Auntie Valda’s 1st Annual Winter Clothing Drive

By Shaelyn Hood, Tulalip News

Valda Gobin is a Tulalip Elder who has worked tirelessly to help those less fortunate. For most of her career, she has worked for the Tribe, but what most people know her for are her personal endeavors and efforts to collect clothing, personal items, cleaning products, etc., for people who are struggling within and outside of the Tulalip community.  

Even though Valda has been doing this type of work continuously throughout years, this was the first event that she has put on in hopes of preparing warm items for the winter. 

The clothing drive continues through November 10, with donation drop-off locations at the Don Hatch Youth Center, 6700 Totem Rd., and at Homework Support, 7707 36th Ave NW Building F. New or gently used items like jackets, gloves, hats & scarves, boots, handwarmers, ponchos, socks, wipes/toiletries, blankets, and coat hangers are greatly appreciated. Outside of any physical items, monetary donations are also accepted.

With the help of the Tulalip Education Division, Valda is able to cook and serve food to people who come to support and make donations.

Valda’s passion stems from her mother, Winona “Nonie” Mable Parks Cooper. Often, Nonie would tell her kids to collect money, and food to give to those on the street. It was because of her mother, that Valda continues to help others, “It makes me feel good. People make bad choices, but that doesn’t make them bad people. We just help people that need help.”

In her efforts to help people, she also tries to connect people to the recovery programs, and assistance programs that Tulalip offers.

Shana Simpson has recently joined Valda to help collect, wash, and prepare clothing items for donation. They work with the Community Donation Program at the Tulalip Elementary School.

So far, the event has already been so successful in filling the bins at the drop-off sites. However, Valda and Shana will continue to accept donations throughout the year. If you would like to donate, or you are someone who is struggling, please contact Valda at: 4258704214, or Shana at: 3609131199.

Hundreds of Families turn out for Trunk or Treat 2021

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

A steady line of cars extended through the Tulalip reservation on the afternoon of October 31, beginning along Marine Drive and ending at the Tulalip Gathering Hall parking lot. Patiently waiting in each vehicle were little princesses, superheroes, beloved cartoon and movie characters as well as a number of scary villains and frightening monsters – all of whom were ecstatic to receive candy and check out all the creepy and creative decorations at the annual Tulalip Trunk or Treat community celebration. 

Hosted by the local volunteer group, Together We’re Better, the Halloween-themed event has brought smiles to the kids and families of Tulalip for nearly a decade. 

“This is our ninth Trunk or Treat,” exclaimed Together We’re Better Founder, Malory Simpson. “Our first Trunk or Treat was at the admin building. And then we added a potluck, we had mass foods and crafts, and lots of things for the kids to do. But with COVID, we had to do a drive-thru style this year and last year.”

As you may know, Halloween is quite the spooktacular holiday amongst Tulalip citizens. In addition to Trunk or Treat, there are usually multiple community and tribal department events that take place during the season. However, with the delta variant still on the rise, most of those celebrations were canceled for the second year in a row, which has contributed to more volunteers and participants during the yearly Trunk or Treat festivities. 

This year, Together We’re Better collaborated on the popular event with the Tulalip Tribes. Many tribal departments and local organizations spent the holiday with the community including the Tulalip Police and Fire Departments, Tulalip Remedy and the Tulalip Lions Club. And as always, the Sacred Riders and other surrounding motorcycle clubs joined in on the fun. 

Said Malory, “We have our regulars, like the Sacred Riders, they’ve been coming for years. That’s one of my favorite things about Trunk or Treat is when you hear the bikes come in. I’ve had steady people volunteer over the years and have lots of new people always coming in. The amount of Trunk or Treaters has definitely grown. I think word got through to the surrounding communities, and that’s what Together we’re Better is about, bringing the community together and that’s both Tulalip and Marysville. Seeing the different faces and our members of Tulalip coming through is pretty awesome.”

She continued, “Last year, the Tribe donated candy, this year, they donated the buckets and lots and lots of candy. It is also the first year that the staff has been involved with the collaboration, I think we have the CEO staff, custodial and public works lending a hand today.” 

By altering Trunk or Treat to a drive-thru celebration, Together We’re Better found a way to provide a safe and fun Halloween event where kids can still show off their costumes while collecting sugary snacks, just like the good-ol’-days before the world-wide pandemic. By the end of the three-hour event, hundreds of kids left the drive-thru with buckets overflowing with candy as well as several fun and healthy items such as books and toothbrushes. 

“Being able to do something for the community is very fulfilling,” expressed Together We’re Better volunteer, Natosha Gobin. “It was nice to gather with everybody and see the decorations and the excitement on the kids and parents faces when they drove thru. Everybody came together and did this for the kids, and that’s really powerful.”

If you are looking to get more involved with the community, Together We’re Better, is always accepting donations, whether that is goods, money or your personal volunteered time. For more information, please contact Malory Simpson at (425) 905-9137. 

The legacy of naming Army helicopters after Native Americans

Two members of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation dance in traditional attire around a South Dakota Army National Guard UH 72 Lakota helicopter on June 10, 2012 after a blessing ceremony for the helicopter. The SDNG and the Lakota Nation have partnered together to support the people living on the reservations as well as to help inspire the youth to become active members of the community. (SDNG photo by Sgt. Jacqueline Fitzgerald)

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News; Photos courtesy U.S. Department of Defense

It’s officially Native American Heritage Month. November’s been federally recognized as such since 1990, when then President George Bush approved a joint resolution making it so. Bringing it local, just days ago Washington State Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed November 2021 as Native American Heritage Month as well.

In his proclamation, Governor Inslee stated Washington joins other states across the nation in celebrating Native American Heritage Month, honoring the unique heritage of this continent’s First People and reaffirming the commitment to respect each Tribe’s sovereignty and cultural identity. 

With November 11 being Veteran’s Day, it’s a timely occasion to drop some knowledge about a not so well-known tactic in which the United States Army honors the unique heritage and cultural identity of Native Americans. 

U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to Attack Company, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, conduct sling load operations with a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, from 6-101 GSAB, 101 CAB, Illesheim, Germany, during exercise Eagle Talon, Monte Romano, Italy, Jan 20, 2021. (U.S. Army photo by Elena Baladelli)

Lest we forget, as a cultural demographic Native Americans serve in the armed forces at five times the national average and enlist in the military at the highest per-capita rate of any other group.  The Department of Defense recognizes that today’s military successes depend heavily on the contribution of America’s First People. Thirty-one thousand proud Native American men and women are on active duty today, serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world. 

This proud warrior tradition of Native people is recognized by the Army and manifests itself in a largely unknown and truly unique manner. Public affairs specialist and Defense.Gov author Katie Lange explains that for the past half-century Army helicopters have been named after the spirit, endurance, and warrior ethos of Native Americans.

Apache. Black Hawk. Comanche. Chinook. Kiowa. Lakota. In addition to being Native American tribes or key Native figures, these are also names of highly specialized, military aircraft. Wonder why?

The U.S. military has a long history with Native Americans. Armed conflicts between the two were commonly known as the American Indian Wars and were fought intermittently from the start of colonization and continued into the early 20th century. But Native Americans also served as some of the fiercest fighters for the United States for more than 200 years. In fact, 32 Native Americans have earned the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor.

The tradition of naming helicopters after Native Americans was once an official regulation. That regulation no longer stands, but the tradition continues.

Here’s how it all came about. According to an unnamed Army museum official, the naming convention goes back to before the Air Force split from the Army in 1947, when Army General Hamilton Howze was assigned to Army aviation. His mission was to develop doctrine and the way forward when it came to employing Army aircraft and how they would support warfighters on the ground.

According to the museum official, Howze wasn’t a fan of the names of the first two helicopters – Hoverfly and Dragonfly. So, he laid out instructions for naming the helicopters after their abilities.

Thirty-two OH-58D Kiowa Warriors with the 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, conduct a flyover during farewell flight, Fort Bragg, N.C., April 15. The flyover serves as a final “thank you” and farewell to the residents of the Fort Bragg and the Fayetteville community. (DOD photo by Kenneth Kassens)

Howze said since the choppers were fast and agile, they would attack enemy flanks and fade away, similar to the way the tribes on the Great Plains fought during the aforementioned American Indian Wars. He decided the next helicopter produced – the well-known H-13 of “M.A.S.H.” fame – would be called the Sioux in honor of the Native Americans who fought Army soldiers in the Sioux Wars and defeated the 7th Calvary Regiment at the Battle of Little Bighorn.

That’s likely how Army Regulation 70-28 was created in 1969. The regulation listed criteria on how popular names would be given to major items of equipment. Name choices had to:

  • Appeal to the imagination without sacrificing dignity.
  • Suggest an aggressive spirit and confidence in the item’s capabilities.
  • Reflect the item’s characteristics including mobility, agility, flexibility, firepower and endurance.
  • Be based on tactical application, not source or method of manufacture.
  • Be associated with the preceding qualities and criteria if a person’s name is proposed.

According to AR 70-28, Army aircraft were specifically categorized as requiring “Indian terms and names of American Indian tribes and chiefs.” Names to choose from were provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

AR 70-28 was eventually rescinded and replaced with policies that didn’t mention that criteria, but it’s clear that the tradition has continued. You only have to look back to 2012 when the Army named its current primary training helicopter, the UH-72A Lakota, after the Lakota tribe of the Great Sioux Nation in North and South Dakota.

On June 10, 2012, Lakota elders ritually blessed two new South Dakota Army National Guard UH-72A Lakotas at a traditional ceremony on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. Ceremonies like these happened often over the past several decades.

A U.S. Army Blackhawk lands and dismounts Canadian Land forces soldiers of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, 2nd Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, in the early morning hours of Apr. 16. The unit was on a joint exercise mission with 3rd Battalion, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, to clear the area of enemy in the mountainous wooded border region near Lielvarde, Latvia. (Photo by OR-8 Juan Delgado Garnacho)

When presented with this history of naming Army helicopters after Native American Tribes and figures, the Tulalip Veterans Department issued the following statement: 

It’s important for our citizens to know this great history because you really have to make a positive impact for any group, let alone the U.S. military, to create a regulation honoring you by name. This is a special recognition unique to the Native American’s fighting spirit. As Native Americans, we serve in the military at the highest rate per capita. That long-lasting tradition of protecting our families, homelands and cultural lifeways is honored by the Army’s desire to name their helicopters after us.

Disclaimer: “The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.”

Coming Soon: 2021 Native Bazaar

By Shaelyn Hood, Tulalip News

On November 12-14, and December 3-5, Tulalip will be hosting their annual Native Bazaar, where local tribal members will be showcasing and selling their various crafts. The Bazaar will take place at the Don Hatch Jr. Youth Center, 6700 Totem Beach Rd, from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

Tammy Taylor has been the volunteer organizer for 10 years. However, she said that the event itself has been going on long before she took it over. The event originally started by Carolyn “Uppy” Thornberry around 23 years ago, when she opened the doors for tribal members to gather and display their crafts. Tammy Taylor has been so glad to carry on the tradition, noting how every year is filled with laughs and smiles, “Getting to spend a weekend or two with our elders, all day long, and getting share stories amongst the tables, that makes me happy.” She voiced how she wants all of our membership to come out to this beautiful gathering and support one another.

Already, 49 different vendors have been listed to be at the Bazaar, making it the largest Bazaar that Tulalip has ever had. With 2019’s Native Bazaar being the second largest with 32 vendors. Some of the vendors will be bringing different Native art, cedar baskets, carvings, beaded jewelry, Native prints, crafts, drums, clothing, and more. You will also find food vendors like Lynette Jimicum, Brian Gobin, Jared’s Corner, and various other baked goods. Most vendors will accept cash, and only some will take card.

Tammy Taylor recognized that to protect our elders, our vendors, and our community, the COVID-19 mask mandate will be enforced.

The artists are excited to gather again with friends, and family, and display their different crafts, especially since, due to covid, there was no bazaar last year.

Some vendors to look out for are:

David Fryberg.

David Fryberg. He has been participating in the Bazaar since Tulalip first started the event. David makes drums, rattles, clappers, cedar woven baskets, and hats. He first started learning his different crafts to become more connected to his culture 30 years ago, and to hopefully start teaching his family. Often, he makes different items for his family as well, “One year, we made all the boys drums, and all the girls rattles, so they could play together.” Lance Taylor took him on, and first taught him how to weave. David typically will sell his pieces during the bazaars, Canoe Journeys, and on Facebook to friends and family, but he also travels to different reservations in the state. 

Jamie Sheldon.

Jamie Sheldon. She has been participating in the Bazaar for 4 years now. Jamie and her mom will be bringing cedar jewelry, knitted hats, cedar baskets, and headbands, and Pendleton tote bags. Jamie helps teach the Weaving Gatherings every Wednesday night at the Hibulb Cultural Center. She is most excited to see all the different art pieces everyone is bringing, “I like just seeing all the people. I mean, everyone comes out to do their Christmas shopping. So, I missed that. It’s good to see everybody and what they’re making, it’s fun!”

Margaret Henry Hayes.

Margaret Henry Hayes. She has been participating in the Bazaar since 2017, but because of the COVID-19 shut down last year, she is most excited to just gather with people again, “I think what’s really exciting for me is getting to see family and getting to reacquaint with people I haven’t seen for a long time. I enjoy selling and being a part of that, but I enjoy even more being a part of something positive in our tribe and being able to connect.” She went on to say, “We all do something a little different. Each person is so unique, with what they’re doing and what they’re using. It’s really nice for me to scroll around to see what the rest of the families are doing.” Margaret will be bringing vaÍrious natural shea butter soaps, bracelets, cedar dolls, rice bags, apple butter and jams. She started learning how to make cedar dolls from a class 15 years ago, and it will take her on average a week to make each doll. You can typically find her cedar dolls at bazaars, and the shea butter soaps at a boutique in Everett.

Rocky Harrison.

Rocky Harrison. This will be his first year working the Bazaar. He will be selling smoked salmon. He catches the fish, and his cousin Dennis Reeves helps smoke it for him. Rocky has been fishing with his family since he was a child, and now he owns his own business and fleet of boats. Fishing became a saving grace for him, “When I was growing up, I was on a negative path. Fishing is one of the things that has helped me. I was able to develop a more businesslike mindset and better myself. Fishing has helped me change my life around.” He usually sells to fish buyers, so he is happy to have the opportunity to sell directly to tribal members, visit everyone before the holidays, and bless people with delicious fish.

Jasmyne Diaz.

Jasmyne Diaz. This is her third year doing the Bazaar. She mostly creates flat stitch beading and a lot of earrings. She works with various materials like beads, dentalium shells, fur, and cedar. She first learned in elementary school from her grandmother. She was inspired to carry the tradition, “I’m just trying to break generational curses. I collect jewelry to leave to my kids, like turquoise rings, ivory jewelry, etc. But my husband and I strive to not only leave material things, but also leave skills that they can carry on.”Í She typically sells most of her products on Instagram- @sageandsapphirebeading and her website- Her items sell quickly online, so she is excited to sell directly to tribal members and give them the first opportunity to buy.

These are just a handful of the many vendors that will be attending the event. Come check out the countless artworks and the amazing artists behind them. Please keep in mind, because of the limited space, the Bazaar is no longer accepting any new vendors at this time. If anyone has any questions about the bazaar, please contact Tammy Taylor at: 425-501-4141.

Sing Our Rivers Red

An intersection of domestic violence and the MMIW movement

Thousands of single-sided earrings, featured in a travelling art exhibition titled Sing Our Rivers Red, represent the Indigenous women reported murdered and missing every year.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

As October comes to an end, so does Domestic Violence Awareness Month. However, the reality for Native American women around the country is domestic violence isn’t simply a notion only worth paying attention to in October. It’s much, much more than that. It’s a historical trauma that plagues our life bearers every single day. 

Abuse and mistreatment of Native women has garnered recent attention in mainstream news outlets since Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland took office and placed a spotlight on the national crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). A foreign concept to the vast majority of non-Native citizens, the MMIW movement isn’t new. It’s innately tied to each of the 574 federally recognized tribes through blood, tears, and loss. 

The National Crime Information Center reports that, in 2016 alone, there were 5,712 reports of missing Native American women and girls. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that murder is the third-leading cause of death among Native women and the rates of violence on reservations can be up to ten times higher than the national average. Despite this ongoing crisis, there is a lack of data and an inaccurate understanding of MMIW. 

In her Washington D.C. role, Secretary Haaland has made it a personal mission on behalf of Native America to pursue justice. Earlier this year she announced the Not Invisible Act to increase intergovernmental coordination to identify and combat violent crime against Natives and within Native land. The bill was passed unanimously by voice vote in both chambers of Congress. 

“A lack of urgency, transparency, and coordination has hampered our country’s efforts to combat violence against American Indians and Alaska Natives,” said Secretary Haaland. “In partnership with the Justice Department and with extensive engagement with Tribes and other stakeholders, Interior will marshal our resources to finally address the crisis of violence against Indigenous peoples.

“We’ve had missing and murdered Indigenous people for the last 500 years. This is an issue that’s been happening since the Europeans came to this continent and began colonizing Indigenous people,” she added. 

While the Not Invisible Act and corresponding formation of a new Missing and Murdered Unit within the Bureau of Indian Affairs are intended to provide critical leadership and direction for interagency work involving MMIW, it brings little comfort to those who’ve lost loved ones. Nothing will undue the violence and untold traumas inflicted upon our Native women. 

But if silence promotes violence, then creating a platform of understanding about the intersection of domestic violence, something that is well known in the mainstream, and the MMIW movement can ultimately prevent trauma while amplifying voices that have been silence for far too long. Tulalip tribal member Malory Simpson, a domestic violence survivor, agrees with this sentiment.

“There is an overlap between Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and domestic violence because the manipulation that happens when you are in that place is unreal,” explained Malory. “It can be crippling depending on the severity of the abuse. You can be isolated and mentally beaten down to where you do not want to reach out and ask for help and that’s where the abusers want you to be. Alone, isolated, afraid and all theirs.

“MMIW continues to be an ongoing issue in Indian Country because abusers are allowed to get away with perpetrating violence, up to and including murder, on Native women and get away with it due to jurisdictional restraints by law enforcement,” she added. 

In her position as training coordinator for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Malory was especially open and honest about her past experience with domestic violence during October. She routinely posted on social media about it and offered resources for those who may be suffering in silence.

“I find it important to share my story because that was a huge part of my own healing journey,” she said. “I used to be worried about what others would think, like thoughts of guilt or shame, but really nothing compares to the relief of opening up about your situation. There are so many in our community who will wrap you with support, and the Tribe has resources to help. I share my story now in the hopes of empowering anyone who is in a similar situation to find the strength to leave, or to at the very least reach out for help.”

Symbolizing the intersection of domestic violence and the MMIW movement is a travelling art exhibition titled Sing Our Rivers Red. The exhibit aims to be bring awareness to the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and colonial gender based violence in the United States and Canada. 

Created by Navajo and Chicana artist Nani Chacon, her travelling exhibition uses thousands of single-sided earrings to represent the Indigenous women reported murdered and missing every year. Nani’s intention is to use the power of art to raise awareness about this epidemic that occurs in the United States and all across Turtle Island. Over 3,406 earring were donated from over 400 people, organizations, groups, and entities from across 45 states in the U.S. and six provinces in Canada.

Accompanying the waves of earrings is a stunning oil painting titled Missing. Nani explained, “I created this piece to honor the lives and memory of unexplained murders and missing Indigenous women of North America. The imagery I chose places a woman amongst a landscape and butterflies. 

“The interaction of the woman and the butterflies has little do with one another in the physical sense; instead, I combine the elements in this painting in an overlapping manner to create cohesion between three violated subjects. The butterflies are a symbol for Indigenous women, which is why they are seen moving through and within the woman. The monarch butterfly has a migratory pattern that spans North America. In recent documentation, the monarch butterfly is also unexplainably dying / missing. 

“In this piece, I wanted to depict the connection between land and women – I see that we are mistreating and killing both. I believe that because there is no respect for the land, there is no respect for women. I believe when one stops, the other will too.”

Sing Our Rivers Red recognizes that each of us has a voice to not only speak out about the injustices against our sisters, but also use the strength of those voices to sing for our healing. Water is the source of life and so are women. We are connecting our support through the land and waters across the border: we need to “Sing Our Rivers Red” to remember the missing and murdered and those who are metaphorically drowning in injustices.

A man of honor, Charlie Cortez, fittingly receives two medals of honor posthumously

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News; photos courtesy of Paula Cortez and Teri Nelson

On August 17, the people of Tulalip and the law enforcement community gathered at the Angels of the Winds Arena in Everett to pay their final respects and say their goodbyes to fallen Tulalip Police Officer, Charlie Cortez. A man beloved by the community he vowed to protect and serve, Charlie was pronounced lost at sea nearly a year ago, while he was on duty, shocking the entire nation and breaking the hearts of those who loved him most. 

After that night of tragic events, and the following weeks of continuous searching, Charlie’s loved ones were embraced by the law enforcement community, particularly the Behind the Badge Foundation. In the family’s darkest hour, the foundation assured them that he would be honored – and his legacy, that of a hero, would be remembered and shared for years to come. Behind the Badge has kept their promise to the family and over the past several months Charlie’s name has been etched into a number of memorial walls and read aloud during roll call at vigils. 

“Behind the Badge is a foundation that supports law enforcement officers and their families in times of critical need,” said Behind the Badge Executive Director, Brian Johnston. “As we began building this foundation, our eyes were opened to so many needs within the law enforcement community and within our family community. Healthy officers and healthy family equal healthy communities. From the response side of trying to support our law enforcement officers and their families in a line of duty death, or even a suicide death or unexpected death, we think it’s very important to continue to build the relationship with the department and the families so they feel supported throughout time.”

The foundation assisted in the planning and execution of the funeral service in August and helped the family with the most recent ceremonies in honor of Charlie, both here in the state of Washington and across the country in Washington D.C. 


On the afternoon of October 8, fourteen officers, from several police agencies across the state, were awarded the medal of honor in front of the Washington State capitol. While most medals were awarded posthumously and accepted on behalf of fallen officers by their families, a handful were awarded to local officers for performing heroic acts while on duty.

The medals were presented by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who both shared heartfelt sentiments during the ceremony. 

Said Governor Inslee, “We know this law enforcement medal recognizes the lives lost in duty and for those who have incredible acts of heroism, which has distinguished them amongst a distinguished profession. We are here today to honor some of the most valued and honorable people in the state of Washington. We are honoring the specific individuals who have dedicated themselves, and some of whom with the ultimate sacrifice.”

Officer Charlie Cortez’s family were in attendance of the special honoring as well as members of the Tulalip Police Department. His mother Paula; his children Dominic and Peyton; their mother Tawnya; his brother Richard (Moochie); and grandmother Sandra proudly accepted the medal. They also visited the Washington State Law Enforcement Wall where Charlie’s name was recently inscribed.

“The ceremony that was in Olympia was for the Medal of Honor for Washington State officers,” reflected Paula Cortez. “To me that symbolized, how Governor Inslee mentioned it, that this Medal of Honor was presented to us by all the citizens of Washington State, in honor of Charlie’s sacrifice, giving his life for protecting others.”

Washington D.C.

Each May, during the week of the 15th, a special gathering is held in Washington D.C. in remembrance of all the brave men and women throughout the country who paid the ultimate sacrifice while on the line of duty. Known as National Police Week, the four-day tribute brings families of fallen officers together to honor the memory of their loved ones. The event was originally established forty years ago to coincide with National Peace Officers Day, however, due to the worldwide pandemic the 2020 event was cancelled and this year’s event was postponed until October 13-17. 

Charlie was one of 434 officers honored during National Police Week. When his family arrived at Washington D.C., they were paid the highest respects and even received a security detail. 

Paula stated, “When we flew into Washington D.C., the honor guards greeted us as soon as we got there. Honor guards were saluting us as we were coming through, and we had honor guards assigned to us to help us with our luggage and shuttle. When they brought all the families to the host hotel, they shut down Washington D.C. highways and escorted us to the hotel. It was amazing to see. The overpasses had firemen and officers saluting us as we went by.”

The weeklong event kicked off with the welcoming of the Police Unity Tour participants. In an effort to raise awareness to officers who died in the line of duty, and raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Memorial fund, officers hailing from nine separate police chapters across the country, take part in a four-day bicycle ride from Florham Park, New Jersey to the memorial wall in D.C. The event draws approximately 2,600 participants and volunteers each year and raises over $2 million annually. Each cyclist rides in honor of a fallen officer, wearing bracelets with that officer’s name, police department and end of watch date. Once the rider’s journey is complete, they gift the bracelet to that officer’s family.

The next event of Police Week occurs at the National Mall and is an emotional and beautiful ceremony. Beginning in the early evening, while there is still plenty of daylight, family members, close friends and fellow officers gather to pay their respects to their fallen heroes. Board members of the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund share a few remarks before leading roll call. This year, 701 names were read aloud and those same names are now etched on the memorial wall for eternity. When all the names were spoken, the sun had set and each person in attendance lit their candles. This created a gorgeous scene, with hundreds of candles held high in the air as the Washington Monument towered in the background. 

“The amount of families that came and gathered was overwhelming,” Paula shared. “You really don’t hear about the number of officers who sacrificed their lives on the line of duty. It was touching. It was emotional. It was everything all wrapped up in one.”

The following day, a conference was held for the survivors of the fallen officers hosted by Concerns of Police Survivors, or COPS.  Several seminars were held to help families through this difficult time. During the conference, family members also met others who went through similar tragedies of losing a loved one, and they were able to connect and relate with each other and form new and important friendships. 

“It was healing, attending the conferences,” Paula said. “I attended the mother’s conference. It was raw, I mean, we all really shared our experience. At one point, I had to get up and walk out. But then, I found others out in the hall. They did the same thing. There was not a dry eye anywhere I looked. Just then I realized that I am not alone and there are others who feel similar pain over what happened to their child.”

During the same day as the conference, Charlie’s kids attended a camp at a local law enforcement agency where age-appropriate grief counseling sessions took place, as well as a number of fun activities. Paula was happy to report that both Dominic and Peyton had a great time at camp.

The week ended with the Fortieth National Peace Officers Memorial Service where the Medal of Honors were presented to the families. President Joe Biden was the keynote speaker and he shared, “To the families here today, this is all about you. To the families of the fallen, you’ve suffered an enormous loss.  But understand, your loss is also America’s loss and your pain is America’s pain. Today, we’re here to remember nearly five hundred of your brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, sons and daughters. We hope you take some comfort in the knowledge that the men and women here assembled today, they’ll always be with you.”

Though his funeral services were held back in August and it’s been eleven months since that terrible stormy night, Tulalip hero Charlie Cortez continues to live on in spirit – in the hearts of his loved ones and in the memories of his fellow brothers and sisters in blue. His name is forever displayed on memorial walls throughout the entire nation. And therefore, his legacy and story of valor will be shared for generations into the future, from Tulalip all the way to Washington D.C.

“Any parent would feel honored to see the recognition that others are giving my son,” Paula expressed. “It was an honor that he was recognized by all these different agencies throughout the country. I’m proud of him. I know he gave his life and he is honorable for that, because he was protecting other people’s property. He dedicated himself to his community and they are recognizing that by making sure nobody forgets him.”

November is Native American Heritage Month

By Shaelyn Hood, photos by Kalvin Valdillez 

The purpose of Native American Heritage Month (NAHM) is to celebrate Native Americans’ and Alaska Natives’ rich culture, traditions, and historical moments in native history. This time also serves as an opportunity to educate people outside of Native American culture and raise awareness about the challenges that Native people have fought historically and are facing in the present. 

Efforts to recognize Native Americans and their history began in 1916, when the New York Governor declared an “American Indian Day.” Throughout the years following, many other states and local jurisdictions began to follow suit. The next action taken was in 1979, when Congress passed the joint resolution suggesting that a “Native American Awareness Week” be made. Seven years later, in 1986, President Ronald Reagan declared November 23rd – November 30th as Native American Heritage Week. 

It wasn’t until President George H.W. Bush approved the joint resolution to designate the whole month, back in 1990. The proclamation came after several decades of Dr. Arthur C. Parker, the American Indian Association, Reverend Sherman Coolidge and Red Fox James advocating and persisting the importance of this month. This landmark proclamation honoring America’s tribal people was a major steppingstone in celebrating Native culture. 

During Native American Heritage Month, there are many opportunities to celebrate the rich culture of Native Americans, including attending powwows, festivals, art shows, and gatherings; visiting with other tribes; listening to storytellers; attending presentations given by tribal elders and leaders, and reading about American Indian tribes and culture. This month gives an opportunity to reflect, and reconnect to our history, our culture, and our ancestors.

Below is a comprehensive list of some local and virtual events in November that tribal members can participate in.

Reuben Reeves

June 21, 1963 – October 15, 2021

Reuben Reeves was born June 21, 1963 and greeted by our Creator and ancestors on October 15, 2021.
In his early career he worked as a poker dealer. He was a lifelong fisherman, hung net for all, enjoyed wood cutting and delivering it to the smokehouse and elders. He was a mechanic for boats, autos, and heavy equipment. Reuben loved working at Boom City during the summer and running concession stands with his “Indian BBQ”. Reuben shared all his teaching with his grandson Wakiza, who he treated like his son. 

Reuben a loving father, brother, grandfather, and dear friend, was joined on the next part of his journey by his father, Bernard Williams Jr.; mother Esther Reeves; grandparents Thomas A. Reeves and Vivian E. (Babe) Shelton Reeves; sister, Ellen Rose Reeves; uncles, George A. Reeves Sr., Conrad C. (Gubber) Reeves Sr. and Willard Reeves; and Aunts, Wilma Reeves, Frances I. Reeves Contraro, Lila B. Reeves Henry. Mother of his children Luwanna Brewster and daughter Rachel Brewster.

He leaves behind his loving family, brother Lyle W. Reeves, daughters Chandra L. Reeves and Teah M. Reeves. Son David Brewster. Siblings Rose, Francis, JoAnn. Grandchildren Aleesia, Wakiza (Kaylee), Teallah, Jamora, Florence, Eliki, Eliana, Jaidiah, Mercy, Amelia, and great-granddaughter on the way. He loved spending time with his family and grandbabies, he went to see them every day. He will be missed by many.

A celebration of his life will be held Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 at 10:00 AM at the Tulalip Gym with burial to follow at Mission Beach Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Schaefer-Shipman Funeral Home, Marysville.