showcases significance of canoe journey in coastal culture, healing
the years, canoe journeys have become an integral part of many
coastal tribes' way of life and tradition. But it was not always
like that. For more than a century, cultural practices, language
and spiritual expression were suffocated in Native American culture.
Way," a new documentary by Puyallup tribal member Robert Satiacum
and filmmaker Mark Celletti, showcases the significance of the cultural
revival in Northwest Indian culture, and the growing tradition of
annual canoe journeys throughout the Puget Sound and beyond.
Way' takes you full circle," Satiacum said. "It gently guides you
through the meaning and the purpose of the canoe way, and that it's
really about healing."
interviews, the film covers the background of the canoe journeys,
starting with the first modern-day canoe journey the Paddle
To Seattle in 1989. The film includes footage from the 2007 Journey
to Lummi and the 2008 Journey to Cowichan.
talked to the people down in the southern Puget Sound where the
traditions are still really deep. We got the heavy hitters
ones from the beginning of the journey, the middle and the ones
who are keeping it going today," Satiacum remarked.
DVD includes an additional hour of bonus interviews with Harold
Belmont, Marilyn Wandrey, Chief Frank Nelson, Squaxin Island Canoe
Family and Philip H. Red Eagle.
Way" was completed in July 2009, and the film was showcased Nov.
10 at the 34th annual American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.
A special screening and discussion of "Canoe Way" will be held at
the Tahoma Unitarian Universalist Congregation April 2.
said he hopes the film will help create an awareness of how far
tribal nations have come in reclaiming their cultural rights and
regaining traditions. "The canoe journeys have woken up the culture,"
he said. "We are in this generation of healing and we thought 'we've
got to capture this somehow."'
using the technology we have today to record it, to help preserve
these traditions and cultural practices for our children and our
Throughout "Canoe Way" viewers get an understanding of the positive
impact and spiritual healing the journeys have on individuals and
entire tribes. First-hand accounts of canoers' personal experiences,
and the impact of the cultural revival on youth and in turn, future
generations, becomes apparent as you see the commitment of the canoers
to leading healthy, focused lifestyles.
started with a handful of canoes back in 1989," Satiacum said. "Now
it's almost out of hand."
the most recent canoe journey to Suquamish in 2009, more than 100
canoes, 1,000 pullers and thousands of spectators participated in
the cultural event, and those numbers continue to grow.
doing good things out here, and we wanted to show that," Satiacum
said of the Pacific Northwest Indian tribes. "It's a phenomenon,
this canoe journey way, and the bottom line is about healing."
more information about "Canoe Way," visit http://www.canoeway.com
free screening of Canoe Way as part of the First Friday Film Forum
will be held at 6:30 p.m., April 2 at Tahoma Unitarian Universalist
Congregation, 1115 S. 56th St.