For the last few months, Coast Salish master artist Luke Marston, has been working diligently on completing NIȽ TU,O ’s dugout cedar canoe.

Shown above, children and adults work together to move the canoe inside

As a foundational element of NIȽ TU,O ’s regular culture camps, children affiliated with NIȽ TU,O have had the opportunity to take part in the many phases that go into the creation of a traditional Coast Salish carved cedar canoe.

From selecting and blessing the log, to painstakingly adzing out the inside and carving the outside, to completing the prow, and finally painting the canoe in its entirety, this enormous project is nearing completion.

As such, NIȽ TU,O staff and children, youth (with staff or caregivers) are invited to go to Kulleet Bay to visit Luke’s workshop to view this living work of art before its painted and paddled in the ocean.

Shares Leslie-Ann Paige, “As we move into April, the focus will be on designing and painting the canoe. Luke has been working closely with Coast Salish master artist Doug LaFortune, who is from Tsawout First Nation, on the design and story of the canoe, which will be rooted in the W̱SÁNEĆ flood story.”

Shown above: pictures of Luke Marston working on the dugout canoe and sharing his knowledge with NIȽ TU,O staff and children from the communities.

There are only three dates remaining where Luke will be available to visit and answer questions, prior to the anticipated completion date of May 16. NIȽ TU,O clients are welcome to mark your calendars for the following dates and connect with your NIȽ TU,O worker to arrange your visit.

NIȽ TU,O Staff, Children and Youth days at Luke’s shop in Kulleet Bay:

  • Friday April 15th, 2022
  • Friday April 29th, 2022
  • Friday May 13th, 2022

Shares Katharina Stocker, “Providing the opportunity for the children and families we serve to have direct, hands-on experience in creating a carved traditional canoe is something we are very proud of.” Stocker continues, “The foundations of the work we do are rooted in Coast Salish culture, and having our own canoes will ensure the children can better access land and sea-based teachings.”