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September 23, 2019 / Hans Tammemagi /

Paddle to Lummi Tribal Canoe Journey

It was crowded. 114 ocean-going canoes, 15,000 people and many millennia of tradition all coming together in a huge colourful celebration at the Lummi Nation Stommish Grounds in northern Washington state. Paddle to Lummi 2019, the annual traditional Tribal Canoe Journey, drew indigenous canoe families from across the Pacific Northwest including Alaska, British Columbia and Washington. Appropriately, the Lummi are the Lhaq’temish, the People of the Sea.

With the bows nestled on the shore, each skipper, in turn, requested permission for their canoe to land, usually speaking some words in the Nation’s language, describing their journey, and thanking the generosity of their hosts.

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        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
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