Gathering of the Eagles

Friends is honored to be the fiscal sponsor for this extraordinary inter-island Tribal canoe journey, “Esqaplh etse Kwelengsen, Gathering of Eagles.” All are welcome at this grassroots journey organized by Sul ka dub Freddie Lane, following the ancestral highways of the Lhaq’temish, Lummi, people, beginning May 19th and running through May 23rd in the Lhaq’temish homelands of Lopez, San Juan, Orcas and Lummi Islands.

The Gathering of the Eagles is a spiritual journey of healing, hope, honor, happiness and hospitality that celebrates Intergenerational Cultural Heritage. Let’s all come together to share and care as neighbors of the Salish Sea!

The week-long canoe journey will paddle through the San Juan Islands with potlatch-style gatherings of food, arts, and cultural exchanges. The gatherings will host islanders, Tribes and First Nations from across North America, including the interfaith community of the Pacific Northwest along with special guests from South Africa, Australia, Egypt, Hopi and Navajo Nations. This is a canoe encampment for all of the participants on the paddle, nonetheless all of our friends at each stop are diligently planning for canoes arriving throughout each island and village.

Whether you can be there in the afternoon to greet and welcome the canoes ashore, to help out at dinner and bring a dish to share, or just to witness the cultural exchange and storytelling happen in the evening around the fire, we highly recommend it for every islander! What an honor and privilege we have to attend this gathering.  

How you can support Gathering of the Eagles: 

  • Donate $100 to help cover blankets and gifts. 
  • Bring a side dish to share at the potluck on May 20th at Jackson Beach, 5 pm.  
  • Volunteer by helping to set up dinner for canoe families on May 20th at Jackson Beach at 4 pm. Email [email protected] to sign up! 
  • Help spread the word! Share this blog and our social media posts on Facebook or Instagram


  • May 19, Lopez Island: 5 pm Dinner and Protocol @ Lopez Community Center 
  • May 20, San Juan Island:
    • 1 pm canoe landing @ Jackson Beach 
    • 5 pm Dinner @ Jackson Beach Pavilion, hosted by Friends of the San Juans
    • 6 pm Cultural Exchange 
    • 10 pm Storytelling by fireside 
  • May 21, San Juan Island, Ocean Festival @ Jackson Beach
  • May 22, Orcas Island 
    • 2 pm Canoe Landing, Olga Dock, Buck Bay 
    • 5 pm Dinner and Protocol @ Olga Community Center 
    • 9 pm Storytelling by fireside 
  • May 23, Orcas Island 
    • 10 am prayers the top of Mt. Constitution 
    • 8 pm Closing Prayer, Conclusion, and Clean-up 
Friends of the San Juans supports the Gathering of Eagles through fiscal sponsorship and helping grassroots organization efforts to feed and welcome the paddlers to our islands. Bringing our communities together and sharing cultural heritage strengthens relationships with Indigenous communities and is an intentional commitment to foster respect between communities that call the Salish Sea home. We recognized the shared responsibility to protect the natural world and that we can achieve great things together.   

The Friends of the San Juans are at the forefront in efforts to prevent oil spills from impacting the San Juans. They work to identify the threats and then work with the US Coast Guard, Ecology, and others to get the best oil spill planning and prevention efforts in place.

Debby Clausen and Kim Sundberg

members, San Juan Island