We Come in Peace

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We Come in Peace” is a photo illustration based on a photograph I took  during one of the Northwest Intertribal Canoe Journeys.  The event draws canoe participants from Alaska, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. It  renews the ancient potlatch tradition of canoe travel, ceremonial feasts and gift giving as a means of connecting participants with the traditions of their peoples. Before coming ashore upon arrival at their destination those in canoes raise their paddles to signify they have come in peace and await the invitation to come ashore by gtheir hosts. Such activities as the potlatch were banned in the late 1800s by the United States and Canada in the attempts to eradicate Native identity.  Today’s  annual journeys  began in l989 with with nine canoes travelling to Seattle. This image was taken when they stopped at Port Townsend, Wash.,

during their journey.

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