Richard Walker
Blue huckleberries, picked on Kulshan (aka Mount Baker) in Nooksack territory.

10 Traditional Foods You Might Enjoy During a Canoe Journey

Richard Walker

The annual Canoe Journey in the Pacific Northwest is a feast for the senses: Graceful canoes, many of them featuring Northwest Coast Native artistic elements. Beautiful regalia, songs, and dances. A lot of loving, caring and sharing.

And food.

Frank Brown said the Heiltsuk First Nation will serve herring roe on kelp, halibut, black cod, and salmon to its guests during the 2014 Canoe Journey, held July 13 to 19 in Bella Bella, British Columbia. He writes, “If you go to, we have good write-up on herring in the book Staying the Course, Staying Alive: Coastal First Nations Fundamental Truths.”

The Canoe Journey is all about tradition, and when it comes to traditional foods, few events can top the journey. Here are 10 foods you are likely to enjoy on the Canoe Journey. Follow along for a healthy feast you won’t forget. (This list hits the highlights and is by no means all-inclusive.)

Elk or venison stew. With meat so tender it will slip off your fork, you’ll want a spoon to catch every drop of broth. The stew can include carrots, onions and potatoes; if you’re lucky, someone gathered wild nodding onions, wild carrots, wapato or maybe camas. It will all depend on where you are geographically and where the journey takes you.

Save some room if … Geoduck chowder (pronounced “gooey duck”) is also being served. Someone dove about 25 feet to harvest this behemoth for you, valued for its size and rich flavor. Whichever clam it’s made from, chowder is tough to pass up.


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Greg Cundiff
Greg Cundiff
Submitted by Greg Cundiff on
I asked my other half about making frybread - he rolled his eyes and changed the subject. He also say's that the tacos are really Navajo Tacos.