News Release: Whey-ah-Wichen Canoe Festival

News Release: Whey-ah-Wichen Canoe Festival

News & UpdatesNews Release: Whey-ah-Wichen Canoe Festival

News Release: Whey-ah-Wichen Canoe Festival

səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation) Territory: July 5, 2023 – The Tsleil-Waututh Nation would like to invite the media join us on Saturday, July 8 from 9:00 am – 11:00 am for the Whey-ah-Wichen Canoe Festival.

Every summer, Tsleil-Waututh Nation holds an annual canoe race out of Whey-ah-Wichen (Cates Park). Our teams compete against other First Nations from all over Coast Salish territory: the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, and Washington state. All teams camp and race at the park.

Races include youth categories (10 and under, 13 and under, 16 and under), women’s, men’s, and masters for 50 and older.

We use traditional dugout racing canoes, very sleek, narrow and fast. We invite canoe clubs and spectators to the festival; up to 400 people a day come to enjoy the competition, as well as:

  • Arts and crafts vendors
  • Fun landraces and activities for kids

Media Contact:

TWN Communications

On-site Contact: 

Skye Mills  


Chief Jen Thomas, səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation)
“We are thrilled to host the Whey-ah-Wichen Canoe Festival at our traditional village site, Whey-ah-Wichen (Cates Park). Canoe pulling is a celebration of our connection to the waters within our territories and represents who we are as a people. We welcome back Canoe families from across the region and are thrilled to host these races on waters that the Tsleil-Waututh people work so carefully to restore and steward. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable weekend.”


About səlilwətaɬ Tsleil-Waututh Nation

səlilwətaɬ Tsleil-Waututh Nation (also known as People of the Inlet) is a Coast Salish Nation whose territory centres around Burrard Inlet in the Greater Vancouver region. Tsleil-Waututh have a Sacred Trust, a responsibility, to care for and restore traditional territory to its former state. Today, Tsleil-Waututh is more than 600 people strong and growing. The community draws on knowledge from ancestors to remedy past wrongs, reclaim territory and traditions, and advance into a bright future. For more information on the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, visit

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