Tribal Canoe Journeys

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Participants in the Paddle to Squaxin, 2012
Canoes during the 2014 Qatuwas Festival

Tribal Canoe Journeys is a celebrated event for the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Indigenous Nations from the coast of Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington state participate every year. Canoe families travel in ocean-going canoes -- many made of cedar, others made using more modern techniques and materials -- and visit Native Nations en route to the final host destination [1]


These majestic vessels, crafted from a single log often hundreds of years old, all but disappeared early in this century. It is hard to explain why so little has been written about them, as they are probably the single most important aspect of Northwest Coast culture.... the canoe was as important as the automobile is now to North America. [2]

The Canoe Journey is a revival of the traditional method of transportation and is a significant cultural experience for all participants. The Canoe Journey began in 1989, when the "Paddle to Seattle" took place as part of the 100th anniversary of Washington Statehood. That year, the state and indigenous governments signed the Centennial Accord, recognizing indigenous sovereignty.[3] Fifteen Native Nations participated in the Paddle to Seattle.

Each year, a different Native Nation hosts canoe pullers, support crews and other visitors from Alaska, British Columbia and Washington. Depending on distance, the trip can take up to a month. On arrival, visiting canoe families ask permission to land, often in their Native languages. Protocol -- the sharing of songs, dances and gifts -- lasts for days. The Canoe Journey is family-friendly, and drug- and alcohol-free.[1]

In 2009, the Suquamish Tribe hosted the 20th anniversary Canoe Journey in their new House of Awakened Culture, with more than 6,000 guests and 84 canoes.

The 2011 Tribal Journeys event was hosted by the Swinomish Tribe.

List of journeys by year[edit]

Future Journeys:


  1. ^ a b Paddle to Quinault Canoe Journey Staff. "Paddle to Quinault 2013". Quinault Nation. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  2. ^ Neel, David The Great Canoes: Reviving a Northwest Coast Tradition. 1995. Douglas & McIntyre. Vancouver. p. 1. ISBN 1-55054-185-4
  3. ^ Olympic Peninsula Intertribal Cultural Advisory Committee (2002). Native Peoples of the Olympic Peninsula. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-3552-2.
  4. ^ Need, David. The Great Canoes: Reviving a Northwest Coast Tradition. 1995. Vancouver/Toronto. Douglas &McIntyre. p. 3. ISBN 1-55054-185-4
  5. ^ "Triba Canoe Journeys". Washington Tribes. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  6. ^ Walker, Richard. "Short Strokes: 2015 Canoe Journey Will Be Several Mini-Journeys". Indian Country Today Media Network. Retrieved 19 April 2015.

External links[edit]