MARYSVILLE – Tulalip chairwoman Marie Zackuse talked about everything from the history to the future during her State of the Tribes address to the Marysville-Tulalip Chamber of Commerce June 29.
She said she has seen many changes during her 25 years on the tribal board.
Zackuse said the tribe is blessed thanks to the wisdom and vision of previous generations.
She said the tribe used to have 70 percent unemployment, but after the Boldt decision in the 1970s and the Indian Gaming Act of 1988 jobs are plentiful. The tribes provide thousands of jobs for their own people and others, she added.
“We have the responsibility to make sure future generations have what they need,” she said, adding the tribe has 4,800 members and about half are under age 25.
Gaming isn’t the only area they have grown. She also mentioned health, education, law and justice, the environment and culture.
And more growth is on the way.
She said a 20-year plan has been made for Quil Ceda Village that will continue to attract visitors through varied entertainment.
“We will continue to build on our success and diversify our economy,” she said.
That success leads to good things for others. Zackuse said the tribe has given out $7.4 million to 400 organizations.
In coming years there will be a new Q casino built near the old one with a 150-room hotel. They also are looking at a potential water park, and a new cannibas store, called Tulalip Remedy, plans to open the week of July 11-18.
As for the environment, Zackuse said the 116th Street overpass at I-5 will have a filter system so water runoff will be treated before getting into nearby steams.
And, she said the tribe will continue to strengthen its relationship with the chamber itself.
After her presentation, business partners Jim Colon and Perry Watson of the new Marysville Toyota on Smokey Point Boulevard spoke.
They said the official opening won’t be until July 16, but they will be different from other auto dealers.
“It’s the easy way to buy a car,” Colon said. “You deal with one person, one price. You don’t have to wear armor to buy a car.”
Watson said they want to be the No. 1 Toyota dealer in the state. To do that, they plan to treat customers with respect as honored guests. They are going to be active in the community and hire local workers.
“We’re going to put the fun back into buying a car,” he said.