The Coeur d’Alene Tribe is taking a hiatus today from its canoe journey to Kettle Falls. Repairs are being done to the 35-foot dugout cedar canoe, which had some minor leaks, said Helo Hancock, the tribe’s legislative director.
The Coeur d’Alenes expect to be back on the water Friday. They’ll leave Lake Coeur d’Alene and paddle down the Spokane River to Post Falls. They’ll portage around the dams and join paddlers from the Spokane Tribe on the Lower Spokane River.
Meanwhile, members of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation were scheduled to start their journey to Kettle Falls today in canoes made by their tribe. The Colvilles will leave from Grand Coulee Dam. The tribes will meet June 17 in Kettle Falls for a solstice celebration and salmon ceremony.
The trip calls attention to the Upper Columbia tribes’ desire to restore salmon above Grand Coulee Dam, which has blocked fish passage since the 1930s.
“It’s been 80 to 100 years since the tribes have been out on the river together,” said D.R. Michel, executive director of the Upper Columbia United Tribes. “We’re waking up some of these past ceremonies and traditions, and continuing to work to bring those salmon back.”
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.