ArtsWA, in partnership with UW, commissioned artists Tony A. (naschio) Johnson and Adam McIsaac for Guests from the Great River in 2018. Johnson, a member of the Chinook Indian Nation, has studied the artistic traditions of his ancestors for decades. He and McIsaac sculpted and carved 11 larger-than-life canoe paddles out of wood before casting them in bronze and erecting them outside the Burke’s east entrance. “The life that you live in the canoe is rich in teaching,” says Johnson’s artist statement. The salute signified by the raised canoe paddle is “full of meaning,” a gesture of respect and acknowledgment that goes far beyond a simple greeting.