UPDATE: Tribal Journey 2018 canoes arrive at Alki Beach

1:47 PM: If you’ve seen the Tribal Journeys canoe arrivals at Alki Beach in years past … this year is bigger than ever. As we’ve been previewing, the arrivals started early this afternoon and are continuing as canoe families arrive from last night’s stop across Puget Sound in Suquamish.

More than 100 canoes were registered to participate this year, and they have supporters here too. There’s even an announcer with a PA system, something we don’t recall seeing/hearing in recent years. And we lost count at more than a dozen charter buses parked along Alki Avenue; the paddlers and their support crews will be transported to Auburn, where the Muckleshoot Tribe will host them tonight. (Muckleshoot security remains at Alki to watch over the canoes.)

We’ll be checking later on the expected morning departure time, for those who would like to come observe then.

More photos/updates to come!

2:47 PM: We just walked to the east end of where the canoes are lined up on the sand – they stretch almost to 58th SW – and counted more than 50. None on the horizon so we don’t know how many are yet to arrive. With each arrival so far, an announcement has been read over the loudspeakers, in Native language as well as English, with the declaration of the tribe’s name, where they’ve come from – some have been journeying for two weeks! – and greetings to the Muckleshoot, as well as a request for permission to come ashore.

Also, a military cargo jet seen flying over West Seattle earlier – low enough to startle people – has just done a flyby over the beach here.

5:13 PM: Went back to Alki to check; the arrivals have concluded.

Security says departures are expected between 7 and 9 tomorrow morning.

ADDED EARLY FRIDAY: Alki photographer David Hutchinson asked about that too and he was told they would depart after a ceremony at 7. He shared this evening photo:

Tomorrow’s stop is Dash Point State Park.

FRIDAY MORNING NOTE: The departures are not happening en masse.

Our photographer was there from 8 am until about 9:30 and reports that two canoes had left by then. We’re going back shortly for an update.

10 Replies to "UPDATE: Tribal Journey 2018 canoes arrive at Alki Beach"

  • NancyE July 26, 2018 (3:07 pm)

    Great pics! What a journey. We are so honored to be able to share this with first nation peoples.

  • Pam July 26, 2018 (3:48 pm)

    Although I am a distance away so no photos,  it has been a great event to watch and listen to.  The plane dip was amazing, though also caught me off guard!

  • JennyL July 27, 2018 (6:31 am)

    What a privilege it was to witness this event; how it strengthens bonds and maintains continuity of skills and values. I am in awe of the strength of the paddlers and the community behind them. 

  • Vicki Pardee July 27, 2018 (7:13 am)

    Making connection! Magestic cedar trees becoming a way to travel over great distances…some of the boats are over 50-75 years old!!! Carved from a single cedar tree.  Seeing them all resting on Alki’s shore for the evening…what an incredible journey.  Thank you all the tribes for continuing this passage that has been taking place forever. Please don’t ever let it stop.i will be waving from near Lowman beach this morning!!!

  • Kathy July 27, 2018 (8:51 am)

    It would be interesting to see a list of all the groups represented. I saw one canoe marked “Cowichan” so that’s from Vancouver Island. That would be a lot of paddling!

  • LJ July 27, 2018 (9:20 am)

    We’ve lived in West Seattle for 12 years, now, and it’s moments like this that make me fall in love with this place all over again. Yesterday’s events filled me with a sense of what a privilege it is to be here. After spending a full year studying Native American history intensively with my homeschool kids, my heart was both heavy and grateful that these families and tribes were here, honoring us with their presence, as they continue on in their impressive journey. 

  • BlairJ July 27, 2018 (11:11 am)

    There is a nice art exhibit at the Bainbridge Art Museum with items from three decades of this paddle event.

  • Laura Carrier July 27, 2018 (3:01 pm)

    Many, many passing between Maury Island and Federal Way now! So exciting!

  • V July 27, 2018 (8:24 pm)

    Fantastic morning waving and calling back and forth from canoes going by!!!

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