Wednesday, November 6, 2013

EP36 Landings

Tribal Journey’s BLOG
A Guest blog from Michael Bourquin
Camera and Sound for SAMAQAN

Michael Bourquin on location in Gulfport MS

Raised as a boats’ man in the interior of Northern British Columbia I was surrounded by lakes and rivers; so I find the ocean to be a little enigmatic and equally captivating. During the production of Water Stories season 3 I was fortunate enough to be the locations audio recorder at Squaxin 2012 during Tribal Journeys.

From up and down the West coast, Oregon, Washington, the coasts of British Columbia and points as far as Alaska; canoe families made the voyage to Squaxin to share and celebrate canoe culture. For me the most memorable experience with Tribal Journey’s would have to be the formality that surrounds the landings at the various host communities along the way.

When a canoe family paddles to shore, there is a song of greeting and a representative of that canoe will stand and make a formal introduction to explain who they are, where they are from and politely ask permission to come ashore to rest, eat and share in song and dance. Equally impressive was the welcoming songs of the host nation as they greeted the travel weary paddlers to shore to rest their bones and join in the feasting and celebration.

The final landing at Olympia was enormous! There were so many people. The size and scope of the Journey was much larger than I anticipated. It was nice to see the city of Olympia participating in the event and that everyone was welcome to join in the celebration. The spectators were abundant of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

I believe that there were over 100 canoes at the final landing; there was even a birch bark canoe from out East and a Maori Waka and crew from New Zealand. Being there for Squaxin 2012 was such a special treat, hearing the many songs of the paddlers, to witness and take part in the strong sense of community was empowering and uplifting. Tribal Journeys is an event I highly recommend whether spectator or participant especially if you reside on the West Coast it is a powerful healing experience.

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