General News · 22nd May 2018
What a beautiful weekend in the territory of the T’oq qaymexʷ! The paddlers in the Umiak canoe family would like to share our deepest gratitude to the Klahoose Nation for welcoming us on ti:ǰit nuxʷɛɬ - Awaken the Canoes.
Five canoes pulled together: Tl'emtl'ems (Klahoose), Ohtaqken (Tla’amin), Cheechlem Chi-Chia (Tla’amin), Numu (Qwyano-One Spirit-Canoe Family, Intertribal), and the Umiak (Cortes Island).
The paddle began in T’oq, with a stopover for lunch and to visit the Git’exw village site. After lunch, an amazing thing happened: a pod of nənqam, including a baby and two large adults, surfaced very near to where our canoes were paddling. It was incredible to witness the ancestors of the Tla’amin and Klahoose people coming to greet their ǰɛǰɛs. One skipper yelled, “It’s a good day to be Indigenous!” a feeling that was palpable the whole weekend. The orcas guided us the rest of the way into Jiʔmuthin, where Chief Kevin Peacey and other Klahoose members were waiting to greet the canoes. The singing, drumming, dancing, teaching, and storytelling shared both on and off the water was rich and healing; a gift to witness and experience.
ti:ǰit nuxʷɛɬ - Awaken the Canoes was in preparation for the Pull to Puyallup 2018 Tribal Canoe Journey happening this summer. It was awesome to see how fast and strong the Tl'emtl'ems canoe family is out on the water, led by Skipper Laurier Mathieu. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of them paddling out on the water from now until August, possibly with orcas in tow!
Canoe raft up with happy pullers