Haida paddlers prepare for ocean journey

  • Jul. 14, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Preparations are underway for Haida paddlers to participate in the annual Tribal Journey, a trip that will see 100 canoes from First Nations in BC and Washington State converge on Vancouver Island in time for the North American Indigenous Games. Andy Wilson of Skidegate has been pulling together a team of 12 paddlers to make the trip, and they are set to leave Haida Gwaii on July 23. But before getting their paddles wet, participants will fly to Vancouver to pick up their vessel.Mr. Wilson said the original plan was to take the Loo Taa, Bill Reid’s 50-foot cedar canoe, to the event.”But it doesn’t look like that will happen,” he said. Luckily, fiberglass copies of the canoe were made. One called Loo Plex lives at the Haida Heritage Centre, but the other, known as The Black Eagle Canoe, has recently come into the possession of the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver. Mr. Wilson said the director of the museum, George MacDonald, offered his paddlers the chance to borrow the boat, and he is now taking him up on it. Logistics have been a challenge, but this year’s Tribal Journey is expected to be the largest ever with 50 boats from the US and 50 from Canada participating, so Mr. Wilson is keen to ensure it all comes together. Besides paddlers, Mr. Wilson needs a support team, including some people who can take vans and gear to the end destination, as well as a safety boat to accompany the canoe through the high traffic waters. He’s also waiting to hear back from West Coast Resorts about whether they will sponsor the group to head to Vancouver by plane. Once in Vancouver, the route Mr. Wilson intends to take is first to Sechelt, then crossing the Georgia Strait there and meeting up with other Tribal Journey groups who’ve come from places up coast. Eventually all the paddlers will all meet outside of Duncan where they will then form a flotilla and arrive at the Games en masse. He expects three days will be reserved for protocol – where all the paddlers will introduce themselves and state their tribal affiliation.

Just Posted

Immediate deal to reinstate AMHS in Prince Rupert not out of the question: Mayor Brain

B.C., Alaska officials fail to sign ferry deal in Juneau to reinstate service from Ketchikan

‘It affects everybody:’ Trudeau’s brownface photos worry Wet’suwet’en chief

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Liberal candidate declines to comment on prime minister’s indiscretion

Haida Gwaii art gala seeks submissions

Annual fundraiser supports local artists and programs

PHOTO GALLERY: Masset takes off on Terry Fox Run

More than $1,000 raised for Terry Fox Foundation

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombusman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of bus crash that killed two students

Photos surface of Conservative candidate at B.C. event with people in blackface

The controversial “Black Peter” character has been a feature at Sinterklaas celebrations

Most Read