Tribal Canoe Journey: Suquamish Finally Gets Cedar for Canoe

The Kitsap Sun reported on the Suquamish-based Tana Stobs Canoe Family receiving an 800-year-old cedar tree from which a canoe will be carved. The group of tribal members from both the Suquamish and Port Gamble S’Klallam tribes expect it to be ready in time for this year’s Tribal Canoe Journey in July.

SUQUAMISH — Leaning over the center of a partially carved 32-foot-long western red cedar, master carver Ray Natraoro’s eyes moved down the grain of the old growth tree. Using a level, string and pencil, Natraoro focused on the center of the monstrous log, trying to determine where cuts should be made to continue its transformation from a 10-ton tree into a classic Salish-style tribal canoe.

The 800-year-old tree and Natraoro are from British Columbia. The tree came from the Elaho Valley, north of Vancouver, on territory owned by the Squamish Nation.

Natraoro was joined by Gary Gonzales and Simon Reece, two other Squamish members in Suquamish last week. They were in town to carve a dugout canoe for Tana Stobs, a canoe family in Suquamish that includes members of the Suquamish and Port Gamble S’Klallam tribes.