Saturday, July 22, 2006

Pacific Coastal American Indian Students Bless New Canoe

Pacific coastal American Indian students from Wa He Lut Indian School recently joined community members to bless a new canoe. "Every time a new canoe is built, the canoe is blessed in a ceremony," said language teacher Misty Kalamad. "We taught them the canoe blessing and the teachings of the cedar tree." Wa He Lut serves about 100 Kindergarten to 8th grade Pacific coastal American Indian students. The school focuses on teaching Pacific coastal American Indian culture, and the curriculum includes customs and languages. "If the students get a sense of who they are, they can mix in the world," said assistant principal Brenda Lovin. "Students who live in the urban areas, away from reservations, don't always get that sense of who they are." The canoe will be used as part of Tribal Journeys, an intertribal tour of the Pacific coast and Puget Sound waters scheduled for July.

See Pacific Coastal American Indian Art at Free Spirit Gallery.

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