ARLINGTON – Nick Brown thinks the Stillaguamish Tribe is underappreciated.
So the Arlington High School boys basketball coach asked them to be part of last week’s game against Everett, won by the Eagles 62-27.
Before the game, tribal member Raymond Rehaume played a drum and sang a song passed down from the legendary Chief Joseph.
“It was an inspirational moment. Our guys were totally tuned in. It was the best we played all year, so there must have been something to it,” Brown said. The tribe gave commemorative shirts to members of both teams.
At halftime, the tribe sang and danced to the beat of the drums as part of Native American Cultural Night. Some of the performers were alumni of the high school, and others will go to AHS in the future. A Warrior Eagle Dance was performed. The tribe honored Brown’s wife Caryn with a ceremonial blanket, along with athletic director Tom Roys. I
At halftime they shared three songs, along with a message regarding their culture of weaving baskets being similar to the game’s goal of making baskets and the hard work that goes into both, Caryn said. The tribe shared a giveaway song where they shared gifts such as shirts and blankets with people in the stands, and those who received a gift were invited to participate in the song with them as an understanding of the sharing that took place.
Tracey Boser, tribal cultural resource director, told Caryn that the game “was a platform to share the tribe’s ways, what’s important to them – their songs, dances, language and community.”
Caryn added: “Our goal was to show the tribe’s kindness in our community, their cultural experiences, with a hope to provide our players and fans some insight into the Stillaguamish Tribe’s cultural traditions.” Brown said the event meant a lot to him because he has Native American ancestors. He said he recently had a special night for custodians because he likes to recognize people who do a good job and are always there but not often noticed.
He said the Stilly Tribe is like that. They support the community with developments like the Angel of the Winds casino and at Island Crossing. They provide jobs but also care about the environment.
“Their blood runs deep here,” he said.