NW tribal canoes arrive for celebration

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LA CONNER, Wash. (AP) -- Rain failed to dampen the spirits of the canoe pullers and spectators who arrived at the Swinomish reservation's waterfront Monday for the Paddle to Swinomish Canoe Journey.

About 100 canoes from Oregon to British Columbia paddled into the new Swadabs Park for a week of celebration hosted by the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. Several of the canoes have been on the water for weeks.

The Tribal Canoe Journey is a 22-year ritual that started with the 1989 Paddle To Seattle, which included nine canoes. Since then, it has become an annual event that has grown to encompass all Coast Salish tribes from the Salish Sea region, with tribes taking turns hosting the event. The tribes refer to those paddling the canoes as "pullers."

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Information from: Skagit Valley Herald, http://www.skagitvalleyherald.com