Cascadia Cultural Week, May 17-26

May 18, 1980, the lateral eruption of Mount St. Helens, is the largest volcanic eruption in the modern history of North America.

May 18 is Cascadia Day in recognition of this historic eruption.

Cascadia is the distinct region of the Pacific Northwest that spans across the Canada-United States International border, the majority of Cascadia is made up of modern day British Columbia, Oregon and Washington State.

Variations of maps move the southern and eastern borders but the distinct region west of the Rocky Mountains stretching north to Alaska represent as great a natural boundary that the earth ever produced.

The flag of Cascadia is an homage to the “Appeal to Heaven Pine” used by Revolutionaries in Massachusetts during the American Revolution.

Cascadia is a grassroots movement to ensure the preservation of the natural beauty of the region while looking to modern solutions to enhance our environment, while respecting our limits to growth, with the acceptance of progress and innovation to solve our 20th century problems with the available 22nd century solutions.

Cascadia Culture Week

We celebrate…

Our Region

From the Malahat Summit on Southern Vancouver Island looking south down Finlayson Arm, Bear Mountain, The Olympic Mountain range and the Elwha Valley

Our People

The People of the Salish Sea Coast. The Coast Salish are a group of First Nation tribes that live in the Pacific Northwest along the the Salish Sea coastline. The Salish Sea is the traditional name of the Straights of Juan De’ Fuca, Georgia, and the Puget Sound. This region gets the names of our islands and bodies of water from the English and Spanish explorers who bumped into each other while exploring this region a couple hundred years ago. The English and Spanish shared their maps of the region with each other and they took turns naming the islands and waterways. That is why we see the SAN Juan Islands next to islands named James and Sidney. Galliano Island beside Mayne Island, next to Saturna, surrounded by Juan De’Fuca and Georgia Straights. There is support to rename these bodies of water after the traditional name, the Salish Sea.

The spirit of these Coastal Salish tribes flow through every community in Cascadia and with the majority of First Nation Tribes still having unceded their territory, the rule of this land and our Governments which rule over us and the boundaries they set are up for debate until the treaty process is complete.

Our Arts

From Portland

Image For Sale Portland Oregon with Red Mt Hood at Sunset.

To Seattle

City Glow, 2005 Seattle Art Museum

To Vancouver

Unknown Artist of Vancouver

And Vancouver Island

By, Local Artists

Our Music

Our Sports Teams

Nothing has unified our region more, with a healthy local rivalry, created by the fans of our professional soccer teams.

The Cascadia Cup

The Cascadia Cup of Professional Soccer represents the new spirit of our region. The people wanted a trophy to bestow the best team in our Cascadia. It was the fans of the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps who designed and paid for the trophy as it was originally just something the fans were doing on their own. The teams and league did get involved at some point but the keepers of the Cascadia Cup fought for their Autonomy, and prevented the league from taking the people’s cup as their own. Cascadia Cup matches are now recognized by the Major League Soccer and worked into the regular season schedule. To learn more about the Cascadia Cup, you can view this entertaining look at the origins of the Cascadia Cup .

With the addition of Seattle to the National Hockey League access to Seattle from Vancouver and the Islands will become an issue as hockey fans will flock south to watch and cheer another team in our region.

Champions

Vancouver Millionaires, Stanley Cup Champions 1915

Portland Rosebuds, Stanley Cup Finalist 1916 vs the Montreal Canadian’s who win their first Stanley Cup in a record number of professional ice hockey championships

Seattle Metropolitans, Stanley Cup Champions 1917

Victoria Cougars, Stanley Cup Champions 1925

British Columbia Lions(Canadian Football League) Grey Cup wins:(1964, 1985, 1994; 2000, 2006, 2011)

Seattle SuperSonics(National Basketball Association) World Champions, 1979

Vancouver Whitecaps, 1979 Global Bowl Soccer Champions of North America

Numerous Canadian Major Junior Hockey Championships won in places like Portland, Seattle, Spokane, Everet, Kelowna, Kamloops and Vancouver

Seattle Mariners, they have never won the World Series, and they are reminded of this every summer when the Toronto Blue Jays come to Seattle. Cascadia comes alive when Toronto is being hosted by Seattle. The unofficial Can-Am holiday of Cascadia, when a sea of blue descends south from across the northern border.

The Seattle Mariners’ 2001 season was the 25th since the franchise’s inception. The Mariners finished with a 116–46 (.716) record, tying the major league record for wins set by the Chicago Cubs in 1906, and setting the record for wins by an American League team.

Seattle Seahawks, NFL, Super Bowl Champions 2015

Our Natural Wonders

The Cascadia Flag is a natural representation or our natural wonders, as “The Doug” image can be found naturally from most peaks throughout Cascadia. The above image is from the Malahat Scenic view point, on Vancouver Island looking eastward across Finlayson Arm, North Saanich, across the Island of Salish Sea towards Bellingham Washington and Mount Baker.

The traditional name of Mount Baker is Kulshan, there is a movement within Cascadia to restore the traditional names of our mountain peaks.

I was born in the Fraser Valley under the backdrop of Kulshan. My family settled in Bellingham Washington in early 1900’s. My Great Great Grandfather Carl Poignant who came from Sweden during the 19th century to Jolliet Illinois and homestead in Ashland Wisconsin before coming to Cascadia. Carl Poignant opened a Swedish hardtack bakery in Bellingham, while establishing a homestead on the Matsqui Prairie, in what is now modern day Abbotsford B.C. Canada.

Our History

The Poignant homestead was documented in the book “Wigwams to Windmills”

I acknowledge the copyright of the above publication but as part of Cascadia Cultural Week I feel a responsibility to share this history of our region and the narrative that will follow.

I acknowledge the Poignant family homestead was on traditional unceded First Nations territory. That being said this part of Cascadian history will be written here in this article that you read before you.

Carl Poignant established a homestead in the Fraser Valley , his descendants live throughout Cascadia. From Sweet Home Oregon, where the Beers family lived. The picture below from the early 1950’s of “Stubby” Beers on a visit to the Poignant homestead.The Beers family originally settled in Olympia Washington where my Great Auntie Thelma Poignant Beers worked in a munitions factory during World War Two, her two brothers serving for Canada during the second world conflict.

Thelma Poignant Beers would develop cancer from her exposure to the chemicals of the munitions plant and passed during the 1990’s. Her brother David(my grand father) passed in 2003 at age 78 and her older brother Ernie is Canada’s Oldest Living Cartoonist at 100 years of age, my Uncle Ernie celebrated his one hundredth birthday a couple months ago.

The Poignant’s family homestead was subject to expropriation during the Second World War as the Pacific Naval Fleet of the Her Majesty’s Royal Canadian Navy looked to establish inland naval communications, to avoid Japanese disruption in the event of an Imperial Japanese mainland invasion of the Pacific Northwest.

If you travel the Abbotsford-Mission highway(#11) and look toward the east on the south side of the bridge, you will see a series of communication towers. These towers sit on my family’s expropriated farmland.The photo above is of my Great Grandfather Albin Poignant standing in the spot where the Naval Communication towers stand today. In the background is Poignant Mountain as it was know during the early 20th century, now known as Sumas Mountain or Heritage Valley

The original Poignant family homestead(what remained after expropriation) of Matsqui Prairie was donated in the late 1950’s to the Boys and Girls Club of Canada for $1. My Grandfather and Uncle Ernie feared a tax burden of the what was then useless Mountain. After donating the mountain, the Boys and Girls club of Canada sold a portion of the mountain to the Abbotsford Rod and Gun Club for millions of dollars. The two organizations maintain a presence on Sumas Mountain but the Heritage of that valley belongs to my family and the First Nations who called that Mountain home before my ancestors.

In 2002 I was married on Sumas Mountain, with Kulshan as our backdrop

As of 2016 the Poignant Family no longer has a resident within Abbotsford but the Poignant’s continue to live throughout Cascadia.

Abbotsford is a city within Cascadia that was formed after the amalgamation of three pioneering towns of Cascadia.

When the Poignant’s migrated from Bellingham Washington to Matsqui B.C. there was no real international border. There was a gate house that you checked into but people moved freely between the United States and Canada, as residents of Sumas lived on Botha sides of this imaginary line.

My Grandfather David Poignant was born in Sumas Washington in 1925, I was born in Matsqui B.C., less than two miles apart, in 1979. My son was born in 2003 in Abbotsford B.C. The amalgamation of Matsqui, Sumas, Abbotsford, is represented by the birth place of my grandfather, my son and myself. Our birthplace is the same place but the name has changed over the years. This is Cascadia history.

Our Innovation

Cascadian’s dare to dream about the future, as we demand the future now. Forget Microsoft, the innovative corridor involves a much more complex cooperation than what the monopolizing software giant is willing to consider.

Cascadia’s Innovation will be inspired by the construction of a high speed rail line that would connect the cities of Vancouver, Seattle and Portland in a transportation corridor that will unite our region like never before.

The Cascadia Corridor The 22nd Century Solution to our 20th Century problems. Movement in this region is more restrictive along this corridor, than anywhere in Europe. A person can travel from Paris to Germany quicker than it takes to ride a train from Vancouver to Seattle currently.

I have taken the train south from Vancouver to Seattle, and enjoyed the experience very much. We arrived at Pacific Central Station in Downtown Vancouver at 5:00 AM for the 6:00 AM daily south. We arrived downtown Seattle at nearly 12:00 PM, six hours after departing the Vancouver train station.

To drive this distance is much more efficient at the moment, but with the construction of a a modern high speed train, a person can have breakfast in Vancouver, lunch in Seattle, dinner in Portland and be back to Vancouver to sleep for the night, in their own bed.

Breaking down barriers is what the spirit of Cascadia is all about. The acceptance, tolerance and inclusion of the people throughout Cascadia brings us all together and us, to our final cultural week recognition…

Inclusion

Cascadia Pride represents inclusion for all.

The most recent pride flag raising within Cascadia took place May 13, 2019 in Duncan B.C. on Vancouver Island in the Cowichan Valley on unceded First Nations territory.

Cascadia is a vast region with many diverse people who all have to live in the same community. Cascadian’s should demand more of the people we put in charge. These people are failing to protect our environment. Cascadian’s can not wait for someone else to figure out the worlds problems. We can only begin worrying about our own backyard before we can even consider the looming global crisis. Our region is strong and as well prepared to thrive on this planet and survive into the 23rd century.

Happy Cascadia Day and Cultural Week

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