Set-up for Protocol
The protocol and dining tents were set up during the week prior to protocol beginning. It was amazing to witness as these tents filled the ball field in front of the Leaning Center. The protocol and dining tents are some of the largest structures ever used in support of the Tribal Canoe Journey. The protocol tent measured 115 feet wide by 270 feet in length, and the dining tent measured 84 feet wide and 264 feet in length. Together these tents covered a total of 1.2 acres of land. For comparison purposes, a NFL regulation football field is 160 feet wide and 360 feet in length, and covers 1.32 acres.
Canoe Landing Day
The Port of Olympia and City of Olympia were integral in the planning and coordination of this element of the event. The Port recruited a large host of staff and volunteers to assist with security and first aid, traffic control, parking, staging of canoes and support vehicles, Green Team activities, vendor support, etc. It is estimated over 250 staff and volunteers logged 300 hours or more of volunteer service on this single day of the event.
It is difficult to estimate the total population that visited the Canoe Landing site, but estimates indicate the number may have exceeded 10,000 visitors. The large bleachers installed at the Canoe Landing site had a seating capacity of over 2,000 people. These were full to capacity throughout the day and people congregated in many other areas along East Bay to view the landing of the canoes. Over 150 dignitaries attended the event, including Governor Christine Gregoire and many other Tribal, County and Port officials.
Transportation and shuttling of people was no simple feat during the event. On Saturday, 7/28 and Sunday, 7/29, Squaxin Island Transit and Mason Transit Authority together with the Shelton School District provided over 6,000 rides to residents, guests and visitors in support of Canoe Journey. Approximately 32 buses and shuttles were used to transport people to and from the Canoe Landing site.
During the week, 24-hour shuttles were used to transport people from the Little Creek Casino and Resort and event parking areas to the Protocol and Campground areas. Two routes were established with buses and shuttles arriving at designated shuttle stops every 15-20 minutes. During peak periods, the District used as a many as 5 buses. Together with additional shuttles and vans operated by Squaxin Island Transit and a private engineering firm, an average of 2,500 people were transported daily to the different event venues. The event buses, shuttles and vans provided well over 20,000 rides throughout the week.
In preparation of serving a large population, Klah-Che-Min was converted into a one-way roadway throughout the event.
Traffic control devices were installed on Friday, July 27th and remained in place until Sunday, August 5th. Much of the traffic control equipment and devices used was provided by local highway contractors at no cost to the Tribe for use the entire week.
This one-way conversion was done to control traffic, and provide for safe pedestrian travel in and around the Protocol/Dining and Merchant areas. The major intersection of concern was Klah-Che-Min and T’Peeksin where parking was limited and restricted. Event guests were encouraged to use the event buses and shuttles provided in lieu of driving.
Those who chose to drive to the event were encouraged to park along Old Olympic Highway or in designated event parking areas. Several large parking areas were constructed in advance of the event to accommodate daily guests to the event. A team of volunteers from various organizations kept watch until 10:00 pm each night over these areas. These dedicated volunteers provided event information to guests upon arrival, and security for the unattended vehicles. From these areas, guest could board a bus or shuttle to the Protocol Area.
Golf Cart Fleet
The cart fleet started with about a dozen mixed 2, 4 and 6 person carts both gas and electric as well as a few utility carts. After the first day we expanded the fleet to 24 with rentals and generous loans from Salish Cliffs Golf Course.
The primary purpose of the cart service was to assist elders and physically challenged visitors get to and from the dining and protocol tents. In addition, carts were used for delivering volunteers to their posts, food and supplies to workers throughout the Reservation and support for emergency medical services. Several utility carts were dedicated to Green Team and Public Works for hauling compost and recycling, responding to utility needs and supporting canoe Journey administration.
Approximately 65 volunteers and staff operated the main cart fleet for 104 hours during Journey There were 2 four person carts dedicated to serving the campground which we tried to run from 6 AM to 2 AM. special thanks go to Carl, Doug and Shelby from Skookum Tobacco for acting as fleet managers as well as all the drivers for being cheerful emissaries of the Squaxin Island Tribe.
Right up until the beginning of the encampment on the Squaxin Island Reservation, we were not sure whether the approximately 20 acres of cleared land would be enough for all the canoe families. It turned out that we had plenty of room in the campground. With great foresight, the Squaxin Island Tribe prepared the campground area well in advance, and we received a lot of good comments on the camping area. The Campground was set up with several amenities, including: portable toilets stations, running water, mobile showers, mobile laundry stations, solar-powered lighting, a registration/information booth, and a mobile convenience store operated by KTP. Initially, we arranged the campground so that each canoe family would have enough camping space, based on the number of canoes they had.
One of the features of the Campground was that we used the “Seven Inlets” as a theme for the vehicle traffic flow. Each of the access roads were named after one of the seven inlets, using the traditional names.
Throughout the week, we had passenger golf carts running through the campground to assist elders and people with disabilities. Bev Hawks volunteered to be the Campground Host, and she was assisted by several other volunteers during the week. During the hot weather, Mason County Fire District 4 brought out a pumper truck and a “fire curtain” (water sprinkler) for the campers to cool down.