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Tribal Canoes - Tribal Journeys

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Revival and Renewal of First Peoples Culture

(Click on Photos for More Images)

T'sou-ke First Nation
at T'souke First Nation on Vancouver Island
Cultural Perspective

July 27 through Aug. 2, 2001

Dozens of tribal canoeists from Vancouver Island, Washington State, and even some from Japan participated in Tribal Journey 2001.

The Ainu from Japan carved their canoe near the boathouse at Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC. It is the first time they have carved a traditional sea going canoe away from Japan.

Esquimalt Nation youth completed carving a canoe so their community could take part in the journey, the first such canoe journey for their people in 150 years.

They joined others from communities such as Ahousaht - Nuu-chah-nulth, T'sou-ke, Scia'new - Beecher Bay, Tsartlip, Snuneymuxw - Nanaimo and --- the Nisqually Tribal canoeists who travelled from Washington State.

They all headed for Squamish Nation and the K'AY´┐ŻACHTN Canoe Gathering held July 28th at the Capilano reserve in North Vancouver, BC.


July 23, 2001
Nisqually Canoe Journal Entry
by Sue Charles

July 18th, 2001
Arriving at Scia'new

The Beecher Bay Boys
Welcoming Crew

Click on numbers
for more Beecher Bay Photos
1     2     3


July 17th, 2001
Journey Brings Nations and
Old Friends Together Again
at T'Sou-ke

Ahousat Paddlers
We're Tired and Hungry. Can We Come Ashore?

A resounding Yes

Yes, in the form of drums, songs, dance, a traditional language greeting. Then, T'Sou-ke Nation Chief Linda Bristol and community members welcomed the paddlers at suppertime - - - friendship, fresh barbequed salmon and a sleep over before the next leg of the journey.

Youth Help Lead the Way Toward Cultural Restoration

The youth of Esquimalt Nation on Vancouver Island led a historic canoe carving project and successfully met their goal - to ensure their community participated in Tribal Journey 2001. Elders and community leaders honoured the youths' efforts to help in the revival of a 150 year old tradition.

Click on photos for larger images

On Saturday July 14th at their big house there was a ceremonial launch feast. They launched their Kosapsum warrior ocean-going canoe and headed out bound for the gathering of canoes at Squamish Nation July 28th.

Click on numbers for more canoe ceremony photos
1    2    3

Nisqually held a Canoe Blessing and Cleansing Ceremony at sunrise on Sunday morning, July 15, 2001 followed by a Potluck Dinner at Nisqually Tribal Center. Fish and salads furnished by Nisqually Tribal Community. Nisqually Canoe joined Tribal Journey 2001, Monday, July 16, from Owen Beach Point Defiance Park, Tacoma. For more information call Nisqually Tribal Center, at 360-456-5221.


The Tribal Journey canoes from the West Coast arrived at the T'Sou-ke Nation Tuesday, July 17th. Chief and Council hosted a community pot-luck dinner for the paddlers that evening and breakfast the next morning.


K'AY´┐ŻACHTN Canoe Gathering, Squamish Nation Totem Hall, 4 PM - 1 AM - July 27 to 28

July 28th, 2001

Click for Paddle Journey 2001

Tribal Journey - July 12, 2001 Cultural Celebration
at Royal Roads University

Ainu - Indigenous Dancers from Japan
Click on photo for larger image

Ainu Canoe Carving Project

on Coast Salish Territory
Master Carver

Tokuhei Akibe

A group of Ainu canoe carvers arrived in Victoria, BC from Hokkaido on June 12, 2001 for a Canoe Carving Project with Coast Salish carvers on the waterfront of the campus of Royal Roads University.
The project - carving a traditional 45 foot-plus long Ainu seagoing canoe from a red cedar log donated by Interfor.
Master carver Tokuhei Akibe and his apprentices joined a flotilla of First Nations' canoes that headed toward Squamish Nation in North Vancouver. There they joined a gathering of dozens of canoes at the Capilano Reserve near Ambleside Park, Siwash Rock at Stanley Park and the Burrard Inlet in West Vancouver, and then the longhouse procession July 29th, 2001.


Tribal Journey 2000

Previous Tribal Journeys


First Nations Help Celebrate BC Summer Games
Special Gathering in Victoria, BC
by Luwatitilani - Bonita Martin-Kennedy, Oneida
and Tehaliwaskenhas - Bob Kennedy, Oneida
July 27, 2000

The Tribal Journey of dozens of canoes culminated with a gathering at Victoria, British Columbia's inner harbour to help with the official launch of the BC Summer Games. Several dozen canoes and an estimated thousand paddlers/pullers and supporters were part of the Journey that began in Prince Rupert and travelled down to Vancouver Island, stopping at communities along the way.

There was drumming and singing in traditional languages. Elder Eva George of Songhees began the gathering, offering prayers for all the canoeists and all gathered to witness.

Canoes from the west coast of Vancouver Island arrived first...the Mowachat, the Muchalat, the Hesquiat and Cluyoquot. They acknowledged a woman elder who had made the trip with them, spoke of their youth and sang a traditional song.

An official welcome followed, from Chief Andy Thomas of Esquimalt and an elder spoke too representing Chief Robert Sam of Songhees. Then came canoe after canoe into the area near the shore and its hundreds of onlookers. There were words from the leaders of the various nations. You could feel the importance of this event...the emotion in the voice of T'sou-ke Chief Linda Bristol.

Fifteen more canoes - several from the tribes in the place known as Washington State. The next canoes carried pullers from as far away as Japan. Most from closer, familiar places - Squamish, Nanoose, Nanaimo, Chemainus, Alert Bay. There were Metis, and Dene. Vision Quest and the RCMP.

More songs. More drums. Artisans along the waterfront. Some strong words from Chief Andy Thomas, "We are still here ... our traditions continue".

A visit to the T'Sou-ke Nation
Tuesday, July 25th, 2000

Canoeing into the Sooke harbour

Monday, July 24th, 2000

From the west coast of Vancouver Island came the Huu ay aht paddlers

singing loudly as they moved into the harbour

and then seeking permission to be in the territory.....

and it was suppertime, so after songs of welcome their hosts invited them for food

Headed for the dock and a big meal

Onake Paddle Club - Mohawks Of Kahnawake

Raven Canoe Society of the Suquamish Nation

Full Circle Canoe Project

North Vancouver Canoe Club

The Canoe in Native Culture

Teachings of the Canoe

Native Watercraft

Whapmagoostui Art Factory
Whapmagoostui Art Factory

Choo-Kwa Ventures
Guided Cultural Canoe Tours

A Glimpse of History

Canadian Canoe Museum

The Canoe
Native American technology adopted by the white man

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