Elementary Culture Blog

  • Elderberry

    Posted by Ho'o Brown on 10/14/2020

    Culture teachers make elderberry syrup

    We had the opportunity to make Elderberry Syrup with 2nd and 3rd grade. We would like to say hisk’ʷuʔ and hišəbəʔ to all of our students.


    Mrs. Barril shared one of her favorite recipes from another blog called Growing Up Herbal The link is for a recipe with many nutritious ingredients.  You do not need to use this recipe.  You could make Elderberry Syrup with just the same amounts of elderberry, water, and honey.  You could also just add cinnamon, cloves, and ginger to the water the same time which you add the elderberries.  There are so many variations.  Please make sure that children one year and younger do not take the syrup if honey is added. 



    For the directions and details checkout Growing Up Herbal, it’s a great resource.

    Culture teacher Davina Barril makes elderberry syrup

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  • Sacred Circle

    Posted by Ho'o Brown on 10/1/2020

    During our story time we shared about the Sacred Circle and how the land was undisturbed during construction. It’s purpose is to reconnect us to Mother Earth. The stones represent the Medicine Wheel and were placed in the four directions.

    Medicine wheel; black, white, red, and yellow

    WHITE North

    YELLOW East

    RED South

    BLACK West

    The waiting man story pole

    The story behind the carving in the middle was created to remember the hawk that flies over the school. Then the man below the hawk whose fingers are held together as he waits for the children, to gather everyone together.


    The rest of the story and details will be discussed during elementary’s summer/fall culture classes.


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  • Numbers

    Posted by Ho'o Brown on 10/1/2020

    Lushootseed Numbers

    Puyallup Language Program created this for you to use and follow, we’ll see you in our next class.



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  • EQC and the Community

    Posted by Ho'o Brown on 6/9/2020

    EQC Entrance People attend the EQC Opening

    June 8, 2020 was a historic day for the Puyallup Tribe and community. Witnesses were called forth to commemorate the day along with tribal council.

    People gather to celebrate the opening of the EQC

    Everyone gathered to celebrate.

    Everyone gathered to celebrate the opening of the EQC casino

    The final part was lining up to enter the new EQC.

    Entrance to the EQC

    So much consideration went into every aspect of the build. This project took five years to create not to mention countless of years prior to that of visionary collaborations between different tribal members. It is a beautiful sight to behold.

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  • The Noticing Challenge

    Posted by Ho'o Brown on 6/3/2020

    The Noticing Challenge

    We are taking some time out of our schedule to share some activities, practices, and resources to help you live holistically.


    But what does holistic mean?


    The dictionary defines Holistic as “The treatment of the whole person”.


    Here’s the bigger picture:

    1. How am I treating my body? (food, exercise, sleep…)
    2. How am I treating my mind? (thinking kindly of myself, giving myself grace, self-care, mindfulness and meditation, emotions)
    3. How am I treating my spirit and soul? (do I listen to the sounds of nature, sing with my hand-drum and allow my soul to be energized)


    It’s a big concept, we know. And it can mean slightly different things to different people. Your idea of Holistic Wellness may be slightly different than ours.


    Join the Challenge

    Culture team notices plants



    1. Go for a walk around your home (with parental permission of course) and see what you notice that is around your area. It can be art, statues, memorial plaques, graffiti, anything that you notice that has pretty much always been there but you maybe never paid too much attention to.

    2. Snap a pic and post it to the Holistic Wellness Team Tile or social media with #INoticedCLS with a little snippet of what you learned.

    Here’s some optional questions to get your brain jumpstarted:

    · What attracted you?

    · Why did it attract you?

    · What was surprising to you about finding this?

    · Why had you never really noticed it before?


    You can answer all of these questions, or none. We just hope that you can get outside and notice something new! If you want to share, bonus. We might even be able to send you a little prize or something online or in the mail.



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  • CLS Garden

    Posted by Ho'o Brown on 5/28/2020

    Culture staff get together to make a garden

    Once upon a time a bunch of culture teachers got together and decided to plant a garden in anticipation of their students returning. The End… Actually its just beginning.

    Culture staff create a garden for our students Culture staff create a garden for our students Culture staff create a garden for our students

    Culture staff create a garden for our students

    We started with a blessing and felt blessed by the light rain that touched the earth. Everyone showed up, ready to reclaim a little space to represent sustainability and self-sufficiency. Two really big words with a lot of heart and positive intentions. Here’s what we did…


    1. Prepared the space.
    2. Built the boxes.
    3. Filled it with dirt.
    4. Organized the beds. (We have two herbs, one plant medicine and our three sister’s squash, the last of the four beds. There’s also a separate space for blueberries.)
    5. Planted them and set-up the sprinklers.


    Organically, the garden started to bring other teachers who found a sense of peace while being proactive and productive. It’s amazing how soil and plants can bring people together.

    CLS Culture staff create a garden for our students

    We decided to place it near the school since the plants are meant for Indigenous Culinary and we wanted the students to access the garden. It’s still maintained by the culture team and everyone has a day to weed and checkup on the plants.


    PVC pipes were added to create a framework for bird netting. Our goal was to safeguard the plants while allowing the water and sunlight to flow through.

    CLS Culture team get together to create a garden for our students

    Our Goals

    • Reclaim the space while maintaining it.
    • Document what we’re creating through pictures, blog post and social media.
    • Use every garden moment as a teaching strategy. To inspire sustainability through one seed.

    Elementary entrance

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  • Nettles

    Posted by Ho'o Brown on 5/14/2020

    Ouch or Yum? Photo of nettles

    Earlier in spring the Indigenous Culinary Arts program went to gather and learn about nettles. These amazing plants found along the Pacific Northwest should be respected and treated with care. Part of the learning experience centered around the time and how to harvest.


    [WARNING: Do not harvest without an adult who has traditional teachings of how to gather. Protocol is important to protecting the species and ensuring a healthy life cycle.]


    Then in April, a few of the Culture Team staff, was invited on to private property that was beaming with beautiful and indigenous flora. [Flora: plant]

    Culture staff collect nettles Nettles Nettles

    If you would like to learn more talk to your Indigenous Culinary Arts teachers. Keep in mind that this only happens in the spring. Take care and be well.

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  • Where?

    Posted by Ho'o Brown on 5/14/2020

    Can you guest where each of these pictures were taken?


    March 13th we, CLS Staff, waved goodbye to all of the buses and since then a lot has changed. School facilities are temporarily closed to ensure the health and well being of every student due to COVID-19. Since then we’ve utilized packets and are now online using Microsoft Teams.


    Your Culture Teachers started meeting together to drum & dance sending up wellness with every breath. Eventually other teachers joined in, drawn by the drum and sharing in our longing. We truly miss our students.


    • Click here to see the video we made about Culture Day.
    • Did you know that May 1st was suppose to be Culture Day?
    • Did you know that it was originally called “Grandparents Day?” That knowledge was share by Mr. Brewer.

    Stairway up to mural

    Where is this mural located?

    Storypole outside of Leschi Schools

    Do you know the legend(s) that inspired the Story Pole?

    Elementary hallway with canoe welcoming people who enter

    Is this the entrance to the Elementary building?

    Elementary hallway with the CLS logo

    What's directly at the end of this hallway?

    Secondary canoe when entering the secondary building

    Do you know where this picture is located?

    Culture staff participate in Circle outside

    Can you identify where they're singing?

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  • #MMIW

    Posted by Ho'o Brown on 5/5/2020

    Today’s May 5th 2020 and we would like to spend a moment in silence for the women who have gone missing as we pray for justice. Below are images with links to other sources to create awareness and make a difference.

    To our youth, be vigilant and careful. You are the proud seed of our indigenous nations. Click on the photos to learn more. 

    No More Stolen Sisters Logo


    Somebody's Daughter: The Trailer


    Global Indigenous Council - MMIW Campaign


    Running for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women



    1. Learn what you can do to support and protect your loved ones.
    2. Join a talking-circle or connect with your local Culture Team and stay connected.
    3. Awareness is key. Create art, songs and stories to increase awareness.
    4. Most of all, love yourself and stay safe.
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  • Herring eggs are here from Alaska!

    Posted by Davina Barril on 4/14/2020

    Herring eggs

    The commercial fishing in Alaska was halted by court order. Now, we, the indigenous people can subsist on our indigenous foods. We are still fighting for our right to eat our indigenous foods. We processed the herring eggs and we freeze it for later!

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