Hank Gobin, Tulalip tribal leader, passes away

Hank GobinTulalip leader and director of the Hibulb Cultural Center, Henry “Hank” Delano Gobin, Kwi tlum kadim, passed away April 25.

Gobin was born May 29, 1941 in Tulalip, Wash. He is survived by his wife, Inez Bill-Gobin; two sisters, Anna Mae Hatch (Verle, deceased) and Isabelle Legg (James, deceased); a brother, Earl “Moxie” Renecker (Bernice, deceased); and three sons, Rick, Brian, and Bill Coriz, all of Sante Fe, N.M. He is preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Isabelle Gobin; and siblings, Shirley, Emery, Daryl, Frank and John.

Gobin attended the Santa Fe Indian Boarding School where he received both his high school diploma and certificate in Ceramics and Painting at the Institute of American Indian Arts in 1965. From 1965-1970, he attended the San Francisco Art Institute, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He then went on to complete his master’s degree at Sacramento State College in 1971.

Gobin returned to Tulalip in 1989, in his words, “Like a migrating salmon returning home.” He served as the tribes’ cultural resource manager for 24 years, and developed Tulalip’s language program. Gobin worked with the community in setting the foundations of the cultural teachings, protocols, and values surrounding the tribal family canoe journey. He also worked closely with tribal, federal, state and local governments and agencies on issues of cultural and environmental interest and established standards that met the needs and concerns of the Tulalip Tribes.

Throughout his career, Gobin dedicated much of his work toward building a tribal museum. He advised, initiated and designed what became the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve.

“Our community mourns the loss of a truly great man,” said Tulalip Chairman Mel Sheldon. “He was a prolific artist, activist and traditional scholar, who worked in the areas of art, education, language revitalization, museum studies and traditional foods research. With the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve, Hank leaves the Tulalip Tribes with a precious gift, for it was Hank’s vision, dedication and commitment that made the long-held dream of our elders a reality. Hank was a brilliant, talented, generous and kind man who dedicated his life to protecting and preserving our Tulalip culture. He will not be forgotten.”

Read the full obituary at the state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.

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