VIDEO, PHOTOS: Paddle to Muckleshoot canoe families arrive at Alki

(WSB photos unless otherwise credited)

11:31 AM: The first canoe families are arriving at Alki Beach after leaving Suquamish following a two-night stay during the first Canoe Journey since before the pandemic, the Paddle to Muckleshoot. Up to 100 canoes are expected.

Lots of backstory in our preview published last night. Hundreds of people are here, lining the beach and seawall, as arriving canoe families ask and are granted permission to come ashore.

(4:14 pm note: The stream just concluded, but you should be able watch a recorded replay here)
1:04 PM: The live stream we mentioned last night continues, showing a member of each arriving canoe family making the request, and Muckleshoot members on shore welcoming them.

The speeches – given in both Native languages and English – have been poignant, as some have spoken of “so much loss these past few years,” primarily because of the pandemic. One said they had lost their skipper to COVID. But the exchanges also have been joyful as the hosts promise the visitors “We will sing, we will dance, we will feast together.”

That will happen at the Muckleshoot Community Center in Auburn, to which the visitors will be taken by shuttle bus.

First, canoes are carried out of the water, and are parked on the beach. Many also carry flags showing where they’re from.

The paddles tell stories too.

One skipper spoke with a bit of humor:

The list of participating canoe families is here. Some families have traveled in more than one canoe. Some canoes carried members of multiple Indigenous nations and cultures – we heard introductions mentioning Hawai’i, the Navajo Nation, even the Maori of New Zealand.

4 PM: The live stream is still going as a few last canoes arrive. Some also have asked for permission to send their canoes home – by trailer – once they land. (Added: Doug Eglington saw some departures from Don Armeni:)

Many remain on the Alki sand for now, as Jamie Kinney‘s photo shows:

One of the last arrivals carried people from Alaska and B.C. The woman who spoke for them to ask permission also said they had come to ask for help in healing the Earth: “The world is toxic … support us in protecting babies and moms.”

4:13 PM: Minutes later, the final arrival – the Muckleshoot’s own canoe family. Tribal chair Jaison Elkins welcomed them.

7:09 PM: Thanks to everyone who’s sent photos! These next three are from David Hutchinson:

And these two are from Theresa Arbow-O’Connor – note the fireboat in the background of the first photo:

P.S. We drove through Alki at sunset and saw many canoes remaining on the beach, so if you missed the chance to see them, some will certainly be there tomorrow. This map shows the routes and dates taken to get here.

(Photo by Rose De Dan)

9 Replies to "VIDEO, PHOTOS: Paddle to Muckleshoot canoe families arrive at Alki"

  • Marcus July 30, 2023 (1:14 pm)

    This is the spirit of Alki, welcoming the diverse cultures of the region.  This is how Alki is meant to be.

  • Josh July 30, 2023 (1:53 pm)

    Paddles vertical, they arrive peacefully. 

  • Lucy July 30, 2023 (2:33 pm)

    Beautiful to see so many people smiling and enjoying this event.  It is a very spiritual and emotional day.   Thank you to the Muckleshoots  for inviting everyone to gather together in peace and harmony.  

  • Paul Ames Reinhold July 30, 2023 (2:41 pm)

    This is one of the most absolutely beautiful gathering of our sacred native American brothers and sisters, I haven’t seen this much beauty since I was at a early Montana 4th of July pow wow, everyone should go see that too. It’s fabulous!.

  • Dan July 30, 2023 (5:36 pm)

  • Chrissy D July 30, 2023 (9:44 pm)

    This was one of the biggest highlights for me. It was refreshing to see so much respect, love, and admiration for all, especially the elders. 

  • WiseWoman July 31, 2023 (1:45 am)

    I met several of the tribal peoples one left a drum with a sea turtle on it from a Muckleshoot tribal member. At the sale across the street. It was returned to the announcer host! 

  • JS July 31, 2023 (8:39 am)

    It was a joyful and sacred day! Thank you, WSB, for all the coverage! There are important events all week at the Muckleshoot reservation. If you want to learn more:

  • John W July 31, 2023 (10:02 am)

    Muckleshoot’s have their act together in a big way. They brought their own security and EMT teams and both were very visible. They also brought in lot’s portable toilets, waste receptacles, water stations, were very respectful of the park and adjacent neighborhoods, left the area clean and in better condition than they found it. Sub Pop was the only other event I can remember that everyone felt absolutely safe, had a great time and left no trace afterwards.

    Very impressed, hopefully they’ll continue to have more events like this in the future.

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