Canoe Journey Journal

Coverage of the annual gathering of canoe cultures

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2012 Canoe Journey stops at Port Gamble S’Klallam July 20, Suquamish July 21-22

March 16th, 2012 at Fri, 16th, 2012 at 4:26 pm by rwalker

The 2012 Canoe Journey / Paddle to Squaxin will stop at Port Gamble S’Klallam July 20 and Suquamish July 21-22, according to a map posted online after the March 3 canoe skippers’ planning meeting at Muckleshoot.

The Squaxin Island Tribe recently launched, an information and news website for the final stop in the 2012 Canoe Journey. The website will be the main conduit for public information for one of the largest tribal cultural events in the region, according to Leslie Johnson, director of the Squaxin Island Tribe Tourism Department and spokeswoman for the Paddle to Squaxin 2012 Steering Committee.

From a press release by the Squaxin Island Tribe Tourism Department:  The Canoe Journey is an annual intertribal celebration of Pacific Northwest canoe culture and tradition. A different tribe hosts each year. The Squaxin Island Tribe has selected “Teaching of the Ancestors” as the core theme for the 2012 Journey hosting. More than 100 canoes will land at the Port of Olympia on July 29, with thousands of people joining together to welcome each arrival. Canoe families, friends and relatives then move to a celebration and Potlatch Protocol at the Squaxin Island Community, Shelton, July 30 to Aug. 5. The landing and potlatch protocol are open to the public.

For centuries, Pacific Northwest tribal people navigated the waterways in intricately carved dugout canoes. The Salish Sea, the body of water that encompasses Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Strait of Georgia in Canada, was the central force that connected canoe cultures for intertribal communication and trade. But early federal government mandates outlawed many tribal traditions, resulting in ceremonial practices and the art of canoe building and ceremonial practices being nearly lost.

In 1989, the Canoe Journey, originally called “Paddle to Seattle,” was organized as a revival of the canoe culture traditions and the Native American contribution to the Washington State Centennial. Participation in the Canoe Journey has grown to include canoe cultures from Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Florida, Oregon, Canada, Japan and New Zealand. The Squaxin Island Tribe has reached out to all marine-based indigenous peoples to participate in the 2012 Journey.

2012 Canoe Journey coordinators are working in partnership with the Port of Olympia, City of Olympia, and Thurston and Mason counties and their communities.

Click on the map below to get a full view of Canoe Journey stops and dates in our region.


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