native Monica Long-Dutton, several tribal members lead Kayce Dutton through an Indigenous ritual to be accepted into the tribe. Later in the series, Monica is seen participating in Indigenous traditions and cutting her hair to overcome the loss of her unborn child. 

In 2022, Taylor Sheridan was quoted by the Whiskey Riff western website saying, “I don’t think that there is a more misrepresented group in American cinema than the Native American. And what little I can do to correct that historical perspective in fiction, I’m gonna do.”

The statement couldn’t be more accurate, as the UCLA 2022 Hollywood Diversity Report showed that Native representation in film and television averages less than 0.9%. 

In a New York Times (NYT) article, Taylor Sheridan disclosed that he made it clear to his casting team that they needed to hire Native American actors for Native American roles. “I wasn’t going to sit here and tell a story about very real issues [sexual violence against women in Indian Country] and cast people to portray characters in that world suffering those burdens and not have some connection,” Taylor said. “Don’t even read them unless you can vet the authentic nature of their ancestry.” 

That misrepresentation carries over into how Native culture and history have been portrayed in cinema and textbooks. In the same NYT article, Bird Runningwater, director of the Sundance Institute’s Native American and Indigenous Film Program, explained, “Most Americans consume media, and then you have our representation within that. They consumed what has been created by the system.” As many Natives know, throughout American history, our stories have consistently been hidden from the general public, misconstrued, watered-down, and blatantly lied about. We know that our truth hasn’t been publicized for so long, and it lacks complete transparency when it is shared. Having a ‘seat at the table’ in popular cinema helps change that narrative. 

Tulalip tribal chairwoman Teri Gobin with Native actor Mo Brings Plenty, who plays ‘Mo’ in Yellowstone. They met at the National Congress for American Indian Conference in Sacramento.
Photo courtesy of Teri Gobin. 

Taylor’s mentality with hiring Native American actors and sharing Native stories has only added to the director’s creative ability. The way he can capture the raw and intense emotions of Native issues commands your attention. 

Tulalip tribal member Nina Gobin Scott is a big fan of the Yellowstone trilogy and said, “I started them when it had already become popular. I was shocked at the amount of recognition of our people’s issues. You hardly ever see that level of truth in popular shows like this. When watching 1923 [the scenes where a Native girl is being sexually assaulted by a nun at a residential boarding school], I cried. We often hear about the physical and emotional abuse that our people endured at these schools, but rarely ever is the sexual abuse talked about. Even then, watching the sexual abuse acted out on screen is completely different. It was heartbreaking. I just sat and cried for our people.”

The many horrific truths of Native American history shared in these cinematic films have expanded the exposure of these issues. “I know Native issues are regularly discussed in our communities, but I don’t think it is mainstream enough. I hope that Native issues being on such a popular series opens the eyes of more people,” Nina said. 

While the trilogy brings awareness to our past, it also addresses current issues like state and federal governments respecting (or not respecting) treaty rights. In the most recent season of Yellowstone, the character Chairman Thomas Rainwater, played by Native actor Gil Birmingham (Camanche), was told that a federally proposed gas pipeline would be built through his reservation. And even though the state Governor and Senator were against this and supported the tribe, they were told it would be a fight they wouldn’t win. Sound similar? Many viewers compared it to the 2016 Dakota Access Pipeline that was built. It gained national and international attention as the Standing Rock Sioux and several protesting organizations said it violated Article 2 of the Fort Laramie Treaty and would be an environmental catastrophe. Rather than respecting treaty rights, the Federal government moved forward with the project, and protesters suffered the use of water cannons in freezing weather and were arrested by a militarized police force. 

Even though Taylor is not of Native descent, along with hiring Native actors, he made it his mission to consult with the Natives of the land on which each of his cinemas was based. In 2017, in a public statement captured by the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC), Taylor spoke about being welcomed into the Oglala Sioux tribal community, working with members of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes of the Wind River Reservation, tribal leadership in Crow and Standing Rock, and worked with Native journalist Lailani Upham, and Executive Director of NIWRC Lucy Simpson. These are just a few of the many Native liaisons and trial leaders he has been associated with. 

Along with his efforts to work with and acquire a Native perspective in everything he did, he took his experience to politics. In 2017, he gave written testimony in support of S. 1942, Savanna’s Act, to the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee of Indian Affairs. In the testimony, he shared the experiences he had with working alongside Native Americans, the research he had done to understand Native issues, and his shock when no government agency tracked information or statistics on murdered and missing Indigenous women.

Taylor was quoted by the NIWRC saying, “Of all responsibilities our government assumes, none is more urgent, more dire, and more necessary than the protection of the most vulnerable of our society. I am testifying to a segment of our society that couldn’t be in more desperate need of that protection,” he said. 

Taylor’s efforts to support Native voices have not gone unnoticed, and many Natives have felt empowered. Yellowstone, 1883, 1923, and Tulsa King can be streamed on Paramount+ or watched on the Paramount Network. The films Wind River and Hell or High Water can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video. 

Life of the Salmon cemented on UW campus

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

In constructing a brand new building as part of a Foster School of Business expansion, the University of Washington sought to honor its commitment to respect the Coast Salish lands upon which the school resides. The planning committee was tasked with seeking art installations reflective of the thriving Native culture found on the reservations of present-day tribes of Western Washington.

The privately funded 85,000-square-foot building is now known as Founders Hall and debuted to much excitement among University staff, students and several guests of honor to kick off the 2022-2023 academic year.

According to Foster Business Magazine, the facility is a model of sustainable construction, collaborative learning and community building. A cathedral of collaboration. An incubator of innovation, an accelerator of ideas, a convergence of team projects, case solutions and business plans. It is a forum, a gathering spot, a hangout. A place to learn, express, engage, brainstorm, formulate, ideate, implement, celebrate. A place to honor the past and create the future.

Quite the description, right? Intentionally built upon bedrock principles of sustainability and collaboration is the key take-away here. Because imbedded within the bedrock of Founders Hall is an unmistakable essence of Tulalip. 

Tulalip master carver and contemporary sculptor, James Madison, sitting with tribal youth in Founders Hall.  

Dubbed “Life of the Salmon”, Tulalip artist James Madison traces the epic upstream run of sacred king, sockeye, silver, humpy and chum. In the form of polished bronze cases embedded into concrete floor, the fish grow and mature as they swim from the ground floor to the 5th floor Founders Gallery.

Known largely as a master carver who specializes in creating stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces of art from cedar wood, James is far from an amateur when it comes to working with metal. In fact, a large part of his education that earned him a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from UW in 2000 was bronze casting.

“In discussing idea concepts with the planning committee, it was clear they and the Dean wanted to pay respect to the local tribes of this area, and wanted to combine that respect with a core teaching we have to protect the salmon,” explained James. “It only made sense then that creating bronze salmon in the actual concrete of the building would serve as an irremovable reminder that our people are here and we will always be here.

“For me, this kind of work is all about keeping our culture alive,” he added. Commemorating the opening of UW’s latest building and the cultural artwork within, the hundreds of college students in attendance stood respectfully as a group of Tulalip culture bearers offered traditional song. “UW honored not just my art, but our people, our traditions and our protocols by giving us space to share our songs. It meant a lot to hear those drums and those words shared by proud Tulalip youth who aren’t afraid to get up in front of hundreds of strangers and share their culture.”

Younger generations of Native students who visit Seattle’s prestigious UW campus and spot the bronzed salmon may feel a part of their spirit soar and even begin to ponder life as a Husky. Such was the experience shared by 13-year-old Kyla Fryberg after taking part in the opening ceremony.

“I do dream of being a UW student one day,” said the ribbon skirt wearing 8th grader. “When I grow up, I want to be a veterinarian. I know education plays an important role in the veterinary field, and where better to attend college than here, especially knowing it’s important to the school to acknowledge Native Americans. I have people in my family who are fishermen, and I hear them say we are the salmon people. Seeing this salmon art all over the building means we are connected here and maybe gets more people to understand just how important the salmon are to all of us.”

Frank Hodge serves as the Dean of the Foster School of Business and led the building’s opening celebration. He boasted how on a campus with predominantly stone buildings, one of the most impressive facts about Founders Hall is that the shell of the building is entirely mass timber, sourced sustainable from managed forests. Resulting in the greenest building at the UW by achieving a 76% reduction in carbon emissions and using 70% less energy to operate in comparison to facilities of equal size built with conventional methods.

“The purpose of the Foster School is to bring communities together to better humanity through business,” said Dean Hodge. “Founders Hall, with its connections to the Pacific Northwest forest products industry, its Native art, its significantly reduced carbon footprint and its intentional design fostering community and collaboration, is an example of how we are living our purpose as a forward-thinking business school.”

To honor the heritage of the land on which it stands, UW’s Founders Hall is a showcase for original Native artwork representing modern Coast Salish styles. The University commissioned installations by two prominent local Native artists, Tulalip’s own James Madison and Puyallup tribal member Shaun Peterson. 

Commemorating the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

The scenic town of Mukilteo is home to the new Washington State ferry terminal and whether rain or shine, the views of Possession Sound, which the ferries travel, are quite captivating. During a quick walk around the ferry terminal, one can take in all the beautiful artwork, traditional language, and rich history of the original people of this land. As the signage indicates, that particular area of the Washington State ferry terminal is where close to 5,000 Salish People met with US government officials to negotiate the terms of the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott. 

“This land is so important to us,” expressed Tulalip Chairwoman Teri Gobin while at a recent gathering at Mukilteo. “It’s where our ancestors had longhouses. We signed the Point Elliott Treaty here. All of our tribes used these waterways like our freeways to go from one place to another, and we have many relatives at all these different tribes. Our people met here 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 when they did that, because they were trying to protect our tribes.”

On January 21st, many tribal members from across the Puget Sound region, including Tulalip, Swinomish, and Lummi, will be taking time to commemorate the signing of the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott in an annual tradition known as Treaty Days. This year marks 168 years since the treaty was signed and 111 years since William Shelton organized the first potlatch under the guise of celebrating the treaty. 

Through Treaty Days, William Shelton preserved his culture during the era of boarding schools and assimilation efforts. Following the burning of longhouses and the relocation of tribes, William convinced the Tulalip Superintendent and the U.S. Secretary of Interior to allow the construction of a longhouse on the shore of Tulalip Bay, where the descendants of the signatories of the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott could gather and celebrate the treaty once a year.

“It’s spiritual healing,” explained 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.”

Treaty Days is an event that tribal members across the region look forward to attending every year. Although the original longhouse, which William Shelton convinced the government to build, was replaced in the sixties, people continue to meet at the historical location every January for the commemoration of the treaty. Within the walls of the longhouse, 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 111 years later.

“Treaty Days is really important to me because all of us, as sduhubš people, come from that longhouse way of life. That’s just who we are,” 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.”

For a little historical background, the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott was signed by those tribal leaders with their future generations in mind. Altogether, the tribes ceded upwards of 5 million acres of their ancestral lands to the United States government for white settlement. That vast amount of land presently makes up Washington State’s King, Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties. 

The treaty established current day reservations including the Tulalip, Port Madison, Swinomish and Lummi reservations. Through the signing of the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott, the US government acknowledged each tribe as a sovereign nation. And in exchange for ceding such large portions of their ancestral homelands, the tribes reserved the right to fish at usual and accustomed grounds and stations, as well as the right to hunt and gather on open and unclaimed lands.

Said Tulalip Elder, Virginia Carpenter, “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.”

Ever since the treaties were signed in the late 1800’s, tribal nations across America have worked diligently to protect and defend their treaty rights when the US government attempted to ignore or defy the supreme law of the land for its own agenda. 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. 

If you wish to view the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott in its entirety, a  copy is currently on display at the Hibulb Cultural Center as a part of their The Power of Words: A History of Tulalip Literacy exhibit. For further details including pricing and hours of operation, please contact the museum at (360) 716-2600 or visit their website, www.HibulbCulturalCenter.org.

This year’s Treaty Days Potlatch will be held at the Tulalip Longhouse on January 21st. This event is intended for tribal members only. For more information, please refer to your tribal leadership or, if available, check out your Tribe’s tribal member-only Facebook group. 

“Our treaties are everything as Native American people,” stated Tribal member, Josh Fryberg. “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 we have today as far as our fishing and hunting rights, and also being Native American in general – to be able to sing our songs, carry our culture and preserve that for our future generations.”