Vaccine Update: Booster Shots

You may have heard that a third (3) vaccine dose against COVID-19 is now available for those who are fully vaccinated. Here’s what we’ve learned:

  • Anyone with a compromised immune system from cancer drugs, organ transplants, and so on can get a booster now. Check with your health care provider.
  • For everyone else who received their second (2) dose of vaccinations at least 8 months ago, booster will be available beginning September 20. Since the Suquamish Tribe was very early in getting our community and employees vaccinated, that means many of us will be eligible. We will send out additional information about where you can receive the third (3) dose once that information becomes available in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, a top priority is to make sure everyone in our community has received the regular vaccinations. This is especially urgent at this time when cases are at the highest rate ever within the Tribal community, and local emergency room facilities are reaching capacity. Please, if you haven’t already, make sure everyone in your family 12 and above is vaccinated. Doing this will help us get back to school and daily activities safely.

Information on the third (3) vaccine dose is attached and for additional information please contact Suquamish Tribe Community Health or your primary health care provider.

Thank you,

Cherrie May, Manager

Office of Emergency Management

 

MODERNA & PFIZER VACCINE 3rd VACCINATION DOSE AGAINST COVID–19 FOR THOSE WHO ARE IMMUNOCOMPROMISED AND GENERAL PUBLIC

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has modified the emergency use authorizations for the Pfizer and the Moderna Covid-19 vaccines to allow people with compromised immune systems to get a third (3) dose.  Public Health Officers are saying it is increasingly clear that many immunocompromised patients are still vulnerable to Covid-19 following vaccination because they may not get an effective immune response to the first 2 vaccinations.

According to the CDC, the list includes people who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

It is highly recommended that you talk to their healthcare provider about your medical condition, and whether getting a third (3) dose is appropriate for you.

Why should immunocompromised people get a third (3) dose?

It’s harder for vaccines to rev up an immune system suppressed by certain medications and diseases, so those patients don’t always get the same protection as otherwise healthy people — and small studies suggest for at least some, an extra dose may be the solution.

When can eligible people get their third dose?

The FDA determined that transplant recipients and others with a similar level of compromised immunity can receive a third dose of the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna at least 28 days after getting their second shot.

Are there any risks with getting a third dose? What about side effects?

The CDC reports there is “limited information about the risks of receiving an additional dose of vaccine, and the safety, efficacy, and benefit of additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine in immunocompromised people continues to be evaluated.”

CDC has noted that side effects with the third vaccination “were similar to that of the two-dose series.”

The most common symptoms include fatigue and pain at the injection site, but “most symptoms were mild to moderate.”

As with previous doses of the vaccine, the CDC notes that, “serious side effects are rare, but may occur.”

Can you mix and match the vaccines?

For people who received either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine series, a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine should be used. A person should not receive more than three mRNA vaccine doses. If the mRNA vaccine product given for the first two doses is not available or is unknown, either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered.

When will COVID-19 third (3) dose be available for general public for those who have already received two (2) doses of a mRNA vaccine?

For people who have already received 2 doses of their mRNA vaccine you may receive a third (3) dose if you are 8 months out from your second (2) dose of mRNA beginning September 20, 2021.

 

Comment Sought on Proposed Tribal Code Changes

The Suquamish Tribal Council is seeking written comments on a proposed new chapter of the Suquamish Tribal Code 3.4 – Court of Appeals. Please submit written comments by September 5, 2021. Contact the Office of the Tribal Attorney for a copy of the proposed chapter.

The new chapter is intended to provide a clear statutory description of the scope of the Suquamish Court of Appeals’ jurisdiction and describe its functions. The proposed code:

  • Describes the composition of the Court of Appeals including qualifications; method of judicial appointment and removal; assignment of cases.
  • Limits the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals.
  • Sets timelines for the Court of Appeals to issue decisions.
  • Requires publication of written decisions.

Submit comments to : Office of the Tribal Attorney, STC Chapter 3.4 Comments, P.O. Box 498, Suquamish, WA 98392 or by email with the subject line “Chapter 3.4 Comments” to twoolsey@suquamish.nsn.us.

Suquamish Night at Mariners Game to Recognize 1921 Suquamish Team’s Tour of Japan

Free Tickets Available for Tribal Members

100 years ago this month, a baseball team from the Suquamish Tribe traveled to Japan on a months-long tour of the nation playing Japanese teams in cities and towns throughout the country as goodwill ambassadors of the game. To celebrate the centennial anniversary of their overseas adventure, the Seattle Mariners will recognize the team and their enduring legacy at the Aug. 26 game against the Kansas City Royals at T-Mobile Stadium.

A representative of the Suquamish Tribe will throw out the first pitch. The gates open 5:10 pm and the game starts at 7:10 pm.

The Suquamish Tribe will provide two free tickets to every Suquamish Tribal member 16 years old and above who would like to attend the game (while supplies last.) If you would like to go, please send an email to craigmiller@Suquamish.nsn.us no later than Aug. 19.

Please include your full name and Suquamish Tribal ID number in your email when requesting tickets.

Tickets will be available for pick up on Aug. 23 at the Fitness Center.

Elders who would like to attend the game but need assistance with transportation should contact Della Crowell by Aug. 6 at (360) 394-8417. Please note: In order to reach your seat in the stadium there is a lot of walking and plenty of stairs. The stairs are steep and there are often no rails to hold on to. Also, masks will be required while in Elders transportation.

Everyone attending the game should also know there is no longer special seating for vaccinated people at Mariners games. The Suquamish Tribe encourages everyone, who is able to, to get vaccinated. Please weigh the risks to yourself and others when considering attending events in crowded spaces.

Phase II “Complete” Burn Ban Now in Effect until Further Notice

Due to extreme fire danger, the Suquamish Tribal Council in coordination with the Kitsap Fire Marshal and local fire departments has imposed a Phase II – Complete Ban on all outdoor burning, effective July 10, 2021 until further notice.
Under the Phase II – Complete Burn Ban, all outdoor burning is prohibited, including small recreational fires, cooking fires, and the use of charcoal briquettes. Only natural or propane gas barbeques are allowed and should only be used on hard non-combustible surfaces.
Fire departments are experiencing unseasonable increases in wildland fire responses throughout the Western part of the State. Higher than normal temperatures and extended dry conditions are likely to continue. Lower than normal rain rainfall will worsen fire risk in a landscape that’s already dry. Outdoor fires are the leading cause of wildland fires, sparking nearly 85% of all vegetation blazes.
For further information regarding the burn ban please contact Eric Quitslund, Suquamish Tribe’s Office of Emergency Management Operations officer at equitslund@suquamish.nsn.us.

Upcoming events at the Family and Friends Center

There are some exciting events going on at the ʔiišədalʔtxʷ ʔə ti suq̓ʷabš (Suquamish Family and Friends Center) over the next few weeks.

Here’s a quick round-up: 

  • Father’s Day Keychain Class – This online class continues on Tuesday, June 8 AND 15 at 6:30pm.  Kits are still available for distribution. Call or email to request a kit. (Details for the online class are in the kits.)
  • Tween Self Care Kit Distribution —  This is for youth ages 10-12, on Wednesday, June 9, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Call or email to sign up for a kit.
  • Port Madison Eats: PMEats Facebook Live BIG FOOT’S HOMEMADE PIE cooking demonstration on Thursday, June 10, at 4pm.  Kit distribution is Wednesday, June 9, from 11am to 1pm. Call or email to sign up for a kit. Post a picture of your HOMEMADE PIE on our Facebook page with the hashtag #PMEats by Thursday, June 17, to be entered into a prize drawing.
  • Family and Friends Center Survey–The ʔiišədalʔtxʷ ʔə ti suq̓ʷabš (Suquamish Family and Friends Center) Needs and Facility Assessment Survey is still open for your input. This survey is intended for Tribal Members and Tribal Member Households to provide their valuable feedback. Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey to help us gain a better understanding of what activities and programs are of interest to you. This helps us plan seasonal activities that YOU want to do. By completing this survey you will also help to identify ways in which we might improve and expand our facility to better meet the needs of the youth in the community. Your opinion is valued by our department, so please be honest and share with us what you think.  CLICK HERE FOR THE SURVEY Thank you!

Please call (360) 394-8576 or email fandfcenter@suquamish.nsn.us to request a kit or to get clarification on Family and Friend Center activities.

Suquamish Tribe Chairman and ATNI President Leonard Forsman interviews Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House advisor and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, joins Leonard Forsman, Chairman of the Suquamish Tribe and President of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, for an online discussion during ATNI’s annual spring gathering on May 24, 2021.

 

S’Klallam Tribe and Suquamish Tribe Host Youth Vaccination Clinic on May 17 and May 26

All Tribal youth or any youth living in North Kitsap aged 12 to 17  now eligible to receive Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

UPDATE: The vaccination clinic for youth will be repeated on May 26. Make an appointment at https://bookpgst.timetap.com

The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe and the Suquamish Tribe are partnering to host a COVID-19 Youth Vaccination Clinic on Monday, May 17 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Elders Center on the PGST government campus.

Tribal youth or any youth living in North Kitsap aged 12 – 17 are invited to get vaccinated at the clinic. An appointment is required and can be scheduled online at https://bookpgst.timetap.com. Vaccinations are provided free of charge.

There are 300 appointments available at this clinic. Participants will receive their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. A second follow-up shot will be provided three weeks later. All participants will be expected to return to the same location for their second dose on June 7.

Parental consent is required for anyone under the age of 18. Parents or legal guardians can accompany their child to the appointment or provide a signed consent form along with a phone number should they need to be reached. Consent forms are available for download after setting up an appointment.

The Pfizer vaccine was recently approved by the FDA, CDC, and Washington State Health Department for youth as young as 12 years old.

The two Kitsap County tribes have worked hard to vaccinate adult members of their communities, as well as local teachers, school district staff, and other neighbors. Now, they are coordinating to ensure area youth can get vaccinated as quickly as possible.

“We’ve understood from the beginning that the best way to protect our Tribe from COVID-19 is to ensure as many people as possible get vaccinated, especially those in our Tribal community, their close contacts, and our staff, neighbors, and friends,” said Jolene Sullivan, PGST’s Health Director, who has been on the front lines coordinating the Tribe’s response to the pandemic. “Being able to administer vaccines to young people is an exciting next step in helping us move forward towards a pandemic-free life and we’re happy to be able to play a role in that.”

“This clinic is a major step towards safeguarding our families, schools, and the whole community,” said Cherrie May, Suquamish Tribe’s Emergency Operations Center manager. “We’re excited that youth throughout North Kitsap will be joining adults in getting vaccinated, and we’re looking forward to when we can fully reopen schools, gather for cultural activities, and travel in safety.”

While, generally, younger people haven’t experienced the worst symptoms of COVID-19, experts agree that vaccinating this group protects everyone. This includes limiting the potential for asymptomatic spread and variants that may be resistant to current vaccines. In addition, while teens and young adults are less likely to die from COVID-19, long-term symptoms can be serious and significantly impact quality of life.

During clinical trials, the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer was 100% effective at preventing infection among those aged 12 – 15.

Appointments for the May 17 Youth Vaccination Clinic are being accepted now at https://bookpgst.timetap.com. After check-in and vaccination, each participant will be asked to remain on site for 15 minutes for observation to ensure no adverse side effects. The Port Gamble S’Klallam government campus is located at 31912 Little Boston Rd. NE in Kingston.

This vaccination clinic follows an earlier series of vaccination clinics in which both tribes administered Moderna vaccinations to North Kitsap School District teachers and staff.

About THE PORT GAMBLE S’KLALLAM TRIBE

The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, originally known as the Nux Sklai Yem or Strong People, are descendants of the Salish people who have been well-established in the Puget Sound basin and surrounding areas since 2400 B.C.  In the late 1930s, the Port Gamble S’Klallam reservation, located on the northern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State, was established. Many of the Tribe’s members, who total about twelve hundred, still live there today.

For more information about the S’Klallam Tribe, please visit www.pgst.nsn.us.

About SUQUAMISH TRIBE The Suquamish Tribe is a federally recognized sovereign tribe located on the Port Madison Indian Reservation along the Puget Sound west of Seattle, Washington. D’suq’wub, meaning “place of the clear saltwater”, has been home to the Suquamish people since time immemorial. It is the ancient place on Agate Passage, the site of Old-Man-House village, the winter home of Chief Seattle and the heart of the Suquamish People. It is here, past, present, and future, that the Suquamish People live on the land of their ancestors and of their great-grandchildren.

Gambling Commission and the Suquamish Tribe reach tentative agreement on a sports wagering compact amendment

(The following was released on May 3, 2021 by the Washington State Gambling Commission.)

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Gambling Commission has reached a tentative agreement with the Suquamish Tribe to amend its Class III gaming compact to add sports wagering. The Tribe operates its Class III gaming facility located on the Kitsap Peninsula on the Port Madison Indian Reservation. (Full Amendment here).

This is the second sports wagering tentative agreement in the state and this amendment establishes the framework for sports wagering at the Tribe’s Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort.

“I am grateful for the thoughtful and cooperative approach taken by the Tribe and State in reaching this tentative agreement and this compact amendment continues to recognize the Tribe’s sovereignty and successful operation and regulation of gaming,” said Washington State Gambling Commission Chair Bud Sizemore. “This agreement ensures sports wagering will be conducted with the highest integrity while protecting the public by keeping gambling legal and honest. Completion of these negotiations allows us to focus more on the black market in our state.”

“We are pleased with the progress of the compact amendment and the partnership it represents with the Governor, Legislature, Gambling Commission and citizens of Washington,” said Leonard Forsman, Chairman of the Suquamish Tribe.

“Revenue from sports wagering will help support the Suquamish Tribe’s important governmental services offered to both tribal members and the non-tribal community. This compact means guests at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort will enjoy additional exciting activities while ensuring that sports wagering revenues remain in Washington.”

This amendment allows the Tribe and State the ability to effectively address the Legislature’s primary sports wagering policy concerns now codified in the Gambling Act: licensing, agency funding, regulation, criminal enforcement, money laundering, sport integrity, and responsible and problem gambling.

The Gambling Commission anticipates it will have draft rules to its Commissioners for their review at the agency’s June 10, 2021 public meeting. Details for this meeting can be found on the agency’s website.

For questions for the Suquamish Tribe please contact: Rion Ramirez at rionramirez@clearwatercasino.com.

Public comments regarding this compact amendment may be submitted to: compactcomments@wsgc.wa.gov.

BACKGROUND:
This tentative agreement must now go through a state and federal approval process. The next steps in this process are:

  1. Legislative Hearings will be held in the Senate Labor, Commerce, and Tribal Affairs and House Commerce and Gaming Committees.
  2. The Gambling Commission will view and vote on this compact amendment at June 10, 2021 public hearing. If approved by the agency’s Commissioners, the proposed compact amendment will be forwarded to the Tribal Chair and then the Governor for signature.
  3. Once signed by both the Tribal Chair and the Governor, the Tribe will send the amendment to the Secretary of the United States Department of Interior for consideration and publication in the Federal Register.
  4. The compact amendment is not final, and sports wagering cannot begin, until it is published in the Federal Register.

Washington State was the first state in 2020 to enact a new sports wagering law. The Gambling Act (RCW 9.46) contains all sports wagering state laws, including additional money laundering and sport integrity provisions to protect gambling and sporting events occurring in the state and around the country.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 provides that Indian tribes may conduct Class III gaming activities on Indian lands when the gaming is conducted in conformance with a tribal-state compact. RCW 9.46.360 provides that the Gambling Commission negotiate those compacts on behalf of the state. The Suquamish Tribe’s tribal-state compact for Class III gaming was originally signed in January 1995, and this is the fourth amendment.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Brian J. Considine
Legal and Legislative Manager
Washington State Gambling Commission
(360) 485-8921 (mobile)
Brian.considine@wsgc.wa.gov

 

Chief Seattle stood up for the survival of the Salish Sea, what will we do for future generations?

The following op-ed by Suquamish Tribe Chairman Leonard Forsman appeared in the Seattle Times and Kitsap Sun as part of Earth Day 2021.

 

We are approaching an Earth Day like no other, as dangers posed by environmental emergencies have never been clearer.  Opportunities to address these multiple crises have never been more available than they are today.

I am from Suquamish, dxwsəq’wəb, the Place of the Clear Salt Water – a place where, too often, sewage and oil spills from other parts of Puget Sound have washed up on our shores.

We have lived here for thousands of years, relying on salmon, shellfish and other traditional foods to support our way of life. Now our foods are scarce as climate change heats the water, spawning habitat is destroyed or made inaccessible to returning salmon, and toxins make shellfish unharvestable.

The 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott, signed by our ancestral leader Chief Seattle, established the Port Madison Indian Reservation (where we continue to reside today) and guaranteed our right to fish and hunt in our “usual and accustomed” areas.  Despite the promises made in the treaties, federal land policies resulted in the loss of most of our lands.  Our grandparents were forcibly taken as children to residential schools, where they were punished for practicing our culture and speaking our language. And pollution, habitat destruction, and overfishing diminished our traditional foods and assaulted our ways of life.

Chief Seattle, showed in his famous speech that he understood we faced the possibility of an end to our peoples and ways of life — and that non-Natives could suffer a similar fate:

“A few more moons, a few more winters, and not one of the descendants of the mighty hosts that once moved over this broad land or lived in happy homes, protected by the Great Spirit, will remain. … Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come. …  We may be brothers after all. We will see.”

The threats are real.  Global warming is causing more frequent droughts, wildfires, and storms that endanger the web of life.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, the waters are becoming warmer and more acidic, threatening the ecological web that supports salmon, orca, and our ways of life as Native peoples. Rising sea level and coastal erosion force coastal tribes to relocate. As conditions in other regions worsen, we can expect more people to move here, creating more impacts from desperate climate refugees.

We, the seventh generation since Chief Seattle, survived great transitions thanks to the foresight and sacrifices of our ancestral leaders. Our resilience has lessons that others could learn from. Among them, is the principle of making decisions based on caring for the earth and its residents including the marine creatures, animals, plants, and ourselves.

This principle is a direct challenge to the short-term thinking of today’s world.

Acting on behalf of seven generations means we invest now in cleaning up Puget Sound and restoring salmon habitat, while protecting the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. It means rebuilding obsolete sewer infrastructure so spills don’t contaminate our waters and marine life, and it requires that we replace or remove culverts that block fertile salmon spawning streams. It means breaching the Snake River dams that will otherwise condemn to extinction salmon species that have, since time immemorial, fought their way through thousands of miles of ocean and river systems to faithfully return to spawn.

And protecting seven generations means confronting the climate crisis, which threatens us all. This means a commitment to act in the fierce urgency of now, as Rev. Martin Luther King Jr said.

As the people living seven generations after Chief Seattle, let our generation make good use of the gifts we have inherited from our ancestors to assure future generations will also have the gift of life to pass along to their children.

Leonard Forsman is chair of the Suquamish Tribe and president of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.

Suquamish Tribe seeks new Finance Director

The Suquamish Tribal Council and Executive Management are seeking highly qualified applicants for our full-time Finance Director position to oversee the financial management of the Suquamish Tribal Government.

The Finance Director Responsibilities:
Works closely with the Suquamish Tribal Council, and Executive Director to develop strategies for short and long-term financial planning, and the development of a master budget to ensure financial stability and economic success of the Tribe. The Director will be responsible for the day-to-day leadership and management of all fiscal operations of the government including planning, organizing, and controlling financial resources and expenditure processes. The Director is responsible for leading 10 FTE Finance personnel, and oversite of BIA, IHS, grant, and tribal funding, cash management, debt management, purchasing and investment policy. The Finance Director will prepare indirect cost proposals, assists in preparation of the annual audit and is responsible for maintaining accurate records of all expenditures by fund source. Is responsible for the hiring and management of finance staff, and ensuring compliance with all regulations, standards and legal requirements affecting the tribe’s finances.

Click here for more information and how to apply.