It’s been a busy, busy week. But we are officially moved. As I was finishing up my work on Friday, I thought it was just fitting to be the last person out of the building. While we were moving, it was a really happy week for me, but it was really sad too. It seems like Tulalip is growing so quickly. I’m amazed by the changes I’ve seen in my short time as General Manager, and I can’t wait to see what the next few years bring. But I’m also sad to see some of the great achievements our leaders have made forgotten or eclipsed by the “new”.
I want to take some time and just remember some of the leaders who made a difference in my life. Not just the really visible leaders, but people like my Auntie Uppy, Caroline Thornberry, who took care of her community. She didn’t do it by running for the Board, or by being a General Manager, but just by being herself and passing on those teachings that she had. She made sure that our family knew who we are and where we come from. She made sure that we knew how to take care of our people.
Debbie Brown taught me that our employees come first; we need to support them in their work. That mistakes are learning opportunities; but we just ask that they let us know up front about the mistake and learn from it and do not make the same mistake twice. Linda Jones taught me that we need to look out for the needs of Tribal members, but ensure that we are giving them a hand out, not a hand up. That we provide programs that will allow them to improve their lives.
Of course, my first mentors were my parents; they taught us our work ethic, but more importantly they told us that we could be and do anything that we wanted with our lives and then they supported me in the decisions that I made. There are numerous other elders, leaders and community members who have touched my life, supporting me and teaching me to help me be the person that I am today. I thank and love each of them.
And that’s what this new building means to me. It’s not just the walls and the technology that have changed, it’s that we’re focusing more on the way we help our people and work with our teammates. I know that a lot of people are having a tough time with the change. I understand that change is hard; I’m struggling with it too. But I know that once we get used to it, we’ll find that these new offices help make our work more efficient and more meaningful.
I had a really touching experience during our move. One of the workers who helped build these offices was really touched. He said that every project he works on is special, but this one is even more special because it’s for us. For the Tulalip Tribes and all our people. I can’t say enough how proud I am of my staff and everyone who made all of this possible. And I can’t wait to see tribal members’ faces as they see it all for the first time.
If you haven’t had a chance to stop by the Administration Building we’re having our Grand Opening and Open House on October 3rd starting at 12:00. I look forward to seeing you there!