Marysville School District receives dreamcatcher given to Columbine survivors

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

Marysville-Pilchuck High School Interim Assistant Principal Lori Stolee and Interim Co-Principal Deann Anguiano take possession of the dreamcatcher, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, at Marysville School Board District office. (Tulalip News Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Marysville-Pilchuck High School Interim Assistant Principal Lori Stolee and Interim Co-Principal Deann Anguiano take possession of the dreamcatcher, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, at Marysville School Board District office.
(Tulalip News Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

MARYSVILLE – Following a tradition set by survivors of the Columbine High School shooting, the Marysville School District and Tulalip Tribes were presented a dreamcatcher symbolizing survival, on November 3.

During a modified school district board meeting, representatives from Sandy Hook Elementary and delegates from the Red Lake Nation in Minnesota gave the dreamcatcher and shared their story of healing.

The dreamcatcher was gifted to Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, following a shooting that left 13 people dead in 1999. It has since been passed onto other school districts that have experienced similar tragedies and evolved into emblem of healing for survivors.

John Oakgrove of the Little Thunderbirds Drum and Dance Troupe from Red Lake Minnesota made the trek from Red Lake as a sign of unity. Survivors of Columbine took the dreamcatcher to the Red Lake Reservation following a school shooting there in 2005 that left 10 people dead, including the 16-year-old shooter. Oakgrove has travelled to present the dreamcatcher since, taking along his children who sing honor songs for survivors as part of the healing process. He was there when the dreamcatcher was presented to Sandy Hook Elementary School officials in 2012 following the deaths

Tulalip Tribes council members Theresa Sheldon and Deborah Parker receive hand written notes from Stephanie Hope Smith from the Newtown Rotary Club, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, at the Marysville School District Administrative offices. The notes were made by well wishers and given to the Sandy Hook Elementary School following the deaths of 26 children and adults from a 2012 shooting. (Tulalip News Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Tulalip Tribes council members Theresa Sheldon and Deborah Parker receive hand written notes from Stephanie Hope Smith from the Newtown Rotary Club, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, at the Marysville School District Administrative offices. The notes were made by well wishers and given to the Sandy Hook Elementary School following the deaths of 26 children and adults from a 2012 shooting. (Tulalip News Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

of 26 children and adults.

“I hate meeting people like this, but we came because we want to offer our support. We know what they are going through,” said Oakgrove.

Sandy Hook Elementary representatives Susan Connelly, Newtown Middle School counselor and Stephanie Hope Smith a member of the Newtown Rotary Club, spoke about the sobering baton that connects the schools.

“We are united in hope. I’m sorry we are united in grief. I’m sorry we have the experience and expertise to share,” said Smith.

“This plaque is more than just a dreamcatcher. It is made with such love. It is our hope that you should never have to pass it onto another community,” said Connelly.

Also present during the meeting was Marysville School District Superintendent Becky Berg and board members Chris Nation and Tom Albright, Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring, Marysville Police Chief Rick Smith, Marysville-Pilchuck High School Principals and Tulalip Tribes council members Deborah Parker and Theresa Sheldon.

 

 

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

Elder’s Panel honored by Tulalip Tribal Court

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

Elder’s Panel volunteer Hank Williams with Tulalip Tribes Tribal Court Judge Gary Bass, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, at the Tulalip Tribes Tribal Court. Williams along with other panel volunteers were honored during a special recognition ceremony hosted by the court. (Tulalip News Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Elder’s Panel volunteer Hank Williams with Tulalip Tribes Tribal Court Judge Gary Bass, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, at the Tulalip Tribes Tribal Court. Williams along with other panel volunteers were honored during a special recognition ceremony hosted by the court. (Tulalip News Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

TULALIP – Tulalip elders over the past six years have worked diligently to make a positive change in their community through volunteer work via the Tulalip Elder’s Panel, an alternative diversion sentencing program at the Tulalip Tribes Tribal Court for first- time offenders.

On October 17, the panel of volunteers were celebrated by the Tulalip Tribes Tribal Court for their efforts in the community. The special recognition ceremony included Tulalip Tribes council members Deborah Parker, Maria Zackuse and Theresa Sheldon, along with over 30 attendees.

Tulalip elders, Don Hatch Jr., Eleanor M. Nielson, Hank Williams, John Bagley, Lee Topash and Maureen Alexander donate their time on a biweekly schedule, to teach offenders accountability through a unique approach that uses traditional Tulalip culture, the wisdom and experiences of Tulalip elders and tribal court staff to stop re-offending in those, ages 18-42, charged with non-violent crimes.

Enrollment is voluntary and upon successful completion of the program, charges are dismissed. However, the program does not come without its stipulations. Participants are required to complete a host of requirements to successfully complete the program. Requirements include active engagement in their culture and community, regular appearances before the panel, letters of apology, community service and substance abuse treatment, curfews, UA’s, anger management and mental health evaluations and no new violations.

Due to the success of the program, the Tulalip Elder’s Panel received the Hero’s Award in 2009 from the Washington State Bar Association for their volunteer service. This prestigious award typically goes to lawyers but in special circumstances, has been awarded to non-lawyers for their service in the field of law. The program has also inspired state courts to consider implementing a diversion program using the Elder’s Panel as a model. In 2011, the National Center for State Courts visited from New York to learn more about the panel.

“There is serious interest in the panel and the work the elders do,” said Wendy Church, Tulalip Tribes Tribal Court Director, during the recognition ceremony. “Not only do they save the Tribes a lot of funds in diverting young tribal members our of the criminal justice system, but the Elder’s Panel also has a high success rate of clients not returning to the system.”

The panel, in 2013, saved the court $20,000 in judicial and probation time, including jail cost, which can run the Tribe more than $100 a day for incarcerated tribal members. The panel sees an 87 percent success rate in participants.

Along with current panel members, former tribal court clerk Alicia Horne was honored for her work, along with Tulalip Tribal Court Judge Gary Bass and Don Hatch Jr., in establishing the panel. Horne is credited for creating the court forms the panel still uses. Former panel members Virginia Carpenter and the late Bill Shelton were also honored for their time and devotion to the Tulalip community.

 

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

The Rise of Indigenous Peoples Day

By Matt Remle, Indian Country Today Media Network

On October 6, 2014, in a packed Seattle city hall council chambers room, the Seattle city council voted unanimously to rename the second Monday in October, the federal holiday Columbus Day, to Indigenous Peoples’ Day for the city of Seattle. The room erupted in emotion with loud cheers, the sound of drums and the sight of over joyed, smiling and crying faces followed by an impromptu singing of the AIM song in the halls of Seattle city hall.

The Seattle city council vote followed the previous weeks unanimous vote by the Seattle school board to both establish the second Monday in October as a day of observance for Indigenous Peoples’ and to make a board commitment to the teaching of tribal history, culture, governance and current affairs into the Seattle public schools system.

The origins for both the Seattle city council and Seattle school board resolutions date back to 2011, when I was attending an Abolish Columbus Day rally in downtown Seattle. As I was listening to the beautiful songs of a local canoe family, I started thinking about South Dakota and their successful effort to change Columbus Day to Native American Day. That night I decided to contact members of the Seattle city council, as well as, my local State Legislatures to see if they might be willing to do something similar on either the City or State level.

To my surprise, the following morning I got a phone call from Washington State Senator Margarita Prentice and proceeded to have a long conversation about the genocide brought by Columbus to our Native relatives in the Caribbean and how she would love to sponsor a resolution on the State level. She simply asked that I draft a resolution and seek support from area tribes first before she would sponsor the resolution.

Elated, I immediately contacted Theresa Sheldon and Deborah Parker from Tulalip, who were both policy analyst for the Tulalip Tribes at that time, and whom currently sit on the Tulalip Board of Directors, to let them know the news. They agreed to take the resolution to the 2011 Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians annual conference and put the Indigenous Peoples’ Day resolution before the conference for a vote. The resolution was unanimously approved, and although the resolution ultimately did not succeed on the State level, the seeds of the Indigenous Peoples’ Day resolution for Seattle were sown.

When Minneapolis approved its Indigenous Peoples’ Day resolution in the early spring of 2014, I figured now might be a good time to revive our efforts in Seattle especially given that we had two new Seattle city council members who had been responsive to the needs and issues of Seattle’s Native community. I again reached out to the Seattle city council members and before the day was over council member Kshama Sawant responded back that she would sponsor an Indigenous Peoples’ Day resolution and asked if I would draft one for her.

I drafted a resolution and sent it out to other members of Seattle’s Native community for additional input. From there a grassroots effort was underway to build broad base support for the resolution. By the time the resolution was presented to the Seattle city council for vote, we gained the endorsement of forty various community organizations, non-profits, human rights organizations, local and national tribal organizations and letters of support from numerous area tribes.

In drafting the resolution, one thought was that we should be pushing for something more than just the renaming of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, so language was included to have the Seattle city council “encourage” the Seattle public schools to adopt the guidelines established by the 2005 H.B. 1495 and the subsequent Since Time Immemorial Tribal Sovereignty curriculum [STI] that was developed out of it.

Many within the Native community had tried for years to get the Seattle public schools to adopt the STI curriculum, but had always been met with resistance. We figured if we could get the Seattle city council to pass a resolution calling on the school district to adopt the curriculum, we would have good leverage to pressure the school board to adopt it.

Over the summer, a letter was sent to the Seattle school board from the Seattle Human Rights Commission, an early resolution backer, to inform them of the efforts being worked on with the Seattle city council surrounding the Indigenous Peoples’ Day resolution and to encourage them to align efforts with the city to meet the goals of the proposed resolution.

In late July, I was contacted by the Seattle city council and was told that they were ready to put the resolution to the full council for vote. I was given two possible dates to introduce the resolution, one in August and one in September. Since the September date fell on the day before school started in the Seattle area, we went for the September date knowing that we would most likely generate wide-spread media attention and given that Columbus is often one of the things students learn about first, we figured this would be a good strategy to get the evils committed by Columbus on the minds of students.

Up until the September 2, Seattle city council hearing we largely kept the Indigenous Peoples’ Day resolution from the media spotlight. Days before the council meeting we released a press release on the Last Real Indians webpage, whom I am write for. The idea was that we would be asserting our voice on this issue and establish the framework for which the issue would be discussed on our own terms. As the massive rally descended upon the Seattle city council hearing on September 2, the mainstream press was playing a game of catch up on our resolution that had already generated Turtle Island-wide buzz amongst Native communities.

While a decision was made on September 2 to hold the vote off until October 6, we were able to secure the endorsement of Seattle’s Mayor Ed Murray a generated nationwide attention on our Indigenous Peoples’ Day resolution.

Throughout September, we keep up a steady stream of pressure on both the Seattle city council and Seattle school board with emails, petitions, phone calls, and letters of endorsement from area Tribes and other supporters, as well as, built broad support through social media campaigning.

For me personally, it was phenomenal to see such a concerted and collaborative joint effort develop between Seattle’s urban Native community, Tribe’s and Tribal leaders. By time the October 1 Seattle school board vote and the October 6 Seattle city council vote came around a true urban and Tribal partnership was firmly established. The Seattle city council vote saw testimony given from tribal leaders David Bean (Puyallup), Fawn Sharp (President of both the Quinualt Indian Nation and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians), Mel Sheldon (former Chair of the Tulalip Tribes), as well as, numerous members of Seattle’s urban Native community.

Throughout the whole process, we keep the perspective that we are simply part of a larger movement being fought on the local grassroots level to not only abolish Columbus Day, but see our communities rise up and assert our own voices on our own terms on issues of importance to us.

We sought to show the power our communities possess when we come together unified under the belief and knowledge that what we do today is both work to heal past generations and lift the spirits of our future generations.

Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Mitakuye oyasin.

Matt Remle (Lakota) lives in Seattle.  He works for the office of Indian Education in the Marysville/Tulalip school district. He is a writer for Last Real Indians @ www.lastrealindians.com and runs an online Lakota language program at www.LRInspire.com. He is a father of three and the author of Seattle’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day resolution.

 

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/10/13/rise-indigenous-peoples-day

Tulalip Board member elected to ATNI Executive Council

Councilwoman Theresa Sheldon (left) was elected to the Executive Council of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians

Councilwoman Theresa Sheldon (left) was elected to the Executive Council of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians

 

Submitted by Francesca Hillery Tulalip Tribes Public Affairs

Councilwoman Theresa Sheldon was elected to the Executive Council of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) at the annual convention, held September 22-25th and hosted by the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, Oregon.  Councilwoman Sheldon will serve the ATNI Executive Council as Assistant Secretary.

Fawn Sharp (Quinault) was re-elected as ATNI president along with newly elected 2nd Vice President, Alfred Momee (Coeur d’Alene).

The Executive Council is responsible for upholding the policies and general direction, as set through various ATNI committees by way of resolutions, and to carry out the duties and directives as set by the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians member tribes.

Councilwoman Sheldon has been an ATNI delegate for the Tulalip Tribes since 2006, where as a legislative policy analyst she wrote and submitted resolutions on behalf of the Tulalip Tribes on transportation, taxation, education, voting rights, homeland security, and law & justice.  She has served as the Native Vote co-chair for ATNI since 2008.

“The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians is one of the strongest Native American organizations in the country.  This is a reflection of our determination to defend our treaties and to take care of our communities,” said Councilwoman Sheldon.  “ATNI member tribes recognize the fact that we stronger together.  I am honored to serve as Assistant Secretary to the Executive Council and proud to represent the Tulalip Tribes on a regional and national platform,” she concluded.

In 1953 Tulalip leader Sebastian Williams, along with other Northwest Tribal leaders, came together to discuss the need for a formal Northwest Indian organization.  This meeting formalized and created a constitution and bylaws for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indian (ATNI).  Its purpose was “to form a united front against the IRS and illegal taxation of Native American tribes”.   Immediately after ATNI was created, the termination era was introduced, that were federal policies meant to eliminate the political relationship between federal governments and the tribes, therefore dissolving all federal services to the tribes. Tribal leaders continued to meet and unite together over on-going issues of Indian healthcare, fishing rights, tribal sovereignty, and economic development.

ATNI is a nonprofit organization representing 57 northwest tribal governments from Oregon, Idaho, Washington, southeast Alaska, Northern California and Western Montana.  ATNI is an organization whose foundation is composed of the people it is meant to serve – the Native peoples of the Northwest.

Tulalip skateboarders get a say in design plans for new skatepark

Tulalip skateboarders gather after a meeting held on May 15, with Seattle's Grindline lead designer Micah Shapiro, on design ideas for new Tulalip skatepark. Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

Tulalip skateboarders gather after a meeting held on May 15, with Seattle’s Grindline lead designer Micah Shapiro, on design ideas for new Tulalip skatepark.
Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

TULALIP – Skaters and longboarders had reason to celebrate on May 3, when the Tulalip Board of Directors made a motion to approve funding to build a skate park in Tulalip during a regular board meeting.

Tulalip Skate Park, the unofficial name the park is being called currently, will join a number of skateparks being built on reservations across Indian country, such as recently opened Port Gamble S’Klallam and Lummi Skatepark, opened in April.

A community meeting was held on May 15, at the Tulalip Don Hatch Youth Center, to discuss design ideas, site location, and park size. In attendance were nearly 20 Tulalip youth, including Tulalip Board of Directors, Marlin Fryberg Jr., Deborah Parker, Les Parks, Theresa Sheldon, Marie Zackuse and Tulalip Interim General Manager Misty Napeahi. Micah Shapiro, lead designer for Seattle concrete skatepark design and construction company, Grindline, was also in attendance.

Tulalip skateboarders show off their skills in possibly location for new Tulalip Skatepark during meeting held on May 15, with Seattle's Grindline. Photo/ Brandi n. Montreuil, Tulalip News

Tulalip skateboarders show off their skills in possibly location for new Tulalip Skatepark during meeting held on May 15, with Seattle’s Grindline.
Photo/ Brandi n. Montreuil, Tulalip News

Grindline, who built the Port Gamble S’Klallam Skatepark, creates progressive and engaging skateparks with a design philosophy that each skatepark be tailored to its users and existing surroundings, and welcomes community engagement during the design process.

“I want to support the youth and this Board of Directors wants to support the youth,” said Tulalip vice-chairman Les Parks, to the youth in attendance. “You’ve been asking for a skatepark. There has always been a reason why we can’t make it happen, but this year it is going to happen. September 1 is our deadline that we are going to impose upon ourselves.”

Two sites are being considered for the park’s location, the grassy area in front of the youth center’s council room parking area and across the street from the Greg Williams Court, by the Tribe’s old finance building area. Youth favored the site across the street from the Greg Williams Court due to parking, length of skatepark use, elimination of possible beach erosion, and the incorporation of natural elements into final design ideas.

Seattle's Grindline lead designer Micah Shapiro talks with Tulalip skateboarders on May 15 about conceptual design ideas for new Tulalip Skatepark. Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

Seattle’s Grindline lead designer Micah Shapiro talks with Tulalip skateboarders on May 15 about conceptual design ideas for new Tulalip Skatepark.
Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

Youth presented conceptual ideas along with concerns about park use, amenities, size and safety. Youth advocated for onsite security to eliminate potential drug use or selling in the area by visitors.

Size of the park was another concern for youth, who toured local parks for ideas. The requested 10,000 to 12,000 square feet would allow for a variety of skating elements in one structure, and cost up to $400,000.

“There are a lot of possibilities that you can do with a skate park,” said Shapiro, during his presentation of finished Grindline skateparks. “What we are doing is getting community input through community outreach. The things that need to be considered when you’re designing a skatepark are flow and who the users will be. You have to look at how elements are related to each other; because you are looking at the environment you are designing in. Places to watch are parking lot access; utilities such as restrooms and lights, adjacent uses and impacts near the park. All that has to be considered.”

Tulalip skateboarders listen to budget concerns in a meeting held on May 15, about the newly approved Tulalip Skatepark. Photo courtesy / Ty Juvinel

Tulalip skateboarders listen to budget concerns in a meeting held on May 15, about the newly approved Tulalip Skatepark.
Photo courtesy / Ty Juvinel

“It will come down to budget,” said Tulalip Board Member Marlin Fryberg Jr., about park amenities, such as a request for a roof over the skatepark. “We will have to come up with different options and designs and then go from there. We are not ruling out roof, but that may have to be in phase two of the project.

A final design plan is still being drafted and will include size, location, budget, and skatepark amenities. A budget will be presented once the final design is complete.

For more information on the next community skatepark meeting please contact, Tulalip Youth Services at 360-716-4909.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tulalip welcomes two new board members

Chairman Mel Sheldon swears in Marie Zackuse and Theresa Sheldon for the Tulalip Board of Directors

Chairman Mel Sheldon swears in Marie Zackuse and Theresa Sheldon to the Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors
Photo: Monica Brown

By Monica Brown, Tulalip News Writer

TULALIP, Wash.- Family and friends arrived early Saturday morning, April 6th, at the Tulalip Administration building to witness the swearing in of Marie M. Zackuse and Theresa Sheldon to the Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors.

Tulalip Board of Directors

Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors, Chuck James, Theresa Sheldon, Glen Gobin, Melvin R. Sheldon Jr, Marlin Fryberg Jr, Marie M. Zackuse, Deborah Parker
Photo: Monica Brown

 

Marie M. Zackuse thanks the board for welcoming her back as she takes her seat on the Services Committee of the Board

Marie M. Zackuse thanks the board for welcoming her back as she takes her seat on the Services Committee of the Board
Photo: Monica Brown

As Zackuse was welcomed to take her seat on the Services Committee along side Deborah Parker and Marlin Fryberg Jr, she responded,  “I want to thank each and everyone that came today, my family and my elders.”

“I’m very grateful today that the Creator provided this opportunity once again for me and I will do the best that I can with what I know and what I have. I want to thank everybody who helped me”

 

 

New board member Theresa Sheldon thanks the board as they welcome her on the Business Committee of the board

New board member Theresa Sheldon thanks the board as they welcome her on the Business Committee of the board
Photo: Monica Brown

“There are just so many inspirational elders and people in our community who helped encourage me to get to this point where I am today” said Sheldon as she took her seat along side Glen Gobin and Chuck James on the Business Committee.”It ‘s the beginning of a new journey and I am truly honored to be here and assist with this board of directors.”

“I’m very thankful for this and I’m excited to get work done”

 

Zackuse and Sheldon were elected March 16th 2013, at the Annual General Council meeting, they will both serve three year terms.