Long before the Boys in the Boat picked up a paddle for the Olympics, local Tribes and First Nations were daily pulling canoes of their own. Now, this legacy has become an annual summer tradition known as the Canoe Journey.
Here is a brief overview of the Canoe Journey from their website: “Canoe Journey gatherings are rich in meaning and cultural significance. Canoe families travel great distances as their ancestors did and participating in the journey requires physical and spiritual discipline. At each stop, canoe families follow certain protocols, they ask for permission to come ashore, often in their native languages. At night in longhouses there is gifting, honoring and the sharing of traditional prayers, drumming, songs and dances. Meals, including evening dinners of traditional foods, are provided by the host nations.”
At Little Boston, folks have been practicing already for months and preparing for this summer’s Journey. Later in July both the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe and the Suquamish Tribe will both host the flotilla of family canoes as they make their way towards their destination this summer, Nisqually.
To learn more about the journey, visit the website https://www.paddletonisqually.com/