Special Spirit Power, War Spirit Power, Thunder Power and Chain Ligtning was unique to the Dungeness people. The S'Klallams would display this power in the manner that they entered a village for a potlatch or gathering.

From the Dance Plaza House Post Carvings - Dale Faulstich, Lead Carver and Designer.
Assistant Carvers: Nathan Gillis and  Ed Charles.  Volunteer carvers:  Harry Burlingone and Don Walsh.

S'Klallam Tribe

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 Thursday, July 24, 2008, 10:45 a.m.

Jamestown Canoe Journey Blog



I’m sitting at Lower Elwha in the “camping field” surrounded by tents and pullers and crew from all of the other Tribes who are taking the Puget Sound route across to Vancouver Island (see www.tribaljourneys.wordpress.com  for detail of all 6 routes). Today is a rest day for all of us, although the Jamestown crew has only made one leg of the trip so far. It’s a great opportunity for all of us to figure out the gear and how to work well together. We’re all having a great time, laughing a lot and enjoying the great weather.

We were all up early, drinking coffee and chatting, and at about 8 a.m., we shared a hot meal together. Marlin did a sage smudging ceremony with us, and we agreed to meet again at 1 p.m. for lunch and singing practice.

Who are we?

I spent yesterday talking with each crew member, so that I could introduce them to you.

Marlin Holden, Skipper: Marlin is the son of Betty Prince Holden, who was, before her death last August, the last full-blood Jamestown S’Klallam female. The Prince family is direct descendants of Chief Chetzemoka. Marlin was a welcomer at Jamestown Beach for two years before he became a puller. He pulled for two journeys, and then last year became Skipper. ”I originally came to the beach to watch,” he said. “But my cousin Elaine (Grinnell) encouraged me to welcome people. Over the two years I did it, I refined my speech, and by the second year, I was great,” he joked. “Pulling was fun, and a real cultural experience for me. The Adams family had carried the journey for several years, and Ann Adams was getting tired. So I decided to ask the Culture Committee if I could be the Skipper in 2007.” Marlin’s approach as Skipper is to build a cohesive team, and to intentionally promote spirituality and a true cultural experience. He explains what’s going on, and considers everyone who is on the journey to be part of the “canoe family.” “I want us to live the culture and create some of our own new traditions to leave behind,” he said. “It’s our cultural experience, in this century. I get the satisfaction of putting together a crew, working together, learning together. Out in the water, we’re working together, we depend on each other for staying safe, and when the day is finished, we’re all tired and feel good about ourselves.” Marlin asks you all to keep the Laxaynem crew in your thoughts and prayers as we cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca tomorrow. It’s a challenging pull – 17 miles across.

Pete Holden, Puller: Pete is Marlin’s younger brother, and this is his third journey. “I started because I was in a slump, a depression. I needed a spiritual lift to get me going. We had lost our daughter in a drunk driving accident, and after a few years, I was still down. I went on the journey. It really helped. The camaraderie was awesome.” Pete wears his daughter Heather’s favorite ring around his neck on every journey, so she’s right there with him. “I feel a part of something at the gathering, singing and drumming. It was, and still is a healing journey for me. I learned that there is life out there, and that our family needed to find it in another way.” “Our house had been pretty dark,” added his wife Barbara.


Josh Holden, Puller: Josh is Pete and Barb’s son, and this is his second year pulling. “I needed it as a spiritual journey, to complete, to be there to overcome. Last year I was nervous,” he said. “But this year, I’m opening up more, it’s easier.” Josh says he’s grown a lot through the journey and practices, through the teamwork and the responsibility involved. It’s brought him out of his shell (according to his mom).  “I love being around everyone who’s on the journey, and I’m excited about going to Canada – I’ve always wanted to cross the Strait in the canoe. The journey makes me feel whole, like I’ve completed something important, so I can say I did it. This is something that can’t be achieved by a whole lot of people.”

Barbara Holden, Ground Crew: Although Barb has met the crew at various points in past years, this is the first time she’s been crew for the entire journey.  “It’s amazing at the final destination when you look at all of those canoes and realize what all of those people have accomplished,” she said.
When Pete started it, Barbara began learning more about Native culture, and she has really enjoyed it. “The journey is something that gives our family unity,” she said. “I’m glad to be here, proud to be standing up with my Jamestown S’Klallam shirt. I am so proud of what my husband and son have accomplished. It has made us stronger.”



Nikki Sather, Puller: Nikki is from the Lowe family. Nikki came on this journey due to peer pressure from Josh.“He lit a fire under me,” she said of her lifelong friend. “I remember watching the canoes come in on their way to Bella Bella in 1993, when I was a kid, and it intrigued me.” Nikki said that the cultural programs for children were just beginning as she was growing up (she’s 28 now), and she wants to learn more. She’s looking forward to learning about the traditions and meeting Salish people along the journey.


Andrea Champagne, Puller: Andrea is from the Fulton-Wood-Dick family. This is Andrea’s fourth journey. “I was raised away from the Tribe and I didn’t have an opportunity to know my culture, but I was raised to be proud of it, and I wanted to learn more and to share it with my mom, my sisters and my children.”
For Andrea, the journey is all about family – extended family and immediate family. ”We can trace everyone here back to where we’re all related,” she said. “I’d really like to see more representation from every Jamestown Tribal family,” she said. Andrea’s children have been on two prior journeys.



Jimmy Gray, Ground Crew: Jimmy is Andrea’s ex-husband, the father of their children (see below), and part Cherokee himself. He’s here for three reasons – Caleb age 13, Jacob age 10 and Emmy age 7. “They wouldn’t have gotten to come if I couldn’t be here with them, because Andrea is on the water,” he explained.


Caleb Champagne-Gray, Ground Crew: Caleb hopes to be a puller someday. “We know all of the songs,” he said. “Mom makes us sing them at home.”





Emmy Champagne-Gray, Ground Crew:
Emmy likes watching her mom pull in the canoe, and she loves to dance at protocol and at her school, in her jingle regalia. “She has been listening to the songs since she was a baby, and can sing them all,” adds her mom.

Jacob Champagne-Gray, Ground Crew: Jacob likes the journey because “we get to camp for more than a week. I like the big white tent where we have protocol, and I like being on the beach when the canoes come in.”



Paul Bowlby, Puller:

Paul is a descendant from Bessie Sands, and his great great grandmother Martha Irwin was first cousin to James Balch. He’s been on every journey since the Laxaynem was built, and the journey to Bella Bella left in 1993 (while the paint on the canoe was still wet, he said). That year, he remembers traveling with Matt Adams, Gregory and Cliff Prince and others. “My dad always expressed how much he loved canoes, and I guess it rubbed off on me. The journey is good for everyone – it’s healthy. It connects you to who we are and with our relatives. If we go back just a few generations, all of us have the same grandparents.” Paul loves doing the journey with his son Annan, and hopes to get  his other children to come in the future. “It’s a real powerful experience, and the drug and alcohol-free aspect is awesome.”

Annan Bowlby, Puller: Annan is a senior majoring in music at WSU in Pullman. “I do the journey because I’ve always done it.” He went at age 12, and this is his 7th journey (Puyallup, Tahola, Tulalip, Elwha, Muckleshoot, Lummi and Cowichan). “I like helping get us from point A to point B. I like the personal test, and finding the benefits of it, which I don’t know beforehand. I like finding them along the way.”





Steve Johnson, Puller: Steve’s fiancé is Barb Holden’s youngest sister Michelle. When he heard about the journey, Steve told Pete and Barb that if there were ever an opportunity for him to participate, he’d absolutely jump at it. When the word came out that pullers were needed, Steve was there. He came up from Lacey (where he works as an administrator for the Department of Corrections, in charge of 15 work-release programs across the state) every week to practice.
”My job has lots of employees, lots of politics, lot of pressure. This is an opportunity for me to decompress, to do some self-reflection and to get to know more about Native culture.”





Mark Charles, Elwha Tribal member, Support Boat Lead: Mark, who had many years of seafaring experience, has joined the Whitefeather for this journey.





Julie Edwards, Support Boat Crew: Julie is an enrolled member of the Colville Tribe, and has been an Enforcement Officer for the Jamestown Tribe since Sept., 2007. Last year, her predecessor Paul Zohovetz ran the support boat, and when he left the Tribe in June, he left Julie with the job.

Julie says of the journey, “It will give me some good boat experience. Everything will take care of itself. On a personal level, I want to better understand the culture of the people I’m working for, and experience some personal growth along the way, since I’m doing something I’ve never done. I want to be better for it, and I think I will be.” 

Elaine Grinnell, Support Boat Crew: Elaine has participated in many ways in Canoe Journeys since 1989, at Jamestown and on the journeys, cooking, welcoming, singing, storytelling.

“I like getting to know people the best,” she said. “I know quite a few people who have journeyed many, many, many miles.”


Betty Oppenheimer, Ground Crew Lead:

Betty is the Tribe’s Publications Specialist (author of this blog). She wondered whether the Tribe might like a reporter along for the journey, and ended up as Ground Crew Lead as well as roving reporter. She and her husband Irv love camping and learning about Pacific Northwest history.




Irv Mortensen, Ground Crew: Irv is married to Betty.

“I once took a canoe journey down the Willamette River from Eugene to Portland with my best friend and our daughters, when they were about 12 years old,” he recalls. Irv grew up in a camping and fishing family. His dad built small boats. Irv has been shooting photos of the Tribal journeys for many years. I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to come on a Tribal journey, but when Betty mentioned the opportunity, I was thrilled.”




Blog for:

July 30, 2008

July 29, 2008

July 28, 2008

July 27, 2008

July 26, 2008

July 25, 2008

July 24, 2008

July 23, 2008

July 22, 2008

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