Sunday, June 11, 2017

"2017 Tribal Canoe Journey"

2017 Tribal Canoe Journey Cultural Exchange Fund
“Our Journey”

A cooperation between ATAYAL Organization (USA) and the Tao Foundation (Taiwan) has been established. The ATAYAL Organization (USA) and Bridge Studios (Taiwan) have long created cultural exchange and cooperation opportunities between Taiwanese indigenous people and Native American groups. In the summer of 2017, we have yet another amazing opportunity that we will support, the 2017 Tribal Canoe Journey. ( We will depart on the 15th of July and meet our Nisqually Canoe Family on the 16th. “Our Journey” from Olympia, WA will commence on the 17th.

The ATAYAL Organization is working with Taiwan's Indigenous People and the Tao Foundation to send a delegation to Seattle, WA this July to join the 2017 Tribal Canoe Journey. (Standing Together)
We hope to raise funds through The Tao Foundation in Taiwan, ATAYAL in America and also with the help of the Native American Tribes of the Pacific Northwest.
The Tribal Canoe Journey is a yearly event bringing together indigenous people from all over the world to spend up to a month paddling their canoes and learning the ways of their ancestors. This is a wonderful cultural event and we hope to represent Taiwan this year. We will join the Nisqually Canoe Family. "Our Journey" will be about 14 days. This year’s final destination is Quadra Island off of Port Campbell on Vancouver Island, Canada.
We hope to find the funds to bring a 4 member delegation to observe. This is a big project and really needs the help of our members, businesses partners, associates and friends to make this come to fruition.
Please make a donation on our website and be part of the team.

Your donation will go towards the following:
Airfare for 4 people between Taiwan and Seattle, WA (US$7,500).
Meals, Transportation Rentals and Accommodations in the USA (US$ 2,500) - Although the host family and tribal peoples will provide some accommodations during the event, a budget is needed to provide meals and accommodations for the cultural exchange group upon arrival and upon completion of “Our Journey".
Additionally, a thank you gift for our Native American Hosts and our Canoe Family (US$200) - Some wood carvings will be obtained from an indigenous artist to provide as a cultural exchange gift.
Admin Support and translation fees: (US$300)

**** We now have been invited to meet with a group from the University of Washington representing the Burke Museum. (Washington State Museum of Natural History and Culture) 
Our tribal leader, Syaman Lamuran will discuss Tao culture, traditions and their boat culture. There is a canoe (boat) from Lanyu Island that will be displayed at the museum. We are very excited about this additional opportunity.  ATAYAL is honored to be part of this, "Our Journey".
Additionally, our Northwest US Ambassador Will Tsang has set up a forum for a discussion of Tao Culture.
Please help us "Get It Done"
To donate: 
Go Fund Me Page:  (fastest and easiest way for a donation of just $5.00)

ATAYAL website:    (For those in America who want a tax deduction)

The Tao Foundation website:  (For those in Taiwan who want a tax deduction.)
Postal Transfer Checking Account Bank code: 700. Account Number: 0261-012-0101-952

For our supporters in Taiwan…….
The Tao Foundation (財團法人蘭嶼部落文化基金會)
Telephone: (089) 731-000 聯絡電話:+ 886 (089)731-000
Fax: (089) 732-173 傳真專線:+ 886(089)732-173
Address: 12-1 Ye You (Coconut) Village, Lanyu Township, Taitung County, Taiwan
Web Site:
蘭嶼部落文化基金會 蘭嶼部落文化基金會 - Tao Foundation
Postal Transfer Checking Account:
Bank Number: 700
Account Number: 0261-012-0101-952
Transfer Account: 19846318

請幫忙支持籌措2017台美原住民部落獨木舟文化交流經費 (Tribal Canoe Journey 2017 Cultural Exchange)

美國的愛泰雅組織(ATAYAL Organization)跟臺灣蘭嶼部落文化基金會的合作已經建立。美國的愛泰雅組織與台灣的橋樑工作室長時間建立台灣原住民美國原住民團體之間文化交流的合作機會。2017年夏天,我們有一個難得機會支持2017 Tribal Canoe Journey 這項文化交流活動。

愛泰雅組織正與台灣原住民蘭嶼部落文化基金會共同合作派出一支代表團至美國華盛頓州的西雅圖參與觀摩當地 2017 Tribal Canoe Journey。我們希望經由蘭嶼部落文化基金會,愛泰雅組織,與太平洋西北美國原住民部落共同來募款。

The Tribal Canoe journey慶典活動是一個每年舉辦的活動,其目的是聚集世界各地的原住民一起加入長達一個月的划獨木舟活動。藉由這個活動來學習及傳承原住民祖先的傳統。我們希望今年能夠代表台灣參加這個非常有文化意義的活動。我們將加入Nisqually Canoe Family為期14天的划獨木舟活動,這次活動的終點站是加拿大溫哥華島的Quodra Island。
我們希望能籌措一個四人代表團參加觀摩此次活動的經費。這個計劃完成的時間十分緊迫且需要大家的支持。請參與支持我們或也可選擇至網站捐款。                                              2

給邀請人Nisqually Canoe Family 的禮物費用(約美金200)。我們也會獲得對方提供的木雕作品做為文化交流的禮物。管理及翻譯等雜項支出(約美金300)。


**** 我們受邀至Burke博物館(華盛頓州州立自然歷史與文化博物館,網址 )與華盛頓州立大學的教授們會面。
我們的部落領導人Syaman Lamuran將會與他們討論達悟族的文化傳統以及他們特有的拼板舟文化 。博物館內也將展示一艘來自蘭嶼的拼板舟(獨木舟)。我們與愛泰雅組織都很榮幸有這個機會能夠參與這次的活動。另外,美國西北大使Will Tsang 也安排了一個關於達悟族的文化研討會。

The ATAYAL organization is grateful for the support of people who want to make a difference in international cooperation and cultural preservation.
Freedom and Understanding Unite at the 2017 Tribal Canoe Journey.
Best Regards,
Gary R. Smoke
Director of International Relations
ATAYAL Organization
Cell: 0920-558-017
Office: 2874-6220
Cell (International): +886-920-558-017
A referral is our biggest compliment. If you know someone in need of our services, please let us know.
Facebook Group ATAYAL/ACECA:
"Learning through helping indigenous people everywhere!"
ATAYAL Organization Donation Page:
All donations are tax deductible.  
Message or mail me when you have shared please saying >>>> "SHARED!"
Thank you all very much!

A special thank you to our corporate sponsors:
AKW Law, P.C.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

“MY JOURNEY 2016”   
2016 Tribal Canoe Journey

 Every summer I go to Seattle to visit my father and family. Last year, I also had another very special reason for visiting the Seattle area.  Each year since the mid-80s, the Native Americans from the Pacific Northwest have been celebrating "The Journey.”  This annual event is a reenactment of the way the Native Americans and many other indigenous groups traveled from place to place throughout history.  The month-long event is also an opportunity to bring the tribes of the Pacific Northwest and their guests from afar together to share stories, songs, dances and their culture.  It is not only building unity amongst the tribes, but "The Journey" brings together the tribal families and their supporters who accompany them on this month-long trek.  The paddlers share the hardships of their ancestors and follow "protocols" when they arrive at new destinations.  This year's event was sponsored by the Nisqually Tribe and was known as "The Paddle to Nisqually.” There were two groups that joined this year's journey, the southern group, which started from the Washington Coast near Quinault and the Northern Group, which started from Vancouver Island in Canada. 

I caught up to "The Journey" on July 24, 2016 as it reached the shores of Tulalip Bay on the Tulalip Reservation.  I made several friends and witnessed my first canoe landing on a sunny Sunday afternoon.  My heart soared as I watched.  It was a beautiful day, and all of the participants were enjoying the festivities.  The canoes were magnificent and there was a lot of variety in their construction.  I was particularly impressed with the protocol they followed as they arrived. As the canoes came in, they were greeted by a member of the tribe they were visiting.  One of the paddlers would then stand up and tell who they represented, who their ancestors were, how long and tiring their journey was and then asked to come ashore for rest and nourishment.  All the while, the paddlers in the canoes held their paddles parallel to their bodies facing the sky.  Many of the paddles were adorned with carvings, which were very impressive.  Once the canoe master completes his request to come ashore, the tribal representative commences to explain who their tribe is, who their ancestors were, how they understand the plight of the visitor's journey and welcome's their guest ashore for nourishment and a needed night's rest.  The paddlers would then go to an area, back their canoes to shore (as a sign of non-aggression) and disembark. This process was repeated at every stop and became quite a chore when there were over eighty canoes.

My next stop was the shores of Alki Point in Seattle on the 27th of July.  The Muckleshoot Tribe hosted this stop and arranged buses to the camp grounds on the reservation for the weary travelers.  It couldn't have been a better day, and the number of canoes had grown to over 80, as the northern and southern routes met on the western shores of Puget Sound near Suquamish, WA the previous day.  I was amazed to see the construction of some of the canoes.  There were even some that resembled the canoes from the Amis Tribe in Taiwan.  Early the next morning the canoes set out for Owen Beach in Ruston near Tacoma, WA.  Owen Beach is in Point Defiance Park.  Point Defiance Park is an amazing place.  The park has a zoo, an aquarium, an old fort called Ft. Nisqually, a science and math institute and a famous rose garden.  Another well needed rest, dinner and evening of celebration was waiting for them when they arrived.   These celebrations would most often last late into the evening and songs, dance and drums were witnessed by the attendees.  It was a very moving experience and an honor to observe.   I also had the opportunity to meet members from the different "Canoe Families."  I was told that this year's event had representatives from as far away as New Zealand.  Yes, there was an Austronesian presence at this year's event.  This has happened in the past as I was told.  Last year, a group from the Philippines joined one of the families.  It is my hope and my dream that next year we can send a canoe from Taiwan to join in.  I have requested to be allowed to join one of the canoe families and the response has been positive.

My last connection to this year's journey was at the Nisqually Tribal Ceremony.   There, the Native Americans celebrate with a week-long festival of dance, drums and songs.  It is also a time to build relationships between tribes, and that is where I was looking to make some in-roads.  I was there to meet Hanford McCloud, who just happened to be the organizer from the Nisqually Tribe.  We chatted in his motorhome for some time, and I had the opportunity to let him know our intentions of forming "Sister" type relationships for cultural, educational and economic exchanges.  The fishing industry was the first thing we discussed as I had heard they do a lot of diving for geoduck.  I was told that he is part of a tribal consortium of tribal partners that focus on the fishing industry.  We agreed to pursue this relationship.  Next, we talked about next year's journey and the possibility of participation from Taiwan's indigenous tribes.  I suggested we could bring a canoe with crew and a group of artisans, wood carvers, that could make a totem pole, start a canoe or display their skills in some way.  It would also be wonderful to be able to bring some singers and dancers, but the cost is always something we must consider.  From our discussion, I think we have found a partner in this endeavor and hope to join the Nisqually Canoe Family.  I wish I could have stayed longer, but I needed to continue my own journey to Portland, Oregon. 
In Portland, I had an appointment to visit with Professor Jeff Thao.  Professor Thao is from Laos and works at Portland State University.   He visited Taiwan earlier this year and our organization introduced him to several of our local contacts.  He also gave a presentation showing the results of observations he made while here.  We had lunch and he introduced me to two of his colleagues.  We discussed possible relationships and support groups that we could connect with in the future.

My journey had to move on.  My next stop, Las Vegas, Nevada!  Yes, Las Vegas!  My father and I visit my brother's house in North Las Vegas every summer.  It is usually very hot, but he has a pool.  While in Las Vegas, I was honored to have a visit from Tse Chi Chad Yen, a Taiwanese-American, who has been living in New Mexico.  He and his friend Dwight Largie, an American Navajo, drove all the way from New Mexico up to Las Vegas to meet with me.  We had a very nice meeting at my brother's place along with some excellent BBQ.  The next day they came back for a follow-up meeting and I was honored with a ceremony of “smoke."  The ceremony was sounding a little scary to me, as I don't smoke cigarettes and if I get to close to people who are smoking, I start to gag and want to, well you know.  I sheepishly admitted to them this fact and told them I would do my best and join in.  He then got out a pouch and proceeded to roll up some of his medicine.  We then went out in the back yard, and he started the ceremony.  It was important to be standing on terra firma while performing this ceremony.  Dwight Largie lit up his medicine and started the ceremony.  He blew smoke in many different places and directions and also used it to cleanse himself.  After that he handed it to me and I hesitated for a second and then took a puff.  To my surprise, it didn't taste of tobacco at all.  I then proceeded to follow the same ritual as Dwight did (with his help and direction).  After that, Chad followed me.  It was really a moving experience.  Dwight then took out a necklace made of bison bone.  The beautiful pendant was carved like a feather and the necklace had a leather strap.  He proceeded to blow some smoke on the pendant and raised it in the different directions while chanting quietly.  Upon completing this, he said the necklace was for me and he placed it around my neck.  I was so moved I almost fainted.  In my eight years of working with indigenous people, this was the first time I experienced anything like this.  I really started feeling a connection.  He then gave me a hug and Chad did as well.  It was like we were becoming brothers from a new mother, mother earth.  We then went inside, where Chad showed me his medicine box.  It was filled with honors bestowed upon him and gifts much like the one I had received.  He had a small piece of buffalo hide with the long buffalo hair still attached, as well as other various items.  One "special one" was wrapped in a silk piece of cloth.  It was his most honored gift, and he told a wonderful story of how he came to possess it.  We concluded our meeting shortly thereafter, and they jumped back into their car and drove back to New Mexico.  I was amazed that they had driven all that way to see me only to return the next day.  Chad has since joined the ATAYAL team and will be pursuing our interests in America and with the Navajo Nation.  This was certainly one of many highlights of my journey.

My last stop was back up in Washington State and a meeting with Robert Satiacum from the Puyallup Tribe.  Robert is a strong advocate of indigenous rights and the perfect guy to put the plight of the American Natives into perspective.  We talked about "water" and how we all share in this element.  In fact, we are all made up of mostly water.  Water has no color, no barriers and no preconceived agenda.  It flows like life, itself.  We should all embrace it and "free" it.  This sounded a bit like a metaphor and I was beginning to understand his attitude and outlook on life.  We chatted for hours in his back yard.  He told me how he was a representative at the DNC representing indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest.  (Democratic National Convention)  He also told me of his intent to go to North Dakota to join in solidarity with the people protesting a pipeline that could pollute their drinking water, in the event of an oil spill.  We have since had several chats online with a worldwide network.   Robert is a very interesting man, dedicated and active when it comes to Native affairs.  We quickly became friends and have talked extensively about different ways to cooperate.  I look forward to seeing Robert and all of the new friends I have met during "my journey" back to America.

"My Journey" last year was an excellent one.  Our organization made many new contacts and have laid out the groundwork for future cooperation.  The ATAYAL Organization is committed to building bridges and this one has reached all the way back to America.  More to come!