Tribal Canoe Journey 2019 exhibit at the Whatcom Museum

Last July, the Lummi Nation hosted the Tribal Canoe Journey, when more than 100 canoes from different tribes and tribal nations traveled the waters of their ancestors to reach the homelands of the Lummi people. The journeys took anywhere from two weeks to a month in traditional 12-person canoes coming from as far away as the Olympic Coast, British Columbia and S.E. Alaska. As canoes arrived on the beach, they requested permission to come ashore and were formally greeted by a Lummi Leader. After arriving at the Lummi Nation, there were many days of gathering people and celebrating the journey in potlatch, featuring food, dance, songs and gifts.

The journey honors the rich traditions of Coast Salish tribes of the Northwest, who travel the waters to meet and gather for trade, ceremony, and celebration. Canoe Journey holds special significance to Coast Salish Tribes as it truly honors and nourishes the unique relationships and connections with the land and the water.

Images documenting the Tribal Canoe Journey: Paddle to Lummi, including the potlatch celebration, are on display at the Whatcom Museum through March 8.  They were captured by Children of the Setting Sun Productions, Inc. Admission to the museum is free to Indigenous Peoples in honor of the exhibit.

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