Tribal Canoe Journeys is a celebrated annual event for the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. These are a sequence of canoe journeys taken up by canoe families, nations, and groups who travel in ocean-going canoes, either authentic replicas of traditional canoes, made out of solid cedar logs or various replicas using more modern techniques and materials. Nations from the coast of Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington state participate every year.
Kw’umut Lelum has been part of the journey since 2009, using a canoe carved by Noel Brown and KL youth from a cedar log that was donated by Kevin Frenchie in 2008.
This year, the KL Canoe family, made up of children and youth in care, as well as KL staff, elders and chaperones will be paddling from Dididaht around the coast of Vancouver Island to their final destination in Campbell River.
The Tribal Journey is more than a canoe trip. It is an opportunity for youth in care to connect with each other and with their culture. It is a welcome chance to build a stronger sense of self, to heal, to learn, and to have fun. Over the next few months, we will be following our canoe family as they prepare for and undertake this challenging trip – from their safety certification and paddling practice, to their spiritual and cultural preparation. We will share the stories of experienced pullers, brand-new paddlers, and elders as they journey towards their final landing where they will gather with up to 100 other canoe families in Campbell River. Watch for stories on our website and Facebook and help us cheer on our KL Canoe Family!