The snow has hit and stayed at the Tulalip Reservation, located in Tulalip, Washington, half an hour north of Seattle. Surrounded by towering cedar, pine, hemlock and fir trees and nestled on the beautiful waters of the Tulalip Bay, the Tulalip Reservation and surrounding areas haven’t seen this much snow in years.
The Northwest Indian College is the only regional Tribal college in the nation, with many of our sites closed this week due to the inclement weather and power outages. Our Nez Perce site, with classes in Kamiah and Lapwai, has been opened sporadically this week, while sites at Nisqually, Tulalip, Port Gamble, Swinomish and Muckleshoot have all been closed, as well as our main campus at Lummi.
I live on the Tulalip Reservation and, thanks to the intrepid Deborah Saluskin, enrolled Assiniboine Sioux, with family at Upper Skagit, Samish, Swinomish and Tulalip, we were able to brave the elements and ventured out to the Quil Ceda Village to purchase tire chains for her van. During our travels we stopped several times so I could take photos in front of the Tulalip Resort, and throughout the Tulalip Reservation, trying to capture the beauty of Tulalip cloaked in winter white.
Tribal and community members have tucked in and rode out the weather for the most part, staying with friends and family to ride out the storms. My home has been no exception, with three friends now staying here until the weather breaks. Our home has been filled with space heaters, food and laughter, along with Canoe Journey songs and the sharing of stories. Sometimes the weather brings out the worst in people and in places. This time it has brought out the best at Tulalip as we come together to weather the storms, build snowmen, toss a few snowballs, walk in the snow, share our salmon and our stories.
All photos taken by Renee Roman Nose, enrolled member of the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, M.A.I.S., NWIC Tulalip Site Manager.