Support Us Button Widget

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe hosts Canoe Journey for first time in 17 years

The event will bring 120-130 canoes onto the Alki shore


Some canoe families will be traveling more than a hundred miles as they travel from all parts of the Pacific Northwest.

Photo by Kenneth John Gill

Table of Contents

Alki will see some big action this weekend as more than 100 canoes land on the beach for the first Inter-Tribal Canoe Journey since 2019.

The annual festival — titled this year Paddle to Muckleshoot — is organized by Indigenous tribes from across the Puget Sound, as far north as Canada and as far south as Oregon. There have also been occasional appearances from Hawaiian and New Zealand tribes.

Each year, canoe families — a term referring to the canoe’s crew — from the participating tribes paddle from their respective home waters to whichever tribe is hosting the festival. These journeys can sometimes be 100+ miles.


The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe’s canoe family arrives at Alki.

Photo via Seattle Municipal Archives

Canoe families make regular pit stops on their way to the final festival location. At each of the stops, they will request to come ashore one by one as was done centuries ago.

This year’s journey started on Sunday, July 23 and will end on Sunday, July 30 before six more days of celebration — based off a tradition known as potlatch — commences.

A little history

The annual tradition was started back in 1989 with “Paddle to Seattle” as a way to fortify traditions that had been previously repressed, and bring the tribal communities together for celebrations.

This the first year the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe is hosting the festival since 2006.

Paddle to Muckleshoot

This year’s festival is expected to be especially big since everyone’s been a bit excited for the first post-pandemic return.

The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe is expecting 60 different canoe families with more than 120 boats and ~8,000-10,000 people in attendance at the festival.

Each of the potlaches and the final celebrations are open to the public.

More from SEAtoday
Some of Seattle’s go-to places for frozen treats are participating in the statewide tour of locally owned shops serving gelato, frozen custard, yogurt, ice cream, and soft serve.
We’re introducing the brains behind SEAtoday’s newsletter, articles, and social media.
To celebrate Hoa Mai Park’s opening, Seattle Parks and Recreation will be hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony with music, food, children’s activities, and a Lion dance performance by Mak Fai Kung Fu on Saturday, July 27.
The Emerald City is well represented on the world stage at the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics — here are some Seattleites to watch.
This monthly underground film festival aims to connect artists with an audience in a way that doesn’t break the bank + fosters community.
Bumbershoot Gives Back hopes to tackle food insecurity in Western Washington by giving away 2,000 free tickets encouraging to locals who volunteer with local food banks.
Thirsty? We’ve rounded up a few local drink deals and imagined how we would sip our way through our perfect local beverage day in Seattle.
Focused on fostering a collaborative environment, Bloomberg Green Festival brings climate innovators, policymakers, artists, and more to Seattle Center for five days of interactive learning experiences.
From Bellevue to Bainbridge, we’re giving you all the pertinent details about some of the districts in and around Seattle.
The Graham Street Light Rail Station Project would create a new stop between stations along the 1 Line’s current track.