Stillaguamish Community Center opens (Slide show)

ARLINGTON — "Many of our people dreamed of this day, but didn't live to see it," John Cayou said at the Feb. 17 opening of the Stillaguamish Community Center.

Visitors on the opening day of the new Stillaguamish Center look over the beautiful facility. Through the opening at right is a full-sized gymnasium.

 

ARLINGTON — “Many of our people dreamed of this day, but didn’t live to see it,” John Cayou said at the Feb. 17 opening of the Stillaguamish Community Center.

“But they can see it from the other side, and their children and their grandchildren can enjoy it,” he added. “We were told we would be orphans, but here we are.”

Cayou, a Swinomish elder, praised the Stillaguamish Tribe for creating a facility for all tribes and all ages, from the day care for children and the basketball courts for young people to the accommodations for seniors.

Tara Boser, cultural manager for the Stillaguamish Tribe, recalled when such services were scattered through separate and smaller facilities. She and Tribal Chairman Shawn Yanity credited the Angel of the Winds Casino, and the contributions of countless tribal and other community members, with making the new center possible.

“This offers us a chance to reconnect with our culture, and we all made it happen together,” Boser said.

After the Thunder Hawks drum group performed a song, Boser noted that the drum they were using, which she estimated dates back to at least the 1980s, will be gifted to the day care.

Yanity recalled the long road the Stillaguamish Tribe has taken toward opening the center, which relied on a renewed focus on economic development starting in 2000.

“It was a blessing and a curse,” Yanity said. “We had to grow and move forward. Now we have a home for both our children and our elders, where they can share and learn from each other.”

After Cayou and his aunt, Margaret Aleck, performed a blessing ceremony on the building, Yanity greeted Tulalip Tribal elder Ray Fryberg Sr., who came bearing the gift of a canoe for the center’s front lobby.

“Whether they’re elders from our community or another, we have family ties to them,” Yanity said. “I can’t wait for the kids’ birthday parties and elder luncheons and other events that we’ll have here. We’re putting our community back together.”

The center is located at 24308 55th Ave. NE.

 

More in News

Teen in custody after setting off homemade explosive device at AHS

ARLINGTON – A 16-year-old student is in custody for setting off a… Continue reading

Levy lid lift on ballot for North County Fire & EMS

North County Fire & EMS is asking voters to increase property taxes… Continue reading

Four escape overnight house fire in Marysville

MARYSVILLE - Four people escaped a house fire unharmed late Monday night… Continue reading

Marysville again will have a cold-weather shelter, but volunteers are needed

MARYSVILLE – The Salvation Army is looking for an army of volunteers… Continue reading

Marysville puts levy on Feb. ballot; talks high school boundaries

MARYSVILLE – The school board decided Monday to try to pass a… Continue reading

Weiss, Kelly square off in sole Arlington School Board race

ARLINGTON – The School Board’s sole contested race pits two candidates with… Continue reading

Students in new Regional Apprenticeship Pathways program getting training for skilled trades

ARLINGTON - The Regional Apprenticeship Pathways program kicked off this year and… Continue reading

Sue Weiss, 60
                                Work: Retired accountant, City Council
                                Education: Associates degree in Respiratory Therapy, Certificate of Municipal Leadership through Association of Wash. Cities.
Weiss, Blythe square off in Arlington’s only City Council race

ARLINGTON – In the only contested City Council race, Position 4 incumbent… Continue reading

Arlington Walmart Supercenter unveils $4 million remodel

ARLINGTON – Walmart Supercenter has a new look after a $4 million… Continue reading

Most Read