Tribal Chair Ron Allen announces to the waiting crowds at Jamestown Beach that
the 11 canoes coming from Port Townsend have gone to John Wayne Marina instead
of Jamestown. (Eric Adams on the right)
Tribal Chair Ron Allen & Tribal Council Member Kurt
Grinnell help haul the Jamestown Laxaynem ashore.
Ron Allen giving permission to come ashore
Today was the
Jamestown Landing. All of the pullers and most of the ground crew met at the
Canoe Shed at 9 a.m., where we loaded our personal and camping gear into the
trailer and had a talking circle. Skipper Marlin Holden told us that the wind
has been blowing steadily on the water for days, making pulling difficult. He
stressed the importance of staying flexible, and being aware that there is
always a possibility for plans to change at a moment’s notice.
As he lit the sage
smudge, Marlin explained the ceremony’s importance as both a cleansing and a
healing ritual. Julie Edwards, Support Boat Lead and the Tribe’s Enforcement
Officer added that in her Tribe (the Colville), the ritual of waving the sage
smoke towards the face is this: toward the eyes, that I might see the truth;
toward the ears, that I might hear the truth, toward the mouth, that I might
speak the truth, and toward the heart, that I might know the truth.
We parted company
from the crew as they drove to Cline Spit, while Matt Adams trailered the canoe
there, and Irv and I went to the Tribal Center to load the rest of the camping
gear into the trailer. Besides each person’s tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag
and belongings, we have kitchen gear, chairs, food, tarps and a canopy. I don’t
think the ancestors traveled with this much gear!
The pullers were
planning to take the Laxaynəm out to meet the canoes coming around Point Wilson
from Port Townsend, where they had spent the night of the 21st camping in
Memorial Field. By the time we got out the Jamestown Beach and radio’d Marlin,
the Laxaynəm was already just off Jamestown, with the sail up enjoying the
beautiful day. There were high winds off the Quimper Peninsula, and the canoes
coming from Port Townsend were having trouble getting around the point. Marlin
said that it was a great day for sailing off Jamestown, so they stayed out there
from about 11 a.m.-3 p.m., the expected landing time. There were no canoes in
sight except our own.
The beach was full
of activity. The kids in the Jamestown youth program and the Children’s After
School program played in the sand and seaweed and swam in the Strait. Fry bread
cooked under a canopy on Harriette Adams’ front yard across the street from the
As soon as the
canoe landed, Marlin became a celebrity, as visitors and the media flocked
around him to learn about the journey. Meanwhile, many of the canoe crews had
decided to trailer on land to John Wayne Marina instead of pulling to Jamestown,
and it would be 5 p.m. before any canoes on the water landed here. By 5 p.m.,
the Tribal Chair Ron Allen announced that the canoes which were on their way to
Jamestown had been misinformed, and had landed at John Wayne Marina. Two of the
11 were now paddling back out of Sequim Bay to land at Jamestown. Jamestown
puller Andrea Champagne expressed concern for them, as the tide was coming in,
and the current pushing into Sequim Bay under those circumstances made it almost
impossible to get past Travis Spit and back out into the Strait. But within an
hour, two canoes were spotted coming toward the beach – first the Squaxin Island
canoe asked permission to come ashore, followed by the Chehalis Family Canoe. By
6:30 p.m., everyone had landed and was safely shuttled up to Sequim High School
for dinner. The many crews who had not paddled today were already there, having
set up camp midday. The cafeteria rang with singing and drumming, with many
children, youth and families present.
At 7 p.m., the
protocol began with Port Angeles resident and Mowachaht First Nation member Pat
Johns welcoming the Cowlitz, Chehalis, Puyallup, Muckleshoot, Nisqually, Squaxin
Island, Suquamish and Port Gamble crews to Sequim. Ron Allen welcomed everyone
to Jamestown S’Klallam territory, and offered permission to come ashore to those
who had not made it to the beach to formally ask for the traditional permission
to come ashore in peace. He added, “I trust that the weather spirit will be with
Then Jerry Jack Jr.
and his family were welcomed to the podium. His father, Chief Jerry Jack,
drowned near Sequim on the Canoe Journey in 2006. A large group of singers came
forward and sang several rounds of the Tribal Journey Song, while a blanket was
circulated for an offering, for a future memorial in Chief Jack’s name.
The crews were
given sack breakfasts provided by the Jamestown Tribe. Singing and drumming
continued, as the Skippers gathered in one corner to have their nightly meeting
to plan tomorrow’s leg of the journey.
Irv and I drove
home, picking up ice on the way, and prepared food for tomorrow’s paddle to
Hollywood Beach in Port Angeles. We’ll be meeting the Laxaynəm at Jamestown at 6
a.m. to drop off their snacks, drinks and lunches, and then we’ll take off for
the Lower Elwha reservation, where we’ll set up camp for the next two nights.
Thursday is a rest day for the crews who have been pulling for most of this
week. I’ll be taking the time to interview each of the Jamestown participants in
this year’s journey, so that I can introduce them to you.
Good night for now!
July 29, 2008
July 28, 2008
July 25, 2008
July 24, 2008
July 23, 2008
July 22, 2008