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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


November 2, 2002 - Issue 73


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Invoking Good Karma

credits: Canoe Family dancers (from left) Roselle Fryberg, Chambray Burleson and Brandi Moore perform a traditional dance Tuesday during the blessing of the Quil Ceda Neighborhood Center
Canoe Family dancers (from left) Roselle Fryberg, Chambray Burleson and Brandi Moore perform a traditional dance Tuesday during the blessing of the Quil Ceda Neighborhood CenterTULALIP -- Roselle Fryberg donned an eagle's mask and red and black regalia Tuesday to lead a stream of young Tulalip dancers around a circle at the new retail center at Quil Ceda Village.

Drummers kept the beat while singing traditional songs intended as a blessing for the new businesses at the Quil Ceda Neighborhood Center.

"Times have changed," said Leota Pablo, a Tulalip Tribes elder praying to the Great Spirit. "The success of our tribe is great."

The 33,000-square-foot center is southeast of Wal-Mart at Quil Ceda Village west of I-5 at the 88th Street exit.

As some 60 people looked on, Pablo blessed the doorway of each new business, praying for prosperity and good fortune. Let's work together to make the community better and to bless the business owners on their journey, she said.

You could say the ceremony was a bit of retail enrichment.

"I think it's great to have some good karma brought on to the store," said John Gattinella, owner of The UPS Store at the $3.2 million complex.

Tribal leaders praised Tulalip member Ray Fryberg Jr., who had the vision many years ago to create the development.

Tribal member Mel Sheldon likened the development to that of a journey in a big canoe.

"We want everyone to be in the canoe with us," he said.

The community has synchronized its paddling and pulled together, tribal elder Ray Moses said, reflecting on the success so far of the business area, which in addition to the shopping center and Wal-Mart includes a Home Depot outlet and a major new casino under construction.

The shopping center is home to the Marysville/Tulalip Chamber of Commerce, Jorgenson Golf Shop, the Smokeshop, Cellular Town, Taco del Mar, Port of Subs, Jackpot Teriyaki, Education Credit Union and The UPS Store.

Some of the stores are open now, and the rest should be open within 60 days, said John McCoy, Tulalip governmental affairs director. There are no vacancies, he said.

The smoke shop is tribal-owned, while tribal members Heidi and Greg Sheldon own the Port of Subs store.

The new Chamber of Commerce office includes a tourism and visitors bureau that features a video wall showcasing statewide tourist attractions. Conference rooms are available for meetings and recruitment efforts. A small business development center will provide hands-on assistance for new and existing businesses in the area.

It's the only Chamber to partner with a city and an American Indian nation. The Chamber office will celebrate its new location with a grand opening today. Local, state and national officials will take part in the opening, including U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President Reta Lewis.

The Tulalips built the Quil Ceda Neighborhood Center about a year ago, and the space was initially reserved for tribal member stores before being opened up to others.

After the new casino opens next year, the Tulalips plan to develop a 120-store retail center to the north, McCoy said.

The Chelsea Group of New York hopes to start construction there in the spring, he said.

Quil Ceda Village eventually could include more warehouse-style stores, a hotel and convention center, and a water theme park, officials said.

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