Approximately 100 canoes are participating in the ocean voyages originating from as far away as Washington State and the outer coast of Vancouver Island. They are paddling through the Inside Passage to meet in Campbell River, B.C., site of a large five-day summer festival of Indigenous traditional customs and modern gatherings, events to which the wider community is welcome.
In fact there will be 1,000 canoes expected on the shores at Campbell River beginning on the arrival date of Aug 5. War Canoe paddlers have been spending their days moving across the ocean toward their destination since about July 25.
We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum First Nations, "will stand together to welcome canoe families into the territories.
"The canoes will arrive onto Quadra Island on August 5th and into Campbell River on August 7th. On both occasions, public community feasts will be held. They expect over 100 canoes will participate and with over 1000 more lining the shores to witness history in the making." (www.tribaljourney2017.com)
"We Wai Kai Nation and We Wai Kum Nation are calling all canoe families, relatives, friends and spectators to their shores as the canoes are called in and formally welcomed to their territory. What a tremendous opportunity this represents in the building and nourishing of intercultural and cross cultural relationships."
We at McColl Magazine have witnessed large gatherings in Nanaimo and Nanoose Bay, respectively Snuneymx and Shaw-Naw-As First Nations communities. As a matter of fact, on August 1, high winds and heavy seas forced paddlers to leave behind the 6 foot swells in the Salish Sea and beach their canoes at various coves and bays on the shores around Nanaimo. Support vessels mustered paddlers to communities where they could rest and wait out the high winds.
Paddlers informed us it was the first time weather forced them to shore, as winds have been fairly absent and no rain has occurred in the past couple of weeks on the Inside Passage. South Vancouver Island communities have been very supportive of their endeavors, paddlers reporting stops in Saanaich, Duncan, Chemainus, K'omoks and elsewhere.
The northern communities will be descending down the Pacific coast in war canoes from Bella Coola, Port Hardy, Fort Rupert, and many other communities. There are folks coming to the exercise from as far away as Arizona. Families from Nuu Chah Nulth, Salish, Kwaguilth, and other Nations are volunteering to paddle and support Tribal Journey 2017.