Public invited to canoe family gathering

By Oliver Lazenby

Native canoe families from around the region are coming to Birch Bay and Blaine on Labor Day Weekend for an event called “Communities Pulling Together.”

Members of the Semiahmoo, Lummi and G’ana’k’w canoe families plan to paddle local waters, camp in Blaine and host traditional dances, potlatches and campfires. The community is invited to join in some of the events and paddle along in any kind of small boat. Please note, the canoes will now be arriving at and launching from Semiahmoo Spit, rather than Marine Park in Blaine.

Here’s a schedule for the weekend of native canoe events:

Saturday, September 2

1:15 p.m.: The Haandei I Jin Tlingit traditional dance group, in full regalia, will take the stage in Birch Bay during Discovery Days.

2:30 p.m.: Canoes leave Birch Bay.

5:30 p.m.: Canoes arrive to and are welcomed to the east end of Semiahmoo Spit in Blaine, next to the Plover Dock.

Sunday, September 3

11 a.m.: Traditional dance group performs in full regalia in Marine Park in Blaine.

2-4 p.m.: Canoe families have a traditional dinner.

5 p.m.: Canoes and other watercraft launch from the east end of Semiahmoo Spit for a paddle around Drayton Harbor and up Dakota Creek with the returning salmon. Everyone is welcome to paddle; bring snacks and lunch.

Sunset: The public is invited to attend a campfire.

Monday, September 4

12 p.m.: Join the canoe families at Semiahmoo Spit for a picnic across from the Alaska Packers Association Cannery Museum. Pack a picnic lunch and if you don’t have a boat you’re welcome to drive to this picnic.

For more information, contact event organizers Ron Snyder and Cathy Taggett at 360/332-8082.

This story was updated on September 1 to reflect scheduling changes. 

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