Quil Ceda Elementary Celebrates Diversity


By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 


President Trump’s latest immigration order suspended refugee resettlement in the United States for 120 days and indefinitely for Syria. In the same order, Trump suspended entry for 90 days for citizens of Muslim majority nations such as Iran, Iraq, and Libya. The President’s reasoning is national security, as he believes the countries harbor potential terrorists. The order was controversial, to say the least, and resulted in protests across America and a temporary halt to the order by the U.S. Federal Court. On social media, Native America showed support for refugees with the hashtag #NoBanOnStolenLand.

In a divided country, amidst the controversy surrounding Trump’s immigration order, Quil Ceda Elementary recently held a cultural fair to celebrate diversity by teaching their students about different cultures. School staff of varying cultural backgrounds prepared interactive stations to give students a look into the lives and cultures of other nations.

Upon arrival the students received paper passports. As they “traveled” around countries such as Guam, Peru, Mexico and China, they filled their passport with stamps from each country.

Quil Ceda Elementary also celebrated the culture of the Tulalip Tribes. The school dedicated four learning stations to the Tribe, each station representing different cultural aspects the Tribe values such as the Lushootseed language, the Hibulb Cultural Center, and basket weaving. An exclusive coastal jam was held in the school library, complete with a powwow rendition of the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song.

Cardboard presentations, prepared by students, were on display in the school cafeteria. The topics varied from Martin Luther King Jr. tributes to recent movements such as Black Lives Matter and Water is Life.

The after-school-hours event attracted a large amount of families, as parents and siblings joined the students in celebration. For many, the highlight of the evening was the international cuisine. As the students passed through different nations, they tasted traditional homemade dishes such as egg rolls, tortilla chips with pico de gallo, coconut candy, and frybread.

Once the students completed their passports they received a free book of their choice to take home.



During a time when the President is signing executive orders that violate the rights of Native, Muslim, and Mexican-Americans (not to mention the women of America) events such as cultural fairs are vital to communities in America. Through the cultural fair, the youth learned the importance of diversity as well as the history and traditions of several countries in a fun, interactive yet respectful manner.

Many students enjoyed the event, as evidenced by student Colt, as he excitedly exclaimed, “I had a blast! I really did. It was so awesome reading about Vietnam and China.”

“And I liked the egg rolls the best!,” his younger brother, Evan, quickly added.


Tulalip elementary students graduate from self-defense class

By Kim Kalliber and Jeannie Briones; photos by Jeannie Briones

Students, instructors and Tulalip police officers celebrate the 21 radKIDS graduates.
Students, instructors and Tulalip police officers celebrate the 21 radKIDS graduates.

Empowerment, self-esteem and safety skills – these are a few of the core values of the radKIDS program and 21 proud radKIDS graduates are now armed with these important life skills.  Tulalip police officers, instructors and

Tribal member Nakoyia Fryberg and Tulalip Police Officer Mark Nelson.
Tribal member Nakoyia Fryberg and Tulalip Police Officer Mark Nelson.

students celebrated the graduation at Quil Ceda & Tulalip Elementary School on March 26.

RadKIDS, which has been in operation at Quil Ceda & Tulalip Elementary for two years, is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to providing effective lifesaving skills to children. Through this program, kids become empowered to recognize and avoid dangerous situations, and to replace the fear and confusion they may feel in these situations with confidence and self-defense skills.

“There is no other program like it for safety. Students benefit from learning about safety, like being safe from a bully, staying away from drugs and alcohol and keeping safe from someone who’s trying to harm them,” said Rochelle Lubbers, Tulalip Police Department Emergency Services Manager and radKIDS Instructor.

During the graduation, students received a certificate and got to demonstrate their newly acquired self-defense skills against the “redman.” Tulalip police officer Mark Nelson wore the padded red suit to protect himself from the kids slick moves like shin kicks, toe kicks and knee kicks.

This training includes kids and their parents creating a password. A password is a word that is used as a safety check should a parent need to send another adult to pick up a child from school, sports, etc. The purpose of the password is to protect your child from going with someone under false pretenses. When approached by a stranger, the child will ask for a password, if the stranger does not know the password, the child is then taught to run away or seek help.

“We can get away from who tries to take us. It feels good to be safe,” said Nakoyia Fryberg, radKIDS graduate and Tulalip tribal member.

To learn more about the radKIDS program visit www.radkids.org