"Welcome our relatives from the south, from Puget Sound," called out Cowichan Chief Lydia Hwitsun. "Welcome our relatives from the west. From the east, from the north."
The canoes were part of the largest Tribal Journeys paddle in modern times. Begun in 1989, the event commemorates the paddles of old, before first contact and before arbitrary political boundaries, when members of coastal First Nations travelled unfathomable distances in open boats to trade, visit, or sometimes, wage war.