Canoe cleaning opens practice season 

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

For nearly thirty years, tribal nations of the Pacific Northwest participate in a gathering during the late months of every summer known as Tribal Canoe Journeys. Originally inspired by the ‘Paddle to Seattle’ of 1989, tribes of Washington State, along with bands from British Columbia, take turns hosting the Canoe Journey on their reservations each year. The participants navigate the open waters in traditional cedar canoes, traveling from tribe to tribe until reaching the host’s reservation, where an entire week of traditional song and dance takes place. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Native Americans and First Nations people proudly pull in the annual Journey, representing their tribes and sharing songs, dances and stories along the way. As you may have noticed, 2018 appears to be flying by as it’s already springtime, which means that this year’s Canoe Journey, the Power Paddle to Puyallup, is right around the corner.

In preparation for this summer’s Journey, the Tulalip Rediscovery Program, the Tulalip Canoe Family and multiple community members met at the Tulalip Veterans Park on the evening of April 2, for the annual Canoe Cleaning Ceremony. 

Andrew Gobin, Tulalip Rediscovery Program

“Today we washed up the canoes, getting them ready for the season and spending a little time with them,” says Andrew Gobin of the Tulalip Rediscovery Program. “This weekend we woke them up, brought them all out and had them brushed off for the year. Then today, we cleaned them up so they’re all ready to go. We got out all the marks and everything from last year so they look nice. It’s more than just cleaning the canoes, people learn to care for the canoes in this way. They get a feel for the canoe, they get to know her a little more personally.”

The three family canoes, Little Sister, Big Sister and Big Brother were cleansed and blessed as participants, ranging from youth to elders, gave the sacred canoes a full detail. Among the many community members were Tulalip Youth Council Chairwoman, JLynn Joseph, who stated she attended the event in support of the Tulalip Canoe Family as well as a representative for the Youth Council. Tulalip tribal member and frequent Canoe Journey puller, Monie Ordonia, also participated in the cleansing.

“I really love Canoe Journey,” Monie states. “I feel it’s an honor to be able to wash and clean all the canoes and treat them as sacred as they are. It was fun, I really enjoyed it. When I’m wiping the canoes down, I like to be in a prayerful field of saying, I honor you and I love you for taking care of us on the water.”

Now that the cleaning ceremony has concluded, the canoes are ready to launch into Tulalip Bay, so that this year’s pullers can get reacquainted with the open waters and rebuild strength and stamina for those long days of pulling in the sun. The Rediscovery Program is in the process of planning weekend-day trips along the coast, once the pullers are ready for longer trips on the water.

“It’s a basic teaching; you take care of the canoe, the canoe will take care of you,” expresses Andrew about the ceremony. “Cleaning the canoe and learning to care for the canoe translates to something deeper. When you take the canoe on the water and get into rough seas, she’ll carry you through wherever you need to go.”

Canoe Practice begins at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday April 4, at the Tulalip Marina and will continue every Monday and Wednesday until the Power Paddle to Puyallup begins this summer. For further details, please contact the Tulalip Rediscovery Program at (360) 716-2635.  

Ancient canoes exhibit to launch Saturday at CCC

Press release, Chickasaw Nation

 

This 400-year-old pine dugout canoe will be on display Sept. 27, 2014, through May 2015 at the Chickasaw Cultural Center as part of “Dugout Canoes: Padding through the Americas.”

This 400-year-old pine dugout canoe will be on display Sept. 27, 2014, through May 2015 at the Chickasaw Cultural Center as part of “Dugout Canoes: Padding through the Americas.”

 

SULPHUR, Okla. – In spring 2000, a group of Florida high school students stumbled on the largest treasure trove of ancient dugout canoes ever discovered.
It is believed the Eastside High School students discovered 101 canoes. Some of the vessels are fully intact. Many are mere remnants. When radiocarbon dating was completed, scientists estimated the age of the vessels varied between 500 and 5,000 years old.
What emerged from the discovery is “Dugout Canoes: Paddling through the Americas,” a landmark exhibition to be hosted by the Chickasaw Nation at its expansive Cultural Center in Sulphur from Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, through May 6, 2015.
The world-class exhibit will open on the same day as the 54th Annual Chickasaw Meeting and 26th Annual Chickasaw Festival gets underway throughout several sites in the 13-country tribal territory.
Dugout canoes were metaphorical pickup trucks for Native Americans. They transported food, family, tribal members, warriors and trade goods. The vessels made travel of great distances possible for Native people.
While none of the 101 dugout canoes discovered by the Gainesville, Florida, students in drought-stricken Newnans Lake 14 years ago will be displayed, ancient vessels recovered from other sites in America may be viewed, studied and researched.
The exhibition tells how infinitely important canoes were to Native Americans; how they were crafted sans modern tools and the exhaustive effort it required to build one seaworthy and with stability.
A 2011 article in The Wall Street Journal makes it clear unearthing the 101 dugout canoes from Newnans Lake would have destroyed the precious crafts. For hundreds of years, the site was covered with ample amounts of water and then exposed to the elements during periods of drought. This see-saw effect degraded the Southern hard pine canoes. In order to fully save them, an inordinately expensive process must be undertaken.
Today, according to the Journal, the dugout canoes are submerged in about 5 feet of water, encased in a protective layer of mud.
A magnificent dugout, almost 19 feet long, will be on display. It was discovered near Gainesville and is the show’s centerpiece that dates to approximately 400 years ago. It is made of pine and has a slightly raised bow and stern. A paddle was discovered with it. Other ancient examples of dugout canoes will be available for viewing.
The exhibit, with various artifacts, shows how Native Americans hunted and fished from the vessels and how they used them for other purposes.
Photos and short videos will also show the high school students’ Newnans Lake excavation and research, how vessels contained in the exhibit were preserved so they could be presented to the public and methods used to construct them by ancient people.
“Dugout Canoes: Paddling through the Americas” will be open to Chickasaw Cultural Center patrons during normal business hours.
The Cultural Center opens at 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday and at noon on Sundays. It closes daily at 5 p.m. The center is closed on all federally-recognized holidays.

Haida Master Carver and Students Restoring Ocean-Going Canoe

Richard WalkerSaaduuts Peele, a Haida master carver, instructs Gabriel Port, a Samish Nation descendant, on a finer point of canoe carving on October 23, 2010, at the Center for Wooden Boats in Lake Union, Seattle. Saaduuts is resident carver at the center, and has carved two canoes with the assistance of local students.

Richard Walker
Saaduuts Peele, a Haida master carver, instructs Gabriel Port, a Samish Nation descendant, on a finer point of canoe carving on October 23, 2010, at the Center for Wooden Boats in Lake Union, Seattle. Saaduuts is resident carver at the center, and has carved two canoes with the assistance of local students.

 

Richard Walker, 7/14/14, Indian Country Today

Haida master carver Saaduuts Peele was a guest at Pinehurst K-8 School in Seattle, Washington on June 18 for the school’s final graduation ceremony—the school will soon be torn down to make way for a new school.

Peele and Pinehurst students carved a 40-foot ocean-going canoe, Ocean Spirit, in 2003-04 and gifted the canoe to the Native community of Hydaburg, Alaska in a potlatch in April 2004. The canoe was returned to Seattle on June 18.

Saaduuts, resident carver at the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle, is doing some repairs to the canoe at the center. Once repairs are completed, the canoe will return to Hydaburg.

 

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/07/14/haida-master-carver-and-students-restoring-ocean-going-canoe-155826

Bringing the tree back to life

"Coast Salish Canoes," opened at the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve on June 27, with over 80 guests in attendance.

“Coast Salish Canoes,” opened at the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve on June 27, with over 80 guests in attendance.

New Hibulb exhibit gives an in-depth look at Tulalip’s canoe culture

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

TULALIP- “Imagine you are at the shore of the Salish Sea where a grand ocean-going family canoe floats patiently, waiting for you and others to begin your journey. The rivers, lakes and seas are our earth’s arteries, carrying its life force of water. For thousands of years they functioned as our ancestors’ highways, connecting our people together,” reads the opening display panel in the new interactive temporary Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve’s exhibit, “A Journey with our Ancestors: Coast Salish Canoes.”

The new exhibit, on display through June 2015, explores canoe culture in Tulalip and in Coast Salish tribes. A soft opening for the exhibit was held on Friday, June 27, with over 80 guests in attendance. This interactive exhibit features over 70 items that guests can explore canoe culture through, such as videos on carving canoes, maps, display panels, paddles and tools used to carve canoes with, and a large canoe that guests can sit in.

Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

“We hope guests learn the importance of canoes and how they were tied to all aspects of our life,” explains Mary Jane Topash the center’s tour specialist, about what guests can expect from the new exhibit. “We hope to educate people on the types of canoes, anatomy, tools, what it takes to build one, and how they are still used to this day. This exhibit will encompass all aspects of the teachings, history, lifestyle, and how their importance hasn’t changed a whole lot over the years.”

Coast Salish Canoes highlights the roots of the Canoe Journey and the important role that canoes played in its revitalization during the 1989 Paddle to Seattle.

“It was a big learning process for us. It didn’t just happen in 1989,” explained Tulalip carver Joe Gobin, about the preparation involved in the Paddle to Seattle. “Frank Brown and Ray Fryberg Sr. got our [Tulalip] Board involved and the Board saw how this was something missing in our culture. They sent us to different reservations to learn, to Lummi and Makah, because none of us knew how to carve a canoe. We all talked about it and the tools we needed, and how when we were making the canoe we were bringing the tree back to life. And it did come back to life on the reservations, and it brought back so many things in our culture that were forgotten. I am glad to see this exhibit here.”

Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

Lena Jones, the center’s curator of education, says guests will leave knowing the importance of canoes in Coast Salish culture. “Our ancestors helped keep a rich environment with superb art. We hope the exhibit will help people appreciate the social gatherings of the Coast Salish people and help our young people recognize their community’s role in revitalizing important Coast Salish traditions that can, and do, help the region.”

For more information on “Coast Salish Canoes,” please visit the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve’s website at www.hibulbculturalcenter.org.

 

 

Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402: bmontreuil@tulalipnews.com

Tribal Journeys: Canoe Trips to Our Native Past, and Future

Gyasi Ross, Indian Country Today Media Network

Television, Edward Curtis photographs and romance novel covers have collectively painted the accepted images of Native people.

As a result of these images, a lot of peoples’ image of a Native person is that of a person who rides horses, comes from one of the Dakotas or Montana, and dances with wolves at pow-wows.  Heck, even many Native people have the Dances With Wolves image embedded in our own heads (thus why the Hollywood Indian-complex consists of guys walking around LA and Santa Fe with their hair flying about, John Redcorn-style, because presumably that’s what casting agents/hippie chicks are looking for.  NOTE: Skins on the Plains do not wear their hair like that!! It’s too damn windy!), and so the default “Native” image is that of a pow-wow dancer, Plains Indian-style.

I grew up at pow-wows; they are beautiful, important and fun (oh the stories I could tell!).

Yet, if you don’t have that look or participate in those pow-wows, folks question your credibility as a Native person.  And pow-wow dancing/Plains-style phenotype is definitely a very valid expression of pan-Native culture (I submit that almost every Skin who was raised in a Native family has been to a pow-wow at some point!), yet it is not the only expression of pan-Native culture.

Random White Guy At Pow-wow to His Wife: “Gee honey, that doesn’t look like any Indian I’ve ever seen.”

Random White Guy’s Wife: *thinking* Yes, you’re right.  Because if he looked like any of the ones that I’ve seen on my romance novels, he would be big and brown and muscular and on a big ol’ horse…and he’d pull me away and hold me captive!  “No, he doesn’t honey.”

One such pan-Native event that has been growing in popularity and is redefining what it means to be, look, and celebrate being Native is something called “Tribal Journeys” on the Pacific Northwest Coast. Like pow-wows, Tribal Journeys blends many Northwest coastal, New Zealand, Canadian and Alaska Native tribes, tribal practices, songs, dances and foods into a pretty amazing stew and makes something beautiful out of it.  The Journey began in 1989 as equal parts political protest, but also an attempt to recapture parts of the Coastal Native way of life that have been overlooked and/or forgotten for a long time.  Also, like pow-wows, Tribal Journeys had very modest beginnings, and has steadily gotten bigger and more structured every single year; the host Tribe incurs a lot of expense putting this huge event together that attracts over 15,000 people a day to the host community.  Whereas the original “Paddle to Seattle” had 18 canoes, now there are over 100 canoes that make the trek.

It’s grown.  And is growing.

Like most truly unique events, words don’t do Tribal Journeys justice.  Yet, here’s the basic idea behind it: Tribal Journeys retraces the paths, practices, and protocols of those that went before us, seeing through the eyes of our ancestors.  As Chief Si’ahl (commonly referred to as “Seattle”) said, “Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors.”  This happens by individual families canoeing from one Native homeland to the next, asking permission to enter those homelands.  Historically, it was very important to ask permission and to state whether you were friend or foe—if not, there could be very serious consequences.  There are many canoe families on Tribal Journeys—this is historically correct since one tribe could have many different canoe families, since many Native communities were not simply one community.  Instead, most “tribes” had many villages and smaller sub-groups that usually spoke a common language.

There are many stops during this Journey.  The travelling time of the journey is anywhere from a week to two-and-a-half weeks.  Every single tribal homeland you pass, you ask permission and come ashore.  Once ashore, that particular Native community takes care of you, feeds you and gives you someplace to sleep (camping style!!).  That night, there’s an exchange of songs, dances and stories in a time called “protocol.”  Of course, this isn’t the traditional name for this time or practice, yet this English name is appropriate because it implies a time of order, to pay attention and give thanks.  While the Tribal Journeys itself was created in 1989, the protocol portion of the event is a variation of the ancient coastal tradition of potlatching.

There is a goal, a final destination.  Ultimately, all the canoe families will gather at a place (the host Tribe) where a whole bunch of Natives gather together and party (in a safe, respectful and drug and alcohol free way) for a week or so…exchange songs, dances, speeches, and generally have a good time.  During the immediately past Tribal Journey, the host Tribe—the Quinault—took the Journey back to its potlatch roots and let the protocol go around the clock.  Also, like the ancient potlatches, the Quinault gifted individuals with some pretty spectacular gifts—tons of stuff, but they also gave away ten hand-carved canoes, which took about 9 months to carve.

Pretty powerful stuff.

Speaking for myself, honestly after two weeks of camping, I’m pretty darn happy to get back to the conveniences of home and watch some River Monsters or Ancient Aliens.  Our ancestors lived a life with a lot less distractions.  Still, it’s a beautiful event…and not only because of the songs and the dances and the opportunity to see through the eyes of our ancestors.  While those reasons are certainly important and are surely enough to attend Tribal Journeys all by themselves, there is more to it than that.  That is, I think it’s also important for folks—non-Natives AND Natives alike—to understand that not all Natives look alike, or have the same stories or practices.

That’s only in Hollywood.

Please check out this link for information on the next Tribal Journey, the Paddle to Bella Bella (Canada): thecnsc.org/CNSC_Site/Bella_Bella.html

Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis
Photo by Miranda Belarde-Lewis

 

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/08/26/canoes-and-recapturing-culture-tribal-journeys-northwest-coast-151028