5/7/2009--Sammamish, WA, USA..Paddles carved by John Mullen's students lean in his cabin on Beaver Lake while John stands in the door. John is employed as the Snoqualmie tribe's master carver. Every year two dozen or so Snoqualmie Indians convene at the base of Snoqualmie Falls--a sacred tribal site-- to begin their annual Canoe Journey. This year a 100-mile voyage out into and across Puget Sound to a five-day powwow hosted by the Suquamish tribe at their reservation on the Kitsap Peninsula. Each year a different coastal or river-based Northwest tribe hosts the powwow, with dozens of other tribes paddling there celebrate their common culture and heritage. ..The Canoe Journey tradition has been instrumental in reviving an age-old Snoqualmie tribe tradition: wood carving. Needing canoes and paddles to accommodate all tribal members who want to go on the annual Canoe Journey, the tribe established a woodworking budget and secured a carving shed soon after it was re-acknowledged in 1999. These days, four tribal members, led by John Mullen (the brother of drum bearer Ray), work full-time at the shed, making dugout canoes out of old-growth red cedar trees and paddles out of big leaf maple wood, just like their forebears in centuries past. ...©2009 Stuart Isett. All rights reserved.