More than 100 canoe families ended their paddle last Saturday as the participants in Tribal Journeys 2017 made their way from Cape Mudge to the Tyee Spit in Campbell River. For some, it was the end of a journey that started in mid-July. For all it was a celebration of indigenous community and culture.
As each canoe arrived from Cape Mudge, chiefs, singers, drummers and Band members of the hosts, the Wei Wai Kum and We Wei Kai First Nations, were on hand to welcome them, as were family members of the paddlers, support teams, and members of the public.
As part of the welcome protocol, each canoe family introduced themselves. The representative of the Nisqually Tribal Council from Olympia, Washington, spoke of answering the call of the spirit of the canoe. A representative of the Chehalis Tribe from Oakville Washington told of being greeted by a humpback whale as they entered Canada and again as they crossed Discovery Passage. A member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation of Nanaimo spoke of the event holding up young people and carrying on a culture that colonization had tried to end.
Protocol activities have been taking place every day at the Kwanwatsi Big House starting at 10 a.m. and there is also a marketplace at the Thunderbird Hall. Thursday, Aug. 10 is the last day of Tribal Journeys. Photos and videos are available at the Tribal Journeys Facebook page www.facebook.com/OfficalTribalJourneys/ and at campbellrivermirror.com
Photos courtesy of Char Andrews