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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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Jamestown Canoe Journey Blog 


On May 30, Skipper Paul Bowlby took the crew out into Sequim Bay for more than two hours, where they practiced the techniques they’ll need to know on the journey – turning, stopping, coming alongside another vessel, beaching the canoe, etc. It was a beautiful day!

On June 6, with the Hood Canal Bridge reopened, the pullers from the other side of Puget Sound came to training at John Wayne Marina. Because the Laxaynəm was on display in Port Townsend for the opening of the Native Baskets exhibit (where the Tribe’s Cultural Resource Specialist Kathy Duncan, and Basketweaver/Elder Elaine Grinnell were hosting a demonstration of Native weaving), Marlin was able to bring only one canoe. With too many pullers for one canoe (which holds 11 pullers), we split up into two groups, who each went out onto the water for a little over an hour.

In the first group were (from left) Paul Bowlby, Heather Johnson-Jock, Candy Burkhardt, Marie Champagne, Kissendra Johnson, Jorene Dick, Andrea Champagne, Unique Robinson, Jessica Johnson and Caleb Champagne.

Each week, before Marlin backs the canoe into the water at the boat launch at John Wayne Marina, he assigns jobs to pullers, including putting people in charge of the bow and stern ropes, so that as soon as the canoe is in the water it can be secured to the dock. In this photo, Candy holds the stern rope as Paul and Steve Johnson release the stern from the trailer. At the bow, Jorene hands the rope to Andrea, while Andrea’s son Caleb poses for the camera.

As soon as the canoe is in the water, the skipper calls for the pullers to board, starting at the bow. After getting in first, Jorene and Kissendra had a moment to admire each other’s paddles.

The pullers who remained ashore (Josh Holden, Steve Johnson, Sherry MacGregor, Betty Oppenheimer, John Bridge, Irv Mortensen, Charlene Dick, Nikki Sather and Skipper Marlin Holden waited at the beach by the south parking lot, where the crew would beach the canoe at about 3:45. While we were there, we talked about the journey – several of us (Marlin, Josh, Steve, Nikki as pullers; Charlene, Betty and Irv as ground crew) told those who hadn’t (John and Sherry) what it would be like. This will be Josh’s third journey, and it’s obvious that when he’s among the Canoe Family, he’s comfortable and happy. Here he is with a big smile on his face!

Once the first crew came ashore, they disembarked, and we loaded ourselves (and our pads – Nikki brought a quilt to sit on) and took off. The air and the water were both completely calm, and a curious seal popped his head up several times to look at us. From underneath, perhaps our canoe looks like a big fish! We discussed the various names that have been suggested for this new canoe, including the S’Klallam words for Little Quail, Great Grandmother, Black Raven and Blackfish.

Charlene turned around in her seat and took this photo of a happy skipper.

Next week, Marlin promises to bring both canoes, so that we can begin training in pulling together for the journey. Only 8 weeks to go!

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