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Kasaan | Canoe Landing

Today we awoke to drumming and singing on the dock as the first canoe arrived from Klawock. We watched the greeting but didn’t take photos, since it felt like we were a little late to the party.


Another canoe was paddling all the way from Ketchikan (a 30+ mile paddle). They left at 8am and were expected into Kasaan around 6:30pm.

Just as we were leaving to walk into town and back out the Whale House, another canoe arrived by trailer. We asked if they needed help launching it, and they accepted our offer. We helped bail rainwater, launch the canoe, and then helped paddle it over to the dock. This canoe (30 feet or so) was a bit more stable than the single canoe we tried out yesterday.

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Michael Chilton, relaxing after the launch:


Everyone is very excited about tomorrow’s celebration. Out at the beginning of the Totem Trail, two new plaques were installed to commemorate the original restoration and the second restoration, and to honor the carvers and contributors to the project.

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More boats arrived at the docks in the afternoon…Provider (a boat we knew from Meyers Chuck), a large sailboat (I don’t remember its name) from Sweden (they’d come from Japan, then Russia, then the Aleutian Islands, and now Kasaan!), and a few other boats from Ketchikan (with a few Haida from Haida Gwaii aboard).


We were out exploring in the dinghy when we caught a far off glimpse of the canoe and its pilot boat, so we headed back to the dock to be part of the greeting.

Long house and totem pole (original front house pole brought from Old Kasaan), taken from the dinghy:


Chief John, waiting with his regalia:


The canoe and its tired paddlers, from Ketchikan:

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They’re greeted by welcome songs by the Kasaan Haida, and welcomed to come ashore by the chief.

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More singing and celebrating their arrival. That’s Harley Bell-Holter in the center, apprentice carver on the project:


This is Freddy in the mask:


We’re excited for tomorrow’s celebration, and feeling so fortunate to be here for such an event.