August 21, 2012
Dear Squaxin Island tribal and community members and all employees:
We would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for all of your efforts to make Paddle to Squaxin 2012 such a successful cultural celebration! We could not have pulled this event off without the hard work from our tribal members, tribal government staff, Island Enterprises and Little Creek Casino staff, and many outside volunteers and as well as the financial support from all of the donors.
Your diligence and hard work over the past 18 months paid off tremendously. Many of our guests (tribal and non-tribal alike), dignitaries and volunteers remarked on the logistics and organization of events at the landing and during the week long potlatch protocols. It was obvious that each one of you, individually, followed the “Ten Rules of the Canoe” throughout the year; especially rule 10 “When given any choice at all – be a worker bee and make honey!”
It was a real pleasure watching our young people in their regalia dancing, drumming and singing on the dance floor. They are our future. This is what Journey is about – the resurgence of our culture and intermingling of all generations.
We must also take a moment and raise our hands to, and say a huge “thank you,” to the Port and City of Olympia, Mason and Thurston Counties, the city of Shelton, our various contractors and hundreds of volunteers who have supported and worked side by side with us this past year preparing for this celebration.
We have much to be proud of. We reached each of the goals that we established at the onset of our planning: 104 canoes landed in Olympia; we made over 10,000 handmade gifts for our potlatch gift giving; and we met our “Green Team” initiatives. The Paddle to Squaxin 2012 was a memorable and culturally significant event for thousands of people who attended, and for the recognition the Tribe has and will receive as a gracious host nation.
“THANK YOU! Job well done!”
Squaxin Island Tribal Chairman
Canoe Journey Coordinator