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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Joy, Healing At T-Shirt Giveaway
by Matt Nagle - The Puyallup Tribal News
Lisa Earl gifts the little ones with special T-shirts. Their smiles – and hers – made for a wonderful giveaway at Grandview Early Learning Center.
(photo by Matt Nagle - The Puyallup Tribal News)

The little kiddos at Grandview Early Learning Center had a bit of early Christmas gift-receiving fun on Dec. 7 when James Rideout and his sister Lisa Earl visited the school with a free T-shirt for every student. And these were no ordinary T-shirts – the front bears an original Coast Salish design of two salmon in a yin-and-yang formation in the cycle of life, artwork donated by Warrior Brand Clothing Company and created by James Rideout and Warrior Brand owner Gordon Murphy. On the back of the T-shirts, the words “Water Is Life” in English and Lushootseed provide a timely and important message. Thus, the giveaway was of cultural significance as well, which was highlighted every time James Rideout and Lisa Earl taught the children how to pronounce the Lushootseed word on their T-shirts.

“It’s my way of giving back,” James Rideout said. “Not everybody can go to Standing Rock so it’s a way to stand in solidarity not only for Standing Rock but also our own home and the LNG controversy we have here. Water has always been our life.”
The giveaway provided a healing experience for James Rideout’s sister Lisa Earl, who lost her daughter Jacqueline Salyers (also James Rideout’s niece) this past January when a Tacoma police officer shot and killed her. Lisa Earl worked at Grandview for more than 20 years, and she often commented throughout the giveaway that day about how much she loved that job and misses seeing the little ones every morning.

“I wanted to help my sister heal by bringing her back with the children. Outfitting all those children, that’s healing,” her brother said. “With all the support that was given to my niece and my sister, it was just a small way to give back and I’m thankful. It’s the concept of us all working together and supporting each other in solidarity and healing.”

James Rideout is reaching out to the broader Puyallup community as well by planning a candlelight vigil to honor all of our loved ones no longer with us and to have a healing dinner for everyone to enjoy at the Tribal Youth Center on Thursday, Dec. 29, starting at 6 p.m.

“All of us are hurting and grieving in some way, shape or form – coming together in the community is important. We need more social community time so I took the Christmas opportunity to find a way to come together, heal and have a dinner,” he said.
James Rideout envisions that the evening will be cleansing for the Youth Center itself, given the number of funerals that have been held there. Bringing the community together and filling the center with joyful, loving energy will help dispel any darkness remaining and help begin 2017 on a fresh note built on the strength of a closely-knit Tribe.


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