Tuesday, September 27, 2016

2016 National Park Service Centennial at English Camp

This year's National Park Service Founder's Day on San Juan Island was an opportunity not only to celebrate the service's first hundred years but also to bring together Saanich, Lummi, and other Coast Salish tribespeople in a historic gathering. The event was held on a sweltering August 25, 2016, at English Camp, part of the San Juan Island National Historical Park. I was lucky enough to cover it for the San Juan Islands Journal.

Speakers included Park Superintendent Elexis Fredy and Washington State Senator Kevin Ranker, along with an array of tribal elders. Highlights included the dedication of a Reef Net Captain Totem Pole by carver Charles Elliott of the T'sartlip Nation and two accompanying Salmon Story Boards by Jewell Praying Wolf James -- all now permanently installed at the camp -- plus two canoes newly built by Dean Washington of the Lummi Nation. There were also three birthday cakes from the park service!

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