Tulalips learn about fishing legend

TULALIP – Prior to this week, many Native American students in Tulalip didn’t know much if anything about the legendary Billy Frank Jr. They do now. Chelsea Craig of Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary cameup with a curriculum for all grades to learn about Frank. He is most-famous for fighting for fishing rights that led to the Judge Boldt decision in 1974. At an assembly to celebrate Frank Thursday at theschool, Frank’s son, Willie, was among the hundreds in attendance. He was obviously moved by the tribute to his dad.

“The song brought tears to my eyes,” he said, referring to a song sung by fourth-graders about Frank, but to the tune of B-I-N-G-O. The class made posters with the letters B-I-L-L-Y instead.

Willie encouraged the audience to keep up the fight. The battle now is to save the environment. “It’s up to all of us to tell our story,” he added.

Tulalip Heritage High School students also attended.

Senior Cyena Fryberg said, “I hope you all enjoyed learning about Billy Frank as much as we did.” Myrna Red Leaf, another senior, said she respects Frank for never giving up.

Craig inspired the students, saying any one of them could become a legend like Frank. “It takes one match to start a fire. What are you waiting for?”

Glen Gobin, who knew Frank for 35 years, said Billy went to jail over 50 times fighting for what he believed in. All he wanted was to continue the traditions of what Native Americans had been doingthroughout history. The treaty Frank fought to keep alive said the tribe would not give up its traditions of hunting, fishing and gathering.

Gobin continued saying as Frank aged, his focus changed from fighting Fish and Wildlife to improving the environment. “Fish declined, but not because of fishing, because of habitat,” he said, addingpollution and wells diminished water quality. “Til the day he died he attended habitat meetings,” Gobin said.

The elementary school celebrated Frank every day this week. Fifth-graders came up with daily activities – such as fish day and spirit day. They also made a video and a long piece of artwork they paradedaround the gym for all to see.

“I didn’t know there were that many fish in the world,” tribal Chairman Mel Sheldon said.

More in News

Volunteers build Strawberry Festival float for another busy parade season

MARYSVILLE – In a garage bay in a closed-down auto repair shop… Continue reading

School bond issue fails

ARLINGTON – Arlington Public Schools’ $107.5 million bond to build and renovate… Continue reading

Intensified Algebra helps AHS freshmen stay on pace for success

ARLINGTON – Arlington High School is using a new approach to give… Continue reading

Marysville school levies add to leads with Friday’s count

MARYSVILLE – Both Marysville School District levies are still passing after Friday’s… Continue reading

Homeless numbers down 27%; still up 10% from ‘13

SNOHOMISH COUNTY – The homeless are either going elsewhere or being served… Continue reading

Arlington ECEAP gets youngsters kindergarten-ready

ARLINGTON – Arlington educators want to give kids an early jump on… Continue reading

Rally today in support of M’ville school levies

MARYSVILLE – “We vote yes. We vote yes.” That chant was heard… Continue reading

Justice can move swiftly, in M’ville city court

MARYSVILLE – The hands of justice move slowly - except when they… Continue reading

Chamber unveils new name as big as a valley

ARLINGTON – The Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday unveiled its… Continue reading

Most Read