Thursday, September 07, 2006

Northwest American Indian Tribe Plans Canoe Journey

In August of 2007, the Northwest American Indian Tsimshian Tribe of Metlakatla in Alaska will participate in Tsimshians at Sea, a celebration of their historic trade routes. Haida, Tsimshian and other Northwest American Indian Native carvers and artists are planning to build 14 traditional canoes to travel to the ice edge of the Arctic Circle where they traded with the Makah Tribe. Their travels will also extend along the California Coast to seek the abalone shells used in Northwest American Indian Tsimshian regalia, headdresses and Tsimshian button blankets. The carvers and artists hope their efforts will revive the art of canoe building among Northwest American Indian tribal members. "There's all kinds of sentiment involved," explains Jeff Smith, a Makah tribal member. "The real meaning of the canoe journey is at getting healthy — physical is only a part of it — but it will be recorded, documented, filmed, photographed and placed on CDs."

See Northwest American Indian Art at Free Spirit Gallery.

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