2018-2019 Funding Needs:
We are currently seeking donations, help with fundraising, or leads on grantwriters to help us move to next levels for youth programs in our community as well as extending our vision beyond our own shores.
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.
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.
for rigging Kaigani
for traditional Polynesian style canoe sailing. (sails, trampolines, rigging, mast, safety equipment, etc)
-Exchanges with other programs and Elders coming to San Juan Island to engage community in traditional canoe/sail making (sails, rigging, traditional navigation, etc)
Spring/Summer 2018 Program Highlights
-May canoe voyage, Spring Street International School
youth voyaging pilot
-Salish Sea Sciences canoe program
-community paddlesSSIS students May voyage & exchange with Salt Spring Island WOLF school program
Kaigani 'Ohana 20 mile voyage to bring her home to new basecamp
SSIS youth prep Kaigani for May voyage
Youth from all over come together in the canoe with the Salish Sea Sciences program
Kaigani crew voyaging
SSIS May canoe voyage
2017 Program Highlights:
In summer 2017 Kaigani
was rigged for traditional Polynesian outrigger paddling and took to our precious waters of San Juan island on her maiden voyages.
We had small programs with youth from Island Rec, paddles with students from the Salish Seas Science Camp(Spring Street International School) along with a small group of dedicated adult paddlers joining Kaigani for her 1st season!Adult community recreational paddling, IMUA!
Island Rec Canoe Survival CampKaigani
and the Lummi cedar strip canoe Xwachxeng
paddled together for Island Recs summer Canoe Survival program.
E Aloha Mai Friends & 'Ohana near and oceans away,
Synergies are converging and amazing stories have been blending and unraveling the past year on my project.
The Year 2016 brings a deep and profound momentum in Ocean Voyaging globally and the perpetuation of traditional and indigenous ocean wayfinding and navigational systems. Voyaging is happening to bring awareness to the need for our Island Earth to come together as one people; to share one another’s stories of hope and progress to sail towards a more sustainable world for our children. Ocean Voyaging on traditional vessels of all peoples is an all encompassing spiritual and cultural conduit to ensure that our future generations are mentored in perpetuating a deep connection to Mother Earth and the inherent wisdoms she teaches us.
We (the community and youth of the San Juan Islands) have been blessed with our FIRST
Hawai'ian Wa'a, named KAIGANI
( a year or two ahead of schedule by fate) and a partnership with the Pacific Northwest Voyaging Society and our connected 'Ohana Wa'a spread across Pacific Northwest, Canadian Islands, and the Main Hawai'ian Islands.
The Kaigani Voyaging Canoe,
which will eventually be rigged for traditional Hawai'ian style canoe sailing will arrive to San Juan Island in March 2017.
In September 2016 we incorporated Kaigani Canoe Voyaging Society ( KCVS)
as a 501c3 Federal non-profit organization and donations are deductible to the full extent of the law.
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.
SUPPORT THE CAUSE AND GET A FREE SHIRT WITH A $50 DONATION
NEW 2018 KAIGANI CANOE FAMILY PADDLE JERSEYS!! ORDER NOW!
$45 Nickel or Mango (water visibility)
KAIGANI Tshirts (New Design coming soon!)
Birth of Kaigani:http://kaigani.org/kaigani-history/Vision:
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... CURRENT/Potential PROJECTS of KAIGANI
*Stanford University pilot program, PROJECT WAYFINDER
, Summer 2018
* May 2018 Spring Street International School canoe voyaging program
*Community Voyaging Programs around San Juan Islands
*Voyaging with Youth Conservation Corps programs from around Pacific Northwest (EarthCorps, NWYC, SCA, etc) and eventually exchanges with Hawai'i youth programs.
*Scientific research with focus on voyaging, traditional knowledge systems, and canoe culture in partnership with Universities and community colleges
*Wounded Warriors Project
*Salish Seas Science Camp, 3rd season (2019)
*Race to Alaska, Summer 2020
*Annual Tribal Canoe Journey & Collaborations with Coast Salish Canoe Families
*Youth voyaging exchanges, leadership, stewardship between youth/tribes of Pacific Northwest and Hawai'i
*Year-round youth maritime vocational skills training program
*Sailing Canoe Club
*Salish Sea Awareness Projects - Salmon Recovery,
Paddle In Seattle, Arctic Oil Drilling, Coal Trains, Invasive Species Eradication, Orca Projection and Activism, Water Quality Research, Cascadia Now.
Traditionally-rigged Hawai'ian Sailing Canoe (Kaigani rigging model)
Dean Washington, master carver Lummi Nation & Matt- blessing of 1st Canoe "Smeye" built Summer 2016
Westcott Bay, San Juan Island "Xwalelq" being constructed summer 2016
Dean Washington Lummi and SJI Youth from Conservation Corps
Members of SJI Canoe Family paddling new 6 person Lummi travel canoe "Xwalelq"
2 new canoes are completed and currently have a home at Spring Street International School! Xwachxeng
being birthed on canoe form "Xwachxeng"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 expedition guide, directed University outdoor programs, and has extensive professional experience as a field biologist in the Main Hawaiian Islands. Matt has an academic background in Outdoor Education (BS) & currently wrapping up an MS in Conservation Biology/Sustainability Education. 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, paddling, 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 also an active EMT with San Juan Island EMS and a Firefighter with San Juan Island 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: