Solidarity with the Paddle to Nisqually

July 30, 2016: The Landing, Port of Olympia
July 30 – August 6, 2016: Full Event

For ages the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest have gathered together for potlatches, or giveaways, sharing their gratitude with and for one another.

The Nisqually Indian Tribe is hosting the Paddle to Nisqually in 2016.

Right Relations Steh-chass/Olympia, non-tribal people working in solidarity with the Nisqually Canoe Family, is helping with preparations for the event giveaways, and by volunteering for the event.

The Nisqually River and Ti’swaq Blanket Project

Jody Bergsma designed the blanket pictured. She has offered the art work and production capability at a very reasonable (at cost) price for this project.

You are invited to support the project.


Giving to the Paddle to Nisqually

– making giveaways
– volunteering

Since tribal communities reestablished large paddle events between their nations in 1989 the annual Canoe Journeys include a week of ceremony structured around Protocol. The host tribe welcomes each visiting tribe and the visiting tribes share their gratitude with song, drumming, dance and gifts.

The host tribe giveaways are an important part of the overall experience to all involved.

The Nisqually Indian Tribe is hosting the Paddle to Nisqually in 2016. Through conversations with the Nisqually Tribe Canoe Family, non-tribal supporters have learned that the Canoe Family welcomes assistance in preparing the giveaways, or in volunteering for the event.

Your assistance is welcomed:
– working with the Nisqually to make gifts from red cedar bark, native plants, etc.
– giving ­financially to a blanket fund
– volunteering:
– – on the Green Team (keeping the event area clean and managing recyclables)
– – parking and transportation (golf cart operations, buses)
– – donating food, meal preparation and cleanup

Right Relations Steh-chass/Olympia is a group seeking to live in solidarity with the first peoples of the Salish Sea through education, acknowledgement, and supportive actions. Co-coordinators Pat Rasmussen or Douglas Mackey, can be reached at: 509.669.1549 or 360.485.3764, respectively, or at

Supporters of the Blanket Project

The Blanket Fund

The artist, Jody Bergsma, will coordinate the production of these 60” x 80” ­fleece blankets at a cost of $8.50 each, wholesale. Supporters able to donate $85, $170, $255 (and so on, in multiples of $85) can receive a blanket of their own for each ten they underwrite.

It is estimated that the total cost to the hosting tribe is about 2 million dollars. The Nisqually Tribe is not a big tribe, in comparison to other tribes who have hosted Canoe Journeys.

Therefore, everyone is invited to contribute funds and/or volunteer. You can help in many ways. There is a volunteer form on the Nisqually Indian Tribe website or at any of the participating solidarity teams throughout the churches, synagogues, mosques, businesses or neighborhoods that are part of the Nisqually support team.

Interfaith Works, a not-for-profit organization, has stepped forward to receive funds to support the Nisqually Canoe Family with their production of this year’s Paddle to Nisqually.

Kindly make checks payable to Interfaith Works, with “Nisqually Blanket Giveaway” on the memo line. Send to: Interfaith Works, PO Box 1221, Olympia, 98507.

When making requests for assistance with giveaways, please spread the word in person.

THANK YOU for helping to make this possible!