The Tribe’s partnership with the Mariners has been the biggest thing since... well, the partnerships with the Kraken and Seahawks! It’s been fun for everybody, from packing the stands, to throwing out first pitches, to singing and drumming on the field, to having the run of the stadium on one of the team’s off-days. The Mariners Moose even put in an appearance at the Canoe Hosting! And that’s just part of it. The positive P.R. this brings to Muckleshoot is beyond measure. Here’s an updated version of the original announcement by the Mariners:
SEATTLE, Wash. – The Seattle Mariners have announced a long-term, multi-faceted partnership with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and its Tribal enterprise, the Muckleshoot Casino Resort. This collaboration, which includes the designation of Exclusive Casino Partner, will allow the organizations to work together to impact the broader community throughout the Pacific Northwest.
“This partnership is the result of two organizations coming together who share common values and beliefs. We’re excited to celebrate the Tribe’s culture and traditions with fans at T-Mobile Park, while providing enhanced baseball and softball access to more children throughout our region,” said Catie Griggs, Seattle Mariners President of Business Operations.
“Indigenous culture is steeped in game play as a way to strengthen communities, nurture resilience, and advance wellness,” said Junior Maldonado, Muckleshoot Casino Resort Executive Director of Gaming Operations. “These connective values drive our shared identity with the Mariners. We are grateful for the opportunity to educate fans on the Muckleshoot heritage as this region’s first caretakers and to empower new generations to dream bigger.”
As part of the collaboration, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and the Mariners will host five baseball and softball camps featuring trainers who are former college and professional players, in areas where access to baseball and softball programming has been limited.
The organizations also will work together to create a new after-school baseball and softball youth development program at the Muckleshoot Tribal School. The initiative will focus on middle school students, an age group that experiences the highest drop off for access to play.
Additionally, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe will uplift organizations that align with the Mariners Care Foundation’s core areas of focus, including advancing equity and justice and making our hometown healthier and more vibrant.
These organizations include Seattle Foundation’s Fund for Inclusive Recovery, which helps meet the critical needs of people most impacted by the pandemic, and Downtown Emergency Service Center, which serves thousands of homeless and formerly homeless people through low-barrier health services, survival services, and permanent housing.
Since being unveiled in March, the Muckleshoot Diamond Club has had Tribal art and mural installations integrated throughout the premium space. From hand-painted baseball bats utilizing Coast Salish design to hand-carved canoes and paddles, the artwork showcases the Muckleshoot Tribe’s deep roots within the region.
Additionally, a variety of wall maps representing the Tribe’s ancestral hunting and fishing grounds and historic photos reflecting the Tribe’s journey are carefully placed throughout the space. Adorned with designs of spears, four exterior Diamond Club seats are used to recognize members of the community who are making a positive impact.
During select homestands, fans can experience Tribal-inspired fare in the Muckleshoot Diamond Club. Created in partnership with Muckleshoot Casino Executive Chef Andreas Hartmann and his culinary team, new menu offerings include fry bread, burlap-steamed Manila clams, salmon cake sliders, and more.
For Native American Heritage Night, which was presented by Muckleshoot Casino Resort on Monday, August 28, Muckleshoot Tribal artists created a limited-edition Mariners jersey that was given away to the first 10,000 fans ages 21+ through the gates. Throughout the game, the Mariners honored the heritage and culture of Indigenous Peoples across the Pacific Northwest.
Host: "We’re here with Muckleshoot Tribal Chairman Jaison Elkins. This is a great partnership for both sides, Jaison – for the Muckleshoot Tribe and for the Mariners, as well. How did this first start to develop?"
Jaison: "I think that, as the first people of the Seattle region, it was just going to happen eventually at some point. These are our homelands. We’re the first people in the Seattle area, so it was bound to happen."
Host: "Can you tell us a bit more about what excites you about the tribe’s partnership with the Mariners?"
Jaison: "I think the most exciting part is that we have shared values in building up our community, and also growing the sport of baseball. We love baseball. It’s America’s sport. We’re diehard fans, and we want to make sure we can get the kids into baseball, and softball as well.
"I was thinking, too, about my role as the Chairman of the Tribe. There are nine of us, and we have to work as a team in order to take care of our people. Baseball is a team sport, and it’s all about teamwork, discipline, strength and conditioning – things that kids can learn and take that with them for the rest of their lives. It builds up good leadership skills for our tribe’s future."
The Muckleshoot Messenger is a Tribal publication created by the Muckleshoot Office of Media Services. Tribal community members and Tribal employees are welcome to submit items to the newspaper such as news, calendar items, photos, poems, and artwork.