Since times immemorial, the canoe is an enduring symbol of the spirit, identity, skill, imagination and knowledge of the First Nations People. It was an essential means of communication and transportation, not only for the First Nations, but for the European settlers who came to this country, a land where the only roads were lakes and rivers, distances were far, and portages were many.
If ever there was one single invention that made the exploration of Canada possible, it was the canoe. It was a vessel perfectly adapted to meet and overcome the challenges of our geography, with speed, grace, and practicality.
In the 150th Anniversary of Confederation, the Broad Reach Foundation for Youth Leaders wishes to contribute to the Spirit of Reconciliation we believe is so necessary between our indigenous and non-indigenous people. The Foundation, through one of its youth-focused initiatives — Project Coastline — imagined and created an opportunity where non-indigenous and newcomer girls built this 1867-2017 Legacy Canoe, with funding support provided by the Department of Canadian Heritage.
This Project has allowed youth to discover with their hands, hearts and minds, how much value resides within a canoe — in terms of skill, ingenuity, and sense of practical and spiritual beauty which the First Nations demonstrate every time a canoe is launched on these magnificent rivers and lakes. By replicating a symbolic part of Canada’s heritage, a Legacy Canoe was brought to life connecting people and water together in the present, just as it did in the past.
Mentorship and oversight was provided by Peter Code (Principal), TenderCraft Boat Shop, http://John Summers and Peter Gould, Masters Boat and Canoe Builders.
The Legacy Canoe was blessed by Whabagoon (Flower Blooms in Spring) Patti Phipps Walker, an Ojibway Elder who will also launch the canoe starting 5pm on Sunday, 25 June 2017 at the National Yacht Club in Toronto. Your $30 ticket includes food and refreshments, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to attend.
All proceeds from the auction of the Legacy Canoe will be invested in youth programming.