A united front: CEDAR group strives for community wellbeing

By Andrew Gobin, Tulalip News

Tulalip − The CEDAR group meeting September 5th took an interesting turn as strong emotions flowed during a spontaneous open forum. The scheduled presenters had to cancel at the last minute, leaving Thursday’s meeting without an agenda. Reading off facts about youth drug use and how people can help themselves or their kids sparked a discussion on the various situations Tulalip families and addicts find themselves in and how these situations can be handled.

Gina Skinner, who works with the suboxin program, said, “You don’t have to be an addict to seek help. You as the parent, as the family, can come and seek counsel.”

Jim Hillaire spoke, saying, “I wish that more people would engage more with what we [Family Services] have to offer. It’s not that we don’t do enough, or can’t do enough; it’s that they [the families of addicts] don’t want to be there.

“Its not up to the board of directors to fix this,” he continued, “it’s up to all of us.”

That’s what CEDAR is about. Community Engaged and Dedicated to Addiction Recovery.

“The CEDAR program is intended to develop community volunteer involvement,” said Lisa Kibbie, one of the group’s coordinators.

The stigma attached to addiction is so condemning and poisonous that addicts don’t want to face their families, or can’t face their families. A 15 year old, who shall remain anonymous, stated that even after being clean and sober for 5 months now, all people first see in them is addiction and failure.

“Shame and guilt was never part of our culture,” responded Hillaire.

The mission of the CEDAR group is to promote a healthy and culturally vibrant community. Hillaire pointed to culture many times during the meeting, speaking to where we’ve drifted in recent years and where solutions can be found. By continuing to bring cultural teachings and values forward Tulalip can stand together as a community and uplift its people.

“We have to develop a culture within the community that won’t enable [tolerate or facilitate] those that choose to leave their home and family,” Skinner said.

The group consensus is that change is necessary in the community. That may mean creating boundaries to alleviate the enabling that takes place in our community. That also means that we all must be willing to put in the hard work, making hard decisions, holding to them, while still letting people know they are welcome, and that their wellbeing is important to others.

At the end of the meeting, volunteers could list themselves as a contact for community outreach and crisis assistance, a first step in getting the community involved.

The CEDAR group meets every other Thursday, 5pm-7pm at the Tulalip Administration building, room 162.

Morning assemblies create community

Cultural values teach kids about respect and responsibility

At Tulalip Quil Ceda Elementary, each day is begun with a song and a presentation of core Tulalip cultural values. Photo/Andrew Gobin
At Tulalip Quil Ceda Elementary, each day is begun with a song and a presentation of core Tulalip cultural values. Photo/Andrew Gobin

By Andrew Gobin, Tulalip News

Tulalip – Entering the main hallway of Tulalip Quil Ceda Elementary you hear the drum beat. Nearing the gymnasium you begin to feel the beat resounding through the corridors. Kids stream in off busses, excitement building as they find a seat. Others come to school, drum in hand. This is the norm for students at Tulalip Quil Ceda Elementary, where each day is begun with a song and a presentation of core Tulalip cultural values.

Started at Tulalip Elementary in its final year, the morning assemblies are an excellent forum to create a community, where students and teachers can communicate about respect and the responsibilities they have. The school’s canon of learning, GROWS, is visible in almost every aspect of the school day.

“The students have really taken to GROWS. It stands for Grow your brain, Respect for all, Own your actions and attitudes, Welcome all who come to our community, and finally Safety is paramount. The morning assemblies are used as a way to teach a value that ties into one of the GROWS,” said Dr. Anthony Craig, school principal.

The songs are led by students, with the help of occasional community volunteers. The students are seated in a fashion similar to Coast Salish traditional gatherings, which is in the round.

In an effort to build a stronger educational community, some classes are trying a technique called looping, where the students of a class will not change as they progress to the next grade. Some classrooms have dividing walls that are opened up the majority of the time, so that two classes become one larger learning group.

“We are trying to develop groups of students that learn well as individuals and as a collective,” explained Dr. Craig.

This year, Tulalip Quil Ceda Elementary will develop a cultural aspect to their educational community. The Marysville School District created a cultural specialist position in the school in an effort to incorporate traditional aspects of life into the learning process. In doing so, the district supports and encourages what the faculty of the school is trying to achieve.

Former Tulalip teacher and new cultural specialist for the district Chelsea Craig said, “Here at school you see kids walking around with a drum and a school bag. They don’t have to be a native student; they can just be themselves, at school, as they are meant to.”

The Tulalip Tribes Youth Services department created two comparable positions, with the intention of collaborating with the school. Tenika Fryberg and Taylor Henry are the cultural specialists for Youth Services.

“This has never been done [in Tulalip or Marysville] before, so I plan to develop a program where the community decides what they would like to have brought into the curriculum,” noted Craig. “I’d like to see more community involvement too. Why can’t we have a grandma in the back of every class? We should make this school ours. It is ours; it belongs to the community as every school does. We shouldn’t wait for our own k-12 program, nor do we need to,” she added.

Both she and Dr. Craig acknowledge that some families are not comfortable with their children participating in these cultural activities and have other activities available for children to opt out of the cultural practices, though all of the students are still brought together as a whole for the group message in an effort to continue to develop the learning community that is Tulalip Quil Ceda Elementary.

Taste of Tulalip – The Culinary Festival of the Year

5th Anniversary Highlights Include Extraordinary Epicurean Events, Celebrity Chefs & Sommelier Superstars

Tulalip, Washington – Tulalip Resort Casino is gearing up for a weekend of revelry to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Taste of Tulalip, its coveted award-winning food and wine aficionado event.  Scheduled for November 8 and 9, 2013, this year’s line-up of top talent, to be announced within the next month, will include many familiar names as well as some stars on the rise.  Past culinary celeb appearances have included ABC TV’s “The Chew” host Carla Hall, Bravo’s Top Chef Master and author Marcus Samuelsson, wine legend Marc Mondavi, “Thirsty Girl” Leslie Sbrocco and others.  Executive Chef Perry Mascitti and Sommelier Tommy Thompson are putting together a dazzling roster of food, wine and tradition show-stoppers that have been a year in the planning.   Taste 2013 will feature honorary winemaker Bob Betz of Betz Family Winery.  Taste of Tulalip tickets have just gone on sale at Ticketmaster, with Friday night Celebration dinner tickets soon to follow.

The two-day gathering, with a focus on food, wine and tradition, begins with a Friday night wine and passed hors d’oeuvres reception, followed by the aptly named Celebration Dinner.  The multi-course repast will focus on Native American and traditional recipe inspired dishes, paired with a global offering of rare, top wines. It is priced at $175. Tickets are limited and this event is always a sell-out.

On Saturday “All Access” pass holders ($295) will enjoy early entrance to the unforgettable Grand Taste; a VIP seminar featuring a celebrity cooking demo, table talk and Q & A session on the Viking Kitchen Stage; a private Magnum Party where they’ll be treated to a high level wine and indigenous food pairings; and a special bonus this year – two in-depth Reserve Tasting forums.

The weekend’s highlight is always the Grand Taste, spanning four hours and featuring lavish food stations as well as over 100 wines from Washington State, California and Oregon, and craft beer.  It is priced at $95 and includes a Rock –n- Roll Cooking Challenge done “Iron Chef” style with celebrity judges looking for the best from both regional and Tulalip chefs, and sommelier teams.   Special guest Emilio Lopez of El Salvador (a sixth generation specialty coffee producer), will be appearing at the Dillanos Coffee Roasters espresso bar, where guests will be able to sample a special TOT 5th Anniversary Blend.

All of the weekend’s wine offerings will be available in limited quantities for purchase in the Taste of Tulalip retail wine shop.  There will also be book and bottle signings for those looking to personalize their purchases.

For tickets, go to www.tasteoftulalip.com or www.ticketmaster.com

Qwuloolt restoration in its final phase

By Monica Brown Tulalip News Writer

State and local politicians along with environmentalists toured the estuary while learning about the extensive undertakings that are part of the complex project that will restore the estuary to it's natural function. Photo by Monica Brown
State and local politicians along with environmentalists toured the estuary while learning about the extensive undertakings that are part of the complex project that will restore the estuary to it’s natural function. Photo by Monica Brown

Tulalip, Wash. –

Restoring 400 acres of estuary land is not a mediocre task and has required years of dedication from many groups. The complexity of the restoration project has spanned fourteen years and is nearing completion. With just over a year left in the project the, the final stage is to  lower the southern levee and remove the tide gate.

The tide gate and levee drain the fresh water from the land and prevent any water from flowing back into the estuary. With the completion this winter of the setback levee on the western side, the southern levee, which runs along the northern edge of Ebey Slough, will be breached and the tide gate removed allowing the saline and fresh water to mix.

The Tulalip Tribes, along with the City of Marysville, Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Department of Ecology, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service have collaborated on this project and representatives were invited along with local and state politicians to view the progress that has been made.

Visitors were led into the estuary and taken on a brief walk to view the channel opening. Afterwards they were invited to the Hibulb Cultural Center for lunch and a discussion the estuary project in its final stage.

The restoration’s completion is expected to increase the salmon and migratory bird population and bolster the native vegetation in the area.

The collaboration between tribal, local, county, state, and federal agencies will restore the natural water flow in the 400 acre estuary. Photo By Monica Brown
The collaboration between tribal, local, county, state, and federal agencies will restore the natural water flow in the 400 acre estuary. Photo By Monica Brown


Mel Sheldon, Tulalip board chairman, reminisced during the lunch after the tour about when the project was just getting started 14 years ago. Photo by Monica Brown
Mel Sheldon, Tulalip board chairman, reminisced during the lunch after the tour about when the project was just getting started 14 years ago. Photo by Monica Brown




Tulalip Backpack Distribution, Aug 29

11AM – 6PM, Tulalip Quil Ceda Elementary School

Open to Native American students in kindergarten-12th grade that are enrolled members of the Tulalip Tribe – or – other Natives that must be enrolled in the Marysville School District. Tribal ID and/or tribal affiliation verifcation required.

Backpack Flyer


Tulalip on Lopez Island

Tulalip youth at Lopez Island
Photo/Andrew Gobin

Lopez Island − Two aging piers, a bit of history and a lot of fun. Tulalip kids paid a visit to the tribes’ property at MacKaye Harbor on Thursday, August 22.

Tulalip Youth Services offers a plethora of activities during the summer to occupy kids, including movie premiers, whirly ball, and trips to Wildwaves. This year, youth services wanted to do something different.

“We usually do the same things, make the same trips, but those things are typically open year round,” said Tony Hatch, who organized the trip. “We wanted to do something special, something different. So we brought the kids up here to learn about the tribes’ fishing history.”

He and Ron Iukes reminisced about fishing and staying on the docks during the summer.

“It’s good that the kids see this part of our history, and where we fished off the reservation,” Hatch added. “Here, they also get to see some of the tribes’ property that has been put on the back burner.”

Tulalip fishermen used to fish the San Juan Islands more frequently, which led to the purchase of land. Today, four tracts of land are owned by Tulalip, the first purchased in 1986, two in 1993, and one in 2005, according to the San Juan County Assessor. They still fish there today, though not as often as the decades leading in to the 1980s and early 1990s.

The tribe did plan to renovate the docks, and began work on one in recent years, but the project has not progressed since.

Hatch said, “It is unclear what Tulalip will do with the land, but we’d like to plan an end of the year camp next year.”

MLK’s ‘I Have a Dream’ legacy celebrated in shared memories

MLK's 'I Have a Dream' legacy celebrated in shared memories
MLK’s ‘I Have a Dream’ legacy celebrated in shared memories

Julie Muhlstein, The Herald

EVERETT — In poetry and song, proclamations, speeches and shared memories, the essence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech was celebrated Wednesday night in Snohomish County.

An overflow crowd packed the Jackson Center at Everett Community College to hear leaders, young people and those who remember the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement reflect on King’s words, spoken in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963.

County Executive John Lovick, noting that King’s birthplace of Atlanta has adopted the slogan “a city too busy to hate,” suggested a positive variation: “Snohomish County — a county that is not too busy to love.”

Two presenters were given standing ovations, one representing a new generation, the other an Everett elder, former City Councilman Carl Gipson Sr.

Gipson, first elected to the City Council in 1970, recalled harsh realities of his youth in Arkansas, when he wasn’t allowed into restrooms or restaurants. In Everett, he knocked on doors for a job, finally talking his way into one at a car dealership.

Gipson’s expressed gratitude to Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson for his efforts in naming the city’s senior center in his honor.

Many expressed a common theme, that King’s dream is not yet fully realized.

As they did for Gipson, the audience stood to applaud at the end of a poem recited by Rahwa Beyan, a 17-year-old leader of the youth chapter of Snohomish County’s NAACP organization. Her powerful recitation centered on the shooting death of black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

Lynnwood Mayor Don Gough spoke about a new “Let Freedom Ring” event earlier Wednesday in his city. Bells rang, and members of the public were given a minute each to say what King’s speech meant to them. Gough said social justice and civil rights “must meld with labor and worker rights.”

Shirley Sutton, of Lynnwood, read proclamations from her city, from Everett and Snohomish County officially recognizing the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington.

Tulalip Tribal Chairman Mel Sheldon offered a brief history lesson about his people.

It was 1924, he said, before American Indians were granted the right to vote. Sheldon praised current leaders of local government for forging strong relationships with the Tulalip Tribes.

There were speakers representing “Yesterday’s Wisdom,” “Today’s Focus” and “Tomorrow’s Dreams.”

Angelina Karke, a student at Discovery Elementary School in the Mukilteo district, shared an ambitious dream of her own:

“My dream is to be accepted into Harvard Law School. I will get my law degree and become president of the United States,” the girl said