Tribal canoeists will camp in Mukilteo

The (Everett) Herald

Canoes traveling to the Lummi Indian Reservation on an annual tribal journey will stop at Mukilteo for the first time since the event began 18 years ago.

Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine invited the tribes to pull their canoes onto the beach at Lighthouse Park on July 26 and camp there overnight.

As many as 50 canoes are expected, Marine said.

The crowd could number 3,000 with people riding in the canoes and vans filled with supporting tribal members.

Up to 80 canoes will end the journey at the Lummi reservation on July 30, said Freddie Lane, director of Paddle to Lummi. They’ll come from as far north as Bella Coola, halfway up British Columbia’s coastline, and as far south as Oregon.

The canoes that land at Mukilteo will come from areas south.

“We know Mukilteo is a Native American camping ground, and we need to embrace that heritage and that culture,” Marine said. “Even though it’s not tribal land, this is ancestrally an important area.”

Mukilteo is an American Indian word that means “good camping ground,” Marine said.