“I want to leave you with a few pieces of wisdom learned from Tribal Journeys. This is an excerpt from 10 Rules of the Canoe, developed by the Quileute Canoe Contingent in 1990. These insights are essentially rules to live by while in the canoe, but in their simplicity and truth they are good points to remember in everyday life.
1. Every stroke we take is one less we have to make. Keep going!
2. There is to be no abuse of self or others. Respect and trust cannot exist in anger. It has to be thrown overboard, so the sea can cleanse it.
3. Be flexible. The adaptable animal survives.
The Port Gamble S’Klallam canoe
Noo Kayet nears Neah Bay
during the 2010 Paddle to Makah.
Tad Sooter / 2010
4. The gift of each enriches us all. Every story is important. The bow, the stern, the skipper, the power puller in the middle—everyone is part of the movement.
5. We all pull and support each other. Nothing occurs in isolation.
6. A hungry person has no charity. Always nourish yourself. The bitter person, thinking that sacrifice means self-destruction, shares mostly anger.
7. Experiences are not enhanced through criticism. Who we are, how we are, what we do, why we continue flourish with tolerance.
8. The journey is what we enjoy. Being part of the journey requires great preparation; being done with a journey requires great awareness; being on the journey, we are much more than ourselves.
9. A good teacher allows the students to learn. We can berate each other, try to force each other to understand, or we can allow each paddler to gain awareness through the ongoing journey.
10. When given any choice at all, be a worker bee—make honey!”
“’To celebrate what it means to be who we are’ | Canoe Journey,” by Jeremy Sullivan, North Kitsap Herald [Kitsap County, Washington] July 12, 2011.http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/kitsap/nkh/opinion/125428448.html.