West End: Quileute celebrate tribal culture this weekend

LAPUSH — The Quilleute tribe will celebrate its heritage this weekend during the Quilleute Days 2001 Wikwal Gathering.

Activities take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday and feature dancing, music, traditional food, totem pole carving, crafts and fireworks.

The celebration honors tribal canoe pullers participating in this year's K'aya'chtn Canoe Gathering 2001 — the Paddle to Squamish, British Columbia, said Bonita Cleveland, cultural coordinator for the Quilleute Days committee.

One canoe left LaPush on Tuesday and another will leave after Quileute Days ends, she said.

The men and women who participate in the canoe pull are expected to finish their journey in August, Cleveland said.

The theme for the canoeists this year is “A Spiritual Journey . . . One Day at a Time.”

The theme has an emphasis on recovery from drug and alcohol abuse and a renewal of traditional wellness and ways of healing, she said.

One of the major cultural displays this year will be dancing and drumming, Cleveland said.

Dancers from Alaska and the Quilleute and Makah tribes will be featured on Saturday between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the Quileute gymnasium.

“We hope that everyone comes out and enjoys our culture,” Cleveland said.

“We would really like to see our surrounding neighbors enjoy our way of life and come and share our culture with us.”

Entertainment

David Boxley will lead the Seattle-based Tsimshian Haayuuk Dancers, originally from Alaska.

Boxley will also demonstrate Tsimshian — the carving of totem poles and masks throughout the day.

Tiny Burail will lead the Tlinget-Haida Ku-Tee-Ya Totem Dancers from Alaska, she said.

And the Makah Dancers of Neah Bay will dance under the direction of Helma Swan.

Quileute Dance and Drums will be led by Cleveland and Fred “Sonny” Woodruff, she said.

This year Quileute Days is expected to be bigger and better than the years before, Cleveland said.

“We really want everyone to come out and enjoy a day with us,” said Cleveland.

Events are free and open to the public.

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