Photo and story by Puyallup Tribal News staff
On Thursday, April 22, Connie McCloud (słupayqʷuʔ – Cedar Moon Woman) led a blanket ceremony to welcome each individual resident at the ʔaýgʷasilali, the Place of Transformation, the Tribe’s tiny homes village. She opened the ceremony in prayer, followed by the Blessing of the Floor song by David Duenas Sr., performed by members of the Culture and Language departments.
After the song and dance, members of Culture department wrapped each resident with a blanket, as staff of the Language program shared in txʷəlšucid house names that cover each house and represents honorable virtues in the Puyallup Culture.
“Say the names of each of these homes every day you wake up and reflect upon what the virtues and what the names says,” said Tribal Language staff member Chris Duenas.
After being blanketed, the residents spoke about what the village meant to them. With grateful hearts each resident also spoke about the significance of the tiny home village and what it meant for them.
“I want to thank everyone for providing a roof over our heads. It’s tiring to be out on the streets, being in these homes the last couple of days, gave me and my fiancé motivation to get treatments,” said one tiny home resistant.
The ceremony wrapped up with a birthday celebration one of the residents. With cake, ice cream and laughter, you could really feel the sense of that ʔaýgʷasilali is becoming a community.
“I’m super grateful to be part of this, I’ve been there,” said Maria Carrillo Hatten an organizer for the Tiny Home Village. “I have so much compassion for you guys. Don’t give up, I am here for you and am so proud of you.”
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 WrapAroundProgram@puyalluptribe-nsn.gov.