A Journey of
Culture: The Tribal Canoe Journey in Olympia, Washington
Condensed by Native Village
The annual Tribal Canoe Journey is the largest Native
American gathering in western Washington State. This year's
journey was hosted by the
Squaxin Island Tribe. More than 10,000 people and 98
canoes were welcomed. Some canoes traveled from as far away
as Peru and Florida.
July 29th landing in Olympia, the Squaxin tribe hosted a
week-long Potlatch Protocol Celebration. Participants donned
regalia, performed traditional dances and songs, and
celebrated their culture in tribal fellowship.
In 2011, the National
Endowment for the Arts awarded an
Our Town grant to
Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. The
Grant funded workshops so community members could craft
traditional art in preparation for the event. Workshops
included carving, weaving, printmaking, and painting.
The art was used during the Canoe Journey, exhibited during
the Protocol Celebration, and is now on exhibit in
The following slideshow shares the richness of the art as
well as the journey itself.
A group of canoe families conclude their journey, preparing to land on the shore of North Point in the Port of Olympia, Washington. Each canoe family took their turn asking permission to land. As the host, the Squaxin Island Tribe granted each canoe landing permission. On the shore are thousands of cheering spectators, dancers, and dignitaries who wait to welcome and congratulate the "Paddle to Squaxin 2012" participants. Photo courtesy of ThurstonTalk.com
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