Chelángen Department

The mission and vision of the Chelángen Department is to create a cohesive tribal community with strong cultural ties while preserving, promoting, and protecting our traditions, culture, and language.

In November 2015, the Chelángen Department was created by bringing together existing positions into one department with the goal of helping us work more cohesively and efficiently. Our department puts on all of the cultural classes, events, and gatherings. In 2020, with the global pandemic, we've gone completely online with our gatherings. Check out the Events Calendar to see what's offered.

If you are in need of cultural or spiritual assistance, please reach out to our Chelángen Resources Specialist, Trish, who can help connect you with the appropriate people or resources. If you're looking for cultural resources consultation (Section 106 or EO 21-02), contact our Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Jackie.

The word “schelá7ngen" (noun) or "chelá7ngen" (verb) has a complex set of meanings, including one's upbringing, background or genealogy, personal history, tribal history, culture and heritage, oral traditions and teachings.


Meet the Chelángen Department

Quintina Bowen, Chelángen and Xws7ámeshqen Director

My ancestral name is tsi yaʔqʷaʔlićəʔ and I come from the Bowen/Washington family. I am a direct descendant of Samish and an enrolled member of the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe. I believe that the practice of connecting individuals to their culture, language, and traditions fosters a greater sense of community, which in turn promotes wellness, reduces distress, and helps to heal past traumas.

I have always worked for a tribe; I have 16 years of experience within the casino industry and 13 years of experience within Tribal Government. My background is in program development, grant management, training, planning and coordination, streamlining processes to increase compliance and efficiency, and executive administration. I have an Associates Degree in Public and Tribal administration, a Bachelors in Tribal Governance and in Business Administration, and a Masters in Indigenous Peoples Law through the University of Oklahoma.

I understand that I am a guest here in Samish, so I want to say t̕igʷicid (thank you) for having me and I am excited to serve the Samish people. I understand what it takes to listen to the people’s needs and implement that in a culturally appropriate way. The needs of the Samish citizens will always be in the forefront of everything I do here.


Thea Roe, Chelángen Events Planner

My background is in events, marketing, and administration. I have a B.F.A. in Advertising Design with a minor in Contemporary Writing. From 2008-2019, I worked and volunteered as a Graphic Designer and Event Coordinator for nonprofits in the Seattle Area. From 2019-2022, I served as support staff at Deception Pass State Park. I joined Samish in 2022 and am overjoyed to be here.


Patricia Breckenridge, Chelángen Resources Specialist

Hello everyone, I am a tribal citizen of Samish; I come from the Wooten, Matthews, and Cayou family lines. I live on the Swinomish reservation with my husband Dean Dan, Jr and our two kids Conner and Britteny.  I’m a member to the Swinomish Smoke House going on 17 years now. Most of my Cultural teachings come from the Cayou family and from many, many elders from all the tribes around here. As we grow, we never stop learning. Every day we wake up is a school day. No matter how old we get will never know it all. I look forward to meeting you and learning everything we can together.


Jason Ticknor, Archivist

My background is in archives and history: I have an M.A. in History, with a specialization in Archives. After several internships and a Records Management job, I was hired as the Samish Archivist in February of 2008. I have worked at Samish for over 12 years, facilitating various projects, aiding researchers, and working with the Samish historical collections.


TBD, Samish Library Assistant

The Library Assistant position is currently unstaffed.


In the Community: Qwlhó7el Camas Bake (Whidbey Island)

The Coast Salish Youth Coalition invites Samish citizens to attend their 6th Annual Qwlhó7el Camas Bake.

Dates: 16 – 19 May, 2024

More Details

Culture Talk: Blankets of Nobility (online + Anacortes)

Anacortes, WA

Learn about the role of Coast Salish women in fostering a social economy of generosity.

Dates: 04 – 04 Jun, 2024

More Details

Book Club: Native Seattle (virtual)

Join us for a discussion of “Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place” by Coll Thrush.

Dates: 11 – 11 Jun, 2024

More Details

Samish Elders Virtual Summer Gathering

If you cannot attend the Annual Elders Luncheon, Samish Elders are invited to our Samish Elders Virtual Summer Gathering.

Dates: 14 – 14 Jun, 2024

More Details

Chat & Craft (online + Anacortes)

Join us online or in-person to catch up while working on independent craft projects.

Dates: 15 – 15 Jun, 2024

More Details

Annual Elders Luncheon

Samish Elders and intertribal Elders are invited!

Dates: 28 – 28 Jun, 2024

More Details

Morning Social (online + Anacortes)

Anacortes, WA

Join online or gather at Fidalgo Bay Resort to chat and catch up.

Dates: 29 – 29 Jun, 2024

More Details

Canoe Trips (Anacortes)

Anacortes, WA

Join the Samish Canoe Family for a short canoe trip in Fidalgo Bay.

Dates: 29 – 29 Jun, 2024

More Details

Salish Sea Háwe7 (Anacortes)

Anacortes, WA

Explore the Samish homelands by water with Island Adventures.

Dates: 29 – 29 Jun, 2024

More Details

Smoke Signals (online + Anacortes)

Anacortes, WA

Join virtually or in-person for a group streaming of Smoke Signals.

Dates: 29 – 29 Jun, 2024

More Details

Book Club: 1491 (virtual)

Join us for a discussion of “1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus” by Charles C. Mann.

Dates: 15 – 15 Oct, 2024

More Details