PHOTOS: Splatsin canoe family completes eight-day journey

The Splatsin canoe was named t’ult, which means awakening the spirit in Secwepemctsin. Left to right: Colten William, Tristan William, Darian Williams, Tommy Felix, Theresa William, Braden Cook, Hunter Eustache, Cadence Edwards and Kyle Crump. (Submitted photo)
The Splatsin canoe family paddling south of Powell River, near where the journey began. (Submitted photo)
The DFO, navy and Splatsin canoes are pictured on the first day of the journey. (Submitted photo)
Paddling Together canoes head back to the beach, led by the host Tla’amin Nation canoe. (Submitted photo)
Kyle Crump and the Splatsin canoe crew raise their paddles to the host nation. (Submitted photo)
Tla’amin organizers and knowledge keepers welcoming canoes back to shore as per traditional protocol. (Submitted photo)
The Splatsin canoe family carries their canoe above the high tide line at Willingdon Beach, north of Powell River. (Submitted photo)
The Splatsin canoe family helps serve dinner to fellow paddlers. (Submitted photo)
The Splatsin canoe family, second from the right, paddling about 5 kilometres north of Lund, B.C. around the Copeland Islands, which are known to be a resting place for whales. (Submitted photo)
The view from the front of the Splatsin canoe while paddling near the Copeland Islands. (Submitted photo)
The Splatsin and Canim Lake canoe families played traditional stick games in Lund, B.C. (Submitted photo)
The Paddling Together canoes form a circle up as part of traditional Tla’amin protocol on the final day of the journey. (Submitted photo)
The Splatsin canoe family lands at Tla’amin after the final paddle. (Submitted photo)
Theresa William holding the flag up with the Splatsin canoe family on the last day of the paddle. (Submitted photo)

A Splatsin “canoe family” participated in the 19th Pulling Together journey this month, hosted by the Tla’amin First Nation with the cooperation of the Sechelt First Nation.

The annual canoe journey took place over eight days, beginning on July 6 in Saltery Bay Park near Powell River and ending on July 12 at Gibsons Beach.

The Splatsin crew joined more than 300 paddlers who participated, including Indigenous people, law enforcement and public service agencies.

The event is inspired by the 1997 Vision Quest Journey when Indigenous people and the RCMP visited Indigenous communities along the west coast of B.C.

Where The Canoe Takes Us: The Story Of Pulling Together from Pulling Together Canoe Society on Vimeo.

Youth recreation coordinators Mitch Ward and Kyle Crump led the Splatsin group of Mason Estabrooks, Hunter Eustache, Destiny William, Theresa William, Darian Williams, Colten William, Tommy Felix, Tristan William, Braden Cook, Doug Thomas, and Cadence Edwards.

“It was great. The kids all did really good,” Ward told the Vernon Morning Star.

“There was a lot of focus on cultural activities and the hosting by the host organization was really well done. They cooked meals for everybody every day.”

Ward said the overall goal of the journey is to promote respect for Indigenous cultures, as well as healing and reconciliation.

“Through experiencing this kind of challenging couple weeks, relationships will be built, and there’s time to talk about the differences between the communities and how to make it better,” he said.

Next year, for the 20th Pulling Together journey, he said Splatsin will be one of the Secwepemc host communities.

“It should be a pretty big thing,” he said.

READ MORE: Enderby’s Splatsin prepares for musical production



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

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