How To Be The River

If you’ve already joined our inner circle of weekly bulletin readers, you already know we’re cooking up plans with the Coharie and Lumbee tribes about a We Are the River day journey this fall. While we look forward to the next river adventure that’s coming together as we speak, we decided to reflect on the last one, We Are the River 03/31/19.


We Are the River is the only event the P1t offers where guests choose a tribe before anything happens, and they stick with that tribe through the whole experience. Our friend and (sadly) former employee Mariana Vedovello, who chose to float with the Coharie tribe, told us a little about her experience.

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Mariana told us that everyone enjoyed hearing about Coharie history, and that certain parts of the trip resonated with the group as a whole. 

“The Coharie’s connection with their namesake river is amazing and I could understand why protecting the river is so important to them. As soon as we start paddling in the Great Coharie Creek, I was filled with inner peace and happiness. There is definitely something magical about that river.” 

Before the canoes were even unloaded, one of the Coharie guides led a prayer thanking God for all the blessings that surrounded them and asking mother Nature permission to enter the Great Coharie Creek. He also spoke to guests about how in Coharie culture, one’s environment becomes part of their identity. Anyone can say that and sound smart, but it became clear to Mariana and the rest of the group that the Coharie really live it. 

“It’s so easy to get caught up in the world that we live in and we don’t pay attention to some of the simple things around us that can bring so much joy. The connection the Coharie tribe has with the river and their people was inspiring.”

Mariana concluded that “It was an uplifting experience.I just wanted to thank the Coharie people from the bottom of my heart for sharing all their knowledge and passion with us.”

The rest of the day included a hand-drum and singalong performance and some good old quality storytelling by two elderly Coharie people before kicking back and enjoying some traditional food. At the end of the day, everyone involved went home feeling just a little more connected to the world around them, and that’s what we’re all about at P1t.


Tobin Bates