A symbol of healing to be passed to Marysville, tribes

MARYSVILLE — Representatives from school districts in Minnesota and Connecticut where shootings have occurred are to be here on Monday to present a plaque that has been passed among communities where students have been killed by gunfire.

The plaque includes a work of traditional American Indian art known as a dreamcatcher. It is to be presented at the Marysville School District offices to the community and to the Tulalip Tribes, according to a school district statement issued Sunday.

The representatives are from the Red Lake Reservation in Minnesota and Newtown, Connecticut.

“These delegation members are carrying forward the tradition, kindness and caring that the Red Lake Ojibwe and the Newtown communities received when they faced their own tragedies,” and they hope to bring healing to Marysville as well, the school district said.

On Monday, classes resume at Marysville Pilchuck High School, which has been closed since a student shot five of his friends and then killed himself on Oct. 24.

Four students, including the shooter, have died. Two others are hospitalized in Seattle, one of them in critical condition.

The dreamcatcher was made by a woman in Muskegon, Michigan, and sent to Columbine High School in suburban Denver following the shooting deaths there of 13 people in 1999.

It was described by the Muskegon Chronicle as resembling a spider web of string inside a hoop made from willow, with decorative feathers and beads. The protective charm originally was used by the Ojibwe and Lakota cultures and is said to capture nightmares and evil spirits in its web, allowing good dreams and spirits to pass through, according to the newspaper.

The dreamcatcher was then sent from Columbine to the Red Lake Reservation after a school shooting in 2005 in which 10 people died, including the 16-year shooter.

Red Lake tribal members and some survivors of the shooting drove to Newtown, Connecticut, following the deaths of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.

Red Lake tribal members are expected to conduct traditional prayers as part of the presentation of the plaque on Monday. The Marysville School District includes the Tulalip reservation, and the high school’s student body includes members of the Tulalip Tribes.

The shooter, Jaylen R. Fryberg, 15, was a tribal member, as are the two surviving victims, Andrew Fryberg, 15, and Nate Hatch, 14. Andrew Fryberg is in critical condition and Hatch is in satisfactory condition, both at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Zoe R. Galasso, 14, died at the scene in one of the high school’s cafeterias, and Gia Soriano and Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, both 14, died days later at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com.

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