“Something that stood out for me was supporting that young lad after he had his tirade at the camp, and making amends, and patching things up, saying he was sorry.  Being in recovery myself I could relate to him feeling ashamed, but we were there not to put him down or to criticize him, but to support him.  To tell him a little bit about what we had been through, to uplift him, not to knock him down furtherer.  Because it’s a hard thing to be addicted to a substance and not know how to get out of it.  Its like a closed wall and you don’t know which way to go, sometimes it’s another addict or alchoholic that can help that person.”- Richard Vendiola



” Tribal Journeys are important for a variety of reasons. I would say one of the main reasons is to give people experiences that ground them later in life. A lot of times people don’t have the opportunity as they grow up to have the experiences that are foundational to cement positive parts of their personality and give them a real sense of self identity.  Tribal journeys help to give people the kind of experience that they can go back to to remind them of the identity that they developed.”-Liz

Qatuwas Paddle to Bella Bella 2014




“I don’t know which paddle it was we were going. We ran into Luna, she didn’t let us go. We waited with her for about two and a half hours then we were going into lunch.  She wouldn’t let us go.  My sister says, “We gotta go Luna, we gotta go in and eat!”  Started turnin to go into lunch, then the next thing our canoe was up! It was Luna carrying us. What a thrill.”-Julie Morris, Skipper of the Spirit of Luna Canoe, Mowachaht

Qatuwas Paddle to Bella Bella 2014

Skil Jaadee White


“I have a memory of the soft landing.  We were singing all together at the hosts. We had a jam sessions between the few different nations, we shared songs.”-Skil Jaadee White



“It took about a month to get here from Lummi, to Bella Bella. Most of the youth I work with don’t have families that grew up in this situation, so they don’t know the rules. I am one of those kids who grew up and had to find my way, ask questions and figure things out. Because I really wanted to know. Some of these kids don’t know how to ask, so when I see it I just tell them. This journey was not for me it was for others, it’s a teaching journey.”-Kyla, Lummi



“Tribal journeys  shows a comanality between all nations up and down the coast.  Coming from Haida Gwaii you don’t get to see the Seattle and Washington tribes as much, and to hear their songs, and see their dances and the similarities between all of them is really a beautiful thing to see.” Kiefer Collison, Haida Gwaii

Super Dave


“I was hoping to find myself again, ’cause I was lost after my wife died. I think I found what I was looking for. Not exactly finding myself but finding my culture again. It’s been an awesome journey.  I was in an intensive outpatient program when I heard about the tribal journey, and I was asked to come on it. Before that I was looking for something other than a twelve step program to help me stay sober, this is exactly what I was looking for. I won’t be able to forget any of it.  I know this journey won’t be my last one.”-Dave

Qatuwas Paddle to Bella Bella 2014

Bronsco Jim (BJ)


“It’s a revival and a preservation of our old cultures.  Sharing each others culture and understanding that we have the same troubles or challenges in our lives.  And that not getting in the way of preserving our culture, language, songs, and dances.  It’s still holding up.”-BJ

Jim Kirk

northwest native in red regalia

“Journey helps us, its a healing place, it helps us be in touch with our culture and ourselves. It makes us stronger”-Jim Kirk

Jake from Puyallup

jake from puyallup

“I came here to get reconnected with my native culture, since I missed out on it my whole life.  I was adopted when I was six years old and raised off the reservation. I came on this journey to reconnect with our ancestors on the waters that they traveled on a long long time ago. You get to see the trees, and as we travel along the water I can look up at the trees and I can feel the presence of our ancestors watching us going down the water.”-Jake