The public is invted to the Edmonds Waterfront Center on Sunday, Aug. 1 to help welcome the arrival of the Blue Heron Canoe Family, celebrating the Native American canoeing tradition.
The event, which runs from 2-5 p.m. Aug. 1, will include the sharing of prayer, ceremony, story, song and dance with the Blue Heron Canoe Family. On Monday, Aug. 2, the ceremonial launch of the Blue Heron Canoe begins at 9 a.m. through the sending of prayers and songs at the Edmonds Waterfront Center beach — marking the beginning of a two-week paddle journey to the San Juan Islands.
This event is open and free to the public and is hosted in partnership and collaboration with the Edmonds Waterfront Center, the Snohomish County Department of Parks and Recreation, the Edmonds Diversity Commission and the City of Edmonds.
Accordignng to a Blue Heron Canoe Family announcement, as the primary means of travel between coastal communities throughout the Puget Sound, the living canoes have held a vital place for the Coast Salish people as vehicles of welcome and conflict, fishing and trade, and a deep-rooted cultural tradition passed down throughout generations. Through this paddle journey, “we honor our ancestors through the continued teaching of this vital ancestral knowledge and canoe culture for our Indigenous youth and families who are learning and reclaiming a culture once forcibly removed through assimilation and cultural genocide,” the announcement said.