Transfer of Ancient Samish Canoe Builds Bridges to the Past

Posted: July 10, 2014  |  By: [The Journal of the San Juan Islands]

Ownership of a Samish canoe, believed to date from pre-contact, has been formally transferred to the Samish Indian Nation from the San Juan Island Historical Society & Museum.

Samish has cared for the canoe since 2011, when the historical society began construction of a new exhibit space. As the exhibit space neared completion, Samish requested that the canoe, which is in fragile condition, be repatriated in exchange for new cultural items that the museum can more easily care for and use to teaching the history of the island’s indigenous peoples.

The museum board approved the proposal and the transfer took place June 28. Among those present were people from Nooksack, Saanich, Swinomish, as well as Samish.

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