Canoe Journey In Traditional Lands & Waters of Coast Salish Peoples

Friends is honored to sponsor a special inter-island tribal canoe journey, “Esqaplh etse Kwelengsen (Gathering of Eagles) Canoe Encampment. All are welcome at this grassroots journey following the ancestral highways of the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) people, beginning May 22 and running through May 27 in the Lhaq’temish homelands of Lopez, San Juan, Orcas and Waldron Islands. The Motto is: Moving forward in hope, healing, honor, happiness, and hospitality.

A dozen indigenous canoe families from the Salish Sea, Portland, Seattle, and Maui are expected to celebrate with islanders at each stopover to share songs and dances in the hope of inspiring the next generation of community building & organizing. This is not a tribally sanctioned event: it is coordinated by community leaders and organizers. All are welcome to attend the stopover events on the islands listed below:


  • May 22-23 Lopez Island, Odlin County Park
  • May 23-25 San Juan Island, arrival near Shipyard Cove, camping at Fairgrounds
  • May 25-27 Orcas Island, Camp Orkila
  • May 27 Lummi Nation weekend potlatch

The journey will complete on May 28 with a Special Honoring of Se Sealth (Jewell Praying Wolf James) with his friends and family, beginning at 12:00 pm at:

Wex li em Community Center
2100 Lummi View Drive
Bellingham, WA, 98226

Want to volunteer?

Event Contacts:

More information can be found at:

  • Facebook Organizing Group,

Want to Donate?

Housing for elders, support boats, and funding for camp rental and meals are all needed.

Donations can be made to Friends of the San Juans, [email protected], (360) 378-2319

Friends of the San Juans respectfully honors the fact that this beautiful place we strive to protect and restore with our mission-centered work is comprised of the ancestral lands, waters, and natural resources of the Coast Salish peoples. These Tribes have cared for and stewarded the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea since time immemorial—and continue to do so—and we honor their inherent, aboriginal, and treaty rights that have been passed down from generation to generation.

It means so much to me to have helped protect the rural environment and natural beauty of the San Juan Islands during the 1980s and 90s. Now I get to share my appreciation of these beautiful islands with my grandchildren, too.

Nancy DeVaux

former Executive Director and member, San Juan Island