Tribal canoes to pass through the San Juans

  • Wed Jul 12th, 2017 7:00am
  • Life

Submitted by Friends of the San Juans

This year’s Tribal Canoe Journey, called “Standing Together,” will feature stop-overs on Lopez and San Juan Island on July 24-25

Each summer inter-tribal canoes depart from their homeland to a common destination within Coast Salish territory. Canoes will pass through the San Juan Islands on their way to the final destination in the Campbell River with the We Wai Kai Nation and Wei Wai Kum Nation. Canoe families, relatives, friends and spectators are invited to attend the final landing and festivities Aug. 5 – 10. The theme of this year’s canoe journey is Standing Together.

On July 24 and 25 the San Juan Islands will host 250 members of 12 canoe families. This will include paddlers, support boats and land crews. Paddlers will arrive on Monday, July 24 at Odlin County Park on Lopez Island around 4 p.m. and will be greeted with songs and blessings from tribal elders and other local representatives. A community dinner will follow at 6 p.m.

On July 25, paddlers will travel to San Juan Island where the National Park Service will host festivities at English Camp starting with a landing at approximately 3 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.

San Juan Schedule:

• July 24 – Lopez Island (Sxwálech), at Odlin County Park

• July 25 – San Juan Island (Pe’pi’ow’elh), San Juan Island National Park, English Camp

Volunteers are needed to help with meals. Support boats (sail or power) are needed to escort canoes crossing Rosario Strait on July 24, the inter-island paddle through Upright, Harney and President Channel on the July 25, and from Westcott Bay across Haro Strait to Tsawout, BC on July 26.

Islanders from Shaw, Waldron, Lopez, Canoe Island, and San Juan have hosted canoe stop-overs since 1989. This year’s canoe journey is generously supported by Friends of the San Juans, Roche Harbor Resort, National Park Service, San Juan County, San Juan County Parks, and community members of Lopez and San Juan Island.

For more information contact:

• Stephanie Buffum, Friends of the San Juans, 360-378-2319

• Elexis Freddy, San Juan Island National Historic Park 360-378-2240

• Lopez Island Coordinator – Kai Sanburn 360-468-4400