Shirod Younker’s passion for canoes began early. Growing up near Coos Bay in the ’70s and ’80s, he recalls that his family had “many canoes and no rules.”
His Coos and Coquille Native American father and Filipino mother encouraged him and his two siblings to explore the South Slough estuary, which had long been home to his father’s people. As a child, this was his playground. Canoeing was his favorite activity, and he spent many hours learning to paddle, navigating the tides and winds, and sometimes even sleeping in a canoe.