HANNA PETERSEN PHOTO The canoes paddle towards U’mista beach in Alert Bay.

VIDEO: Tribal Journey canoe welcomed in Alert Bay

The two canoes departed the next morning at six.

A canoe traveling from Fort Rupert, was welcomed in Alert Bay by ‘Namgis Chief Don Svanvik.

The canoe arrived in Alert Bay in the evening on August 2, participating in The Tribal Canoe Journey, which is an annual trans-national Indigenous voyage and gathering that brings together communities across the Pacific Northwest.

A canoe from Alert Bay, the Whonock, left the shores of U’mista beach to greet the guests. A dinner welcoming the guests followed and was held in Council Hall.

The celebrations were without regalia and dances out of respect for families in the community who have recently lost loved ones.

The two canoes departed the next morning at six, after an early 5 a.m. breakfast in Council Hall, and headed towards Campbell River.

Indigenous Nations from the coast of Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington State participate every year. Canoes travel en route to a final host destination and visit other Nations throughout the journey.

Each year a different Nation hosts canoe pullers, support crews, and other visitors. Depending on the distance the trip can take up to a month.

The host nation this year is the We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum Nation in Campbell River.

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