commission meetings

Gathering Eagles Canoe Journey 1st Annual Canoe & Ocean Festival

Last May we had the honor of hosting the 2nd Annual Gathering of Eagles Canoe Encampment with various indigenous canoe families on San Juan Island and we have this opportunity again this year.  Several indigenous canoes will arrive at Friday Harbor at approximately Noon Monday May 22nd  before heading to Jackson’s Beach. There will be a welcoming ceremony at Jackson’s Beach at 3pm. There will be a community potluck dinner for them at about 5:00, in which we hope you will participate.  Then starting around 6:00, there will be an evening program referred to as “Protocol”, which is open to everyone. You will want to bring your own chair.

As mentioned, dinner will be around 5:00, so if you are bringing a dish, you would want to start arriving by 4:30. 

On Tuesday May 23rd with Opening Ceremony  Circle at 1pm into the evening we announce the 1st Annual San Juan Island Canoe & Ocean Festival to honor our shared waterways and the spirit and teachings of canoes. An event that we hope to grow each year with a call out to canoe builders/cultural practitioners, master carvers, shipwrights, folks to contribute art, music, medicine and traditional knowledge skills along side participation from our wonderful local community organizations.

This year joining the Coast Salish canoe families we have Alchemy Art Center with T-shirt screen printing (bring a T-shirt!) Cold Water Immersion SJI and their mobile sauna, Wayfinder Wellness with a Healers Tent, a Wilderness First Responder “live demo” with Karl Kruger and SSV Oceanwatch. 

Canoe and Hawaiian Sailing canoe rides pending weather. If you are a musician or have another idea to share for inclusion please email Matt @

At 5pm Tuesday May 23 wrapping up Canoe Fest we will have a community potluck followed by campfire and Coastal Jam!

Sure to be a great day. Please bring your own chairs, blankets, drinks, and a dish to share.

Firewood donations appreciated as well as any camping pop up tables for event.

From Freddie Lane of the Lummi:  We are so honored to be hosting the 3rd Annual Esqalph etse Kwelengsen ‘Gathering of the Eagles,’ — a mini-canoe journey, potlatch and strategy session with the Alliance of Earth, Sky & Water Protectors, May 21-29, 2023. We conclude with a potlatch-style gathering of food, ceremony and strategy sessions uniting indigenous communities from throughout the world on the growing climate crisis. Last year, we hosted (over) three-canoes, 1,100 participants and 25-indigenous tribes and First Nations over 9-days throughout the islands and here at Lummi. Our plan is to continue with awareness campaigns and training opportunities, uniting grass root organizers in protecting Mother Earth. Our motto for 2023: “Celebrating Intergenerational Cultural Heritage.”

We hope you can join us! If you can help financially, you can donate through Friends of the San Juans at  Please be sure to specify that your money is to go to the Orcas part of the journey.  Donations through Friends are tax-deductible.