Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tradition - Please Don't Let It Become A Lost Art

Each year a Pacific Northwest tribe will host a week long event rich in tradition. Tribes from up and down the coast arrive by canoe - hence the name - Canoe Journey.  This year's event is hosted by the Quinault tribe.

Today, I watched as the Samish Indian Nation, welcomed the Lummi Nation.  I was fascinated by the whole ceremony. The canoes were greeted by members of the Samish tribe with drumming and a welcome speech. Canoes approached the beach going through a series of rituals.

As an outsider I didn't understand it, yet I found myself overwhelmed with emotion.

Then it hit me. Tradition, for most of us, was becoming a lost art. So many of us nowadays have forgotten long ago traditions and no longer pass them on. Our children have no real sense of history. Yet here was a group of people steeped in tradition, passing it on to the young people in their communities. Giving the young people a sense of pride enriched by these traditions.