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Five Funerals in 18 Days for Tulalip and Marysville

One by one, the communities of Tulalip and Marysville have said goodbye to children who embodied the future: Children who were involved in their cultures. Children who loved their families and others. Children whose ambitions were taking shape.

Jaylen Fryberg, 15, and Zoe Galasso, 14, died at the scene of the shooting on October 24. Jaylen’s funeral service was October 29 in the Don Hatch Youth Center at Tulalip. A celebration of Zoe’s life took place on November 1 at Word of Life Lutheran Brethren Church in Marysville.

At the time of Jaylen’s funeral, the Tulalip Tribes issued a statement explaining that while it does not condone his violent actions, “It is our custom to come together in times of grief. The Tribe holds up our people who are struggling through times of loss,” including Jaylen Fryberg’s family.

Gia Soriano, 14, passed away on October 26 at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett; a memorial service is scheduled on November 15, 10 a.m., at Immaculate Conception Church in Everett.

Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, passed away on October 31 at the same hospital; visitation was on November 6 and her funeral was November 7 in the Tulalip Gym.

And on November 12, residents of Tulalip and Marysville were to gather at a prayer service for Andrew Fryberg at Tulalip. Burial was scheduled for the next day – the fourth burial in 17 days.

Andrew, Nate and Jaylen, all Tulalip citizens, were cousins. Shaylee, Snoqualmie/Colville, was part of the Tulalip community.

Deborah Parker, a Tulalip Tribes council member and Marysville Pilchuck parent, said Tulalip’s team of counselors and staff have been meeting regularly, helping those in need as they themselves grieve. She said Tulalip has received outside offers of assistance in the form of counseling services, donations, and youth services.

‘We are one big family’

Shortly after the shootings, state Sen. John McCoy, D-Tulalip, was alarmed by the gossip he was reading on social media, and intervened. “One of the things that I did early on, the first night we had a healing [gathering], I told everyone to get off the social networks, that they’ll regret what they put on there,” McCoy said. “I said, ‘We don’t know what happened yet. We don’t know what was going through this young man’s mind. You’re only going to inflame the situation.’ And social media went silent. What I’m seeing now are only words of healing.”

In her autobiography, “Tulalip: From My Heart” (University of Washington Press, 2013), the late Harriette Shelton Dover wrote that the People survived historical trauma because “they took care of one another … They lived together in extended families, living and sharing.”

Mel Sheldon, the former Tulalip chairman, said the only way the communities will heal from the trauma of October 24 is together, by taking care of one another.

After all, he said, “We are one big family.”

To help: The Tulalip Tribes established a fund to assist the victims and their families. Donations can be mailed to the Tulalip Foundation, Attn: MPHS Relief Fund, 8825 34th Ave. NE L-242, Tulalip, WA 98271. Donations can also be made online at The Tulalip Foundation website under the Make an Online donation section.