Growing up in Marysville, I heard racism and hate toward the members of the Tulalip Tribes all my life. The more I learned of the horrors inflicted on the people who had been living in Washington for 25,000 years or so by European colonizers, the more I realized that this hate was a product of shame. While it was not my generation whose policies towards Native Americans included genocide, we lived in the culture those policies created.
I very much appreciate The Herald editorial on the Tulalip Boarding School, a vile place that worked as hard as it could to destroy an entire civilization (“Getting to the truth of Tulalip boarding school,” The Herald, Sept. 26). It did so, as you pointed out, through the murder and torture of children. This is not ancient history, this was within the time of our parents and grandparents. How can a culture heal when no remorse has ever been expressed?
If your readers want to hear more of that history, but also the story of how a culture survived these attempts at genocide, I would strongly encourage them to read Harriett Shelton Dover’s “Tulalip of my Heart.” If you can’t find it at your local bookstore, it is available on the Barnes and Noble website. Dover was the daughter of a chief and went on to be a council elder and a postmaster general of Tulalip. She went to the Tulalip Boarding School, and talks of the children that went suddenly missing from there. She died in 1995, which demonstrates just how recent these atrocities occurred.
Thank you again for speaking to this important aspect of our local history and culture.