Pleasant Point Holds 17th Annual Canoe Trip

Passamaquoddy canoes bore several dozen people from Indian Township to Pleasant Point as part of Indian Days. Here they can be seen arriving at Split Rock. (Photo by Natalie Scott)

By Natalie Scott


For the past 17 years, the Sipayik Indian Days celebration has begun by sending members of the Passamaquoddy tribe on a canoeing voyage. This year’s journey began at the reservation of Motahkomikuk in Indian Township on Thursday at 7 a.m. Nearly a dozen canoes, packed with 53 people, ventured through winds and rough waters to make it back to Sipayik for the rest of the festivities that were taking place during the Indian Days celebration. 

People began to gather at Split Rock in Pleasant Point on Friday afternoon. They waited to greet everyone when they made it safely back to shore, but it wasn’t until 3:30 p.m. when the first canoe was spotted. It took over 24 hours for the travelers to arrive back home.

Adam Bailey, Larry Robichaud, and Marie Tomah welcomed the warriors by tribal singing and drumming. Once everyone made their way out of the canoes and onto shore, Tribal Chief, Ralph Dana, spoke to the crowd.

“As we go forward the next few days, you know there are vendors, fireworks and lots of other events that take place. So please keep in mind that what you saw today is what it’s really about.”

The rest of the weekend was filled with fun, as well as traditions. Saturday was Inter-Tribal Day. The annual diabetes walk was held, along with a fundraiser for youth and recreation, a horseshoe tournament, tribal singing, dancing, drumming and fireworks at the end of the day. 

Sunday was the Traditional Passamaquoddy Ceremonial Day. Vendor booths were open, a community blessing took place, as well as ceremonial Indian dances and a meal. Monday ended Indian Days with a golf tournament at St. Croix Golf Course in Calais. 

Breaking away from the pack is Julian Morris during the kids' games at Indian Days in Pleasant Point on August 12th. (Photo courtesy of Donald Soctomah)

Welcoming the canoes with tribal singing and drumming are Adam Bailey, Larry Robichaud, and Marie Tomah. (Photo by Natalie Scott)