Cultural teachings continue with new story poles at Tulalip

 

Tulalip Master Carvers Joe Gobin and James Madison and sons.

Tulalip Master Carvers Joe Gobin and James Madison and sons.

 

By Kim Kalliber, Tulalip News

 

“We’re not petrified, we’re still alive”

 

These strong words by James Madison were spoken by his grandfather, Frank Madison, before him. And that is the message Madison wishes to convey to the next generation of Native youth, keep us alive.

Maintaining our culture is of the upmost importance to Indigenous communities like Tulalip. On March 7, Tulalip tribal leaders, tribal members and tribal employees gathered outside the Tulalip Administration Building to welcome two beautiful new story poles, one featuring an orca, the other an octpous, that take position outside the entrance to the building. The poles, made from red cedar, were created by Tulalip master carvers, Joe Gobin and James Madison.

Orca pole created by Joe Gobin.

Orca pole created by Joe Gobin.

 

Octopus pole created by James Madison.

Octopus pole created by James Madison.

 

The unveiling of the poles began with a prayer followed by singing and drumming. Gobin and Madison then shared the meaning of the poles.

Gobin, who carved the Orca pole, explains that, “we’re killer whale people. The person on top is our spirit of the whale.” The eagle design represents the eagles that watch over our gatherings.

The octopus pole features a diving rock. This represents the power of the Native people. Madison’s grandfather told stories of this water power, and how they would jump into the water with a diving rock and get water power for protection.

Madison, with a hand on the shoulder of each his two sons, spoke of how proud his grandfather is for us putting our culture into our tribal buildings.

 

Tulalip tribal drummers and singers.

Tulalip tribal drummers and singers.

Tulalip Tribal Chairman Mel Sheldon and various tribal board members gave thanks to the artists and the art work, while emphasizing the importance of the teachings being passed on.

Wrapping up the unveiling was a singing and drumming performance by Quil Ceda Elementary students.

 

Quit Ceda Elementary students

Quil Ceda Elementary students

 

Crowd gathered at the Tulalip Administration Building for the totem pole unveiling.

Crowd gathered at the Tulalip Administration Building for the totem pole unveiling.

 

 

 

Providence partners with Tulalip Tribes to offer support to tribal members during medical care

Article by Monica Brown, photos by Brandi N. Montreuil

Tulalip Community RoomTULALIP, Wash.- Recently Providence Medical Center and Tulalip Tribes have been strengthening their relationship so that both may benefit; staff at Providence will have more knowledge about what tribal member’s needs are in times of crisis and tribal members will feel more at ease while in the their care.

The old surgery waiting room has been remolded and is designed to accommodate traditional practices when tribal members are hospitalized.   The new room called the Tulalip Community Room has been set-aside for tribal members to use and features a variety of sitting areas, a TV, phone, a small kitchenette, a computer with Internet access. The room also features elegantly carved art pieces by James Madison and Joe Gobin that decorate the walls,Tulalip Community Room and a large timeline of Tulalip Tribes history welcomes visitors as they walk in.

Tulalip Community Room is designed to provide comfort and privacy for family members and space to accommodate large gatherings.

“Especially in crisis time, all of our friends and family want to be there to give them [each other] a handshake, a hug. That’s how we are during crisis,” stated Don about the larger and quieter rooms.

Tribal member Dale Jones reads the Tulalip Tribes Past & Present timeline piece.

Tribal member Dale Jones reads the Tulalip Tribes Past & Present timeline piece.

Providence and Tulalip plan to meet every six months in order to address any underlying issues that may occur while tribal members are hospitalized.

“You’re an important and special part of our community,” said CEO of Providence Medical Center David Brooks. “I appreciate meeting here today and having open communications.”

 

Monica Brown: 360-716-4189; brown@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov