“All visitors are welcome, as is our tribal custom,” said Guy Capoeman, Journey Coordinator. “The canoe journeys have always provided a great opportunity for tribes to get together, share our thoughts, stories, traditional dance and song, and strengthen our bonds of friendship. They are a great means to teach our children about their roots, history and traditional ways. They also provide a good opportunity for non-tribal people to get to know more about us, and strengthen relations between Indian and non-Indian communities,” he said.
“The contemporary canoe journeys began in 1989,” said Capoeman. “Emmett Oliver, a Quinault Tribal elder organized the Paddle to Seattle as a part of Washington State Centennial Ceremony, revitalizing the canoe tradition, which had been lost for many years. We now know this as the Canoe Journey. The Canoe Journey has become symbol of cultural revitalization on a national and even international level. We can expect anywhere from 90 U.S. Tribes, Canadian First Nations, and even New Zealand to join the celebration. In the past we have seen canoes from Alaska and even Hawaii join in on this event. It truly has become an amazing part of revitalized Northwest culture,” he said.
“The Canoe Journey creates opportunities for tribal members to re-learn, strengthen and reinforce their canoe traditions. So many cultural values are learned from canoeing. Among these are positive pride, cultural knowledge, respect, and a sense of both personal achievement and teamwork,” said Sharp.
Volunteers are welcome to register at www.PaddletoQuinault.org.
“We need volunteers to have a successful event of this magnitude,” said Sharp. “We will welcome one and all.”
Paddle to Quinault is an alcohol/drug-free event.