Kids and Canoes
Build two Coast Salish style cedar strip canoes in the San Juan Islands with school youth during the week of April 21-28.
A pilot program to introduce island youth (grades 5-12) to Native American culture through hands-on canoe building with one of the world’s top canoe builders from Lummi Nation. In one week 14 students from Friday Harbor Middle/High School and Spring Street International School will build two canoes and their paddles. These canoes will then be part of a fleet of canoes to be used to explore our local waters. Local user groups already hoping to use these canoes will be Island Rec, Spring Street International School, and Kaigani Voyaging Society. The two canoes and paddles will be fully finished in seven days. Amazing!
Friday, April 21 there will be a public talk by Salish elder and canoe master builder Dean Washington at the Friday Harbor HS STEM building from 6:30-8:00pm.
April 22-28, 14 students will build 2 strip cedar canoes and paddles at the Friday Harbor HS STEM building. Full days on Saturday and Sunday, and after school on Monday through Friday.
Friday, April 28 will be a public viewing of the canoe and paddles at the Friday Harbor HS STEM building from 3:30-5:30 pm.
There are several levels of sponsorship:
$1,000 * - your name will appear on one of the seats in the canoe , you will receive a custom built canoe paddle built by the youth, you will be invited to go on a celebratory canoe trip, and be able to attend the canoe launching picnic
$500* - you will receive a custom built canoe paddle built by the youth, your name will appear on one of the canoe's paddles, and you will be able to attend the canoe launching picnic
$250* - your name will appear on one of the canoe's paddles and you will be able to attend the canoe launching picnic
$100* - you will be able to attend the canoe launching picnic
In 2015, Governor Jay Inslee signed a groundbreaking piece of legislation that mandates Washington kids learn history, culture, and government with input from the state's 29 federally recognized Tribes. Participating in the Kids in Canoes program could serve as a place based gateway to implementation of “Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum.”
The San Juan Islands are at the center of the Salish Sea's complex web of life and cultural diversity. Over 50 US and Canadian indigenous nations call the Salish Sea home. There are 29 federally recognized Tribes in Washington State. They have treaty rights and responsibilities in their historical territories in the United States—they have their own governments, jurisdictions, and economies. 8 US Tribes claim the San Juan Islands as their historical territory: Lummi, Swinomish, Suquamish, Tulalip, Samish and three S’Klallam tribes.
$2,500 Cedar strips
$1,900 Fiberglass kit
$1,080 Paddle kit and life jackets
$3,500 Master canoe builder Dean Washington
$350 Travel stipend
$700 Tool rental
$500 Community lecture on place names
$8,000 Form (one-time cost for mold)
total $18, 530
These expenses go significantly down for subsequent canoe builds as we won't need another form/mold and we should have enough local building knowledge to not bring Dean back. There are many possibilities of future builds once we have the forms and knowledge base. Families and organizations would be able to build their own canoe, among other options.
*For more information about making a tax deductible donation toward this project.