Voyaging in the Salish Sea
In September 2016 we incorporated Kaigani Canoe Voyaging Society ( KCVS) as a Washington State non-profit organization and donations are deductible to the full extent of the law. We are in process of obtaining Federal Status and/or have fiscal sponsorship for grants from our partner organizations- Salish Sea Sciences & On Sacred Ground Land Trust
The Mission for the Kaigani Canoe Voyaging Society is perpetuation of canoe culture through ocean voyaging, traditional knowledge systems, community building, maritime skills training, and stewardship.
Our vision for Kaigani is to connect with the natural elements of the Salish Sea while discovering the richness of canoe culture, ocean travel and awareness, through voyaging, discovery and experiential education. We enter this mission with humility and reverence of our natural world, Polynesian and Coast Salish knowledge and seek to better our understanding of past, present and future. To stand in solidarity with those that protect the sacred and honor our natural resources. Discovering the richness of wildlife, the water, the land, the trees, the elk, the eagles, the salmon, the orca, the communities, the people of today and the people who have come before.
Through voyaging we understand the importance of teamwork, community, and that each one of us is a leader and a contributor, providing assets and resources that help us all reach the next step. We discover what it means to live in the moment and disconnect from the stresses of modern life, as we stretch out beyond our comfort zone, to a place where land and ocean meet and possibilities arise.
A voyaging canoe is a maritime parallel to an Island village system. The success of our canoe depends on all roles and responsibilities of our Island village. Our crew consisting of fishermen, farmers, spiritual leaders, craftsmen, teachers, healers, Leadership, and the people with all their unique skill sets. The canoe presents a modern platform for individuals to practice their cultural lifestyle in a synergetic way. Each individual is celebrated for what they can contribute to the whole.
What we do to survive on the land, is what we do to survive on the canoe. How we conserve, act, or educate our people about our precious Island resources is a direct reflection of how we will navigate forward together on a canoe and survive, explore, and flourish at sea...
FUNDING NEEDS- FINAL PHASE!
The continued project to traditionally rig our beloved Kaigani for Polynesian style canoe sailing, serve as our programs primary vessel for local educational programs
(sails, trampolines, rigging, mast, safety equipment, etc)
Our current need and priority is getting Kaigani rigged for Polynesian-style canoe sailing.We anticipate making this a community-based project with a call out to elders, craftspeople, artists, woodworkers, maritime folks, etc along side our youth crafting all of the sail components/rigging for our beloved Kaigani.
Having Kaigani rigged for sailing will take her to the next dynamic and unique level to accomplish our dreams for voyaging longer distances and reaching more youth and communities with our visions.
Uncle Tim Wood, Hawi, Big Island, Hawai'i will travel to San Juan Island and in a community style project, under Tim's expertise as a master canoe builder, Kaigani canoe members and youth/adults from the San Juans will learn how to craft all of the new pieces we need to rig our beloved Kaigani for traditional Polynesian canoe sailing.
Pictured below: Tim & a canoe he crafted for a resort in Maui.
✴Salish Sea Sciences (salishseasciences.org) Summer canoe voyaging program serving HS and pre-college students coming from across US for immersion in scientific research with focus on bioacoustics, scientific diving, marine ecology, and micro-plastics. Students connect with our program canoes and we seek to enrich their experience through a holistic lens of the merging of traditional knowledge systems and western science.
✴PROJECT WAYFINDER, Stanford University & Polynesian Voyaging Society. (projectwayfinder.com, hokulea.com) In partnership with Stanford Universities famous Hasso Platner dSchool, we are one of founding pilot partners to deliver the PROJECT WAYFINDER tool kit to engage local Middle/High School students; integrating the dynamic experiential toolkit and practical application on our voyaging canoe, Kaigani.
✴Vaka Taumako Project, Solomon Islands (vaka.org) We seek to use proceeds from our developing eco-tour operation to support the efforts of friend Dr. Mimi George with the Vaka Taumako Project and Pacific Traditions Society, to create opportunities of cultural exchange between the youth & community of the San Juan Islands and master navigators/Elders from Taumako. We are in process of planning a second Film screening of Mimi’s documentary in 2020/2021 , “We the Voyagers, Lata’s Children” coupled with a community experiential day on our canoes and weaving a traditional sail with Elders from Taumako along with our community youth and local coast salish youth & tribal canoe families.
✴Friday Harbor community partners- Maritime Skills/Shipwright Program. We seek to continue our early work with friend/mentor and Elder Dean Washington, Master canoe builder from the Lummi Nation. To date our program stewards 2 of 4 coast salish style cedar strip canoes we built with Dean. We seek to continue the second phase and link up 2 traveling canoes as a double-hulled sailing canoe with inspirations taken from Coast Salish & Polynesian canoe traditions & design.
YOUR CONTRIBUTION WILL ENSURE OUR YOUTH THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE PASSED THE TORCH TO SUSTAIN FUTURE GENERATIONS- TO KEEP ALIVE THE SPIRIT OF THE VOYAGING CANOES AND THEIR CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE TO ALL PEOPLES OF THE SALISH SEA AND ALL SHORES THAT EXTEND BEYOND OURS WHERE PEOPLES WAYS OF LIFE ARE CONNECTED TO LAND & SEA.
IF YOU ARE A PADDLER, AN OCEAN LOVER, HEAR THE CRIES OF THE OCEANS AND THE FORESTS, OR ARE AN ADVOCATE OF TRADITIONAL WISDOM, WE GREATLY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT IN THIS JOURNEY- HOPE TO SEE YOU IN THE WA'A IN THE NEAR FUTURE!
Mahalo nui loa for considering supporting this project and our voyage.
For our keiki(children) our future...
Me ke aloha la,
Kaigani Canoe Voyaging Society
Matthew has worked as an outdoor educator and conservation biologist for the past 20 years in a multitude of programs and projects centered around conservation biology, adventure & environmental education, advocacy of traditional indigenous knowledge systems and community building. He has taught in Hawai’ian immersion schools, ocean-based experiential therapy programs, has worked as International expedition guide, directed University outdoor programs, and has extensive professional experience as a field biologist in the Main Hawai’ian Islands. Matt has an academic background in Outdoor Education/Environmental Science. Matt is dedicated to community building and bringing youth, families, and individuals to a greater awareness of the natural world and the connections that exist and that need to be healed to sustain our future as a global community. Matt finds his passions and is accomplished in ocean sports, surfing, sailing, snowboarding, mountaineering, backcountry medicine, and has interests and background in organic farming, natural/herbal medicine, Tai Chi/Qi Gong, and primitive living skills.
Matt is an active Fire Fighter/EMT with SJI EMS & SJI Fire & Rescue
Matthews vision is binded by the glue of his Wife, Melissa; and her wisdom, passion, and knowledge of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture that compliments the experiential and healing nature of Wayfinding and Ocean Voyaging.
Matt & Melissa are both part of the International mentor network for The Tracking Project, out of Corrales, New Mexico. We are blessed to be a part of this amazing family and to assist in passing on the wisdom and teachings passed down by friend and teacher, Uncle John Stokes.
A lot of inspiration and curriculum for the Canoe programs comes from these important teachings for our youth.
Read more here:
Friday Harbor, WA