Vashon Has a Welcome Song!
Announcements, June 2024

Vashon Has a Welcome Song!

By Erin Durrett

Everyone is invited to take part in the welcome ceremony for the Blue Heron Canoe at this year’s Vashon-Maury Island Low Tide Celebration! Join us on Saturday, June 21st from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at beautiful Point Robinson Park.

For all the peoples of the Salish Sea, it is customary that those who are hosting a party sing a song of welcome as a canoe family arrives on their shores. In 2008, Mike Evans, Snohomish elder and skipper of the Blue Heron, gifted us the welcome song we have been singing to him and his paddlers ever since.

This is a fun chance to learn some words in the local indigenous language – Lushootseed – and to put them into action with drums, clappers, and lots of neighbors as we call out to the paddlers as soon as we see them on the water on their journey to Vashon from Des Moines!

The Low Tide Celebration is a day of free family fun on the beach at Point Robinson, communing with all our neighbors in the water and around the shore – from the tiniest of sand fleas, to plentiful anemones, clams, crabs, snails, and barnacles, to the eel grasses and seaweeds – and lots of humans, too!

There will be food courtesy of Iyad’s Syrian Grill, tours of the lighthouse, lots of booths with children’s activities, and information on efforts to support wildlife and habitat on Vashon. Naturalists will be on the beach to help everyone learn about and appreciate the beauty and vital roles every creature and plant plays in keeping the waters full of life, clean, and healthy for everyone.

Welcoming the Blue Heron Canoe is a way of honoring the peoples who lived in harmony with this natural abundance here on this Island for thousands of years, and celebrating our process of learning how to do that, too!

There will be a get-together at Ober Park on Friday, June 21st – 4 p.m. by the water fountain – to learn the words and rhythm of the short welcome song and ceremony, and everyone is welcome! Bring drums, rattles, and clappers if you have them – if not, your hands work great! If you have any questions, email me at

June 2, 2024

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