Emmett Oliver & Granddaughters
“As the spirits of the past and those of the present ascend from the sky, we join and become one.”
Spirit canoes in the clouds are of the past, present and those of the future. As the Salish canoe drifts down through the mist, it represents the essence of our traditional canoe heritage.
The “new” canoe reminds us of our commitment to succeed in our Journeys. Our determination to pursue new and creative ideas is founded in tradition.
To ensure that our canoes are and always will be the best we can offer. Share your knowledge with others as they did in the past.
The Raven canoe above them represents our kinship with our neighbors from the north.
Canoe Journey has no boundaries.
The village flames near the beach reminds us that our traditional Native values are burning bright. Keep stoking the fire and never let it burn out. Share and pass on your traditions for future generations to enjoy. The petroglyphs in the sky are symbolic of the Squaxin people. It belongs to them for others to appreciate and admire. It looks upon us as one. We are of one family. A canoe family.
Mt. Rainier behind our Salish “village of the past” represents our majestic world. Take care of it. The raven among the clouds is our messenger. He carries our stories and our songs around the world for all to hear.
A Salish welcome figure near the beach invites his guests to their village with pride and open arms. Respect your welcome.
Emmett’s canoe, the Willapa Spirit, views upon the 102 invited canoes with pride and respect. Etched in the surrounding waters of the Northwest, his spirited vision, once only a delightful dream, is now fulfilled.
In honor of my father,
Marvin Oliver, August 2, 2012
MARVIN OLIVER is Professor of Art,University of Washington. His sister, MARYLIN OLIVER BARD,and daughter and niece, pulled in the family canoe for this long Journey.