Helping to carve and then paddle a traditional canoe brings a disabled Seattle teenager back to his Salish roots.
Paralyzed in one leg after a traffic accident (both he and the other driver were texting), Jason is gradually drawn out of his depression. This is effected first by the healer his Duwamish mother brings in, who tells him, “Your soul has been very far away from your body. I called it to come back to be with you again.” Following this, he is invited to join in the creation of a cedar dugout for the annual gathering of Coast Salish tribes. Ugly early scenes with Jason’s abusive German-American father—“A lot of people think all Indians are alcoholics. Not in my family”—seem shoehorned in, but they are mitigated later on. Jason’s experiences in the canoe’s ceremony-rich carving, naming and challenging 200-mile journey to Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island take center stage to spark both his acceptance of a place in the Native American community and his resolve to walk again.
An uncomplicated tale of mirrored inner and outer journeys, welcome for its look at Native American characters in a modern context. (Fiction. 10-16)