Today the local tribes will salute the returning salmon runs with a ceremony. On pier 57 in the heart of the Seattle waterfront, all day long and into the evening, there will be native song, dance, a canoe-greeting ceremony, and best of all, a heartfelt welcome home to the salmon.
If you have never experienced the pageantry, pomp, and celebration of a Native American pow wow, maybe you should join in the fun today on the waterfront. It’s always quite a show. And if you should tire of the ceremonies under the big tent, even for a few minutes, you can always get in line for a meal of Indian baked salmon.
These events are always rich in Native culture, and in the celebration of local nature as well. While the dancers, drummers, and singers perform under the shelter of the bigtop tent, craftsmen and women exhibit the products of their carving, weaving, beading, and leatherworking trades. The traditional canoe-greeting ceremony will take place between 4 and 6 PM.
On one stage or another, native speakers and elders will be telling tales of the ancient culture that once flourished here, which is experiencing a regrowth as Seattle area residents– Native American and Pahstud* alike–search for contact with their roots in this beautiful part of the world.
My advice: drop everything, pick up a raincoat and hat, just in case, and hurry on down to pier 57. You won’t regret it. I’ll see you there.
*Pahstud–The Lushootseed language word for American, derived originally from “Boston,” the term applied to all sailing-ship visitors from the East Coast of the U.S. in the 1700s and 1800s.