Tribal canoes arrive at Seattle beach in annual celebration


SEATTLE (AP) — Dozens of tribal canoes were arriving at Alki Beach in Seattle as part of an annual Native American celebration.

Members of the Muckleshoot Tribe greeted the boats Wednesday afternoon as part of the 2016 Paddle to Nisqually.

“The tribal journey is, to me, it’s like coming together, in unity. And, for us, it’s like a healing process,” said 23-year-old Bonnie Fornsby of the Swinomish Tribe, which has four canoes in the celebration. “Everybody comes together and we all sing to make it and we’re very strong. We’re very strong.”

Last year was the first time since 1993 that there wasn’t a Puget Sound tribal journey, which attracts Native American peoples from as far as Alaska and Canada.

For the journeys, tribes throughout the Northwest gather a team of pullers. They leave their own shores in canoes and visit other tribal lands as they make their way to the host tribe’s land.

On Saturday, canoes were expected to arrive at the Port of Olympia landing, where they will be greeted by members of the Nisqually Tribe.

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