Special Spirit Power, War Spirit Power, Thunder Power and Chain Lightning 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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Sequim, WA 98382
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Sunday, August 3

Jamestown Canoe Journey Blog 



Blog for August 3

Landing at Suquamish

After dinner at Port Gamble, Marlin and Paul attended the Skipper’s meeting where they learned that we would have to be at the water ready to pull out by 5:30 a.m. in order to have any chance of making it to Suquamish in time for the protocol. Protocol has been scheduled to end before the tide gets so high that no one will be able to watch from the beach.

Pulling toward Point No Point

The Lighthouse at Point No Point

We had a beautiful pull from Port Gamble along the shoreline to Point No Point, where the water got somewhat choppy and made pulling in a straight line difficult. If we kept too close to shore, we would be pushed into it; if we went too far out, the water was choppier. So the skippers worked hard to keep us facing toward the breakers and just the right distance from shore.

After some time, and as we still had many miles to go, it was decided by many Tribe’s skippers to tow their canoes at least part of the way to the “soft landing” (the pre-protocol landing area at Jefferson Head where the Suquamish provided bathrooms, water and lunch for all of us as we came in, in preparation for the final short pull across the bay to the Suquamish dock).

The Laxaynəm tied up the the Squeetzee first, and while they took off together, the E’ow-itza crew kept on pulling. Within about an hour, the current got rougher, so Paul directed the E’ow-itza crew to pull into shore. Shortly thereafter, the Squeetzee arrived, so the crew pulled out to the support boat, tied on, and went aboard for about an hour of being towed to the location where the Laxaynəm had pulled to by that time.

Towing the E’ow-itza, with tired pullers
Heather and Jessica in the back of the Squeetzee.

The two canoe crews then paddled together to Jefferson Head for a very quick break – it was almost time for protocol and we needed to get going! Because we had been told that the canoes would be coming to the water’s edge and asking permission to come ashore in order of how far away (in nautical miles) they had traveled, we joined the three Port Gamble canoes in paddling over. The Lower Elwha canoes were running late, and we were advised not to wait for them – canoes arriving late would be joining the huge raft of canoes and would ask for permission at the end of the ceremony.

The welcome at Suquamish

Each canoe circled in front of the waiting crowd before “parking” alongside the previous one, until there were 84 canoes lined up! Suquamich Tribal Chair Leonard Forsman was speaking, and the Suquamish Singers entertained before we arrived, but very soon after we arrived, the protocol began, with a welcome from Forsman, and then one by one, each canoe was introduced and asked for permission to join the Suquamish Tribe in its week-long celebration.

Kissendrah asked for permission to come ashore, while her mom, Heather, watched (as did thousands of others).

Kissendrah Johnson, the daughter of Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Council Secretary Heather Johnson-Jock spoke eloquently for our Tribe, thanking the ancestors, paying respect to the late Pete Holden, and thanking the Suquamish for hosting us.

Since the beach at Suquamish disappears at high tide, the canoes had to be carried up a boat ramp and small hill. Dozens of volunteers from the Navy base carried all 84 canoes up the hill, as each Tribe’s crews emptied them of gear. The Laxaynəm, being one of the heaviest of the canoes, drew whoops and hollers from the crowd, who saw how many men and women it took to hoist it up on their shoulders and take it up the hill, where all of the canoes filled a large field in front of the new Suquamish longhouse. Laxaynəm ended up very close to the entrance to the new Suquamish Longhouse, where hundreds, perhaps thousands of people stopped to look at it.

A wonderful dinner which included seafood chowder, prawns, crab and halibut was served. People took the time to get their bearings. As Tribal Chair Forsman had told the skippers the night before, Suquamish is really geographically too small to host 12,000 people all in one place, so things were spread out where they could be, and shuttles were provided to take people between the various event sites. As it turned out, the shuttles – which appeared to be every school bus from all of Kitsap County – ran continuously, making it quite simple to get everywhere within a few minutes.

Ground crew had moved our camp to the Indianola ballfield, about 7 miles from downtown Suquamish, so we boarded the bus and got “home,” where we all got much needed and well deserved showers. Some went to the Canoe Ring ceremony where they were given their journey rings and beads. Some went to bed, our bodies still wobbly from the rocking of the sea.

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