Urban Public Waterfront Association - UPWA Logo
Join Donate
Canoe Story

Northwest Native American Heritage Experience Program

For many thousands of years, the canoes of the remote North Pacific Coast were the only means of transportation and trade. Carved from majestic stands of cedar timber, these rugged ocean-going vessels were of critical importance to the survival of the west coasts first sea-fairing inhabitants.

The First People living along the shores of the Salish Sea are perhaps the last living ties to a heritage spanning back thousands of generations to the beginning of mankind. This region is among the last places on earth to be influenced by modern European culture. Only a few generations have passed since the memories of ancient ways were dominant in the minds of the "Canoe People". Their living descendants continue to pass fundamental cultural influences from tribal elders to their sons and daughters.

The Canoe Culture represents a sustainable society that has endured through the millenniums--perhaps, longer than any society on earth. There is much to be learned about the history, philosophy and cultural values of this ancient society before it is lost.

90 Minutes That May Change Your Life.

UPWA is partnering with Haida canoe carver, Saaduuts (Robert Peele), to develop a unique heritage learning experience for those who wish to explore beyond the bounds of modern social ideology. Our goal is to provide a glimpse of early society and share the fundamental elements of honor, respect, fortitude and cooperation that are the founding principals of humanity.

UPWA supports this project for the following reasons:

1.) Coastal tribal heritage is an important foundational element of Northwest maritime history that is prevalent at almost all urban waterfronts of the region.

2.) Small vessel activities help people intimately connect with the sea in meaningful ways.

3.) Inspires collaboration between tribes and municipalities to establish meaningful public waterfront access sites.

4.) Canoe culture inspires free and open use of the waterways.

5.) Tribal canoe vessels are of sufficient size and length to warrant the development of waterfront access sites that also can accommodate other small vessels.

6.) Canoe culture inspires appreciation and conservation of the waterways.

7.) Large tribal canoes were the first working vessels of the Northwest. The efficient design allowed the transport of freight and passengers between villages throughout the region. We believe the canoe culture tradition embodies the purpose and spirit of the Urban Public Waterfront Association.

Visit Web Site for CanoeStory.com

Funding Revenue Source:

Ticket revenues, tribal sponsors, public and private donations, and grants.