Arts, Culture & Community

Tribal Canoe Journeys

snə̕xʷɬ yaʔyiyəŋ (canoe journey)

Tribal Canoe Journeys

The tribal canoe journey is a re-awakening of the canoe culture of ancient times, brought back to many tribes in 1982 with the Paddle to Seattle. The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe is known for its elaborate hosting of this event. Tribes coming to Port Gamble S’Klallam shores know they will be served traditional foods (clam bake, salmon, crab and oysters) upon arrival. Visiting tribes are invited to share in cultural exchanges of tribal songs and dances in the House of Knowledge (x̣čn̕w̕txʷ), and are offered places to pitch their tents at night. This event is open to the public, with shuttles offering rides to vistors throughout the day.

The canoe families represent tribes from all over the Pacific Northwest, Canada and other parts of the world. The Port Gamble S’Klallam Canoe Family prides itself on being a drug free canoe. The Canoe Family fundraises throughout the year to help pay for the annual journey. If you would like to support the Canoe Family, please designate your Foundation donation to the Port Gamble S’Klallam Canoe Family.

The Canoe Family wishes to personally thank all those who make the journeys possible by donating time, money and strength to the journey. A special thanks goes out to Tad Sooter, whose willingness to capture the magic of the journey for the Port Gamble S’Klallam tribe has allowed us to relive our favorite times together. Visit this link to view a video done by Sooter on the important return Journey to Bella Bella in 2014: here.