By 3:30 PM July 23, 2013 the Canoe Journeys had come to Pachena Bay. The paddlers were waiting to be directed in to the bay, and the food preparations were well under way.
We paddled out on a nice, warm and breezy day to welcome the paddlers to our shores.
The canoes were waiting for us and we paddled past the last canoe and turned around to guide them in.
We pulled in and joined the spectators lined along the beach as the Canoe Journeys followed the protocol of being welcomed to each village that they journeyed past.
Theresa and Jane Peters invited the visitors to land on Huu-ay-aht traditional territory. The children of Paawats sang their dinner song as the canoes pulled in to shore.
Dinner was served to the hungry paddlers. HFN Chief Councillor Jeff Cook, Wally Watts, and representation from the Ahousaht hosts spoke of the focus on healing, and sobriety, and family involvement that comes from these Canoe Journeys. The Canoe Journey encompasses far more that just paddling canoes from place to place. There is daily teaching of life lessons in honour, teamwork, humility and responsibility.
Thank you to James Swan and the members of the Canoe Journeys for their contributions to the family of Andy Thomas in their time of grief and hardship. Those who have little and give much should be recognized.
Thanks also to Lisa Watts, Cheryl Thomas, Dennis and Greg Thomas, Maggie Peters, and also Harry Williams for the loan of his barbeque. All of our volunteers worked very hard to make sure we stood up as excellent hosts.