Lushootseed returns to Marysville Pilchuck High School

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

After nearly a two decade hiatus, the Lushootseed language has finally returned to the classroom as an official program taught at Marysville Pilchuck High School for the 2019-2020 school year. 

The tireless dedication of longtime Indigenous education employees and Native student supporters Matt Remle and Ricky Belmont, who made it their mission long ago to bring the Coast Salish language to the high school, has brought a swift sense of excitement to the MP campus.

“For years my co-worker Ricky Belmont and I worked to find ways to bring Native language learning opportunities to Marysville Pilchuck. Last year, the stars finally aligned when we reached out to our administration about developing a Lushootseed class on campus and they agreed,” explained Matt Remle, lead Indigenous education liaison. “When it came time to register for classes this year, Ricky and I reached out to our current students and incoming freshman and told them they better sign up after all that hustling.

“Because demand was high we now have the amazing Natosha Gobin teaching two classes on campus,” he continued. “Students are already being [heavily] influenced. Yesterday, I was speaking to a senior about her post high school plans and she said she wanted to be a Lushootseed teacher!”

A Tulalip tribal member, Natosha has spent the last 19-years learning, teaching, and helping to revitalize the traditional language of her ancestors. She has come full circle after graduating as an MP high school student 20 years ago to now reentering the MP halls as a certified teacher and Lushootseed instructor.

“Toby Langen and Tony Hatch taught Lushootseed classes at MP in the early 2000’s, which were the classes that I sat in on along with Eliza Davis when we first started in the language department,” recalled Natosha. “It is exciting to be back on the campus as the lead teacher. I hope that I can keep the students engaged and speaking, giving them tools to use the language daily both in and out of the classroom.

“The work that Michelle Myles has done the past two years at Heritage has sparked the interest for high school youth to start learning and speaking our language,” she continued. “We have high hopes that the youth taking these classes will be able to see themselves as the next group of teachers to keep the work moving forward.”

The Lushootseed course was offered to all interested students from all grade levels and quickly filled up. It comes as no surprise that the majority of her students are Tulalip tribal members who jumped at the opportunity to learn  their traditional language and history from an actual Tulalip culture bearer.

“It’s already one of my favorite classes,” shared 10th grader Shylah Zackuse (Tulalip). “After finding out Lushootseed would be offered, I planned my daily schedule perfectly in order to take it. Being taught by a tribal member, there’s a real connection because Natosha is family.” 

Currently offered during 2nd and 3rd period only, 34 out of the 52 enrolled students are either Tulalip tribal members or have lived in the Tulalip community their whole lives. The remainder of the students are a mixture of other Native and non-Native students who are eager to learn about the traditional lifeways of their neighboring Tulalip people. 

“I don’t know a lot about my Native culture, so taking Lushootseed is a new opportunity to learn about my background,” explained 9th grader Jesse Lamoureaux (Tsimshian from Metlakatla, Alaska). “This class teaches me about my past. What we are learning is thanks to our ancestors from way back who documented their teachings on audio tapes. My favorite phrase so far has to be ηαʔɬ δαδατυ (Lushootseed for ‘good morning’) because we can say it every day.”

The Lushootseed coursework will focus on relevant conversation lessons that can be used throughout the day. These include talking about daily routines, weather, describing feelings and states of mind, as well as many more topics to keep students engaged.

The course will also feature a great many references to Tulalip ancestors and elders who laid the foundation for where the Tribes are today, such as Harriet Shelton Dover, Martha Lamont and Lizzie Krise to name but a few. And best of all the MP students won’t be reading about these iconic individuals from colonial textbooks either, instead they will be hearing their powerful words spoken from a combination of archived video and audio resources.

“Some of my greatest inspirations are the speakers who had the foresight to document and record our language, enabling us to speak and teach it today,” said Natosha. “We want to ensure our community is aware of the ancestors who played key roles in preserving the language. Through passing on their stories, some of our youth are able to recognize their connection to the speakers and deepen their desire to participate.”

With both Lushootseed classes at full capacity and a waiting list with students hoping to transfer in if the opportunity arises, Marysville Pilchuck is already looking to build on the early successes of having more culturally relevant classes available for their diverse student population.

“It’s so wonderful to be able to offer Lushootseed to our students,” explained Principal Christine Bromley. “We have Native students, non-Native students and students with disabilities all taking Lushootseed. From all perspectives of this, it’s a great opportunity to build relationships.  

“Partnering with the Tulalip Tribes to bring Lushootseed here to the high school is a critical piece to build upon the relationship between the school district and the Tribes,” she added. “I can’t wait to see us grow Lushootseed into a level 2 and 3 program to get more and more students involved.”

Future plans also include offering a Native art class, such as an introduction to carving taught by a tribal member. The class space is currently available and only requires a willing artist to teach it. Until then, Natosha and her collection of Indigenous wisdom intend to teach and inspire the culturally oriented young minds of Marysville Pilchuck High School. 

Native Students of the Month Announced for March

Ayana Sabbas, 10th grade, Marysville-Pilchuck H.S.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

“This is one special way that our community has come together, as Marysville School District has partnered with the Tulalip Tribes to announce the Native American students of the month,” explained Deborah Parker, Director of Equity, Diversity and Indian Education, during the regular school board meeting on Monday, March 19.

By creating the Student of the Month Program, MSD Indian Education and the Tulalip Tribes Education Department celebrate individual achievement by sustaining a culture of learning that values academic success and achievement through education. The program is designed so that any Native American student in the Marysville School District, of any age or grade level, can receive the award. However, students who are nominated should prove they value their education by exhibiting academic responsibility. They are also expected to demonstrate excellent behavior in and out of the classroom, which includes being respectful to both teachers and peers.

For their commitment to excellence in the classroom and academic achievement, 10th grader Ayana Sabbas (Nuu-chah-nulth and Shoshone) of Marysville-Pilchuck High School and 4th grader Jacob Skarwecki (Algaaciq from Alaska) of Cascade Elementary were announced as Native American students of the month for March.

Jacob Skarwecki, 4th grade, Cascade Elementary

“Jacob is selected for his enthusiasm, his effort, his integrity, and for being a responsible citizen,” described his Cascade Elementary Principal, Teresa Iyall. “Above all, Jacob shows exemplary behavior, and I am very, very proud that he is our first elementary Native American student of the month. He represents his family, his tribe, Marysville Indian Education, Cascade Elementary, and the Marysville School District in an exemplary manner.”

“Ayana was selected as student of the month for her leadership, being a responsible citizen, and her incredible determination in both her academics and extracurricular activities,” said her MSD Native Liaison, Matt Remle. “She has excelled in her academics, demonstrated by her 3.83 G.P.A. and outstanding attendance. She plays varsity volleyball, participates in MPHS Native Girls Group, and remains active in her culture by being a jingle dress powwow dancer. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with her.”

Going forward, a selection committee will review all student nominations based on their academics and school engagement. Each month two Native students (one boy, one girl) will be recognized as students of the month.

“It feels amazing!” admitted Ayana about receiving student of the month. “It’s so refreshing to get recognized for my achievements in school because I’ve worked so hard to be in this position. My dream is to go to the University of Washington and become a bio-engineer. I really love numbers and want to use that passion to change the world for the better.”

New MPHS cafeteria marks another milestone in community recovery

 

Photo/Micheal Rios

Photo/Micheal Rios

 

by Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Shovels and hard hats were on deck as ground was broken for a new cafeteria at Marysville Pilchuck High School (MPHS) on the afternoon of Friday, April 29.

“This is a proud day, a wonderful day, a day of new beginnings. It’s a day where we can celebrate starting anew,” announced Becky Berg, Marysville School District Superintendent. “This is a monumental day where we actually get to symbolically break ground. More importantly we get to come together as a community that’s been through something that not many communities understand and something that has made us stronger in the process. The young lives lost are not forgotten, ever, but the young lives currently attending the school will benefit from this wonderful structure. This is an amazing school district with a bright future ahead of us.”

It’s been 18 months since the MPHS shooting and the ripple effects of that fateful day are still being felt. However, the Marysville community continues to heal while visioning to the future. With the help of key state legislators and the backing by House Democrats, $5 million has been provided to build the new cafeteria. That will cover a very large portion of the estimated $8.2 million cost for the new building.

“Today we honor the wishes of our Marysville Pilchuck community and the needs of our Marysville Pilchuck students,” stated school board president Pete Lundberg. “We’re very thankful for the support of all those who let us know what they wished for us to do. I see this as a sign of the beginning of the future, positive steps in the Marysville School District that we can see going forward. As we keep our eye on the horizon, this new facility will be a wonderful accompaniment to not only the Marysville Pilchuck student and staff, but to our community as well.”

The old cafeteria, the scene of Jaylen Fryberg’s murder/suicide, has been closed since the shooting. School district leadership, along with community backing, has remained clearly in favor of not using that cafeteria ever again. The design for the new 16,000 square foot cafeteria, which is expected to open fall 2017, includes a kitchen, ASB office and community meeting space.

 

Don ‘Penoke’ Hatch, grandfather to shooting survivor Nate Hatch.

Don ‘Penoke’ Hatch, grandfather to shooting survivor Nate Hatch. Photo/Micheal Rios

 

“I want to thank each person who is here to witness the ground breaking of this structure,” said Tulalip tribal member Don ‘Penoke’ Hatch, grandfather to shooting survivor Nate Hatch. “I want to also thank my tribal members who are here because it’s not just the Marysville School District that’s struggling. It’s our parents in our Tulalip community as well. Hopefully, all of us can unite together to make this thing successful for everybody, for every one of the students in the school district.”

As the Marysville and Tulalip communities continue to heal, the ground breaking for an all new cafeteria was a step forward. The looks of anticipation and hopefulness that several students in attendance displayed are evidence of progress and recovery.

“When we look at the recovery process from an event like this there are several milestones along the way and I think this ground breaking represents yet another milestone in the recovery for the city as a whole, but most importantly for the kids and staff here at Marysville Pilchuck High School,” said Marysville Mayor John Nehring. “We are so grateful to all those who worked so hard to make the financing available for this project. I am so personally grateful for the strength of the leadership, staff, and kids here who continue to inspire us each and every day.”

$2.1 million will support MPHS victims, responders

By Diana Hefley, The Herald

 

 

MARYSVILLE — The federal government announced Friday it will provide $2.1 million dollars to support victims, witnesses and first responders affected by last year’s shootings at Marysville Pilchuck High School.

The grant will pay for mental health and victim services, additional school counselors, suicide prevention efforts and other programs at the high school and throughout the district.

“We’re excited about this and what we’ll be able to do,” said Marge Fairweather, the executive director of Victim Support Services.

The nonprofit provides two trauma therapists who mainly work with students at Marysville Pilchuck. Fairweather plans to hire a case manager and third therapist to reach more students in other schools.

On Oct. 24, 2014, a high school freshman shot his friends. Four students were killed and a fifth was seriously wounded. Shooter Jaylen Fryberg, 15, then killed himself.

The school district, Marysville, the Tulalip Tribes, Victim Support Services and Volunteers of America initially applied for $4.2 million. The amount was refined to meet the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime.

After the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Congress authorized the office to set aside $50 million a year to provide grants to victims and first responders after acts of terrorism or mass violence. The money comes from bond forfeitures and fines paid by white-collar criminals.

The federal office provided a $7.1 million grant for recovery efforts after a gunman in 2012 killed 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Local schools get increased support through New Dawn Security

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

TULALIP – A security operations management firm called New Dawn Security has partnered with Tulalip Police Department to assess risks and develop plans to mitigate risks. New Dawn who primarily works with school districts was approached last summer by Tulalip Police Chief Carlos Echevarria who saw a need for an increased risk assessment plan at the Tulalip/ Marysville School Campus, which includes the Quil Ceda & Tulalip Elementary, Heritage High School, 10th Street Middle School and Arts & Technology High School.

“I met Sean Spellecy at a meeting hosted by the Marysville Police Department where he was presenting on New Dawn. We have all heard of the statistics across Indian country about violence and crime. So when we look at Indian country violence, and children exposed to violence and drugs, we see there is a need in our tribal communities for our children to be safe and that also includes the one place they spend the most time at. When Sean’s presentation included the 26 Safe School Standards developed by the Department of Justice, I was sold. I knew it was the right thing to do,” said Echevarria.

The set of school safety standards created by the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice can be embedded into day-to-day school operations to make schools as safe as possible. New Dawn has developed a system based off the 26 Safe School Standards to measure a school’s safety rating.

“The first thing we do is a prevention assessment. What is currently in place to be able to prevent all of the risks that you could potentially face. This also goes for medical emergencies all the way down to transportation accidents, all of it. Anything that interrupts education environment or harms kids,” said New Dawn Security creator Sean Spellecy, a retired school principal.

During the tenure of Spellecy’s education career, horrendous crimes committed against his students prompted him to develop a program to keep students and schools safe, later called New Dawn Security.

“Ten years ago schools didn’t have to worry about 90 percent of the stuff that they have to worry about today,” said Spellecy.

Evolving monthly plans are developed according to each school’s assessment risks. These plans include training for educators on medical emergency prevention, active shooter prevention protocols, sexual abuse and misconduct protocols, crisis response and increasing police patrols and hosting law enforcement days where students learn how law enforcement work to keep them safe. Assessment risk plans can also include implementing safer locks and alarm systems, assessing the safety of school grounds, like checking for blinds spots where students may gather, anti-bullying, and what to do in case of food allergies.

Spellecy contacted Marysville School District to discuss including all district schools in a service contract following the discussions with Chief Echevarria about schools located on the Tulalip Indian Reservation. The district declined services last August due to budget concerns.

Ray Houser Marysville School District Assistant Superintendent said, “At the point in the school year when New Dawn approached us, we had not set aside specific resources or have a budget line item reserved for their type of service. Graciously New Dawn offered to conduct some piloting of their services, which we thankfully accepted. Following the piloting of New Dawn’s services, we began researching, and continue to research, their service as well as a number of other organizations that provide such services.”

Despite the decline for services by the district, the proximity of the Tulalip/Marysville Campus schools to the reservation compelled Chief Echevarria to seek funding from the Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors to seal a contract for New Dawn services for the schools.

The contract is paid out of the police department’s annual budget. Chief Echevarria said, “I didn’t want the cost of the program to be a hindrance or a deterrent for us. Once I received the go-ahead, I was going to find the funding. It was that important and that much of a need then that I was willing to do that.”

Tulalip Police Department has signed a two-year contract with New Dawn Security.  Evolving monthly plans will be developed based on assessment risk needs.

“Every single staff member at all four schools has been trained on the warning signs of a potentially violent individual and lockdown procedures protocols of the district. They had all been trained on alert, avoid, deny and defend prior to October 24,” said Spellecy.

“Having police in schools helps tremendously. Having cameras in schools helps but that only covers just one or two of the safe school standards that go out throughout the school. There is parent and student education, all this plays a part in keeping schools safe. Each of us shares a piece of this puzzle to make these schools as safe as possible. Times are changing. The role of principals to just focus on education is over, now they have to be experts in every field of safety. If I can alleviate some of that and look at school safety differently, as well as create immediate response plans on what occurs then I believe we are achieving our goals,” said Spellecy.

For more information on the New Dawn Security and the 26 Safe School Standards visit the website www.newdawnsecurity.com.

 

Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402; bmontreuil@tulalipnews.com

Recovery Team continues healing efforts in wake of school shooting

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

TULALIP – In the aftermath of the school shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School last October, where five students died, including the shooter, the Marysville Tulalip communities have worked tirelessly to stitch a sense of normalcy back into their lives. Through a community recovery team, comprised of members of the Marysville School District, Tulalip Tribes, City of Marysville, Marysville and Tulalip leaders and community members, a coordinated community-wide support net has been created for families and victims of the tragedy.

Support has been offered to families and victims through trainings, resources and community meetings. Families and victims can also find support representation from Victims Support Services, Ministerial Association, Volunteers of America, American Red Cross, Marysville YMCA and United Way of Snohomish County.

The message the recovery team wants the community and youth to know is, “something has happened to you, but something isn’t wrong with you. We are here to help you.”

During the days following the tragedy a strategic effort was created with the help of the International Trauma Center to develop a long-term plan to build resiliency and improve the communities long-term holistic health. The plan is designed according to the unique partnership of Marysville and Tulalip to properly address the needs of the communities.

Throughout the next year, monthly trainings will be held along with meetings that introduce the goals of the team, which include a reduction in self-injurious behavior in youth, integrating culture and education, and increasing access to primary health care to reduce acute long-term effects of psychological trauma.

A list of available resources and community meeting events can be found at the Marysville/Tulalip United website, www.mtunited.org, including crisis numbers for counseling, support services and suicide prevention.

In Tulalip, the Tulalip Trauma Response Network has scheduled a series of trainings that include trauma informed care seminars that educate about emotional management, de-escalation techniques and workforce protection, along with how to decrease the use of coercion, restraint, seclusions and isolation to reduce violence in the community.

Other trainings include psychological first aid and post-traumatic stress management available to councilors, youth workers and natural healers and leaders in the community.

Suicide prevention efforts continue with the addition of the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scales and Gatekeeper training. This training educates community members to screen for suicide to foster targeted intervention. Sources of Strength is another suicide prevention program being implemented that utilizes peer leaders to enhance protective factors to reduce suicide in youth.

For youth under six years old, educators are being trained through Rainbowdance, a classroom-based program that helps children overcome challenges related to stress and trauma to promote violence prevention in younger children. For youth seven years and older, programs such as the Classroom-Community-Culture Based Intervention is effective in developing tools that will help older youth overcome challenges and relate to others.

Intensive outpatient treatment is also available for youth and teenagers who have suffered trauma and violence and need a more intensive support to recover.

Social media is a key component that the recovery team is examining, in how youth use and respond through different social media platforms. Seminars are available for parents and interested community members to learn how to navigate different social media sites. The goal is to educate parents and community members to look for suicidal comments and report them to the proper channels to intercept suicidal behavior in youth. A community-led social media reporting system is being developed that will create a direct channel that parents and community members can report abuse, suicidality and bullying.

For more information on support services available to the Marysville Tulalip community please visit the Community Recovery Team’s website www.mtunited.org. You can also contact the Tulalip Tribes Behavioral Health team for support for children, youth, and adults in coping skills, support groups, and mental health counseling at 360-716-4400.

 

Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402; bmontreuil@tulalipnews.com

 

Father of Washington School Shooter Arrested on Gun Charge

By Gene Johnson, The Associated Press

The father of a Washington state high school student who killed four classmates and himself last fall was arrested Tuesday on a federal charge that he was barred from possessing the gun his son used in the shooting.

Raymond Lee Fryberg Jr., 42, faces one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. An FBI agent alleged in a criminal complaint that even though Fryberg was subject to a domestic violence protection order, he purchased five guns from a Cabela’s outdoor recreation store, including the Beretta pistol his son used in the shooting, by lying on a federal form.

Jaylen Fryberg, 15, a well-liked freshman who had recently been a Homecoming prince, inexplicably shot and killed four friends and wounded another last October after inviting them to lunch in the cafeteria at Marysville-Pilchuck High School north of Seattle.

“Our office has a long history of working with our federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners across Western Washington to prosecute those who illegally possess firearms,” Annette Hayes, the acting U.S. attorney in Seattle, said in a news release. “This case is part of that effort and a reminder that we are united in our commitment to get firearms out of the hands of those who pose the greatest risk to our communities.”

Fryberg was due to appear in U.S. District Court on Tuesday afternoon. Federal court records did not indicate whether he had a lawyer.

According to the complaint, Fryberg’s then-girlfriend, the mother of one of his children, obtained a protection order against him in Tulalip Tribal Court in 2002, alleging that he had threatened her, slapped her and pulled her hair.

The order became permanent, and in September 2012, Fryberg entered a no-contest plea to a charge that he violated it. He was given a suspended sentence of six months and ordered again to comply with the terms of the order.

Just four months later, Fryberg went to a Cabela’s store on the Tulalip reservation and purchased the Beretta, the complaint said. He answered “no” on a federal form asking if he was subject to a court order restraining him from harassing, stalking or threatening a child or intimate partner, and he answered the same when he filled out forms for the purchase of four other weapons at the store between January 2013 and July 2014, the complaint said.

State Sen. John McCoy, a member of the Tulalip Tribe, said he didn’t know Fryberg had been subject to a restraining order.

“That’s exceptionally troublesome to me,” McCoy said. “It points me to the issue we’ve been arguing about in the state, that people are not going to tell the truth when they fill out the forms to buy a gun, so maybe we should have a registry of people who are subject to these orders. That’ll be more fodder for discussion.”

Tribal artists collaborate to aid healing in community

Traditional club staff by Tulalip artist Richard "2 Doggs" Muir is decorated with a tuft of animal fur and a zigzag peyote stitch design. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Traditional club staff by Tulalip artist Richard “2 Doggs” Muir is decorated with a tuft of animal fur and a zigzag peyote stitch design. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

TULALIP – Tulalip tribal artists, Richard “2 Doggs” Muir and David Fryberg, have begun work on a healing project for the families and students affected by the October 24 shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. The healing project will consist of a large beaded staff and a brass plaque that will serve as a memorial to the only survivor and four students who were shot and killed.

“The purpose of this is for family, friends, staff and teachers to come by and remember these kids in a good way. The families can bring something and hang it off the staff if they want to. The school can make something to hang off the staff. It just symbolizes that these kids’ innocence was taken,” said Muir.

Courtesy of Hibulb Cultural Center & Natural History Preserve

Courtesy of Hibulb Cultural Center & Natural History Preserve

Muir, who is known for his bead work with the Native American peyote stitch, and Fryberg, who is known for his work in cedar weaving and hand drums, are reaching out to the victims’ families for input on the project’s design. Muir will be donating the beadwork that will feature a simple peyote stitch using beads to wrap around a large staff that will also feature an eagle claw atop the staff. Fryberg will be crafting the bronze plaque that will have a short healing message engraved on it.

“I want to talk to the families to ask them how do they want their kids represented in this. What would they want to see on this staff to represent their child. I would like to feature the kids’ names, either their first names or their full names, because this project is for them. It is a

symbolization of these kids, it is more than just their initials or full names, it is a symbolization of who these kids were as people, and what they brought to this world,” said Muir.

The idea for the project is loosely taken from the tradition of a journey stick or memory stick. Many Native

Tribal artist David Fryberg Sr. will make carve a healing message into a brass plaque that will accompany the beaded staff made by fellow artist Richard Muir. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Tribal artist David Fryberg Sr. will make carve a healing message into a brass plaque that will accompany the beaded staff made by fellow artist Richard Muir. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

American tribes used staffs or large sticks as a way to memorialize a person or place.  The staff is left in place and travelers are encouraged to leave a memento of personal value or representation as a memorial. The staff is from a pine tree, which symbolizes peace to many Native American tribes. The beadwork, which will feature over a 1,000 beads, will take nearly seven months to complete. Muir states the staff will be completed near the one-year anniversary date of the shooting.

“It is going to take me awhile to complete. I am going to have to set it down and set it aside because of the emotional transfer that comes with this type of work,” explains Muir about the traditional cultural practice in not crafting or completing tasks with negative thoughts. “My mind has to be in the right spot and clear of negative thoughts.”

A beaded staff spear by Richard "2 Doggs" Muir features the peyote stitch with intersecting design patterns. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

A beaded staff spear by Richard “2 Doggs” Muir features the peyote stitch with intersecting design patterns. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

“I want this to be for anybody who wants to take a moment to remember these kids, because who knows what these kids would have accomplished if they hadn’t been tragically murdered. They could have been the ones who invented renewable energy or saved our natural resources. We will never know now,” said Muir.

The beaded staff and bronze plaque, once complete, will be gifted to the Marysville-Pilchuck High School. Staff will then decide where the items will be placed for students and visitors to access.

 

Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402; bmontreuil@tulalipnews.com

Interfaith vigil brings diverse community together

Tulalip member Robert "Wachadup" and Lisa Monger performed a traditional healing song during the interfaith prayer service, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2014, in Marysville, WA. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Tulalip member Robert “Wachadup” and Lisa Monger performed a traditional healing song during the interfaith prayer service, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2014, in Marysville, WA. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

MARYSVILLE – More than a hundred people attended an interfaith prayer service held in the Marysville-Pilchuck High School auditorium on Tuesday, February 24. The event, organized by Reverend Terry Kyllo with the St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Marysville, and Father Pat Twohy, director of the Rocky Mountain Mission for the Northwest Jesuits and who has a lengthy history of chaplain services in the Tulalip community, was designed to bring together the diverse cultures represented in the Tulalip/ Marysville communities during this time of healing.

The event was held on the four-month anniversary of the October 24 shooting at the high school where Tulalip tribal member Jaylen Fryberg killed four of his classmates leaving behind one survivor, 14-year-old Nate Hatch, also his relative. Killed were 15-year-old Andrew Fryberg, also related to the shooter, Zoe Galasso, Gia Soriano and Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, all 14.

Faith leaders representing many traditions in and around Tulalip and Marysville including Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Baha’i and Unitarian welcomed Tulalip/ Marysville residents to a time of silence, prayer, encouraging words, and fellowship. Also in attendance were leaders from Tulalip Tribes, who offered a prayer of healing.

An interfaith prayer service was held for the Tulalip and Marysville Communities on the four-month anniversary of the Marysville- Pilchuck High School shooting, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Marysville, WA. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

An interfaith prayer service was held for the Tulalip and Marysville Communities on the four-month anniversary of the Marysville- Pilchuck High School shooting, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Marysville, WA.
(Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

“I know when tensions arise in the community and when there is fear that grabs hold, and there is some violence of some kind, that people have a really strong tendency to scapegoat people that they think are different than them,” said Rev. Kyllo about the idea around the interfaith service. “I started work with the recovery team and proposed in December that we might put on an interfaith service as a way to honor and celebrate the diversity of the community.”

Kyllo reached out to Father Twohy, whom he had never met, about hosting an interfaith service. “I walked up to him and I said, ‘Father Twohy, I want to do an interfaith service because we are all human and some of us don’t know that.’ He immediately said, ‘Amen brother. I am with you, give me a call.’ So we began working on the service.”

Throughout the service faith leaders shared words of encouragement before offering a prayer. Afterwards each faith leader would place a candle on table creating a circle of light meant to represent the community.

“It has been a real testing time for our community and you have all been a part of that,” Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said to attendees. “I can tell you that I am so proud to live in a community like Tulalip/ Marysville. We really take care of one another.”

Marysville School District Superintendent Dr Becky Berg lists schools and communities around the globe who have experienced the same tragedy. A moment of silence was held for each one during an interfaith prayer service, Tuesday, Feb. 24,2015, in Marysville, WA. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Marysville School District Superintendent Dr Becky Berg lists schools and communities around the globe who have experienced the same tragedy. A moment of silence was held for each one during an interfaith prayer service, Tuesday, Feb. 24,2015, in Marysville, WA. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Echoing his sentiments Tulalip Tribes vice-chairman Les Parks spoke about Tulalip and Marysville’s continual support of one another. “When the mayor stands at my side here, to me it is a symbol of Marysville and the Tulalip people coming together as one community, and Dr. Berg represents all the students in the Marysville School District. To me it is important to remember why we are here. Four months ago this tragedy hit us and we lost four lives to a heinous crime, and we lost the shooter as well. We haven’t come to ask why this happened, because we will never understand why or what caused this to transpire. What we are going to do is share. We are going to cry together, grieve, heal and pray together. We are all in this together.”

Before the service concluded, a moment of silence was held for schools and communities around the world who have experienced the same type of tragedy.

 

Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402; bmontreuil@tulalipnews.com

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring and Tulalip Tribes vice-chairman Les Parks speak about the two communities coming together to support one another following the shooting at the school on October 24, at an interfaith prayer service held, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Marysville, WA. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring and Tulalip Tribes vice-chairman Les Parks speak about the two communities coming together to support one another following the shooting at the school on October 24, at an interfaith prayer service held, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Marysville, WA. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

 

Three candle were lit during the interfaith prayer service held in the MPHS auditorium, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Marysville, WA. The candles symbolize the Tulalip, Marysville and the Marysville School District who have come together to support one another following the shooting. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Three candle were lit during the interfaith prayer service held in the MPHS auditorium, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Marysville, WA. The candles symbolize the Tulalip, Marysville and the Marysville School District who have come together to support one another following the shooting. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

 

Rev. Terry Kyllo, who organized the Feb. 24 interfaith prayer service, offers a prayer of healing during the event, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Marysville, WA. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Rev. Terry Kyllo, who organized the Feb. 24 interfaith prayer service, offers a prayer of healing during the event, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Marysville, WA. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

 

Tulalip Tribal member Natosha Gobin offered a prayer of healing for the communities in Lushootseed, the traditional language of the Snohomish people during interfaith prayer service held, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Marysville, WA. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Tulalip Tribal member Natosha Gobin offered a prayer of healing for the communities in Lushootseed, the traditional language of the Snohomish people during interfaith prayer service held, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Marysville, WA. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

 

The Marysville Getchell Choir performed two songs throughout the interfaith prayer service held, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Marysville, WA. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

The Marysville Getchell Choir performed two songs throughout the interfaith prayer service held, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Marysville, WA. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

MPHS evacuated due to bomb threat

By Tulalip News staff

MARYSVILLE – Marysville School District received a bomb threat at approximately 1:45 today at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School according to a release from the district.

A notice to parents states the district has evacuated staff and students to the north lot off of Tomahawk turnpike. Local law enforcement is requesting that vehicles be left on campus.

District buses will pick up students out of the north lot. Special Education Life Skills students will be able to be picked up at the north lot as well.

Student reunification will take place at the church on 51st Avenue and 116th. Students may ride a bus home, get a ride with parent or guardian, or stay on campus at the evacuation site.

Vehicles will be available for pick up once the scene has been released by law enforcement. Families with students enrolled in the district will receive additional school messenger calls notifying them once they are available.