We are proud to support and participate in The Tribal Journey Gathering...
The Tribal Canoe Journey is a revival of the traditional culture in the experience for all the participants both on the water, in the Big Houses of the hosting communities, and as the Canoes come ashore each night to join up with villages and canoe families as they make their way down the coast.
The canoe culture had all but disappeared until 1989 when the "Paddle to Seattle" was initiated during the 100th anniversary of Washington statehood. Each year, a different nation hosts other Indigenous nations coming from all of Alaska, British Columbia and Washington. In 2009, the Suquamish Tribe hosted the 20th anniversary in their new House of Awakened Culture with over 6,000 participants and 84 canoes coming ashore.
Squaxin WA hosts the 2012 Tribal Journeys event. http://paddletosquaxin2012.org
Tribal Journeys is a Spiritual and personal Journey affording Youth, Elders and Community opportunity to engage in healing, recovery of Culture, Traditional knowledge, and Spirituality. For many this is the first opportunity to engage in recovering from addiction, residential and boarding school, poverty and racism.
Often members of the community hold numerous fundraisers for a number of years in order to afford the opportunity to attend and participate. Tribal Journeys is governed by what is referred to as the Ten Rules of the Canoe...
1. EVERY STROKE WE TAKE IS ONE LESS WE HAVE TO MAKE
2. THERE IS TO BE NO ABUSE OF SELF OR OTHERS
Respect and trust cannot exist in anger. It has to be thrown overboard, so the sea can cleanse it. It has to be washed off the hands and cast into the air, so the stars can take care of it. We always look back at the shallows we pulled through, amazed at how powerful we thought those dangers were.
3. BE FLEXIBLE
The adaptable animal survives. If you get tired, ship your paddle and rest. If you get hungry, put in on the beach and eat a few oysters. If you can’t figure one way to make it, do something new. When the wind confronts you, sometimes you’re supposed to go the other way.
4. THE GIFT OF EACH ENRICHES ALL
Every story is important. The bow, the stern, the skipper, the power puller in the middle – everyone is part of the movement. The elder sits in her cedar at the front, singing her paddle song, praying for us all. The weary paddler resting is still ballast. And there is always that time when the crew needs some joke, some remark, some silence to keep going, and the least likely person provides.
5. WE ALL PULL AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER
Nothing occurs in isolation. When we aren’t in the family of a canoe, we are not ready for whatever comes. The family can argue, mock, ignore each other at its worst, but that family will never let itself sink. A canoe that lets itself sink is certainly wiser never to leave the beach. When we know that we are not alone in our actions, we also know we are lifted up by everyone else.
6. A HUNGRY PERSON HAS NO CHARITY
Always nourish yourself. The bitter person, thinking that sacrifice means self-destruction, shares mostly anger. A paddler who doesn’t eat at the feasts doesn’t have enough strength to paddle in the morning. Take that sandwich they throw at you at 2.00 A.M.! The gift of who you are only enters the world when you are strong enough to own it.
7. EXPERIENCES ARE NOT ENHANCED THROUGH CRITICISM
Who we are, how we are, what we do, why we continue, flourish with tolerance. The canoe fellows who are grim go one way. The men and women who find the lightest flow may sometimes go slow, but when they arrive, they can still sing. And they have gone all over the sea, into the air with the seagulls, under the curve of the wave with the dolphin and down to the whispering shells, under the continental shelf. Withdrawing the blame acknowledges how wonderful a part if it all every one of us really is.
8. THE JOURNEY IS WHAT WE ENJOY
Although the start is exciting and the conclusion gratefully achieved, it is the long, steady process we remember. Being part of the journey requires great preparation; being done with a journey requires great awareness; being on the journey, we are much more than ourselves. We are part of the movement of life. We have a destination, and for once, our will is pure, our goal is to go on.
9. A GOOD TEACHER ALLOWS THE STUDENT TO LEARN
We can berate each other, try to force each other to understand, or we can allow each paddler to gain awareness through the ongoing journey. Nothing sustains us like that sense of potential that we can deal with things. Each paddler learns to deal with the person in front, the person behind, the water, the air, the energy; the blessing of the eagle.
10. WHEN GIVEN ANY CHOICE AT ALL, BE A WORKER BEE – MAKE HONEY!
Everyone Together Now
Keep going! Even against the most relentless wind or retrograde tide, somehow a canoe moves forward. This mystery can only be explained by the fact that each pull forward is a real movement and not a delusion.
Tribal Journey Song
History of Journeys
Paddle to Seattle, WA ~ 1989
Paddle to Bella Bella, B.C. ~ 1993
Youth Paddle ~ 1994 (Olympia, in connection with the 2nd Cedar Tree Conference)
Full Circle Youth Paddle ~ 1995 (in Puget Sound, Washington State)
Full Circle Youth Paddle ~ 1996 (in Puget Sound, Washington State)
Paddle to LaPush, WA ~ 1997
Paddle to Puyallup, WA ~ 1998
Paddle to Ahousaht, B.C. ~ 1999
Paddle to Songees, B.C. ~ 2000
Paddle to Pendleton, OR ~ 2000
Paddle to Squamish, B.C. ~ 2001
Paddle to Quinault at Taholah, WA ~ 2002
Paddle to Tulalip, WA ~ 2003
Paddle to Chemainus, B.C. ~ 2004
Paddle to Elwha at Port Angeles, WA ~ 2005
Paddle to Muckleshoot at Auburn, WA ~ 2006
Paddle to Lummi, WA ~ 2007
Paddle to Cowichan, B. C. ~ 2008
Paddle to Suquamish, WA ~ 2009
Paddle to Makah at Neah Bay, WA ~ 2010
Paddle to Swinomish WA ~ 2011
Paddle to Squaxin WA ~ 2012
Tlingit One People coffee break dicussing "How many...