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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.

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

Jackie Ferry, Chelángen Dept Director and THPO

My background is in archaeology: I have an M.A. in Landscape Archaeology and spent 7 years working for cultural resources firms in the Pacific Northwest and Great Plains before starting at Samish as the Cultural Resources Manager in 2010. In 2014, we successfully applied to become a Tribal Historic Preservation Office, and in 2015, I was promoted to director when we formed the Chelángen Dept.

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.

Cheryl Chatt, Samish Library Assistant

I am a graduate of Mount Vernon High School, Skagit Valley College, and I hold a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Washington. I am a 6th generation Skagitonian whose Samish ancestors have lived here since time immemorial. I have a deep sense of this place and the people that I come from. My career in public education began in 1990. From 1998-2018, I ran an elementary school library and expanded the library collection to benefit all students. I am proud to now be the Samish Library Assistant and am excited to help visitors to the library find just the right material that they are looking for. Hóy7sxwq'e.

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.

Jan Flagg, Cultural Knowledge Elder

My dad, brother, and I all enrolled at Samish on the same day in 1974. Over the years, I've been on both Tribal Council and the Culture Committee. I've been working for Samish on and off since the mid-1980s: Started as accountant, then worked in the cultural department interviewing elders, founded and ran the library, and most recently was the Enrollment Officer. Now I am happy to still be working for Samish as the Cultural Knowledge Elder.

Samish Elders Virtual Holiday Gathering


Samish Elders Virtual Holiday Gathering

Dates: 02 – 02 Dec, 2022

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In-Person Holiday Party

Anacortes, WA

In-Person Holiday Party

Dates: 03 – 03 Dec, 2022

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Virtual Holiday Party


Virtual Holiday Party

Dates: 03 – 03 Dec, 2022

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Beaded Ornament Class


Beaded Ornament Class

Dates: 06 – 06 Dec, 2022

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Beaded Ornament Class


Beaded Ornament Class

Dates: 08 – 08 Dec, 2022

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Chat & Craft


Chat & Craft

Dates: 13 – 13 Dec, 2022

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Book Club: Custer Died for Your Sins


Book Club: Custer Died for Your Sins

Dates: 15 – 15 Dec, 2022

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Book Club: Northwest Native Harvest


Book Club: Northwest Native Harvest

Dates: 05 – 05 Jan, 2023

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