By Puyallup Tribal News Staff
The Puyallup Tribe of Indians held a blessing ceremony on Feb. 1 at the site of the future tiny home village. The site is located at 2027 East Wright St., Tacoma, within proximity to one of the tribe’s ancestral village sites.
“This is an ancestral site; our people have lived here for thousands and thousands of years,” said Connie McCloud, Culture Director.
The tiny home village will serve up to 35 Tribal Members 18 and older, including individuals, couples, veterans, seniors, students, and people with pets.
It will include up to 30 tiny houses and a community kitchen, hygiene facilities, case management, and 24/7 staffing. Each tiny house is 8 feet by 12 feet, is insulated, and has heat, electricity, and a locking door.
Tribal Chairmen Bill Sterud opened the ceremony, addressing the Membership with words of hope.
“There shouldn’t be a Tribal Member on the street,” he said. “The site will provide direct access to the Tribe’s social services to help members get back on their feet.”
Opening in a traditional Lushootseed prayer led by Amber Hayward, Language Program director, brought the good medicine that many have missed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ceremony took place with members of the Tribe’s Culture and Language departments along with witnesses and tribal council offering blessings of the ground.
Cultural Activities Coordinator Angeline Totus placed feathers on the ground. Dressed in regalia, women lined up, brushed cedar branches on the ground and danced in a circle while male drummers sang traditional songs.
The Tribe partnered with the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) for the project, made available through the federal CARES Act. It will give homeless people a chance to isolate, if needed, and stay safe during the pandemic.
Want to help?
There will be multiple volunteer work parties to set up the site, which will include painting, construction, and beautification. If you are interested in volunteering or donating, please email [email protected]
To inquire about the referral process of Tribal members experiencing homelessness, please contact the Puyallup Tribe Wrap Around Program by calling 253-382-6219 or 253-310-1855 or by emailing [email protected]
View the blessing online
Watch a video of the blessing at https://www.facebook.com/PuyallupTribeOfIndians/