UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Paddle to Seattle : a native Washington movement to "Bring them canoes back home" Lincoln, Leslie Jeanne


This thesis documents the 1989 Washington Centennial Commissions' Native Canoe Project. Seventeen Western Washington tribes participated in a canoe-oriented cultural heritage renewal movement. The ethnographic setting establishes Native dugouts in their historic social context and presents the classic hull forms of representative canoe types. After a hiatus of several generations of canoe use, many tribes began to reconstruct their disappearing canoeing ways. Through the process of carving and using their dugouts, they have addressed current issues. Canoe racing and voyaging has proven to be effective, culturally relevant alternative to drug and alcohol abuse. Native people reaffirmed access to landing beaches and forest resources and created community carving centers. Case studies of the Lummi, Suquamish, Tulalip, Port Gamble Klallam and Quileute tribes reveal continuity, schisms and the reinvention of Native dugout traditions. The culminating "Paddle to Seattle" voyage illuminates the vital role of these canoes to unite communities and legitimize Indian values. Abundant use of Native commentary from collected oral histories substantiate my interpretations and offer authority to Native perspectives. Ethnopoetic transcriptions express an understanding of these cedar canoes in the enduring Native thoughtworld.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.