Upcoming native youth basketball skills academy in partnership with Rise Above & Elite Youth Camps, Saturday September 19th 2015 from 9am-4pm located at the Tulalip Youth Center. Ages 5-18, must be a Tulalip Tribal member. Pre-registration is suggested, stop by the Don Hatch Youth Center.
During the week of July 27-31, the sports-centric youth of Tulalip took part in a week long basketball camp to learn, practice, and perfect their basketball skills at the Don Hatch Youth Center. With the on-court assistance of Deyamonta Diaz and Shawn Sanchey, who are both Youth Services Activity Specialists, basketball camp participants were split into two groups; one earlier session for elementary and middle school aged boys and one later session for high school aged boys.
Fred Brown, Jr. who played college basketball at the University of Iowa and presently works for Seattle Basketball Services, Washington State’s premier NCAA compliant scouting service led the early session of youngsters. According to his work profile, Brown specializes in events coordinating, recruiting, scouting, tutoring and player development work for youth, high school, college and professional athletes. He is dedicated to helping student athletes learn the importance of having an exceptional work ethic, good grades and a positive attitude to be successful in today’s society.
Brown believes, “Opportunities do not go away, they go to someone else.” Following with this mantra, Brown emphasized hard work and the highest quality of competition during each day of camp. Tulalip youth responded in kind by giving their fullest effort during each and every basketball drill. The few instances when the kids would not respect the rules of his sessions, Brown was sure to get their attention by blowing his whistle and having them run lines. This means of discipline not only got the kids attention, but also helped to condition them and build up their stamina.
The later session, made up of high school participants, was led by Sanjey Noriega and Tisen Fryberg. Noriega was a college basketball player at University of Alaska-Fairbanks and went on to play professional basketball in Europe and Latin America. Fryberg, a Tulalip tribal member, currently plays college basketball.
During both sessions, the young ballers with hoop dreams were able to win prizes, such as shooting sleeves or Strideline basketball socks, in various skill building drills. There was a fair share of solo drills, but for the most part the sessions were composed of team exercises that showcased the fact that basketball is indeed a team sport.
Everyone who participated in the basketball camp came away a better basketball player and a better teammate to their brothers of the hardwood. They grew and learned about more than just basketball, as each session instructor would share their personal stories overcoming obstacles to make it to the next level. While they practiced ball handling, dribbling, and shooting, they also learned about self-esteem, teamwork, and the value of hard work.
Whether people realize it or not, many parents and guardians depend on an important outside resource to help feed their kids. That resource is located at places most are familiar with such as early learning centers and elementary, middle, junior high and high schools. Some families rely on the school system to keep food in their kid’s bellies during the day but summer brings a different set of challenges to meal time and family schedules.
Through a partnership between the Marysville School District and the USDA, the summer meal program is offered at nine different sites, including Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary and the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club. Kids and teens 18 years and younger are offered a free snack and lunch at all nine locations through August 21.
Please see flyer for times and locations. For more information please contact the Marysville School District at: http://www.msvl.k12.wa.us/contact-us or 360-653-7058 with any questions or comments.
The group of middle-school students made a two-hour bus trip from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to a Rapid City Rush hockey game in late January. The school-sanctioned outing was a reward for academic achievement.
But the group left the game in the third period when some men sitting above them in a corporate box allegedly began to pour beer on and shout racial slurs at the parents and students.
Angie Sam says she believes her 13-year-old daughter and 56 other students, ages 9 to 13, are victims of a hate crime.
“Some of our kids — they’ve had nightmares, they cry,” she says, as she herself fights back tears. “We as parents, we cry for our kids, because we protect them. And they were being rewarded for good behavior, and these drunk, white men ruined that for them.”
The incident was reported on social media after the game, then to law enforcement. Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris condemned the attack and said charges could include hate crimes.
“It is what I would call ‘scorching of your soul,’ so it upsets me greatly that this occurred here in our community,” he says. “And it certainly is a criminal act that occurred; we do have an ongoing, open criminal investigation.”
Suspects in the investigation have not yet been named, and police say any charges could be weeks away.
“Being patient in this process is part of it, but we can’t be too patient — we need action,” says Mato Standing High, an attorney for some of the families involved. “Rapid City should not tolerate the abuse of children, period.”
Standing High says the incident adds to racial tension that already was elevated by a police shooting of a Native American man in December. He notes a pattern of troubled race relations extending all the way back to the white settlement of the area in the late 19th century, but says that what’s different this time is that it involves so many kids.
“You add on top of that factors of race, and that’s when people get really, really excited and taken back in history to horrible treatment that Indians have faced,” he adds.
Many of those like Standing High say that past racist acts or even hate crimes against Native Americans here have occurred with few repercussions. Social media is seen as a game-changer in this case.
The Native community is using it to organize protests, which have been attended by Native Americans and others. Organizers see that type of cross-cultural communication as a positive step, but note that it will take more than one rally to heal the deep racial divisions here.
Chase Iron Eyes, an attorney and a founder of the group Lastrealindians, spread the story on his website after it was posted on Facebook. He warns that anyone who is overtly racist now runs the risk of being called out on the Internet.
“We control our own presses, we control our own media networks,” he says. “We reach a million people a week, for instance, on my media network, easily. And so things are changing. There’s an evolution here, coming.”
A wave of support offered in the wake of the MPHS shooting
By Niki Cleary, Tulalip News
Immediately following the MPHS shooting, crisis management teams from around the nation and local, mobilized. Cheri Lovre, Executive Director of the Crisis Management Institute was one of them. She specializes in helping communities deal with the aftermath of school shootings and similar tragedies. She spoke at a November 5th, trauma recovery working session between the Tulalip Tribes and the Marysville School District.
November 5th was the first day students at MPHS got back to a typical class schedule following the October 24th tragedy in which a Tulalip boy, Jaylen Fryberg, opened fire on his close friends in the cafeteria, killing 4 of them and himself. Lovre acknowledged that while it was the first regular school day, it will be a long time before anyone affected by the tragedy feels “normal.”
“I followed Jaylen’s schedule,” she said, explaining that she attended all of his scheduled classes. “We had kids in classes so they could see where the empty desks were, the rooms where Jaylen’s desk would be empty. That meant there were times during the day where I was a in a class with four empty desks.”
Acknowledging the loss and the range of emotions is important for teachers, students and even the community, Lovre explained. Right now, many people, adults and children, are still processing the event.
“The first day back we acknowledge it. We told the kids that we don’t have to move today. There was only one class that asked for a new seating chart. I’ve seen more chaos in schools where a child simply died in a car accident than we had in this school,” she said.
“They [the kids] need to see everything unchanged,” she described artifacts of the shooter as well as the victims, photos, school projects that might hang on the walls, even name tags that might be posted, “Taking it down is part of a process.”
For the first day back, the District had 30 grief counselors and therapy dogs at MPHS, and two grief counselors in each other district school. Counselors in the schools are just a piece of the total recovery effort, Lovre said. Much of the healing, or lack of healing will happen at home.
“Kids can only recover as much as the adults in their lives,” she pointed out. “We can’t expect our kids to behave in a way that is not modeled. I’ll say it again. Kids can only get as well as the adults around them.”
Providing overall community outreach and opportunities for the community to grieve and express emotions is one way to move forward after tragedy. The district, Lovre said, may look into greater outreach in order to help kids heal as much as possible.
“In other places one of the things we created were one-stop-shops where parents who needed counseling [also had access to other services],” she recalled. “IF a parent had an issue with food stamps, they could talk with someone at the school and deal with that issue at the same time.”
It’s important to provide wraparound services because as stress adds up, people are less able to deal with it. She also illustrated the types of behavior, including suicides, that current trauma might trigger. Trauma can also cause learning disabilities, which for a senior in their final year of high school, can derail their graduation goals.
“About 25% of your students have passing thoughts or have attempted suicide,” Lovre said. “Anytime the world is de-stabilized, it bumps those kids a little closer. You end up with kids sleeping in class because they can’t sleep at night, then they don’t have enough credits to graduate. The biochemistry of trauma leaves us on-edge, irritable and easily provoked.”
Every district deals with these issues differently. Lovre explained that the fact that Marysville School District is having the conversations so early, is a positive sign.
When asked about the mixed emotional reactions, Lovre said there is no right or wrong way to deal with the shooting. Some people will react with anger, some with grief, some will have no reaction at all, or will block out the violent act and focus on what came before. Still others will pass from one emotional reaction to another depending on the day, or even the moment. All are common reactions and none are abnormal.
“We often, particularly with a suicide or murder, get stuck on that moment and forget how that person lived. Part of my message is that we need to acknowledge that we lost someone in the fabric of our community. We need to acknowledge that we loved him. Some of you are conflicted about how you feel about him, you loved him but you cannot fathom the event that he did. It’s important that we say out loud that we have both feelings.”
Lovre continued, “There’s a difference between moving on and moving forward. I think it’s a wonderful thing that no one has vandalized the memorials to Jaylen. We are still in the honeymoon stage [of the crisis response]. But we’ll be tipping over that hill soon. The adults in your community will be moving to less tolerant places.
“We start getting into disillusionment, ‘I thought this was a good community, but I guess it’s not.’ Then we get into real anger, blame, and mistrust. Eventually it starts to come back up but it’s not [a straight line], there are dips. But, eventually, the days get better as a community, a family and for each person.”
Keep reading the See-Yaht-Sub and Tulalip News for updates on crisis relief efforts, where to receive counseling and how to help the Tulalip and Marysville communities move forward from tragedy.
It’s no secret that kids who help plant a garden are more likely to want to eat the fruits and vegetables that it produces—and growing a garden is a great way to get your kids interested in trying unfamiliar foods.
Whether you’re thinking of spearheading a school garden, you’ve got a plot in the community garden or you’re blessed to have a couple of raised beds in your own back yard, here are five tips for making gardening fun, easy and rewarding for your little ones:
1. Center the Garden on the Kids
Involve the kids in deciding what to plant and where to plant it. Use this as an opportunity to teach them about the balance between sunlight and shade, and even to help them learn to track to the path of the sun. You could even experiment and plant the same kind of plant or seed in three different locations with varying access to sunlight and water. Ask your children to observe the differences in the plants as they grow.
2. Designate a Specific Area for Their Gardening
If you’ve got your own ambitions for gardening it would be wise to designate a special bed or section of a bed specifically for the children to garden. This will keep them from over “helping” you and encourage them to take ownership over their own space. It may be a good idea to buy them their own gardening tools as well. Even simple plastic tools for playing in the sand could work well in a kiddie garden.
3. Make the Garden Interactive
Plant flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds and perhaps even encourage a cutting garden so that the kids can touch and smell the flowers. Release ladybugs into the garden and track their life cycle. Take photos of a favorite plant or vegetable once a week to track its growth. My favorite idea? Plant a sunflower house. Simply plant sunflower seeds or starts in a large circle, leaving enough space between two of the sunflowers for children to easily pass through without damaging the flowers. By the end of the summer the sunflowers will have grown up into a large round “house” with a gaping door—a perfectly shaded playhouse for the dog days of summer.
4. Keep it Simple
Your kids are likely to be more interested in the garden if they begin to see results sooner rather than later. Be sure to plant vegetables that grow quickly, like radishes, alongside more tantalizing varieties that will prove to be worth the wait, such as cherry tomatoes or sweet peas. Forgo seeds for starts to speed the “fruits of our labor” process up a bit more and don’t forget to plant herbs, which are ready to eat almost immediately.
5. Don’t Stop at the Garden
Use the garden as a resource and an excuse to get your kids in the kitchen all summer long too. Teach them how to cook and prepare delicious meals with the vegetables and herbs that they grew—even set the dinner table with a bouquet of fresh flowers from the garden as well. Begin to teach them delicious and simple food pairings, like fresh basil with tomato. If they’re old enough challenge them to find a new recipe once a week, whether they scour the web, your cookbooks or their imagination.
Darla Antoine is an enrolled member of the Okanagan Indian Band in British Columbia and grew up in Eastern Washington State. For three years, she worked as a newspaper reporter in the Midwest, reporting on issues relevant to the Native and Hispanic communities, and most recently served as a producer for Native America Calling. In 2011, she moved to Costa Rica, where she currently lives with her husband and their infant son. She lives on an organic and sustainable farm in the “cloud forest”—the highlands of Costa Rica, 9,000 feet above sea level. Due to the high elevation, the conditions for farming and gardening are similar to that of the Pacific Northwest—cold and rainy for most of the year with a short growing season. Antoine has an herb garden, green house, a bee hive, cows, a goat, and two trout ponds stocked with hundreds of rainbow trout.
The gymnasium floor at Paschal Sherman Indian School on the Colville Reservation was filled with young basketball players, dozens of players, all between the ages of 6 and 11. Each wore a T-shirt which will become a prized possession.
Older players, from 12 to 18, would fill the gym the following day. One-hundred-and-thirty kids, boys and girls, would attend during the two days.
Several coaches worked with the youngsters, teaching passing skills, defensive maneuvers, shooting techniques and footwork.
Craig Ehlo signs shirts and photos as Tavio Hobson looks on. (Jack McNeel)
Former NBA basketball player Craig Ehlo was also there to talk with them and sign autographs, but the day and Ehlo’s presence was about much more than just basketball. It was also about drugs and the negative impacts they can have on one’s life and how a passion for sport can help avoid those negatives.
The clinic was jointly sponsored by The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations in Spokane and a Seattle organization called A Plus Youth Program. Dr. Martina Whelshula is Executive Director of the Healing Lodge and she commented on how the two programs have complimentary missions and similar programs in many respects. The Healing Lodge works primarily with Native young people dealing with drug addiction while A Plus uses sport to surround kids with character development, mentoring, and educational services.
During the day the youngsters were asked to answer a brief 6-question survey. “It’s an assessment tool to measure the risks of addiction for children,” Dr. Whelshula explains. “There’s an adult there to help if they have questions about the questions.”
“Harvard Medical School folks attended one of our clinics on the Spokane Reservation,” Dr. Whelshula said. “They loved it and thought it was an amazing tool on so many different levels.” So now the information gathered at the basketball clinics is sent to Harvard, they analyze it, and it’s returned to the tribe and Indian Health Service.
Tavio Hobson, Executive Director for A Plus, founded the organization five years ago with funding coming mostly from private individuals, grants and corporate sponsorships. They have some major contributors and are expecting significant growth in coming years. “One of the goals was to look at ways we could continue to expand programming in areas where there was high need and have folks with similar visions, passions, and missions. Areas where we felt we could make a significant impact. That’s where our Native Initiative came from. Our ultimate vision is to have this program on every reservation.”
Kids listen attentively as former NBA player Craig Ehlo tells of his career. (Jack McNeel)
They will be going to New York City this fall. “There are 60 to 70 thousand kids in public high schools with zero access to sport. They need mentoring support, including character development, financial literacy, leadership skills and implement substance resistance and prevention, in addition to adding sports,” Hobson explained.
Speaking of partnering with Healing Lodge, he said, “We want the exact same thing for Native youth. The power of sport is transformative. Being able to tie in with the Healing Lodge and their expertise, especially around substance abuse resistance, education, and prevention is something we’re passionate about.”
Three more reservations in the northwest, Umatilla, Kootenai of Idaho, and Kalispel, will have similar basketball clinics this summer. Puyallup has already signed up for the next fiscal year which begins in September. There is no charge to tribes. It’s funded with a grant from Indian Health Service. “Now that funding is done, this is where sustainability comes in because of our partnership with A Plus Youth Program and their financial backing. With the merging of the two programs we can go national,” Dr. Whelshula said.
Left to right: Tavio Hobson, Dr. Martina Whelshula, and Brad Meyers are persons most responsible for these basketball clinics. (Jack McNeel)
The interaction with professional athletes adds to the excitement for the youngsters. “Just about every professional athlete out of Seattle who played basketball has supported us at one time or another,” Hobson said. Magic Johnson was keynote speaker at a dinner two years ago, talking of the need that exists in many communities across the nation.
Craig Ehlo encouraged the youngsters at Paschal Sherman Indian School to develop a strong work ethic, as he did in watching his parents and which carried over into his basketball career. “Listen to your parents and to others like your coaches. They have wise words for you. Everything you learn now is going to shape your life.”
Dr. Whelshula and Hobson strongly agree that to reach young people one needs to start with what the kids are passionate about. “You’ve got to go meet them,” Hobson said. Sport is one of those passions for many young people.
Kids are also cutting back on sweets and sugary drinks, eating breakfast more regularly, spending more time exercising, and spending less time in front of the television, the study found:
The following graph shows the modest rise in the number of days per week that American kids engaged in physical activity (PA) and the decline in the hours per day that they sat in front of the television:
These healthier habits have begun making a difference.
The average body mass index of thousands of kids studied increased between 2001 and 2005, then started falling between 2005 and 2009. That’s in line with the results of other studies, which have shown a plateau in childhood obesity rates. (Though as we told you last week, America’s most obese kids, primarily children of poor black and Hispanic parents, continue to get fatter.)
“Over the previous decades, the pattern had been that kids were getting less physical activity, and it’s been very hard to increase their fruit and vegetable consumption,” Ronald Iannotti, coauthor of the study and chairman of the department of exercise and health sciences at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, told USA Today. “We’ve got a long way to go, but the good news is that those are increasing.”