Tulalips offer peek at their heritage

TULALIP — There’s no building yet, but visitors to the Tulalip Indian Reservation today can get a glimpse of what will soon be found in the Hibulb Cultural Center, a $10 million museum that will be dedicated to Tulalip culture.

There will be music, dancing, crafts and storytelling at the inaugural Tulalip Living History Festival, which will be held at the Tulalip Amphitheatre. Donations will be accepted for the cultural center, but the free event is designed to raise awareness of Tulalip culture, said Vernell Lane, the tribes’ museum fund development director.

Tribal members have been dreaming of the cultural center for 20 years or more, Lane said.

The tribal government has already pledged $6 million toward the center and has secured a $1 million matching grant from the state, she said.

The rest of the money will be raised through a capital campaign, which has yet to begin. Tribal leaders recently approved the creation of the Tulalip Foundation to handle fundraising for the cultural center and other future projects, Lane said.

The first of the center’s three phases, a collection-curatorial facility, was completed this year. It stands near the tribes’ old Cultural Resources Department near the reservation’s entrance on Marine Drive.

The second phase is the $10 million cultural center, which will hold the tribes’ permanent and traveling exhibits. Crews were scheduled to begin clearing ground for the center this summer. Initial plans for the center set its completion in 2009.

The third phase is the center’s Natural History Preserve, which will encompass about 55 acres around the center.

The Living History Festival is more about raising awareness than raising money, Lane said.

“We’re getting the word out,” she said.

Reporter Krista J. Kapralos: 425-339-3422 or kkapralos@heraldnet.com.

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