Editorial: Tribes keep traditions alive with annual Canoe Journey

"The arrival on July 29 of about 13,000 American Indians, representing some 130 West Coast tribal communities, dressed in regalia and landing in beautifully carved cedar canoes, sounds a lot like another spectacular Olympia party.

It is not.

The Paddle to Squaxin Island 2012, the 20th annual gathering of Northwest Coast indigenous nations, is not a summertime pageant, or a festival like Lakefair.

Even though some of the canoe families coming from Alaska and the northern coast of British Columbia have already left, and will paddle thousands of miles in sometimes treacherous waters, it is also not an extreme sport or an athletic competition.

The canoe journey being hosted this year by the Squaxin Island Tribe is a deeply personal and culturally rich revival of Northwest Indian traditions, to which nontribal people are invited to respectfully witness and enjoy."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Support Squaxin tribe’s journey to keep heritage alive (The Olympian 6/24)

Related Stories:
Tribes in Pacific Northwest get ready for annual Canoe Journey (6/11)

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