NAYA Family Canoe Journey: A Relational Worldview Awakening
Water is life. It carries our dreams. It cleanses our souls. The water is blessing us.
– Frank Alby, lnupiat, Elder and NAYA Canoe Journey spiritual helper.
Beginning in 2013, a group of NAYA Elders began meeting to develop and plan ways to implement the NAYA Family Canoe Journey.
Our Mission is to honor our ancestors, to inspire our youth, to document the history of the canoe journeys in the Pacific NW, and to contribute significantly to the lives of our urban Native American community by building on cultural strengths and assets.
We use the NICWA theory of change, the Relational Worldview Model. To help each person develop their physical, emotional, spiritual and social well-being and use an evidence based, community prevention practice developed by the Suquamish and Port Gamble S’Kiallam tribes and the University of Washington, The Healing of the Canoe.
NAYA is located on an ancient Chinook village site, Neerchokikoo, near the Columbia River slough. The pullers practice their canoeing skills bi-monthly, either at the slough, the Columbia River or local parks. We have several canoes, each with its own unique personality and name.
The Canoe Journey Family meets twice monthly to plan activities, trainings and events. We are helping NAYA incorporate the Healing of the Canoe curriculum to the Early College Academy, as a life skill course of study. Our goal is to participate in the 2016 Paddle to Nisqually Canoe Journey as the NAYA Canoe Family and continue to organize for future journeys in the years to come.
Community members generously donate financial assistance as well as materials such as canoes and most of all their time, expertise, energy and love. While we’ve made significant progress, we encourage and welcome everyone to join our family. Follow us on Facebook or the NAYA website.