I want to address a subject that weighs heavy on our community right now; the buzz currently in the media regarding Tulalip citizens accused of trafficking in illegally harvested shellfish.
Every citizen has a right to a fair and impartial trial, and the Tulalip Tribes protects our citizens’ rights by refraining from speaking about current investigations. Facts about the case will be available after the case goes to trial and a judgment is made.
The State did recognize our jurisdiction. The State went through Tulalip Court to obtain search warrants for an investigation that involved Tulalip citizens. The State recognizes both our interest in this case, as well as the authority of our judicial system.
Tulalip has jurisdiction over all fishing violations committed by Tribal fishermen within our usual and accustomed areas. The Boldt Decision reaffirmed that inherent right, and Tulalip is exercising that right by prosecuting 8 different cases of fishing in closed waters, not just the case that you’ve seen in the media. The State has not filed any charges to date.
We exercise our sovereignty by creating and enforcing our laws. Laws that apply to every citizen, and laws that were created for the benefit of every citizen. Just as our ancestors did, we use our knowledge of the resource to determine when to open fisheries so that our people can enjoy that resource, while leaving enough to ensure the future of the resource.
Regardless of whether it was harvested legally or illegally, for subsistence, financial or personal gain, every bit of our natural resources harvested by Tulalip citizens are counted as part of 50% of the catch that tribes are entitled to. Every fish that is taken illegally, is taken from the mouths of other Tulalips.
The Tulalip Tribes will prosecute Tulalip citizens who take from our families. We will prosecute crimes that endanger the co-management of our resource. We will exercise our sovereignty and enforce the laws that we created to protect our people.
I’m encouraged by all of the conversation. I’m gratified to know that our citizens are as engaged in protecting our sovereignty as our grandparents were.
TULALIP – This morning at 10:00 a.m. the Tulalip Tribes Charitable Contributions Fund donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross and $50,000 to the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation to aid in disaster relief efforts in the Oso community. On Saturday, March 22, a massive landslide swept over houses, SR530, and even the Stilliguamish River. A concerted relief effort by search and rescue teams, fire crews from around the state, the national guard, and numerous other organizations and individual volunteers continues to clear the road, monitor the river, and search for missing people as families and the Oso community cope with grief.
“We at the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation are so humbled and deeply grateful. Neighbors helping neighbors, and we will help our mutual neighbors as they recover from this devastating loss,” said Heather Logan, Cascade Valley Hospital Representative for the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation.
Chuck Morrison of the American Red Cross also expressed gratitude, offering a few encouraging words.
“We share a mission of making sure the families of those missing are all taken care of,” he said. “This generous gift from the Tulalips will help us serve the families of the missing victims of this catastrophic mudslide. We appreciate the
donations from organizations and individuals across the region and the country to help meet the continuing needs.”
He went on to explain what the funds will do for the relief effort, supplying search and rescue teams and volunteers, as well as immediate assistance for victims of the catastrophe.
Logan spoke about what these funds will do long term, being used for assistance for victims, even to help cover funeral costs.
“We will keep it local, and with zero overhead expenses,” she said.
Tulalip Tribes Chairman Mel Sheldon Jr. said, “Our prayers and thoughts are with all the families that have been affected by this. One of those that was lost in the landslide was a close friend of mine. This affects everybody, no matter where you are or who you are, as tragedy strikes, we all share together.”
Historically, the people of Tulalip have suffered similar catastrophic loss. A landslide in the 1820s on the southern point of Camano Island, known as Camano Head, demolished an historic village site killing all of its inhabitants. The slide sent a tidal wave across to the north tip of Hat Island, devastating that village site as well.
Sheldon said, “We remember, through history, how close that comes to us as we think of our friends in Oso. We share our deep condolences with everyone affected by this tragedy, which is heartfelt throughout our community. We hope this donation will aid people as they grieve and work to rebuild their lives.”
Andrew Gobin is a reporter with the See-Yaht-Sub, a publication of the Tulalip Tribes Communications Department. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (360) 716.4188
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
Lovick grew up in the tiny town of Robeline, in Louisiana’s Natchitoches Parish.
He was raised by his grandmother, Elsie Lee Lovick. A mother of 11, she had picked cotton and scrubbed floors to support the family. Their house had no running water.
Robeline was far from Washington, D.C., where on Aug. 28, 1963, tens of thousands of people joined the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march ended with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s history-making “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.
Many Americans watched the landmark events of the Civil Rights Movement in their living rooms. Lovick didn’t have that luxury.
“We didn’t have a TV. We would hear about it, or listen to the radio. Obviously, we knew these things were going on,” said Lovick, 62, who lives in Mill Creek.
For a child in a segregated school, in a region that was ground zero in the struggle for racial equality, King was a towering figure.
“There were conversations about him in school — always Dr. Martin Luther King. He was the one black public figure you could really see,” Lovick said.
As Snohomish County’s top public figure, Lovick will join in a celebration marking the 50th anniversary of King’s speech at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Everett Community College’s Jackson Center. Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson, former Everett City Councilman Carl Gipson and Tulalip Tribes Chairman Mel Sheldon are also scheduled to speak at the free event.
Lovick said that as a boy in Louisiana, “not in a million years did I imagine I’d be executive of a very large county — that level of success.” Yet he took to heart a message brought forth by King’s powerful words.
“As I watched him, as I listened to his speeches, he always said things were going to change. There will be opportunities. He wanted to make sure we were prepared, by staying in school, staying out of trouble,” Lovick said.
“Things were very, very tough growing up down there. But there’s a future out there. It was a message that always resonated with me,” said Lovick, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard, and as a State Patrol trooper, a state lawmaker and as county sheriff before being chosen in June to lead Snohomish County after Aaron Reardon’s resignation.
The systematic segregation of Lovick’s childhood is gone, but not the hurtful memories.
In all his years of school in Robeline, where Lovick graduated from Allen High School in 1968, he never had a white classmate. “It was just the way life was,” said Lovick, who remembers seeing school buses go past carrying white students.
Schools in his Louisiana town remained segregated long after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling that found separate educational facilities are unequal. In 1957, King had taken a strong stand in the fight for integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark.
It wasn’t until the early 1980s, Lovick said, that Allen High in his hometown was ordered closed by a federal judge.
There was dismay in his voice as he described a visit to Robeline after finishing boot camp in 1970. “I went to a movie theater and had to sit in a segregated section — in my Coast Guard uniform. There was a sign, ‘colored,’ with a finger pointing in one direction,” he said. “That stirred up some terrible memories.
During his boyhood, the Ku Klux Klan was active. Lovick said his grandmother, who died three years ago at 97, feared for his safety when he would walk home. “She was always afraid of what would happen to me. At the time, there was a lot of hatred,” Lovick said.
He recently saw “The Butler,” based on the true story of a black man who worked 34 years, under eight presidents, as a White House butler. With its sweep of history, Lovick said the movie was a reminder that “a lot of people sacrificed and suffered for me to be here.”Lovick shared another painful memory. His grandmother, he said, would “crawl on her knees scrubbing floors, but she couldn’t walk in the front door of the house where she worked.”
Yet he chooses to turn away from bitterness, embracing King’s message of love and forgiveness. “Hating people is too much of a burden for me to bear,” he said.
When King spoke those words — “I have a dream today” — Lovick said he was a little too young to join in demonstrations for civil rights.
“I have tremendous admiration for those people who did the hard things,” he said. “I don’t know right now if I would have had the courage to do what they did.”
‘I Have a Dream’ event at EvCC
A free public celebration marking the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Jackson Center on the Everett Community College campus, 2000 Tower St. Speakers include Snohomish County Executive John Lovick, Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson, Tulalip Tribes Chairman Mel Sheldon and former Everett City Councilman Carl Gipson.
“The March,” a new PBS documentary looking back at Aug. 28, 1963, the day King delivered his landmark speech in Washington, D.C., will air at 9 p.m. Tuesday on KCTS, Channel 9.