The CorvidEYE

Paddling to the party

Three canoes left Kake this morning, starting a week-long trip to Juneau for Celebration 2014. (Photo courtesy of Dawn Jackson)

Three canoes left Kake this morning, starting a week-long trip to Juneau for Celebration 2014. (Photo courtesy of Dawn Jackson)

Paddlers in the three canoes come from Kake, Wrangell, and Ketchikan. They'll meet up with canoes from around Southeast on the route  to Juneau. (Photo courtesy of Dawn Jackson)

Paddlers in the three canoes come from Kake, Wrangell, and Ketchikan. They’ll meet up with canoes from around Southeast on the route to Juneau. (Photo courtesy of Dawn Jackson)

Three canoes left Kake this morning (Thurs 6-5-14); a week from now, when they land in Juneau, their flotilla will be ten canoes strong.

On Thursday, nearly thirty people from Wrangell, Ketchikan, and Kake set off for a week-long paddle to Celebration 2014. The trek, organized by the One People Canoe Society, will culminate in a landing ceremony on Wednesday, June 11. The paddlers, , accompanied by the Sitka-based F/V Grace, will pick up other canoes as they travel through Southeast. On Friday, they plan to be in  Angoon, where they will be joined by two local canoes, as well as one from Sitka. Other canoes will join from Hoonah, Yakutat, and Haines.

Volunteers from the One People Canoe Society have traveled throughout Southeast this spring, teaching paddle-making workshops. In all, volunteers have made 245 paddles since mid-February, said coordinator Alicia Chilton, who is skippering the Wrangell canoe. Those paddles are being used on the trip.

So what prompts people to pick up a paddle? It’s about “getting out on the water, adventure, singing songs,” Chilton said. “Getting back to their roots — or maybe finding them.”

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