Traditional Foods for the People: Tulalip Tribes distributes King Salmon to it’s membership

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

“The salmon is an important part of our upbringing, we’re people who relate to the water,” expressed Tulalip elder, William Williams. “This distribution is helpful to me, my family, to everybody. A good way for all of us to get in touch with each other, by getting a hold of, and sharing, this salmon.”

Nearly one month ago, Tulalip tribal members engaged in a ceremony to honor the yubəč, the king salmon. This important traditional event is held at the start of every fishing season to thank the salmon for providing sustenance to the people and to bless the tribal fishermen. Salmon are a key element to the Salishan diet and have been for generations, stretching back to the start of time. It’s no wonder the Tulalip people hold the delectable and nutritious species in such high regard. 

“It’s what we lived-off of,” said tribal member, Melissa Gobin. “It’s coming back to our original diet and helping our tribal fishermen at the same time.”

In an effort to provide traditional foods for the people and connect the community to the tribe’s way of life, Tulalip purchased hundreds of pounds of king salmon for its membership. And to make a wonderful gesture even greater, the Tribe bought the salmon directly from the tribal fishermen. 

Tribal members over the age of 18 were eligible to obtain one whole salmon each. Distribution days were held on June 30th, and July 5th and 7th from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Elders were offered preference and were also encouraged to go to the front of the line to receive their salmon. 

“This is something the Tribe has been wanting to do for a while,” explained Tulalip’s Natural and Cultural Resources Executive Director, Jason Gobin. “We were able to get some funds this year. We’ve done smaller distributions in the past, of hatchery surplus fish and whatnot, but this is the first big distribution. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue this on a yearly basis for the membership.”

The salmon were distributed to Tulalip tribal members at the parking lot of the local marina. A steady line of cars trickled-in throughout the cloudy, yet warm, summer afternoon of July 5th. The people happily exchanged good-humored banter with the crew handing out the fish and conversed about the recent holiday. The salmon were in large crates of ice, and one-by-one they were scooped out and placed in strong plastic bags for the people to transport to their homes with the least mess possible.

Numerous families traveled to the marina together and picked up their fish in bulk, and many people got out of their vehicles to check out all the salmon in the crates.

“I came out to get fish to share with my mom, that way she can eat some healthy fish. I think it’s really awesome and cool that the Tribe is giving back,” exclaimed Joseph Hatch as he waited patiently in a line of cars, tribal-ID ready in-hand. 

While getting his personal cooler out of the back of his pick-up, Tribal member Alan Cortez shared, “I used to work at the hatchery and bring salmon home all the time. Now that I’m retired, it’s a blessing to get this. It’s an important part of our diet, it’s just like me going out hunting.”

The salmon distribution is a great way to feed the community at large and in-turn is creating an opportunity for families to pass down traditional teachings, in regards to preparing the salmon for consumption. 

“My husband seasons and broils it, we just love salmon!,” said Sonia Sohappy. “I believe it’s more healthy for you than the stuff we usually eat, and I’m trying to get my family to eat more healthy, so it helps us out. Win-win.”

After picking-up her salmon, Katie L. Jones stated that she knew exactly what she was going to do with her share of the distribution. “I am going to teach my boys, and other people who want to learn, how to can. I learned through Gayle Jones. We’re going to can salmon and give to people who need it, and keep some for ourselves. This helps feed our Indian and gives us traditional foods that we can enjoy at home.”

Jason explained that the fish distro is a good opportunity for non-fishing families to indulge in an integral piece of their traditional diet, as salmon may be a little more challenging to acquire for those who don’t have the ability, means, or necessary teachings to go out on the water. 

“I’m fortunate enough to go out and catch my own. But this distribution, this salmon we’ve been able to get, is important to the community because it brings traditional foods to the table,” he said. “Especially for the elders who don’t have family members who are fishing. It’s important to be able to share with the community and share with the families. The salmon is not just for that one person, they’re taking that home and they’re going to share with their entire family. This really brings the community together – sharing in that salmon as they eat it, smoke it, use it, and do whatever they’re going to do with it.”

As Jason stated, this is the first major salmon distribution and it is something that the Tribe hopes to continue going forward. 

When asked how he felt after receiving his salmon, Tulalip elder Marvin Jones simply put, “It feels real good anytime that you get a fish, because this is such an important part of our culture.” 

Paul Eric Shay Jr.

July 6, 2000 – June 29, 2022

Paul Eric Shay Jr., 21, of Tulalip, WA passed away June 29, 2022. He was born July 6,, 2000 in Edmonds, WA to Paul and Nicole Shay. He graduated from Heritage High School where he played basketball., He was on a championship team that went to State. He was a sports junkie, knowing stats of all the players at eight years old. Was a coach and mentor for youth basketball. He was loved wherever he went and he treated everyone as family.

He was survived by his great grandfather, Richard Muir Sr.; great grandmother, Elizabeth Penn; grandparent’s Richard Muir Jr. (2 Dogs) and Teena Muir, and Kim and David Golden; siblings, Cierra (Trevor) Fryberg, Dalton (Brittney) Shay, Mason (Ayla) Shay, and Kendall Hayward; Nephews, Dylan Shay, Madex Fryberg; and niece Violet Fryberg; the love his life, Ariel Ellenwood; and several aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father Paul Shay Sr. (Spooky); great grandmother Donna Muir; and grandmother Deanna Van Doorn. He was also preceded in death by his special brother, Jayden Brashears.
A celebration of his life will be held Wednesday, July 6, 2022 at 10 AM at the Tulalip Gathering Hall with burial to follow at Mission Beach Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Schaefer-Shipman Funeral Home.

Rose M. Buck

Sunrise: August 8, 1965 Sunset: June 30, 2022

The family of Rose Marie Buck regretfully announce that Rose passed away on June 30, 2022 at her home in La Conner WA.

Rose was brought up Seven Drum and was a member of the Spee-Bi-Dah Drum Group. She also danced Fancy and Team Dancing when she wasn’t singing on the drum. Rose leaves behind her mother Judi Patrick, siblings Marvin Edwards, JoAnn Begay (Landry), Francis Williams Sr. (Sugar Bill), children Gerry Williams, Michael Likakur, Tah-Sheena Williams, Charlene Williams. Preceding Rose in death are Bernard Williams Jr., Roberta Suppah, Baby boy Williams, Clarissa Williams, Bernard Williams III. Rose will come home to Tulalip for interment.

Arrangements by Shaefer-Shipman Funeral Home and The Tulalip Tribes. Service will be at 10am on Thursday, 07/07/2022, at the Gathering Hall in Tulalip WA

Tribal leaders demand dishonorable status for vets at Jan. 6th insurrection at Capital Building

News from Yakama Nation

YAKAMA NATION AGENCY, YAKAMA RESERVATION – The National Congress of American Indians (“NCAI”), Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (“ATNI”), and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation (“Yakama Nation”) call upon the Department of Defense to revoke and replace the discharge status of veterans with dishonorable discharges if convicted of participating in the January 6th, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building (“Insurrection”).  The Yakama Nation issued this call among Tribal Leaders, starting with its own Tribal Council Resolution, because of the historically high rates of military service in Native American populations and the inherent understanding of veteran’s solemn duty to support and defend the Constitution.   

The NCAI Resolution memorializes the response across Indian Country, “tribal veterans and leaders . . . believe that the attack on the United States Capitol is unconstitutional and against the morals and values of . . . service to their country and duty to protect.”  Insurrection participants sought to destroy this Country’s tradition of the peaceful transfer of power, the sanctity of voting, and American federalism by attacking the certification of state electors. 

According to a CBS News analysis of military service records, court documents, and attorney statements, at least nine current members of the military and more than 75 veterans have been arrested in connection with the Insurrection. The significance of veterans and active military members was apparent in released reports of specialized military doctrine and terminology used to provide strategic skills carried out to effectively breach the US Capitol Building. It is estimated that up to 15% of all Insurrection participants had military service backgrounds.   

The Yakama Nation Resolution T-039-21, dated February 4, 2021, called the Insurrection a “domestic terrorist attack” that was promoted by the words and actions of the former Commander in Chief. The condemndation was subsequently adopted by ATNI on May 19, 2022 (Resolution #2022-28) and by NCAI on June 16, 2022 (Resolution #ANC-22-021).

Make Your Independence Day a Blast! Visit Boom City

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

“It is that time of year again,” exclaimed a young teen, wearing a huge grin as he greeted his group of friends at the gravel lot behind the Tulalip Resort Casino. As he finished exchanging high-fives and daps with his peers, a loud boom rocked the entire area. “Whoo! That’s what I’m talking about. You guys ready?” One of his friends chuckled and replied, “we were just waiting on you!” And with that, the group of four young adults hurried down a row of stands, looking to find the best deal on their first purchase of the holiday season.

The Northwest pyrotechnic capital known as Boom City officially opened on June 22nd this year, to the excitement of many firework enthusiasts, die-hard American patriots, and business-minded tribal members alike. 

If you grew up locally, then Boom City is practically synonymous with summertime fun. Each summer, for nearly the past fifty years, Boom City has been the go-to place for people to purchase their favorite fireworks in the Snohomish County region. And of course, thanks to tribal sovereignty, Boom City vendors offer many fireworks that are not available to the public at stands located off reservation. 

By permitting their membership the right to buy and sell federally legal fireworks at Boom City, Tulalip has provided an opportunity for tribal entrepreneurs to earn another source of income for their families. And not to mention, gain some experience in commerce and business ownership. 

Close to one-hundred stands are currently open for business at Boom City this year. The stand owners have innumerable types of fireworks available for purchase including cakes, firecrackers, bottle rockets, sparklers, Roman candles, fountains, smoke bombs, pop-its and many more, sure to make your Independence Day a blast. 

This year, we asked a handful of stand owners about the theme behind their vibrant and creatively designed stands.

“My theme is ‘Light It Up’, which means a few things,” explained Jennifer Ashman, who is also the manager of Tulalip Remedy. “I love lighting fireworks and I sell cannabis. I had Dalton Shay do my art, he’s a tribal member and he also did the art at the [Remedy] store and that’s how I knew his work. I love it. I had all these cool ideas and he brought them to life.”

Eli Ruiz, who helps run a jungle-themed stand with his wife Danielle, said, “Our stand was painted by an artist named Lou. He did it back in 2018. He painted it twice. The first time we liked it, but it was called Wildthing. I wanted to change it because I felt that it was not just about the stand, I wanted it to also be about our products which are Wildthings. Our zebra-print is our signature, and we are the very first ones with the zebra-striped countertop.”

One stand owner, William Moses, proudly showed-off the back of his stand. Painted at the center is a Native man, donning traditional regalia. The most prominent article he is wearing is a headdress made of feathers. “It really is a good name,” he expressed. “War Bonnet Fireworks. It is famous, I think it’s cool and it is a part of our tradition. One of my buddies painted it, I probably had it for about seven or eight years now. It looks real good!”

Near the center of Boom City, is a red stand with a cupid theme and a downward slanted roof. When asked about her stand, Sylvanna Brinson shared, “I’m the only backward stand with a metal roof. My younger brother had some crazy wild idea that it would be better for me because I’m short. I still have to use a ladder on the inside, but I can maneuver my own shelves and I know where everything goes.” 

Sylvanna also has five words painted on the front of her stand: Crazy, Unsafe, Psychotic, Insane and Dangerous. Each word represents a member of her family. “When I was younger, my mom Theresa had a firework stand that was called Unsafe and Insane. One day, when we were painting this stand, I realized I didn’t have a name. I said, well I’m crazy, everyone calls me crazy. My brother was there, and he said he was psychotic. And dangerous is Sophia because she is young. Crazy, unsafe, psychotic, insane and dangerous – I always say those [words] describe the fireworks, not people. But really, that’s how we came up with our name.”

Many of the stand owners at Boom City have a unique and entertaining story behind the artwork, name, and theme of their stands. And hearing those stories and seeing all the hard work that goes into decorating the stands, is almost as much fun as sticking a punk to a wick and running a safe distance before your fireworks burst into the sky – almost (wink emoji)!

Boom City also offers a designated area so you, your family and friends can enjoy those fireworks safely and legally. Several food vendors are stationed at Boom City as well, serving up treats such as kettle corn, Hawaiian shaved ice, frybread and tacos! 

Boom City is open daily, 8:00 a.m. – Midnight, until July 4th.

Jump into summer with the Tulalip Education Division

By Shaelyn Smead, Tulalip News

As school breaks out for summer, the Tulalip Education Division has already set out daily summer camp options for Tulalip youth. Some of the activities include lake and beach days, sports tournaments, paintballing, bowling, and traveling to places like Seattle Pike Place, Point Defiance Zoo, Deception Pass, Family Fun Center, trampoline parks and many others. 

Some of the kids attending have been going to the Youth Center for years, and are apart of the ‘regular’ crowd. One of the camp’s attendees, Derek Rabang said “I just like hanging with my friends everyday.” And even though the Tulalip Education Division is used to some of the same faces, they love seeing new ones as well. 

Currently 81 kids have been signed up for the summer camps, some attending everyday, and others switching out between events. 

With activities set up every Monday through Friday until August, another set of summer camp activities will be released following through until the start of the school year. Needless to say, these summer camps provide an opportunity for Tulalip youth to have a fun, safe, and fulfilled summer. 

Youth and Family Enrichment Supervisor, Sarah Murphy said, “the most exciting thing about summer camp is the energy that the kids give us. These camps set up summers for some of the most fun they will ever have. Some people don’t have the means or the funds or the transportation to go places with their families, so us giving them that opportunity brings me joy. It just warms my heart.”

The summer camps are available for any youth coming into 6th grade on through 12th grade. Because of limited space in the vehicles, and limited staffing, only the first 50 kids that sign up will be able to attend off-site trips. Every child also must have permission slips filled out for them and returned to the Youth Center’s front desk. 

Sarah said “[Tulalip youth] being here is creating a sense of safety and giving them something to do that’s productive, and in a positive manner. Come sign your kids up.”

If you would like to sign your child up for the summer camps or have any questions, please email youthactivities@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov or you can call 360-716-4909.

Tulalip Healing to Wellness Court recognized as National Mentor Court

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

In recognition of outstanding service to the treatment community, the Tulalip Healing to Wellness Court Tulalip, WA is hereby recognized as a member of the 2022-2024 National Mentor Court Network by NADCP’s Drug Court Institute and The Bureau of Justice Assistance

On the afternoon of June 27, the courtroom at the Tulalip Justice department was filled with multiple people, some hailing from as far away as Arizona. On the hottest day of the year so far, many were in splendid spirits and thankful to be in the comfort of the almighty A/C. About six of those individuals were especially in a good mood, as they are currently on a journey to becoming the best version of themselves, fighting hard to stay on the road to recovery. And thanks to the Tulalip Healing to Wellness Court, they are seeing successful results. 

One by one they approached the stand and the first question the judge asked was, ‘how many clean days do you have?’ Ranging anywhere from 36 days to 265 days clean, each person received a resounding and well-deserved round of applause by the entire courtroom when they revealed the amount of days they have remained sober. 

The clients then reflected on the past week with Judge Peter Boome. The judge let the clients know if they were in-compliance, and together they discussed all of the weekly tasks the clients have completed, or were meant to complete, such as community service hours, check-in’s with their advisors and team, court-mandated essays, and UA’s.

 A few of these individuals, who are just beginning their recovery journey, were experiencing the Healing to Wellness Court’s proceedings for the first time, and this appearance served as either an observation day or an opt-in day. Others have long been participants of the wellness court and were celebrating upwards of hundreds of days clean, that were acquired with the assistance of the Tribe’s wellness court. If the client was 100% in-compliance, they were rewarded with an incentive of their choosing.

Observing the wellness court in-action, was Susan Alameda, the Project Director of the National Drug Court Institute. Once the proceedings were finished, Susan presented an engraved plaque to the tribal court, recognizing the Healing to Wellness Court as an official member of the National Mentor Court Network. 

This is the second two-year term in a row that the Tulalip Healing to Wellness Court received this esteemed title. The title allows other courthouses throughout the country, that are looking to improve or begin their own wellness courts in their respective communities, the opportunity to visit and learn from Tulalip’s model. 

Said Susan, “At the National Drug Court Institute, we say that these programs are about saving lives. I believe that is absolutely true. There’s an approach to these programs, especially Tulalip’s Healing to Wellness Court, it’s very rooted in community, very rooted in science and research. When you think about families who are able to stay together, or to be reunited, people who turn their lives around from substance abuse and have a second chance, to me, that’s life saving. When they get all that fog out of their system, and they can see themselves and all the things they want to achieve, they become a new person. That is such a beautiful thing to see.”

She continued, “This particular wellness program now has the prestige title of being a mentor court, which is one of very few mentor courts throughout the country. We take great honor in recognizing this court for all of its achievements. The staff played a big role to begin and continue carrying out this program, and [the judges] have been very dedicated, as well as all those who have come before. To be called a mentor court, you really have to adhere to some high standards. And through that, you have the opportunity to play a role in helping shape other courts that are interested in doing something like what’s been going on here.”

The Tulalip Tribes and the Tulalip Justice department first introduced the Healing to Wellness Court at the start of 2017 as an alternative path to the road to recovery for it’s tribal membership. As the heroin and opioid epidemic continues to escalate, skyrocketing in Native America since the pandemic, the tribal Wellness Court program looks to continue to be a source for the people as a means to get clean and escape the battle of addiction. 

The tribe tailored the wellness court to meet the needs of their people, and implemented community and cultural work, or ‘give-back hours’, as a requirement to complete the program. And thereby helped re-instill traditional values in many of their clients as well as helping them get re-acclimated back into the community. 

In addition to having a strong team of professionals by their side, consisting of judges, attorneys, tribal courthouse officials, TPD officers, drug counselors, and recovery specialists, the client is also reunified with their families, friends, and community along the way. And with a strong support system and a return to traditional Tulalip lifeways, the client has a great chance of completing the 18-24 monthlong program and maintaining their sobriety once they graduate from the Healing to Wellness Court. 

Susan presented the plaque to Tulalip Chairwoman, Teri Gobin, who stated, “I would like to thank you on behalf of the Tulalip Tribes. It’s a true honor for our court system. I also want to thank Judge Bass, who was there since the beginning to help bring this forward. And all of the other judges, lawyers, staff, supportive staff, and everyone who has been involved. It’s an honor to receive this prestigious honor for our court system.”

In attendance for the special recognition, and taking note of the court’s proceedings, were representatives of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe who are in the planning phase of opening their own reservation-based wellness court. The Muckleshoot Wellness Court coordinator, Henry Carranza, is anticipating a ribbon-cutting ceremony as early as September, but noted that a lot of work is still required before they’re able to hold their first hearing. 

“A lot of the things happening here at the Tulalip Healing to Wellness Court, we’re going to borrow and implement,” Henry said. “We’re looking to get as much information that we can get and use it for our court. The whole transformation of helping others and watching them turn their lives around will be so worth it. Here at Tulalip, everybody has the same goal of helping the individual turn their life around, everybody works together to help that one person, I think that’s the key.”

The mentor court title will remain in effect through 2024, where if eligible, the courthouse can once again apply to be a member of the National Mentor Court Network and can continue to lead by example for wellness courts nationwide. 

While wiping tears from her eyes, Teri expressed, “I think about everybody’s lives that it’s changed – seeing the difference in what has happened with our people. It makes a difference having everybody surrounding you, supporting you. It’s like the medicine wheel. We’re making sure they are whole all the way around, but also keeping them accountable for that first year. I want to thank you for this honor on behalf of our court and the staff who made this possible.”