Hamilton Seymour will never forget the first time he rode in a canoe. He was 5 years old and tiny—too small to even hold the paddle.
His dad paddled him out to a special spot on the water. He pointed out a picture carved on a rock and told Hamilton it had been put there by his ancestors centuries ago.
“That’s the first time I remember my dad talking about our culture and what it means,” Hamilton says.
Hamilton is Native American, and on that day, his dad wasn’t just teaching him to canoe—he was teaching Hamilton to be proud of his heritage. Hamilton’s people—the Nooksack tribe—have lived in Washington State for more than a thousand years.
That day remains one of Hamilton’s favorite memories of his father. His father died when Hamilton was 12.