Arts and Entertainment

Native Americans celebrated at Deception Pass State Park

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission invites the public to the sixth annual Salish Sea Native American Culture Celebration with the Samish and Swinomish tribes at Deception Pass State Park on Fidalgo Island, near Oak Harbor.

The celebration runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at the Bowman Bay boat launch and picnic area on the Fidalgo Island side of Deception Pass State Park, 41020 Highway 20, Oak Harbor. The event celebrates the maritime heritage of the two participating Coast Salish tribes and features canoes, singers, drummers, storytellers and a salmon and frybread lunch. Artists from the two tribes will demonstrate weaving, cedar work and woodcarving.

The event is presented by the Samish Indian Nation, the Samish Canoe Family, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and the Swinomish Canoe Family.

Annually in the summer, Coast Salish people travel to a different Coast Salish territory as part of the intertribal Canoe Journey. The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community will host the end-of-journey events for 2011. Proceeds from the food sales at the Salish Sea Native American Cultural Celebration benefit the Samish and Swinomish canoe families to support their participation in and training for the annual intertribal Canoe Journey.

The combined waters of the Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Strait of Georgia, Deception Pass, Bowman Bay and all their other interconnecting inlets and bays comprise the “Salish Sea,” officially recognized by the United States Board on Geographic Names in 2009 and the Geographical Names Board of Canada in 2010. Formerly known as the Native American Culture Celebration, the name of the cultural event changed in 2010 to reflect the international recognition of the Salish Sea.

Deception Pass State Park is a 4,134-acre marine and camping park with 77,000 feet of saltwater of shoreline, and 33,900 feet of freshwater shoreline on three lakes. The park is best known for views of Deception Pass and Bowman Bay, old-growth forests, abundant wildlife and the historic Deception Pass Bridge. The Bowman Bay area is accessible from Rosario Road, off State Route 20, by Pass Lake.

The Salish Sea Native American Cultural Celebration is part of a broader series of events celebrating Washington’s diverse cultures and presented by the Folk and Traditional Arts in the Parks Program. The program is a partnership between the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington State Arts Commission and Northwest Heritage Resources with funding provided by National Endowment for the Arts and the Washington State Arts Commission program grants.

The event is accessible to persons with disabilities. If special accommodations are required in order to attend the event, please call 360-902-8526, 675-3767 or the Washington Telecommunications Relay Service at 800-833-6388. Requests must be made in advance.

The commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. The 98-year-old park system will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.

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