Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Five minutes to August.

((Thank you all)) ((Thank Miss H))

Link to Haley's article: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/living/2003766750_critmassive290.html


Members of the Quinault Indian Nation gathered in their coastal homeland to honor a different independence alongside the Fourth of July.

On July 4th and 5th, the Quinault celebrated Chief Taholah Days, which commemorate the signing of the Quinault Treaty on July 1, 1855.

On that day along the Quinault River, U.S. government officials met with Chief Taholah and other chiefs and tribal members to sign the agreement that designated land for exclusive tribal use.

Guy Capoeman, vice chairman of the Quinault Tribal Council, said the treaty established the right of the Quinault to govern and regulate themselves.

The treaty represents "the backbone of our government and the backbone of our people," Capoeman said. "It's a celebration of the foresight of our ancestors in guaranteeing that we would be able to live our ancestral ways. Without that document it would be hard to live those ways and protect our land."

The festivities took place in the town of Taholah, the tribal headquarters, north of Ocean Shores, Grays Harbor County.

Capoeman said the celebration has been held for more than 100 years.

Isaiah Curley(cq), 7, celebrates during Chief Taholah Days Tuesday evening in Taholah, the tribal headquarters of the Quinault Indian Nation. The festival commemorates the signing of the Quinault Treaty on July 1, 1855 at the mouth of the Quinault River— near where Curley was lighting his fireworks.

Horton Capoeman and Hannah Swift carry their daughters Zah-Mya Capoeman and Aleece Capoeman while buying fireworks Tuesday afternoon in Taholah.

Carly Sansom, 15, dressed in traditional Quinault regalia, holds her paddle before dancing Tuesday afternoon at Heritage Park in Taholah.

Angel Ancheta, 2, and her father Steve Ancheta walk past a row of firecracker stands Tuesday evening during Chief Taholah Days. They were traveling home to pick up Angel’s mother for the boxing match held at the community center.

Guy Capoeman, (right) vice chairman of the Quinault Tribal Council, watches his son Anthony Capoeman, 14, break during the James “Crowbar” Bryson Boxing Memorial at the Taholah Community Center. Larry “Bear” Bradley, the head Taholah boxing coach, said Taholah has had a long history of boxing that can be traced back before the 1930s. Boxing is a popular event at Chief Taholah Days each year.

Shireen Kalama, 15, watches the outboard cedar canoe lap races on the banks of the Quinault River.

Participants in the consolation round of the cedar canoe lap race competition speed down the Quinault River. The hand carved canoes are 22 feet long and 24 inches wide, and powered by a 25 horse power outboard motors. The canoes can reach up to 50 mph. Rich Underwood, who was manning one of the support boats Tuesday, said the Quinaults have been racing motorized canoes for around 50 years. He said the sport began by racing up the Quinault River to Lake Quinault.

Celena Edwards, a Miss Teen Quinault contestant, rides in the Fourth of July parade in Taholah.



All images copyright Erika Schultz or The Seattle Times