Child dancing

Tribal Canoe Journeys: Paddle to Lummi

January 3 - March 8, 2020; Lightcatcher 1st Floor Hallway

The Whatcom Museum features photographs documenting the Tribal Canoe Journey of 2019, Paddle to Lummi. Since 1989, this significant cultural experience has occurred annually and is hosted by different tribal nations of and around the Salish Sea, with the Lummi Nation hosting the most recent journey in 2019.

The canoe journey is a two-week to month-long voyage undertaken in traditional 12-person canoes. It is followed by many days of gathering people and sharing food, song and dance. These ceremonial practices are vital to the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast and coastal British Columbia. More than 100 canoes from different tribes and tribal nations traveled the waters of their ancestors to reach the completion of their journey. From their tribal village to the homelands of the Lummi people, participants pull the whole way in family canoes to reach the final potlatch, a celebration sharing food, dance, song, and gifts.

The images documenting the 2019 Canoe Journey were captured by Children of the Setting Sun Productions, Inc., whose mission is to enliven the rich history, legacies, stories and historical traditions of the Salish people using traditional and contemporary art mediums.

Photo courtesy of Children of the Setting Sun Productions, Inc.