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

1033 Old Blyn Hwy
Sequim, WA 98382
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Friday, July 31

Jamestown Canoe Journey Blog 



Blog for July 31: Jamestown Landing

The Laxaynəm crew met at Jamestown Beach just before 9 a.m., and activity was already aflutter there. Both canoes had been brought down to Jamestown Road; a covered seating area was being erected by the Maintenance Crew, and the Fry Bread crew was getting started. Ground crew arrived with lunch and water, and picked up the pullers’ gear for the journey (we are leaving so early tomorrow that it just made more sense to pack the gear today).

It was very foggy and the tide was low, but Marlin knew that the pullers had left Hollywood Beach early, and would be nearing Dungeness Spit before noon, so he wanted to get the Laxaynəm on the water as soon as possible. We had a quick smudging ceremony, a prayer and a blessing from Elaine Grinnell, and then set about getting the canoe off the trailer.  

Tilting the Laxaynəm off the trailer

Putting the canoe into the water 

At low tide, the beach was mucky, and in order to get the canoe on the water, everyone had to get into the muck at least up to their ankles.  

Just one photo before you leave! “But we’re sinking into the mud!,” they were saying as I shot this photo.

They got on the water just before 10.  It took about 45 minutes to get to the Spit, and by the time they got there, the canoes from Hollywood Beach were already there. They had stopped for lunch, and were just about ready to take off to Jamestown.

Marlin and the crew landed and got a tour of the Dungeness Lighthouse.

The Laxaynəm in the foreground, with the
Dungeness Lighthouse in the background

Meanwhile, back at Jamestown, by 11:20, we could see the first 2 canoes coming in. Considering that we had told folks to expect a 2 p.m. landing, it was great that Elaine Grinnell was already there. She welcomed the first 5 canoes to Jamestown, and the youth and children sang, drummed, and offered cedar roses to each puller. Looking west, we could see at least 10 more canoes approaching, just as Chairman Ron Allen arrived. From that point on, canoes just kept coming, until they had welcomed 30 canoes ashore! The beach was abuzz with activity. 

Three canoes from Canada

Elaine and kids drumming

Elaine, Ron and Kathy Duncan welcoming canoes.

Although we had planned for a 1 p.m. Blessing of the E’ow-itza prior to any canoes landing, the blessing waited while the canoes landed. Then, emcee Pat Jons invited all of the canoe families to see the blessing, so they gathered around the new cedar strip and fiberglass canoe, and Elaine Grinnell began the ceremony. She invited four people from other Tribes to stand as witnesses.

Elaine and the four witnesses

Jeff Monson sang a song, and then Elaine spoke of the importance of the canoe safely carrying pullers for generations to come. She handed out cedar fronds, and instructed the pullers to brush away any bad feelings from the canoe. We circled the canoe several times, brushing it with cedar. Then, the Elder witness placed the cedar bough on the canoe’s bow, and it was officially named the E’ow-itza – the Little Sister of the Laxaynəm. A visitor from Canada then asked Elaine if she could sing the Woman Warrior song, which is traditionally sung at naming ceremonies.

Placing the Wreath

When the blessing ended, the E’ow-itza crew, with help from several strong men from other Tribes, carried her off the trailer and placed her near the water for her maiden voyage as a named canoe. The crew boarded her, and paddled out to meet the Laxaynəm, which was now in sight.

The Laxaynəm had waited until they were certain that there were no more canoes coming from the west. Then they sailed back to Jamestown.



Sherry in her new Cedar hat made by Lummi weaver Fran James.

Sitting on a Log: Here they are sitting on a log at Dungeness Spit. They had a lovely few hours there.


The two canoes met. The E’ow-itza turned back, and the two crews did “power pulls” in a race to shore. But Sherry apparently asked whether the Laxaynəm crew could do a 100-stroke power pull, while the E’ow-itza did its standard 25-stroke power surge. It was all done for fun, anyway, because the E’ow-itza had to stop short of the shore to allow Audrey to do her required cold water practice, which she had missed in June. While she jumped into the water and got pulled back out, the Laxaynəm headed for shore. 

Marlin didn’t ask for permission to come ashore, but he did thank the Tribe for its support of the journey, and expressed an emotional reminder that this year’s journey is in memory of his younger brother Pete, who died in February. We are all very much aware of that fact, and all who knew him feel that Pete is with us on this journey. Josh is wearing Pete’s canoe ring necklace along with his own, and each of us dons a black armband and a badge with Pete’s photo on it. 

We all came ashore, unpacked the canoes, and after a bit of chatting, got cleaned up for dinner. The dinner at Sequim High School was bigger than ever, and as always, the sounds of drumming and chanting reverberated through the cafeteria and beyond. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits, and Barb Holden handed out red bandanas with the Jamestown S’Klallam name on them. 

We will all meet at the beach tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. while the tide is still high enough to put into the water without getting sucked into the muck. If today is any indication, we may arrive at Port Townsend significantly earlier than 2 p.m. 

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