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2008 Paddle to Ever Canoe Journey 2 Tribe Takes Part in Largest- By Fred Shortman, Editor Cowichan Bay the second paddle for the Chehalis Canoe the vision of canoes in waiting never faded. The 2008 Paddle to Cowichan was We were seeing what our ancestors had seen. Family. Tribal members have participated Rules and Power Pulls in previous canoe journeys with other From the frst moments of the Journey, Sights, Sounds, and Practicing tribal canoe families, bringing back what we learned the rules. One rule was to write they’ve learned and sharing the cultural, and our names on our belongings. If anyone left Protocol Helps Us Know Our Ancestors traditional values with our canoe family. an item lying around, they would have to Every canoe journey is a clean and sober dance to get it back. By Fred Shortman, Editor journey: Anyone not adhering to these rules We learned and practiced “power HIGHLIGHTS: is asked to leave. pulls.” These were times of intense pulling, Blessing of the Canoe, and when a person in the canoe asked for dedicated prayer. When the Skipper granted Understanding the Journey permission, we would pull together, and On Monday July 14, a blessing of the count off a certain number as we pulled. canoe Tulap ?id?it was held in the tribal Time after time, our spirits were uplifted. parking lot. Dan “Bones” Gleason Sr., We put our hearts and souls into the prayer, blessed the canoe with a prayer. Gail White into the pull. At these times, the canoe felt Eagle performed a traditional blessing using like it just lifted up and glided effortlessly cedar boughs. We learned that the canoe is along the water, echoing our voices with a a living, powerful vehicle that carries the joyful whooshing sound. family. It is a vehicle that has fostered a grassroots movement that promotes healing, culture, civil society, community, and Learning and Practicing Protocols leadership. It has strengthened and affrmed The Chehalis Canoe Family skippers the spiritual, cultural, and political identities and Elders taught the youth and pullers the of the Northwest coastal tribes. landing and leaving protocols. It was quite an honor to be called upon to recite the The Chehalis Canoe Family protocols. At frst the words to say seemed Excitement at Sea The Chehalis Canoe Family had 70 easy, but the serious nature and the enormity During the frst hour of our paddle from Lower Elwah to Songees through the of the event required a lot of concentration Strait of Juan DeFuca, everything looked good. Then, as the canoes rounded a point, members participating including 14 Elders, and a good heart. the wind whipped up. It suddenly became so foggy that land on the Canadian side 38 adults, and 18 youth. It was a cultural and Each hosting tribe had two types of disappeared. Each skipper kept telling the pullers to keep pulling hard. The angle of deeply spiritual event, something that each protocol: formal and jam session. Protocol participant will cherish forever. our canoes’ paths was critical on the rough seas. We had anticipated a calm day, but it The dynamics of the Chehalis Canoe usually happened after dinner. It was the had changed. A small craft advisory was issued. way to honor and respect each hosting tribe We pulled for 3 ½ hours into Canadian waters. We had to bail the canoe four Family is unique. Working, learning, by sharing food, songs and dance. When times during this part of the journey. The Chehalis Canoe Family was the last one to singing, drumming together, and practicing we heard other canoe families’ drums and ask for help. As we were being pulled, we had to stop to bail the canoe to prevent it “one heart, one mind” is hard to describe. songs, we were invited to join in. Each Each person represented the canoe family, from sinking. Fortunately, everyone arrived safely, cold, but alive. night’s jam session was something we all and was to act with honor, respecting each other, the Elders, and our traditions. looked forward to. Formal protocol was a The simple act of breaking down camp special event as each canoe family dressed and moving to our next destination reminded in full regalia, singing and drumming their us of how things were long ago, gave us a songs, and giving gifts to honor hosting glimpse of how it felt to be nomadic. We tribal Elders. worked together packing equipment, camp During the journey, our tribe’s family gear, food, supplies, and the mobile kitchen. continued to grow. At the Puyallup Tribe’s The ground crew was a very important part formal protocol, all of our frst-year pullers the journey. were honored by Skipper/Leader Gail White Hearing someone yell, “Chehalis Canoe Eagle. It made us both proud and humble Family circle-up!” meant we needed to meet to know that our canoe family continued to Formal Protocol gain support and respect from other canoe Formal Protocol usually happened after dinner. It was a time honoring and in a circle. In the circle, information was families. respecting each hosting tribe, by sharing food, songs and dance. provided for that day’s activities. Issues that Pictured left to right are: Billie HighEagle, Jodie Smith, Diana Pickernell, arose were discussed and solved. We shared Journey Ends at Cowichan Bay Deidra Hawkes, Kayley Trott, Juliet Benado, Julia Lea, Sandra Klatush, Gail White our thoughts and feelings. We ended the The journey ended at Cowichan Bay Eagle, Glen “Hook” Black, Sylvia Cayenne, Art Medina, Trudy Marcellay, and circle with a prayer for our canoe family and (near Duncan BC). We were received into Frank Cayenne Jr. all other canoe families. Cowichan territory with a traditional Coastal The Largest-Ever Journey Salish welcome, a ceremony symbolic The two-week voyage carried us over of ancient times when one nation would 200 miles of Puget Sound, traveling by travel into the territory of another. This an ocean-going traditional canoe as our magnifcent welcome celebration reminded ancestors did. We paddled from Squaxin us all of the importance of sharing of culture Island to our fnal destination at Duncan, and respecting Indigenous people all over B.C. on the Cowichan Reservation. As we the world. paddled, it was awe-inspiring to think how On that fnal day, we were witness the ancestors had navigated the meandering to 106 traditional ocean-going canoes, coastline of the Puget Sound for hundreds of approaching and being welcomed to years. Cowichan territory. Some had traveled When we joined this year’s journey, from as far north as the Alaskan border we had no idea that it was going to be the (Tlingit) and the Queen Charlotte Islands largest ever. Again and again, we were (Haida), and as far south as Oregon. The awestruck by the sight of dozens of canoes sight was breathtaking, a vision shared by Don’t say the “B” Word waiting offshore to be granted permission to our ancestors, and now passed on to our A very strictly-enforced rule was to call the canoe a canoe, not a b-o-a-t. If land. As the journey continued, the power of descendents. someone slipped and said the “B” word, they would have to cleanse themselves by “The Chehalis Canoe Family worked very, very hard this year to make sure that taking a swim. Also, at all times, we had to honor the canoe by not tossing trash in it, this years’ journey would be a success. We participated in many fundraisers; which and honor the water by not spitting. our youth had a huge part in!! We learned how to laugh, cry, be fearful, curious, Pictured taking the plunge at Solo Point, Nisqually Landing are (left to right): excited, have pride and honor. And the biggest thing is, we did it TOGETHER!!” said Brent Simmons, Todd DeLaMater, Fred Shortman and Theresa Shortman. Gail White Eagle. If you would like to hear more about our family, please come to our Chehalis Canoe Family Community Dinner on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at noon at the Youth Center. Chehalis Business Committee Tribal David Burnett, Chairman Don Secena, Vice Chairman Newsletter Jessie Goddard, Treasurer Joyleen McCrory, Secretary 420 Howanut Road John Shortman, 5th Council Member Oakville, WA 98568 (360) 273-5911 (office) Chehalis Tribal Newsletter Staff: (360) 273-5914 (fax) Fred Shortman, Communications Coordinator Articles and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily the opinions of this publication or the Chehalis Tribal Business Committee. The Chehalis Tribal Newsletter encourages tribal members to submit letters, articles, The Meaning of the Pink Paddles photographs, and drawings to be considered The Port Angeles group traveling in the canoe “Healing Voyage” used pink paddles for publication. These are subject to editing. to celebrate those who have survived cancer and remember those who succumbed to it. Contributing writers, artists, and “The front seat in the 10-person canoe was left empty for those cancer patients photographers include Chehalis tribal community members and staff. who had died,” Roberta “Birdie” Kimberly said. “That is their seat, those who have The Confederated Tribes of passed on,” she said. Submission deadline: 6th of each month the Chehalis Reservation... Printed: First week of each month “People of the Sands”
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