In the summer of 2016 the upper columbia tribes of Washington State held the first modern canoe journey to Kettle Falls, a historical fishing site on the Columbia River. Seven dugout canoes were carved for the event; Arrow Lakes, Kootenay, Inchelium, Kalispell, Nespelem, Spokane, and Cour d’ Alene canoe familes participated. Each canoe family started in different parts of the Columbia and Spokane rivers to meet in Kettle Falls on June 17th.
I jumped on board to help paddle with the Inchelium canoe. I paddled for six days, working hard every day to make it to decided locations. It was a brand new experience for many of the community members and I was very grateful to participate. This awakening of culture was present and real during the paddle, a connection of the people to their ancestral waterways.