A Challenging Tribal Canoe Journey Strengthens Culture – Earthfix

The incoming tide breaks at Angie Mason’s shins and soaks her rolled jeans. She stands unfazed by the surf, waiting to welcome her son and daughter ashore on their tribe’s canoe. To Mason — of the Bella Bella First Nation — the splashing salt water is the least of her worries. Traveling from the remote central coast of British Columbia, the Bella Bella tribe paddled south for more than a month, logging 15 to 20 miles a day. The tribal canoe journey is an annual celebration that recognizes the cultural importance of canoe travel to indigenous people. This year’s journey was the Paddle to Quinault, with a final destination at the shores of the Quinault Indian Reservation on the Olympic Peninsula. Mason was one of thousands gathered to welcome 89 canoes there last week. Katie Campbell, Sarah Vaira and Ryan Hasert report.


The challenge of the Canoe Journey | Paddle to Quinault – PDN

Safe journeys to our friends, who are headed to The Quinault Nation, down the coast. 

When pulling in a Northwest tribal canoe, the key is balance: each puller’s stroke must be made in unison, the pullers must support and trust each other. So what happens when the ocean literally turns you sideways, taking control of your movements? You paddle on anyway. This year’s Canoe Journey ends in Taholah on the Quinault Nation reservation, on the Pacific Coast of the Olympic Peninsula. For many, this will be the first time pulling in the challenging open ocean, unlike the relative calm of the protected inland waters of Puget Sound. Megan Stephanson reports.




Also see: Paddle journey canoes greeted at Fort Worden — next stop Jamestown Beach near Sequim today.


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