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

1033 Old Blyn Hwy
Sequim, WA 98382
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August, 2008

Jamestown Canoe Journey Blog

Click here to view the map route of the Journey Paddle.



The Journey: What Is It?

Observations from Skipper Marlin Holden 

1. It is spiritual;

2. It is self-fulfilling;

3. It is a test of one’s endurance; and
4. It is a learning experience.

It is all of these things and more, depending on what a person starts to feel as the journey begins. The question is when does a journey begin and end? I would suspect that there are many answers to this question. So I will share with you what my answer would be. The journey starts the first time a person sits on the narrow seat, follows the command “Paddles Up, Paddles in the water moving forward.” There the journey begins. And the journey never ends. It is in your mind forever. A person does not ever forget their journey.

I have been on four journeys. On two I was a puller, and on the last two I was the Skipper. I was proud to be in the Laxaynəm. The canoe was carved out of a five hundred year old cedar from the Blyn area. What can one say about that except “What an honor.

As Skipper I have a very good observation advantage, sitting in the back making sure that the Laxaynəm is heading in the right direction and straight as well. I also have an advantage of watching the pullers, and who are the pullers? They have been Tribal citizens, Tribal descendants and non-Tribal, but most importantly, they are a Canoe Family. They are folks like:

·        Nikki Sather: She is the daughter of Sheryl Lowe and Ron Sather. This was Nikki’s first journey. Even though she worked at times during our weekend training, she made the required number of training days. She worked hard, and was always ready to help out where needed. She has a good spirit and good heart and she met the challenge of pulling many hours a day and never complained.

·        Steve Johnson, a non-Tribal member. Steve has an important job with the Department of Corrections, as a supervisor for work release. This not an easy job. This was also Steve's first time on the journey. Steve sat in the front seat and was responsible for setting the pace for the others. He was strong and was willing to learn what his responsibility would be in the front seat. He did a great job.

·        Andrea Champagne: She is well experienced and has been on a number of journeys. Andrea was always ready to help where ever needed. She participated in some of the dancing and singing at protocol. She traveled every weekend from Tacoma during training.

·        Pete Holden: This was Pete’s third journey and he has been in the front seat for all three years, becoming very experienced as a puller. Pete just has improved each year and well understands what his responsibilities are in the front seat. He has carried out them out exceptionally well.

·        Josh Holden: This was Josh's second journey and he gets better every year. He always has a smile on his face and is ready to go when it is time.

·        Paul Bowlby: Paul is an experienced warrior. He has been on many journeys in the pasted years. He is known by many from the other Tribes. He is the one who will start a chant when we have been on the water for awhile. Paul also is ready to help out with anything, no matter was it is.

·        Annan Bowlby: He is also an experienced warrior. He started his journey when he was around twelve years old. He is strong, and we learn a little more about Annan each year. This year at Elwha, Annan made a human sculpture out of play dough, in just a matter of minutes. He has a lot of talent.

In order for us to leave on the journey, we need some very important folks, such as a support boat crew, and a ground crew. And this year we had many new faces on bought of these crews.

·        On the support boat we had for her first time Julie Edwards. Julie is a Colville Tribal citizen and works in Law Enforcement for the Tribe’s Natural Resources Department. She honored us with some her songs, and they were inspiring.

·        This year Elaine Grinnell was on the support boat. Last year she was our ground crew, and what a great job she did last year by her self! It is not an easy task to sit on a boat for hours doing about 3 knots per hour.

Last but not least, the ground crew. This year we not only had a full crew for ground support, but they all had great experience in camping. It was great - after a long day on the water we came home to a nice looking campsite, good food and a ground crew that was ready to help the pullers in any way they could. And when the campsite was broken down and moved to another site, the only way you could tell we were there was the imprint of the tents on the ground. The campsite was clean.

·        And who were they?: Betty Oppenheimer, Irv Mortensen, Barb Holden, Jimmy Gray, and three great kids, Caleb Champagne-Gray, Jacob Champagne-Gray, and Emmy Champagne-Gray.

You should all be proud of our Canoe Family. They all represented the Jamestown S'Klallam People with the highest standards in everything they did. I was very proud of them all. The few words I have said here today do not begin to cover all that should be said about them.

But I will say this one last thing about all of them. On July 25th, the day we crossed the Strait of Juan De Fuca, our day started at 2:30 in the morning. We all helped in taking the camp down, then we headed for Hollywood Beach where the Laxaynəm was. We were the first Tribe there. We moved the canoe to the water’s edge and made it ready for the long journey that day. We left the beach around 5:30 a.m. and all the canoes gathered in the harbor and left together. As we made our way around the spit the wind started to pickup and the fog was rolling in. The water became difficult to paddle in.

When the day came to an end, I saw our Canoe Family, who had started the day together and ended the day together. What an honor for me to be a part of all of them! I will never forget that day.    


 Observations from Puller Nikki Sather  

Being a first timer to the Tribal Canoe Journey I honestly didn't know what to expect. Now that it’s over I can say the journey has been an enriching experience. The Journey is really much more than the seemingly countless hours and miles of pulling on open water. While the overall process is a team effort, I believe that each puller, support, and ground crew member completes the journey with a unique and individualized perspective on The Journey itself. The following describes my not-so-brief synopsis of the 2008 Journey to Cowichan.

I think that in order to complete a successful journey, each canoe family must demonstrate a significant amount of teamwork and comradery. Without knowing the majority of the participants before I began, I'm surprised at the degree to which we all became a family; the Jamestown Canoe Family. Like most families, we experienced a smattering of emotions; we had our good days and a few not-so-great moments. There were times when we all became a bit tired and cantankerous. However; we had more than enough positive interactions, fun times, and of course, lots of laughs.

In addition to the personal experiences I gained from participating in the Canoe Journey, the cultural aspect was remarkable. For those who have yet to participate in the Tribal Canoe Journey, each evening meal is followed by hours of singing, dancing, and gift giving. While the Jamestown Canoe Family was unable to participate in the daily cultural exchange of songs, dance, and gifting, we all expressed a desire to learn and/or improve our skill set for next year. Out of respect and honor for other tribes, as well as for the Jamestown people, it would be remarkable to see a cohesive effort with regard to strengthening Jamestown's cultural contribution to the annual Canoe Journey.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Journey to Cowichan, and was honored to represent the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe. I was fortunate to spend some time with old friends and glad to have gotten to know a few new ones. Undoubtedly, I formed memories that will last a lifetime. I learned that the Tribal Canoe Journey is not an event per se, but rather a process aimed at uniting individuals. As a participant, I believe your overall experience is a reflection of your contribution.



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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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