- The Schedule:
- ~ July 15 - (Day 1) - Pack
- ~ First installment and Welcome from Kerry Mahlman (member of the support staff on the journey)
- ~ Friends,
We are the" Yankadena", the People of the Earth. We answer the invitation
from Chief Robert Sam of the Songhees Nation and Chief Andy Thomas of the
Esquimalt Nation to share in "In the Spirit of Our Ancestors", a journey to
launch us into the new Millennium. We will join our brothers and sisters
of the ocean going canoes in Campbell River July 17, and we will paddle the
"Yankadena" proudly down Vancouver Island, stopping in towns and cities and
villages along the way (Nanaimo on July 21) to the celebration in Victoria
July 26 to July 30 in order to share in cultural exchange.
We are youth. We are those who are older, lending support.
We come together through the School District No. 46 (Sunshine Coast)
Aboriginal Support Program and the Sunshine Coast Aboriginal Friendship
Centre "House of Songs". We welcome those who come with us from Vancouver:
AWAY , the Vancouver Friendship Centre Youth Drop-In Program, and the
Native Education Centre. We thank our families and our elders. We thank
our brothers and sisters in the RCMP. We thank all those who have
contributed to our journey.
- ~ July 16 - (Day 2) - Leave for Campbell River
- ~ a report by phone from Dan Lindsay (the skipper), Sunday evening:
~ Everyone made it on time to leave the Coast this morning and have arrived in Campbell River where they will spend two days. Canoes from Washington and many other nations are all gathering. The Vancouver team will be arriving tomorrow, Monday. The crew will be attending a gathering at the Long House tonight where they will be greeting others who will be paddling on this journey. Dan says the Yanka Dene is nestled happily between two traditional dug-out canoes for the night. Tomorrow they may be paddling to Browns Bay to greet the others and generally hang-out in preparation for the week to come.
- ~ July 17 - (Day 3) - Join Tribal Journeys - Campbell River
- ~ was a day of meeting and greeting others on the journey.
The Squamish Nations canoe was damaged today, so was unsure if it would continue. The Yanka Dene and crew however, made their trip to Browns Bay encountering a bit of a tough pull through some strong currents but returned in good spirits awaiting the big one tomorrow.
- ~ July 18 - (Day 4) - Comox
- ~ a report by phone from Dan Lindsay: late Tuesday night:
~ Our crew left Campbell River at 7:20 a.m. to experience another very rough day on the water. They spent all day on the water with a flotilla of other canoes and support vessels. They did rotate some of the crew during the day.
~ Two of the Yanka Dene crew were honoured by being selected to join Frank Nelson, the main organizer of the 'Tribal Journey' in his traditional dugout, 'Sea Wolf'. Sean Lindsay and Jermaine, a member from the Vancouver group spent the day pulling in Frank's canoe.
~ by the end of the day, all the paddlers were exhausted from the heavy currents and many canoes ended up getting towed in to their next destination.
~ our crew on the Yanka Dene however, were determined to persevere and make it to shore on their own ... they almost made it ... and ended up pulling into a small bay just a bend away.
~ they spent the night there.
~ when Dan called, the kids were all singing traditional First Nations songs in the background, and he said everyone was exhausted but in great spirits, he sounded very proud as he commented that they all did exceptionally well.
~ they'll be off early tomorrow morning to catch up with the others!
- ~ July 19 - (Day 5) - Qualicum
- ~ a report by phone from Dan tonight:
~ all the canoes arrived in Qualicum after a good days journey. After yesterday, the waters were much more cooperative. Everyone rotated throughout the day, all taking their turns, there are some paddles however pulling for some exceptionally long shifts at their own request.
~ Sean and Jermaine have rejoined the crew after paddling with Frank Nelson yesterday and being honoured in a 'raising of hands' in the Long House last night in Comox.
~ the Qualicum Band are holding an outdoor feast with singing and dancing at their camp grounds for all the pullers tonight. Everyone is doing well.
~ Dan expresses gratitude to Kerry Mahlman for the exceptional job she is doing on this journey, mentioning she took it upon herself to purchase a large blue tarp that has become their homing device on the shore when the canoes arrive so all the 'Yanka Dene crew can 'find home'.
~ Brenda has also passed the message along for Dan to ask the kids to phone home if possible. Debbie August has been calling about Clinton, Mrs. Jack for Trevor, Wendy for Jobe and Martin about his son Joseph to name a few. He assures that all are in fine spirits even if the muscles are a little soar.
~ Brenda would also like to pass on her apologies for giving out the wrong web address originally and has made every effort to correct her error --
~ Tomorrow morning it's off to Nanoose Bay - get lots of sleep everyone!
- ~ July 20 - (Day 6) - Nanoose
- ~ report from Dan by phone tonight, a little earlier than usual (Dan, get some rest! go to bed early!)
~ another very good day on the water, lots of sun, and a little tender skin in spots
~ arrived in Nanoose Bay tonight to another big feast and dancing hosted by the local band members. The Squamish Nations canoe is back on line with Bobby Baker. Dan says the journey is gaining momentum with more people and canoes joining every day.
~ There are 10 canoes with 6 support vessels including 1 very large seiner and additional zodiacs. There are a minimum of 250 pullers, support workers and staff currently on the journey.
~ Everyone is continuing to rotate in pulling (except Dan as skipper who thrives on the support of the crew). He has passed the message to the pullers to 'phone home' but with their heavy and crazy daily schedule it makes it difficult. He wants the reassure that everyone is sound and safe and participating with fun, a few aches, and enthusiasm.
~ They're all looking forward to Nanaimo tomorrow as a key marker in their journey.
~ They kids all say 'hello' and will be up early again in the morn. (- don't forget the sun screen!)
- ~ July 21 - (Day 7) - Nanaimo
- ~ Hi Folks! Dan called tonight while Brenda was still at work and left a brief message on the machine ...
- ~ They've arrived in Nanaimo after yet another good day and everyone is doing fine. The weather may be changing so we all wish them well.
- ~ I'll put up the next message as soon as I hear. Tomorrow is a big dance at the Roberts Creek Hall, so the Saturday night message may be delayed until Sunday morning. (..Linda)
- ~ July 22 - (Day 8) - Kuleet Bay
- ~ Good morning, last night's message from Dan by phone:
~ We're in Chemainus tonight, after the hardest pull we've had yet, the weather did change and there were some good size swells causing a none-to-pleasant journey. Everyone is quite exhausted. We were greeted with another amazing feast and gathering late this afternoon but we're all heading to bed early to give the mind, body and soul a well deserved rest. The whole crew is hanging in there and still up to the challenge.
~ this is the big 'hump' day of the journey - we're half way there and everyone is starting to feel the rigors of sharing and working together. This is the path we have chosen to follow and will freely celebrate at our destination.
~ Carol Passmore arrived today and has been a wonderful support to myself and Kerry who has been doing a lot of the running around, hauling gear, and keeping the whole thing together. Welcome Carol.
~ Tomorrow it's off in the morning, the clouds seem to be lifting and we're looking for clear waters ahead.
- ~ July 23 - (Day 9) - Cowichan Bay
- ~ another brief call from Dan last night, the reception kept breaking up so I hope we have things clear ....
~ spending the night near Cowichan Bay after another very hard day on the water. The winds were strong causing some good size swells. At one point in the day the Yanka Dene had only 6 pullers in it when they spotted a companion crew had overturned in the surf. (We're not sure of the name of the canoe, it was not a Northern Dancer but smaller.) Our crew went to her rescue and helped pulled the crew into the 'Yanka Dene'. The support vessel then aided in the task of getting everyone into shore.
~ everyone is still doing fine and headed for another early night. Our prayers are with them and may the 'Spirit of our Ancestors', the Creator, the Mother our Earth, our Grandmothers and Grandfathers watch over them.
~ Brenda sends a personal message: 'Each evening at 10:00pm she will smudge and pray for the Yanka Dene, her crew, and all the pullers and support personnel. She asks anyone following the journey and wanting to show their support, join her in their own way, from wherever they may be, in sending strength and good thoughts to all our Brothers and Sisters of the Journey.'
- ~ July 24 - (Day 10) - Pauquachin
- ~ call from Dan tonight as well as from Kerry Mahlman and Carol Passmore.
~ it is truly amazing how the metaphor of 'clear waters' apply to everything in our lives
~ a wonderful day! the sea is calm, everyone is again pulling in the same canoe
~ Dan said a full crew was out today with the usual rotation of pullers giving everyone time on the water, then after about 4 or 5 hours a total water fight broke out amoung all the canoes with everyone having a wild and wet fun time. (A perfect way to let off steam, ssss) It was a shorter day and they arrived in Saanichton tonight to a great feast, songs and a dry camp. He would like to continue to send assurance that everyone is safe and sound.
~ Kerry sounded in wonderful spirits but deservedly tired. She says by the time they get up in the morning (very early), eat, prepare themselves and canoes for the day, get the crew in the water, tear down camp, pack gear into support vehicles, make stops for rotation of crews, feed everyone, get back in the canoes, pack up the vehicles again, find and set up camp for the night, (making two trips each time to carry all the gear) prepare for the evening feast, complete with all the other 'little things' that come up during the day, they are all putting in at least 18 hour days. (Not for the weak of heart!) The dynamics of a journey of this kind can be a challenge, sometimes scarey, rather exciting, a whole lot of fun, and always changing.
~ Carol says she is amazed at the amount of time involved and how exhausting an undertaking like this is and she's only been assisting for the week-end!
~ Brenda would like to request from this end that anyone making plans to join the crew at any point to please try and make their own arrangements as the support people on the journey have absolutely no extra time in their day.
~ There has been one major change in plans and that is the Yanka Dene and her crew plan to return on Monday, July 31st, not August 1st as per the schedule. They will be arriving at 4:30 pm, at the Government Dock in Lower Gibsons and we are looking forward to having a large crowd of family, friends and anyone interested in celebrating the coming home of the crew of 'Tribal Journeys 2000'.
- ~ July 25 - (Day 11) - Tsawout
- ~ the eleventh day of 'Tribal Journeys 2000' In The Spirit of Our Ancestors ~ yes, they've all made it this far -- not a small feat!!
~ tonight's phone call from Dan, although brief, fills in some important information.
~ back to a long and grueling day on the water, as the weather changes, so do the waters, the pullers and the vibrations. The regular rotation of crew continued today and everyone arrived at Tsawout in good form to a ceremonial greeting complete with more good food and celebrations.
~ at this point Dan is assured that the whole crew will successfully complete this journey. He says tomorrow will be another long and hard day, but they are so close, the anticipation is driving them.
~ everyone is truly looking forward to their arrival in Songhees,
~ Dan has given us the schedule for Thursday in Victoria.
3:30 P.M. ~ Tribal Journeys is preparing to do the 'Grand Entry' into the Inner Harbour in Victoria
~ Chief Alex Sam will be the keynote speaker for the entry
6:30 ~ Coast Salish Traditional Welcome concludes
6:45 ~ Tribal Journeys entourage lines up on Bellview Street
7:15 ~ B.C. Summer Games Opening Ceremonies
8:30 ~ The 'Torch' enters via traditional canoes
Let the Games Begin .....
- ~ July 26 -(Day 12) - Songhees
- They made it! every single one of the Yanka Dene crew and support staff
~ in Dan's phone call tonight, he was so proud of all our kids from the Sunshine Coast, pulling together to complete this very special journey
~ it was an exceptionally difficult day on the water today - long, rainy, cold with large swells, and everyone totally exhausted, even with the rotations the conditions warranted the assistance of the support vessels near the very end.
~ they've arrived and have camped in Esquimalt, feasted and celebrated with all the pullers completing the final day of the 'Tribal Journey 2000' - In the Spirit of Our Ancestors' and now are going to bed early to be ready for the 'big day tomorrow'.
~ the Vision Quest canoes have now joined the journey and there is a minimum of 25 canoes all preparing for the inner harbour 'Grand Entry' tomorrow and the presenting of the Torch for the opening of the Summer Games. Dan says the kids are hyped and all very excited about tomorrow!
~ a very special thanks goes out to our support staff of Dan Lindsay, Kerry Mahlman, Carol Passmore and Larry Nooski for the amount of work, time and dedication they have contributed to make this journey a success.
Kerry commented there has been mud to wade through on this journey with specs of gold springing up and many golden moments. The kids have been fantastic.
Larry told Brenda ... 'what an experience, it's something I'll remember for the rest of my life', I wouldn't have missed it for anything ... the kids have been awesome.'
~ We would like to recognize the support staff of all the crews who have been in there making this all possible, the following is an email received today ...
- I hold up my hands to the people making the Tribal Journeys 2000 canoe trip
possible. It is good to see things happen in the Spirit of our Ancestors
- I know my daughter, Dawn Morrison, went on the Canoe trip to work as Road
Crew or Support for the youth. My request is that the names of the Road
Crew be put on the internet if possible. Thank you. It would be greatly
appreciated by our family.
- All the best. I hope to be able to make it to Victoria today for the
Arrival of the Tribal Journeys 2000.
- - All My Relations!
Bernice Heather, Secwepemc B.Ed.
- ~ More Greetings ... from Bobby Baker of the Squamish Nation who says 'Hello' and thinks our kids are the greatest! He says it's been just and amazing journey.
~ I'm afraid I don't have access to the names of the pullers or the support staff of the Vancouver canoe or any of the other crews, I would be happy to list them if someone out there can provide this information.
~ the crew expect to remain in the same campsite in Esquimalt over the week-end as they participate in the events and cultural exchange. If you can't make it to Victoria tomorrow, remember our greeting on July 31st when the 'Yanka Dene' and her crew arrive home, 4:30 at the Government Dock in Gibsons.
~ Congratulations to all!! Enjoy your well-deserved day of recognition tomorrow and we'll be looking forward to tomorrow night's installment
- ~ July 27 - (Day 13) - Victoria Inner Harbour
- ~ What an awesome bunch of kids ... what an amazing day ... I couldn't be more proud ...
~ trying to get information from Dan tonight on the phone was difficult in a very good way ... he just couldn't stop talking about how great the kids all were!
~ it was cloudy but very little rain in Victoria, about 30 - 40 canoes all pulled into the harbour for the Grand Entry making a truly magnificent sight!
~ Dan said there was a h-u-g-e traditional dug-out from Sooke seating 22 paddlers that was part of the entourage entering the harbour.
~ the Summer Games athletes were all there to greet and give their praises remarking that the pullers in the canoes were the REAL athletes having paddled for up to two weeks just to get to the games
~ any parents that could make the trip were there to share the special celebrations and feel the pride, as we all do, of the Yanka Dene and her crew, many praises and well wishes have also been sent through Brenda from those who are unable to attend the gathering in Victoria.
~ Brenda also mentioned the 'feast' tonight seemed to be taking place in the local 'McDonalds' where she could hear great sounds of laughter in the background.
~ tomorrow is the first day of the cultural exchange with the many other young athletes gathered together for this very unique experience
~ in Dan's words ... "our kids are awesome!"
- ~ July 28 - (Day 14) - Victoria
- ~ message from Dan tonight via cell phone in a moving vehicle with Carol Passmore driving, and the signal breaking up
~ it sounded like today was a day of coming down and relaxing with each other doing the tour of Victoria, the museum, the conservatory, and generally hanging out.
~ Kerry had to bring the big bus back to the coast today but will return to join the crew on the week end.
~ it was back to the Songhees tonight for real food again at a feast in the longhouse.
~ everyone is becoming more rested and still trying to absorb what they have just been through.
~ I would like to share with you two messages I have receive via email:
~ "I am a friend of Kerry Mahlman's, and I have been following your journey. I, too, have had life-changing memories from similar experiences and, therefore, am feeling with you the wonders of this trip. Reading about the challenges you've all been facing with rough weather and rougher water, I congratulate you, and I ache for you! :) I'm sure that your perspective on life has changed, grown, and that you could teach all of us many new things. I would like to send a special hello to Kerry. Take care, all.
Tami Williams, friend"
Thank you. It would be great to see the names of those who helped make this fabulous event possible. I went to Victoria to see the ceremonies with my granddaughter and her two friends. It was emotional because it made me feel proud and happy to know that my daughter was one of the ones
who was involved in making it all happen. I was proud to be First Nations. I liked to see the youth and elders involved. It was just awesome to see all the boats in the harbour. I was wishing that I had some water or food to give them when they arrived. I have taught always from a Traditional Perspective in Science, in Ways of Knowing, in Sociology and Native Studies... and I always taught the importance of bringing back our rituals and ceremonies. I can see how this event made the communities pull together, develop life skills and interpersonal skills in order to get the job done. It reminded me of the old days when everyone had a role to play and no one was left out. Topics of philosophy and values were brought out and communications were happening. I believe it helped to deal with challenges and limitations. Keep up the excellent work!
For All Our Relations!
- ~ Thank-you Tami and Bernice,
I'm sure everyone will benefit through the reflections of this amazing journey ~ I hope you have all taken the time to read "The Ten Teachings of the Canoe" and appreciate it's value.
- ~ tomorrow I will be off to Vancouver to perform in my own little cultural exchange so will be unable to update this page until Sunday night - have a very special week-end ... Linda
- ~ July 29 - 30 - (Day 12 and 13) - Victoria
- ~ message from Brenda tonight after two phone calls from Dan
~ everyone is still enjoying being 'tourists' in Victoria spending each evening in the Long House. It has been a challenging and eventful 2 weeks and now they are having a chance to unwind. Kerry has rejoined them and has sent along the following message ....
- "Hello Linda
- Finally, time and electricity. I am sorry I didn't get a chance to send regular notes along the way, we were rarely near electricity and a phone line for more than a few minutes.
- I need more than words to resonate what the journey has been and is now in its last few days. Phrases like "an ancient circle shining bright" or "a timeless belonging revealing itself" might help to bring out the meaning it has had and the mystery of the events and the encounters. However, there is a more accurate language in the sacred echo of the drum and haunting song. I wish I could convey that.
- ~ Please click here For Kerry's beautiful echo of a Journey ~
- I don't really know how to send it all to you. Perhaps more words will come in the next day or so. I know the group is now looking forward to returning home. The young people who arrive are not the same people who left. There have been so many things affecting their minds and hearts and bodies and spirits. They have been truly changed. There will be things they will be able to talk about; things they won't find the words for. There will be things they will cherish and things they will want to forget . . . as it is for all of those who have journeyed in a way such as this. I know the groups consists of amazing individuals and each in his or her own way has accomplished a hundred acts of courage. It has been an honour and a privilege to be a witness to it.
I know we couldn't have accomplished what we did without the interest and support of those who carried us in their hearts and prayers. There have been so many with us on our journey. Our thanks to all for things known and unknown.
I know this most of all: everything possible must be done to support and acknowledge both the accomplishments and the things that must yet be struggled through in order to find, preserve and recreate what is and what belongs to the First People.
We come in peace. We are tired, we have journeyed far and now we return. We have mourned and we have rejoiced. We have tried to journey in a good way. We ask permission to come ashore, to share, to reunite with those who love us.
We will see you on Monday evening at the Gibsons wharf.
~ July 31 - (Day 15) HOME - 4:30 Gov't Dock in Lower Gibsons
~ THEY'RE HOME!
~ I'm sure the waters and the canoe could feel the emotions filling the air at the dock in Gibsons as the young paddlers pulled in looking very strong and happy!
~ yes, a phone call directly from Dan tonight
~ he wanted to enforce the fact that it hasn't really 'sunk in' to the kids of the accomplishments they have made on this journey
.... such as running the Dodds Narrows in their canoe, (a feat many have been unable to achieve), a section where one of the Vision Quest canoes was totally spun around and spit back out from an undercurrent .... facing 6 and 7 foot swells, paddling for 14 hours straight (on the first day) and other 12 and 10 hour days. Kerry commented the distance they travelled was equal to the coast of England. They will be calculating the actual distance in the next few days.
- Dan says they will be taking a few days off to spend time with their families, clean up the gear, sort things out and start planning for next year!
- do you believe they already have next year's plan, paddling from Port Hardy ... Campbell River ... Cape Mudge ... Powell River .... Sechelt .... Squamish, ending in Ambleside and being hosted by the Squamish Nation
- I hope to add a gallery of photos in the next few days, with any stories or thoughts from the participants in this journey
- Welcome Home Everyone and may you all have a good night sleep in your very own bed!
- All My Relations -