Kernels for a cause

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Kettle corn has been described as the perfect snack. Its unique combination of sweet and salty, with just the right amount of crunch, is a highly sought after mouthgasm at fairs and outdoor festivals by people of all ages. For one Tulalip family, kettle corn represents something much more significant than an occasional treat, it represents a voice for the voiceless.

“Our youngest son Jared has autism. He was put on the spectrum when he was a toddler,” explained former Board of Director, Jared Parks. “As a family of eight, it’s been an adjustment for us all. We’ve learned so much about autism and how it’s a spectrum, which means that it effects people differently. For our son, he has nonverbal autism. He may not be able to speak, but he can still express himself.”

That expression is clearly evident when 7-year-old Jared II is around kettle corn. His parents say “he lights up and has a grin from ear to ear”. Young Jared’s love for flavorful popped kernels was the inspiration behind his parents’ decision to create a small business venture named after their son, called Jared’s Corner. Their mission? To help raise awareness about autism spectrum disorder.

Autism impacts people regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status or political allegiances. It is estimated that 25 million people are affected worldwide. There is no cure for autism, and currently boys are approximately 4.5 times more likely to receive an autism diagnosis than girls. Often not discussed is the high rate of autistic individuals who are nonverbal, which is true in roughly one-third of all cases.

“I had to throw out the parenting book with all I knew and needed to learn new ways to communicate and show affection,” shared momma bear, Kristie Parks. “It’s been challenging. I tell my kids all the time ‘I love you’ and they say it back to me, but my son can’t. He’s never called me ‘mom’, or been able to tell me if his tummy hurts or if someone hurt him. What my son has become is my family’s biggest teacher. He’s taught us to slow down our lives, be extremely patient, and accept all of life’s blessings.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 1 in 54 children have been identified with autism. That’s nearly twice the rate from 1 in 125 found in 2004. The dramatic increase and recent spotlight shining on the developmental disorder has opened opportunities for the nation to consider how to serve people on the autism spectrum and their families.

“Our son is different from our other five kids in so many ways, but we really do view it as a blessing,” added Jared. “He’s taught us to be better parents. We’re more patient and compassionate because of our son. Now, we want to spread awareness about autism and it just so happens kettle corn is a good metaphor for the spectrum.

“Basically, we can take a batch of this kettle corn, lay it out, and see that no two kernels are the same,” he continued. “They are all different, just like those on the spectrum. That’s the meaning behind our slogan, ‘not one kernel is the same’.” 

By founding Jared’s Corner this past summer, parents Jared and Kristie intend to speak on behalf of their son to customers who stop by their stand to purchase a bag of freshly popped kettle corn. While completing their transactions, customers are informed of Jared’s Corner’s namesake and the meaning behind the logo.

The puzzle piece is a highly recognized symbol for autism spectrum disorder. It symbolizes all the different ways individual kids fit together. It symbolizes the complicated ways this disorder may manifest itself in children. It also symbolizes how there is no one therapy that works for everyone, and sometimes it’s a whole puzzle of therapies that when pieced together just right actually make a difference. 

The Parks family is dedicated to helping find solutions and bring further awareness across the spectrum to the needs of individuals with autism and their families. They will be doing their part by donating a percentage of annual income to pro-autism foundations. 

“Being baby Jared’s mother, his voice, his protector, it was and still is an unbelievable roller coaster ride,” said Kristie. “We want to share our experience because the autism rate continues to go up and there is so little information available to parents and families who struggle in silence. Our goal with Jared’s Corner is to help promote understanding that just like ‘not one kernel is the same’, every child is different and every autism story is different.”

Jared’s Corner is conveniently located on the Tulalip Reservation along Quil Ceda Boulevard, in the vacant lot between Cabela’s and Home Depot. They are open for business Thursday – Saturday from 10:00am – 5:00pm. Other locations and times to come, such as outside Tulalip Market and Remedy. Keep a look out for the red pinched tent or follow Jared Parks on Facebook for details.

Regular kettle and caramel kettle are always available in medium ($5 bag) and large ($10 bag). A third flavor is offered as well, which ranges from cinnamon toast, chocolate, vanilla, orange and grape. Because this is the Pacific Northwest, aka Seahawks Territory, every ‘blue Friday’ a mixed batch of green apple and blue raspberry is available. 

Jared’s Corner can also provide kettle corn for private parties and events. For more information or to place an order to support a wonderful cause, please call (425) 737-2168.

Veterans receive handmade quilts, crafted with love

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

“Oh, how gorgeous,” exclaimed Misty Napeahi, Tulalip Board of Director.

“So beautiful, that took a lot of hard work,” added Tulalip Chairwoman, Teri Gobin, as a handmade quilt, crafted with extra love, was gifted to Mel Sheldon, BOD member and Vietnam Veteran, on the morning of Friday November, 6. Overcome with surprise and emotion, Mel thanked the designer, Sheila Hillaire, for her work while still entertaining the room in true Mel fashion, causing fellow board members to chuckle as he received the honoring. 

A group of Tulalip women have dedicated their time and energy to a venture that warms the hearts of many, and often brings overwhelming tears of joy to Tulalip veterans and their families. The Veterans Quilt Project was founded in 2016 and since then approximately thirty-five quilts have been gifted over the years, honoring service men and women of all military branches. Each Fall, the ladies decide on a pattern and create one quilt each for the Tulalip Veterans.

Sheila explained, “As a group we chose what pattern to use when we got together in October last year, pre-COVID, and started working on it. I actually had the star done that weekend, everything else took me a bit longer and I finished in July. I knew it was going to Mel and we are related, so it was really special to me. It felt great to be able to personally hand it to him. This is my second year participating in the quilting project. The first quilt I did went to my father John McCoy, it just so happened that he was receiving the first year I did the program.”

Normally, the quilts are gifted to the veterans at the Hibulb Cultural Center’s yearly Veterans Day event. Due to the pandemic, the ladies opted to hand-deliver this year’s quilts to the veterans, continuing the tradition after the cancelation of the museum’s annual celebration. Like Mel, seven additional Tulalip vets were caught off-guard as an unbeknownst and impromptu blanketing ceremony took place in their honor, most likely on their front doorsteps. 

The Veterans Quilt Project has received partial funding from the Tribe’s non-profit organization, The Tulalip Foundation, since its beginning and the ladies raise the remainder of the costs for materials by way of fundraisers throughout the year.

Said the Foundation’s Executive Director, Nicole Sieminski, “We love supporting community driven projects. It’s always great to see the amazing work these ladies do and it’s such a great opportunity to support our veterans.”

The list below names the quilters as well as the veterans who they designed this year’s quilts for:

  • Candy Hill-Wells – Raymond Fryberg, Marine Veteran
  • Sara Andres – Joseph Jones, Marine Veteran
  • Rae Anne Gobin – Gary Holding, Navy Veteran
  • Sheila Hillaire – Mel Sheldon Jr., Army Veteran
  • Benita Rosen – Larry Wooster, Air Force Veteran
  • Sonia Sohappy – Steve Gobin, Navy Veteran
  • Sherry Dick – Guy Madison, Marine Veteran
  • Lena Jones – Daniel Moses Sr., Army Veteran

After providing smiles and a personal thank-you to the Tulalip Veterans, the ladies are excited and already planning for next year’s project. 

“We enjoy doing this work and giving back to our community, making sure our veterans are recognized for protecting us and our country,” expressed quilter and Project founder, Rae Anne Gobin. “Each one of us took the time to select our fabric and put our love in each of these quilts. We hope each recipient finds the quilt comforting. We know our veterans put their lives on hold while serving, and helped protect us to keep our freedom. We care for and love our Tulalip veterans and want to honor them for their service and let them know, you are not forgotten and will always be remembered.”

Celebrate Veterans Day at HCC

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

The coronavirus has put a halt to many local events, ceremonies and traditions that occur annually at Tulalip. In some instances, events were canceled entirely to limit the spread of the disease on the reservation. Other times, throughout the year, programs modified their events so they can continue offering their services to the people in a responsible manner.

After months of closure, the Hibulb Cultural Center (HCC) re-opened their doors to the public in August. Since then, they have safely offered a space for people to learn about Tulalip culture, while re-introducing a sense of normalcy during a time of unknown. Thanks to modern technology and a dedicated fanbase, HCC held their annual Film Festival, that would have otherwise been canceled due to gathering limitations. 

The same cannot be said for all events, however. For the well-being and betterment of the community, HCC has declared that the always popular Veterans Day Celebration will not take place this year. 

Before COVID-19, HCC held an honoring in observance of Veterans Day. Every November 11th, Tulalip veterans and their loved ones gathered in the museum’s longhouse where memories were shared and tears were shed for the fallen soldiers and those veterans who are no longer with us.

 A particularly moving moment during the event is Roll Call, when each veteran states their name and which military branch they served. Family members of veterans who passed speak their names aloud in remembrance, highlighting their dedication to protecting the country and their people. The event typically ends with a special gifting, when the ladies of the Veteran Quilt Project blanket and thank a select group of vets for their service with a beautiful, handmade-with-love quilt. 

 Although the 2020 Veterans Day gathering has been officially nixed, HCC is still observing the holiday and paying tribute to the veterans of Tulalip and the community. 

HCC Museum Manger Mytyl Hernandez explains, “This year looks a lot different for us on Veterans Day. In the past, we’ve been privileged to host a large celebration and honor all of the veterans in our community. Since we are not able to gather in the same way, we are still offering free admission to all veterans, active military, and their families on Wednesday, November 11, in honor of Veterans Day. We will be open 10 AM to 5 PM.”

The free admission of course includes access to the many displays which pay respect to Tulalip veterans of the United States Military. These displays include a tribute to Tulalip Gold Star Mothers, whose children never returned home from combat, as well as the Veterans Gallery which showcases a photo of each Tribal veteran, categorized by which war they served in such as WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq. The Veterans Gallery is quite popular amongst Tribal youth, who excitedly identify their family members who served. A number of personal items that returned home from war are also on display in the halls of the museum like Mel Sheldon’s combat helmet and Sam Wold Jr.’s service medals and uniform. 

 If you are interested in learning more about Tulalip veterans and wanting to observe the holiday safely, drop by the HCC museum on Veterans Day and remember admission is free to those who served, are currently serving, as well as to the family members of veterans and active duty service men and women. 

“It is always a privilege to spend time paying tribute to our veterans at the museum,” Mytyl expressed. “No matter the day, it is always important to honor our veterans. They gave up so much for each and every one of us to have individual freedoms. They sacrificed so that we didn’t have to. I am always grateful to the veterans in our community and I will personally miss spending the day with our veterans. It is always my favorite event of the year and a day that my children look forward to volunteering at.”

For more information, please visit the Hibulb Cultural Center’s Facebook page, website, or dial (360) 716-2600. And be sure to extend a thank you to those warriors who bravely defended our freedom. 

Foraging wild Pacific Northwest mushrooms

Submitted by AnneCherise Jensen 

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

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

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

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

Mushroom Foraging Tips:

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

Common species of locally foraged, edible mushrooms:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nutrition Properties 

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

Cooking & Consuming 

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

Sources: 

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

3rd & Goal Foundation builds upgraded deck for Tulalip Veterans

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The 3rd & Goal Foundation was founded in 2011 by Notre Dame graduate and former NFL quarterback, Brady Quinn. His father served as a Marine in the Vietnam War and his grandfather fought in World War II, which inspired Brady’s desire to give back to the often neglected needs of America’s military veterans.

According to their website, the 3rd & Goal Foundation began building wheelchair ramps, as well as, remodeling bathrooms and kitchens for those veterans who were wounded to help them adjust a little easier to their new life and surroundings. Years later, 3rd & Goal began to expand its efforts to be able to serve more veterans in need by implementing Operation Education and Operation Joy components to their mission. While the mission is still growing, one thing that will always stay the same is that 3rd & Goal is committed to making a difference in the lives of our honored veterans. 

This past summer 3rd & Goal supporter Tom Hoban, who grew up in the Tulalip community, had a timely conversation with Board of Director Mel Sheldon. During their chat, Mel mentioned how the reservation-based Veteran’s building was in need of repairs. Hoban immediately brought up 3rd & Goal as a viable solution. After some coordination between Hoban, 3rd & Goal, and then Tulalip Veterans coordinator Rocky Renecker, a mutually agreed upon idea to replace the aging and hazardous deck of the Veteran’s office with a new one was put into place.

“This office is intended for all Tulalip veterans, so by replacing our old and withered deck it feels like a genuine gift for every single one of veterans,” said Veterans Department manager William McLean III. “Staff from 3rd & Goal came out periodically over the last several months, while most of Tulalip was furloughed, and built us an upgraded deck. It was must needed.

“Prior to COVID, we were having monthly gatherings for veterans,” he continued. “We were hosting those meetings at Admin because upwards of 30 people would show up and we lacked the capacity. Now with our new deck, which is twice the size of our previous one, we are able to host future monthly gatherings at the Veterans office.”

The expanded deck with improved stairs and accessible ramp makes it easier for our veterans to access their building, gather comfortably outside when they want to, and revel in the knowledge that they are not forgotten. Foundations like 3rd & Goal and individuals such as Brady Quinn and Tom Hoban are intentional with their desire to positively impact the lives of retired military servicemen.

With operation build a new deck now completed, it marks the first-ever project by 3rd & Goal accomplished in Indian Country.  

“Having a group of people willing to give back to veterans for nothing more than a thank you is always great to see,” added McLean. “When our building looks nice and is maintained, it lets our veterans know they are cared for and prioritized.”

“[A huge] thank you to 3rd & Goal for everything they’ve done,” added Tulalip veteran Rocky Renecker. “Ninety percent of our Tulalip veterans are over sixty-years-old and this new accessible space will make it possible for us to come together as a veteran community.”

Becoming a Tulalip Police Officer

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

Over the past several months, the Tulalip Police Department has welcomed nearly ten officers to the tribal law enforcement agency. These include four lateral officers who transferred from other departments and four new officers, who recently completed three-months of training at the United States Indian Police Academy in New Mexico. With the addition of these eight officers, TPD currently stands about forty officers strong. 

 According to TPD Professional Standards Manager, Angela Davis, the department would like to see the tribal police force increase by about twenty-five additional officers. 

The main focus now is recruitment. TPD has made it their priority to introduce Tulalip tribal members and citizens to the badge, in an attempt to strengthen the community from within. With the Tribe’s best interest at heart, Tulalip PD is looking to increase communication and interaction with the people who they vowed to protect and serve, and they believe a major key to achieving that is bringing on individuals who also have Tulalip’s best interest at heart, whether they are members of the Tribe or simply call Tulalip home. 

Angela, who oversees a large portion of the hiring, took a moment to speak with Tulalip News about the process of becoming a Tulalip Law Enforcement Officer.

TPD is growing! Eight new officers were recently sworn-in and the department is still looking to expand. How long does it take to become a police officer after making the decision to apply?

It takes so long for them to get to this point; a long time to go through the background process. To get through a background investigation, there’s a lot of steps. The first is they have to pass the testing requirement for employment and they have to pass the interview. Once they get done with the interview process, we do a conditional offer of employment, stating if you pass the background investigation, we’ll hire you. 

Once we have an effective start date, then we have to try to get them into the Academy. Unfortunately, being a tribal division, we do not have priority when we go through the Washington State Academy in Burien, it’s a hurry up and wait and you might not get in. We’ve chosen to go to the U.S. Indian Police Academy in New Mexico. Even with that though, there’s a waiting list. It could be months. And then when they finally go to the Academy, which is three-months long, they come back and have to complete their field training before they can be on the street by themselves. 

There have been strong efforts to hire and train officers from within the community, why is it important to have that tribal and citizen representation on the tribal police force?

Chief (Sutter) and I both believe that it is important to have people that represent the community that we serve on the force; having officers of minorities, any kind including non-tribal, that represent all of the people that we serve. And we have all different kinds of people out here, different cultures and races. It’s important for us to have that representation so when people are interacting with a police officer, they feel more comfortable and at ease, like they can relate and connect with them. It’s more about building a relationship and connection, to try to help de-escalate a situation better, to understand where they’re coming from – why they might be acting this way. Or let’s say they’re other Native from another tribe, they might understand some of the culture and traditions here. A lot of the Tulalip ways are done on other reservations, and so just trying to understand the ways of the Tribe and the people and not disrespect it. 

Every single officer who recently took the oath stated that they are not going anywhere, that they plan on serving the Tulalip community for years to come. How does it feel hearing that, especially after several former TPD officers left once they received their training and the necessary amount of required field hours?

I think it’s really great because retention is key. We have had a lot of turnover in the past couple years. Retention is a big topic that we’ve been talking about with the Board of Directors. Law enforcement officers off-the-reservation get to be a part of a retirement pension package, so if you work twenty years you get to have a pension. Here, we don’t offer that. We have a 401k-type of retirement package, but it’s not a pension. A lot of times, off-the-reservation, medical insurance and stuff like that is cheaper. They have the same great benefits but at a lower cost for them and their families. Here, we are all under the same umbrella as the government, TGO, and everyone that works for them. It’s really difficult to retain people because of wages, because of insurance, and sometimes even growth and opportunity. But, it’s really nice to have people that are committed to staying here. 

And it has to do with recruiting. When we’re recruiting, we’re trying to tell them upfront that we want someone who is committed to the community. We tell them that we would like them to be committed to serving Tulalip for at least five years with us. I think one thing that’s different to with our recruitment is that we’re trying to find people with a servant’s heart – just good people on the inside. I’m not focused about someone’s physical appearance, their physical abilities as much; are you tall and strong and intimidating looking? Are you a woman? Are you a man? It sounds like all those things happen in the law enforcement world but I’m not like that. Chief’s not like that. We want people with a good heart that will serve our people and respect each other and have dignity and respect the human life and not have this power struggle with the people. 

Where would one start on the journey to becoming a member of the TPD?

We have our new updated Tulalip tribal police website where they can look at all the information there. On there, it talks about the careers and they can click on job openings to learn more. They can apply to the any of the positions that are open. And they can always reach out to the Chief or I and we can take their name down for any future openings, so just reach out to us, stop by anytime and introduce yourselves.

Can you outline in detail the process of becoming a Tulalip officer?

After successfully passing the interview process, they can do their new hire paperwork, their UA, and fill out this thirty-five-page personal history packet that lists their whole life, along with some personal references, work references, any other law enforcement agencies that they’ve applied to, any drug history – just tons of questions. 

I then call them in and do what’s called an integrity interview, and ask them eleven more pages worth of questions that are similar, but now I’m seeing them face-to-face to see how they respond. Are they pausing? Are they quick to answer? Are they trying to get around the question? It’s just another way to verify what they wrote.

The next step would be a polygraph test, once they pass that they get to the point of a medical exam. They also have a psychological evaluation from certified public safety psychologists. If they pass that, and all the references and all the information I got, all that totality of everything allows us to decide if they’re suitable for Tulalip or not. 

Hopefully the department continues to grow. I know the new officers are excited to get out into the community. Perhaps by seeing people of the community on the force, others will be inspired to follow a career in law enforcement with TPD. 

You know, it is a long process. It’s not an easy decision, it’s not an easy job to get into. For anyone that wants to become an officer, and that has tried and failed at some point, you can always keep on trying. Sometimes time is all that people need. For instance, let’s say that there was someone that was young, and used to get a bunch of tickets, or smoked marijuana. Well, now the laws have changed and the times have changed. Don’t disqualify yourself, apply for the job and let us make that decision.

If you wish to pursue a career with the Tulalip Police Department, please reach out to Angela to begin your new journey with law enforcement. For additional details, visit www.TulalipTribalPolice.org or call the non-emergency line at (360) 716-4608. 

Continuing Native teachings with craft and medicinal kits

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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