Sun comes out to help welcome Canoe Journey paddlers to Port Angeles [**Video**]
Canoe Journey paddlers arrive in Port Angeles. -- Canoes taking part in Paddle to Squaxin Island 2012 arrive at Hollywood Beach in Port Angeles, Wash., on Monday, July 16, 2012. They are greeted by members of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe on traditional Klallam territory.
A flotilla of canoes representing the Quinault and Quileute tribes of the Pacific Coast, accompanied by a support boat, arrive en masse for their landing at Hollywood Beach in Port Angeles. They depart for the Dungeness Peninsula and Port Townsend later this week. -- Photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
Print This | Email This
Juan de Fuca Festival workshops take patrons beyond music -- 5/25/13 -12:54 PM
Plan extra hour to drive around fallen I-5 bridge over Skagit River -- 5/25/13 -12:49 PM
I-5 bridge collapse survivor — 'The water was just flooding in' -- 5/25/13 -12:44 PM
Brinnon ShrimpFest returns at new location, but with same popular belt-sander races -- 5/23/13 -06:35 PM
Juan de Fuca Festival brings performers to Peninsula from around the world -- 5/23/13 -05:57 PM
Young singers from the Elwha Klallam language program drummed and sang their welcome, while others waited to greet the new arrivals and help them pull their painted and carved canoes onto the sand.
The canoes taking part in the 2012 Canoe Journey represented tribes and First Nations including the Queets, Quinault, Hoh, Quileute, Makah, Tla-o-qui-aht, Stz'uminus, Ahousaht and Tsartlip.
They arrived on almost glassy waters and were greeted by more than 300 people.
Four-year-old Ava Francis formally welcomed the canoe families in both Klallam and English, using the traditional greeting.
“Come ashore, come ashore,” she said.
Ava has been taking part in a preschool Klallam language program, said her mother, Brenda Francis, and was selected to represent the Elwha after having learned the entire formal greeting in both languages.
As of 3 p.m. Monday, there were still several canoes to arrive, and the Elwha singers kept the songs flowing.
The Lower Elwha are hosting the visiting tribes through Thursday evening with two days of singing, dancing and feasting before joining them for the next leg of the Canoe Journey.
The pullers, with the addition of the Elwha canoes, will depart from Hollywood Beach early Wednesday and head to Jamestown Beach northeast of Sequim for a welcome from the host Jamestown S'Klallam tribe.
Jamestown Beach is located south of Dungeness, at 1272 Jamestown Road.
On Thursday, the paddlers will beach in Port Townsend at Fort Worden State Park.
Port Townsend does not have a resident tribe, so the three tribes of the Klallam nation — the Lower Elwha, Jamestown and Port Gamble — will combine to host the pullers.
This year's Paddle Journey will end with a formal landing in Olympia on July 29, followed by a weeklong potlatch at Squaxin Island, from July 30 to Aug. 5.
Elmer Frenchy, 17, of the Stz'uminus First Nation of Vancouver Island arrived with the Kw'umet Lelum youth canoe family Monday.
It was his fourth trip across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Frenchy said.
“At first, I was nervous, but I got used to it,” he said.
The trip was smooth, he reported, and on the way the canoes were visited by dolphins.
“It's a lot of work,” he said of the paddle journey.
Many of the canoe family members are young, strong, and there to learn and connect with their traditional culture.
But there are also elders on an annual journey that was revived by the 1989 Paddle to Seattle.
Among the Quinault, who will host the event in 2013, was Vietnam veteran Donnie Capoeman, 62, who pulled the entire way from Quinault to Port Angeles, said Guy Capoeman, who has been a skipper on Quinault canoes since 1994.
“He sets an example for the young people,” Guy said.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: July 16. 2012 6:04PM