September 2023 (Section I)

Vol. XXIV, No. 5
Muckleshoot indian reservation, wash.
September 2023
Tribal Council

Messages from Chairman Jaison Elkins, Councilman John Daniels, and Vice Chairman Donny Stevens

Vice-President Kamala Harris with Chairman Jaison Elkins.

Chairman's Corner

"I want to begin this month’s column by thanking all that were involved in Canoe Journey for making the Paddle to Muckleshoot such a success. The Tribal Council appreciates the tribal staff, tribal members, Muckleshoot Canoe Family, volunteers, and all our extended community members, friends, and guests.

We all pulled together to create an atmosphere where everyone felt welcomed, enjoyed bountiful food, and gathered with good minds and hearts. I am incredibly proud of us all. It is that time of year again when autumn is knocking on the door. After a long hot summer, it might not seem like it, but things are changing, and it is time to prepare. I wish our students great success, our fishers full nets, and our hunters stocked freezers.

The new school year can be a time of joy, nervousness, and a host of feelings for our children. I want each of our students to know that the Tribe is behind you and we support you. You are our future and we collectively care about your success and value you all. I wish you all the best during this academic year and hope that you all realize happiness and progress in the classroom.

Last month I was humbled to be invited to meet with the Vice President of the United States during her visit to Seattle. The opportunity to welcome Vice President Harris to our lands was incredibly meaningful. It was also a recognition of the Muckleshoot Tribe and our importance. I carried the voices of our elders and tribal members with me that day.

Finally, I know that many have heard in the news that the federal government is approaching yet another fiscal cliff at the end of September. It is unclear whether there will be a government shutdown or if there will be a continuing resolution to punt the funding issue down the road a few weeks. The Tribal Council is staying apprised of the situation and engaged with the Washington delegation and federal officials. We are working to insulate the Tribe from any negative impacts caused by the Congress failing to do its job.

I wish you all a happy and safe autumn. Go Hawks!"

— Chairman Jaison Elkins

Fathers Teaching Kids Their Traditions

"It’s tough being a Dad... not just being a Tribal Dad, but every Dad walks that fine line which makes him think he will never be the Father he intended to be. We Tribal guys have had it rough. A lot of us grew up in environments where learning to be a good father was a huge challenge… for myself, especially, I know a lot of these doubts were earned. Native Fathers I know and love have gone through the drama – and trauma – of alcohol, drugs, other struggles, even violence.

Which is why it was such a blessing to see so many Dads at our recent Canoe Journey hosting, and also out treaty fishing. Healthy, straight, and loving their kids as they laughed and worked their way to shore.

The pictures don’t lie: Dads were pulling canoes on the journey, and were out setting nets with their sons, daughters and grandchildren – doing things their parents used to do with them, explaining Tribal life and culture to their kids. Those kids are really listening, and I feel the inspiration.

Now the job falls to all of us to keep this sense of cultural tribal pride growing, of keeping our families together through the tough times, of creating new, fun ways for our kids to learn about our outdoor lives, our love of the environment around us – and our ability to help each other.

Be Proud: We’re really doing something quite remarkable as we teach about practicing cultural traditions and treaty rights... hands raised to our native fathers working hard to ensure our Muckleshoot Tribe’s survival."

– Councilman John Daniels, Jr.

(L-R) Donny Stevenson, Atty. Gen. Ferguson, Anita Mitchell, Jaison Elkins.

A New Age of Indigenous Excellence

"I’ve been sittting back lately, reflecting upon the past few months, and I find myself deeply moved by what I’ve been witness to. Watching our people reach for and achieve greatness on all levels is a pure joy that I don’t have the words to truly express, or to fully capture the emotion or feeling!

The inspiration, pride and shared sense of solidarity and accomplishment runs deep as we watch the Indigenous warriors of the 21st Century shoot their shot, reach important milestones, accomplish great things and build themselves, our families, our communities and our people is sacred and makes up the true core who we really are as a Tribal people.

This message of thanks, inspiration and praise goes out to the countless Indigenous, Native and Indian people who inspire, lead and empower us everyday in their own unique and special way – whether an artist, a healer, a leader, an athlete, a teacher, a protector, a student, a professional, a hunter or gatherer, a keeper of language or wisdom, a business owner or entrepreneur, a parent.

However we as Indigenous people contribute to our community and culture and blaze new trails for our future, we need to share these messages of hope and beauty to help normalize, reinforce and spread the traditional value of supporting and building one another up! We need to do so with more energy and consistency than, and as opposed to, reinforcing and passing on the colonized behaviors of jealousy, criticism and tearing one another down.

If you are doing you in a way that’s authentic, real, and rooted in culture and love… and therefore forwards and is a reflection of Indigenous excellence, know that we see you… our communities see you… our Ancestors see you!!!

Damn-it... we are Native Ameri-CANS not Native Ameri-CAN’TS!!!"

– Vice-Chairman Donny Stevenson

More from This Edition

Vol. XXIV, No. 5

September 2023 (Section I)

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About the Muckleshoot Messenger

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.