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  • Locations: British Columbia, Canada
  • Program Terms: Summer B-Term
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:
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 Location We Wai Kai Nation and the We Wai Kum Nation at Cape Mudge and Campbell River, in British Columbia, Canada
Summer B 2017
July 20 – August 19, 2017
 Estimated    Program Fee $3,800
 Credits 10 UW credits
 Prerequisites None
 Program      Directors Cynthia Updegrave, Dr. Charlotte Cote
 Program  Manager Katherine Kroeger |
 Application    Deadline March 15, 2017 - EXTENDED!
 Information  Session(s) Contact Program Director for more information.
  General Summer 2017, the We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum Nations are inviting all canoe families, friends, relatives and visitors to their territories in British Columbia on the Straights of Georgia at Cape Mudge and Campbell River. As a program, we will follow the canoes north from Washington, through the San Juan Islands, stopping to be hosted each night by a different community, and join the five day celebration along the shores of Discovery Passage from August 5-10th. We will travel to Nuu-chah-nulth lands, to the Tse-shaht First Nation to participate in traditional food gathering activities, and then Opitsaht, a community of the Tla-o-qui-aht people, located at the SW end of Meares Island in Clayoquot Sound.
Where You Will Study
Expenses, Financial Aid, & Scholarships


Program Description

Standing Together: Tribal Canoe Journey Field Study at Cape Mudge and Campbell River, British Columbia is a response to the official invitation from the We Wai Kai and We Wai Kum Nations of British Columbia, presented at the Paddle to Nisqually this year at the culmination of the annual Tribal Canoe Journey on August 6, 2016, we quote the invitation here, so that the intention of our host will be clear:

The coastal waters of British Columbia have sustained our peoples since time immemorial, providing access to precious resources and connecting our communities to one another. This common thread weaves our histories, stories, art and families togeth er and helps ensure our cultural traditions thrive with each new generation.

The canoes will arrive into Cape Mudge on Saturday, August 5th and into Campbell River on August 7th. On both occasions, public community feasts will be held. We anticipate between seventy-five and one-hundred canoes will participate and an additional 5,000 guests will line the shores to witness history in the making.

We hope that you will join us on the beach as the canoes are called in and formally welcomed to our territory. What a tremendous opportunity this represents in the building and nourishing of intercultural and cross cultural relationships. Your participation serves to strengthen our nation and our peoples, and demonstrates our unified commitment to working together for the common good.!tribal-journeys/h6vun



We Wai Kai Nation and the We Wai Kum Nation at Cape Mudge and Campbell River, in British Columbia, Canada


Coast Salish communities in Washington State, the San Juan Islands, and Vancouver Island. Kwakiutl communities of Cape Mudge and Campbell River. Nuu-chah-nulth lands including the Tse-shaht and Opits-aht, a community of the Tla-o-qui-aht people, located at the SW end of Meares Island in Clayoquot Sound.




Pre-Requisites/Language Requirements

This program is open to all students, of all levels, faculty, and staff, from all campuses at the University of Washington, and other universities. We also encourage the participation of the community, and will accept non-matriculating students.

This course will require some physical stamina, as we will be moving, and setting up camp sometimes daily, and camping outside for the duration of the trip, with several nights scheduled in motels/hotels. We will take small local excursions that will involve walking.


10 UW Credits


AIS 475A (5 credits) Tribal Canoe Journey Field Study

Students will join the canoe families as they begin the journey from Washington, visiting a new location each day via vans to serve and learn in the tribal communities hosting the canoes as they travel North. Camping facilities and most meals are provided by the host, and evenings are spent in community, as tribes share their songs and dances with the host tribe in protocol. Learning is focused on the ecology of the Salish Sea, Coast Salish and Northwest Coast cultures, the impacts of colonialization on ecosystems and culture, historical trauma; and the cultural responses, adaptations, and resilience embodied by the Canoe Movement. This movement, which has come to be called Tribal Canoe Journeys, has grown from a few canoes to more than 6,000 people participating annually, and it is creating cultural renewal among the Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest.

The course is centered in daily service, and building a learning community informed by the 10 Rules of the Canoe. Methods include experiential learning focused on the Pacific Northwest, its history, ecosystems and people, through participation and service. Gifting is an integral part of the event. We will prepare in advance to reciprocate and give gifts to our hosts.

Learning Goals: 

  • Class consists of immersion through community building and volunteering in the Annual Tribal Canoe Journeys.
  • Activities include daily Cultural Protocol, large group and small discussions, and a series of field experiences focused on the ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest
  • Readings include papers and chapters from the fields of environmental history, geology, ecology, botany, anthropology, traditional ecological knowledge, and restoration Learning Assignments
  • Community building and participation are central to our learning experience, including daily service to the larger event.
  • Create a comprehensive field journal for the off-campus and field component of the course that employs observation, illustration, writing and reflecting to document your learning experience.
  • Final written 7-10 paged double-spaced paper that integrates experiential learning, readings and reflection. Credit will be given based on Attendance and Participation in our regular class meetings and field trips; and Mandatory Attendance of our camping trip

AIS 270 (5 credits) Indigenous Peoples of the Northwest Coast

This course introduces students to the Indigenous cultures of the Northwest Coast, extending from Southeast Alaska down along the coastlines of British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. This area of the United States and Canada is home to many distinct Indigenous societies whose histories and cultures have continually shaped and enriched this richly diverse and complex region. Focus will be placed on the revival of the coastal canoe tradition, placing this within the context of tribal self-determination and cultural revitalization.

Learning Goals: 

The goal of this class is to provide a deeper understanding of Indigenous experience and knowledge as it relates to decolonization, self-determination, and cultural revitalization and resurgence.

Course Requirements and Grading:

1. Reading Response and Daily Reflection Journal (50%) Students are required to keep a daily journal with 10 entries (5 points each). Student journal entries must be 1page in length, typed, double-spaced, and properly cited. Students should include analysis of the daily readings connecting these to the weekly Tribal Journeys events and protocol. You will be required to hand in these journal entries every few days.

2. Oral Presentation (30%): Each student will be given two questions during the Tribal Journeys related to that week’s events such as protocol, culture, food, wellness, health, community, climate change, etc, and will provide two ten minute oral presentations to the Study Abroad group.

3. Final Summation Paper (20%): The final assignment will be a final summation paper where students will provide an essay that critically explores one issue raised during the Study Abroad Program. This assignment will be presented in a clearly articulated and properly cited essay, 4 pages in length, typed, stapled, and double-spaced. Your essay will be graded on content, clarity, grammar, organization, and your use of the reading sources to support your analysis and discussion.

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Program Directors & Staff

Cynthia Updegrave, Department of American Indian Studies, Program Director

Cynthia is an experienced botanist with biogeographic, ecological and cultural knowledge of the diverse ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. Her scientific research has focused on Pacific Northwest seismic and ecosystem history, ecology and the bio-geographical aspects of regional floras. She has expertise in historical ecological research methods applied to restoration ecology. Cynthia is a lecturer in the University of Washington’s Restoration Ecology Network, and has served at Tribal Canoe Journeys with students since 2010.

Dr. Charlotte Cote, Department of American Indian Studies, Program Co-Director

Associate Professor Charlotte Coté (Nuu-chah-nulth) has been teaching in AIS since 2001. Dr. Coté holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Comparative Ethnic Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, a B.A. in Political Science from Simon Fraser University in B.C., and a Degree in Broadcast Communications from the B.C. Institute of Technology. She is Affiliated Faculty in the Canadian Studies Center of the UW’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. In 2010 Dr. Coté published her first book, Spirits of Our Whaling Ancestors: Revitalizing Makah and Nuu-chah-nulth Traditions. Dr. Coté is currently conducting research for her next book that focuses on indigenous food sovereignty and environmental justice issues.

Program Expenses

Cost: $3,500

Estimated Program Fee of $3,500, the UW Study Abroad Fee ($350), airfare, food (about $15/day), UW Study Abroad Insurance ($62/month), other health expenses/immunizations and personal spending money.

Average Airplane Ticket Price

$0 (air travel is not needed for this program)
*Subject to when & where you buy your ticket

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
Non-Refundable Study Abroad Fee $350 August 4, 2017
Program Fee Balance $3,500 August 4, 2017


There are a variety of scholarships available to help fund your study abroad experience. Visit the Global Opportunities page for more information and application deadlines.

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To be eligible to study abroad, all program participants must attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by the Study Abroad office as well as your program-specific orientations, offered by your program director.

You must register for orientation through your online study abroad account in order to attend scheduled orientations. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current orientation schedule.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most forms of financial aid can be applied to study abroad. You can verify that your financial aid award will apply to your program costs by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid or scholarships awarded as tuition waivers or tuition exemptions might not apply so you will need to verify that these funds are eligible for use with study abroad by contacting the funding office.

Financial aid and most scholarships are disbursed according to the UW academic calendar (at the beginning of the quarter). If your program starts before the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid will not be available to you prior to your departure. If your program starts after the first day of the quarter, your financial aid will be disbursed at the start of the program. In either of these cases, you will have to finance any upfront costs such as airfare, health insurance and the start of your time abroad on your own. Please take this into consideration when you are making plans.

Revision Request

In some instances you may qualify for an increase in your financial aid award (typically in loan funds). Check with the Financial Aid Office about your options. To request a revision in your aid, you will need to submit the following paperwork to the Financial Aid Office:

  1. Revision Request Form
  2. Budget of student expenses for your program: The UW Study Abroad Office will upload this budget to your study abroad account after a signed contract has been submitted to the UW Study Abroad Office. You can request an unofficial copy of this budget by emailing

Visit the Finances section of our website to learn more about disbursement, revising your aid package, short-term loans and scholarships.

Application Process

The application includes a Personal Statement, three short answer questions, two recommendations from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the on-line application process students may be contacted by the Program Director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. You can do so by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $350 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable and non-revocable once a contract has been submitted, even if you withdraw from the program. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the UW Study Abroad Office. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

1. Provide notice in writing to the Program Director that you will no longer be participating in the program for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.

2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to the UW Study Abroad Office, 459 Schmitz Hall.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.