Events, photos, links and stories about people we've met, places we've been and what some people did with their Teal Paddles! If you have a project planned let us know if we can help!
THE CANADIAN CANOE PILGRIMAGE
The Canoe: Vehicle for Reconciliation
The canoe has played an important role in the story we tell about the country that we now call Canada. The First Nations invented the canoe and built it using birch trees. Its elegant design allowed the First Peoples of this land to thrive. These canoes were the vehicles that enabled the first encounters between the European settlers and the Indigenous peoples. Quickly adopted by the Europeans, canoes carried them far inland as they explored and conquered. The canoe symbolizes the generosity of the First Nations towards the early colonists. However, in the hands of the fur traders and others, canoes became the means by which the natural resources of this land were exploited. Canoes also became the vectors of disease, carrying small pox to those who had no immunity. The tables had been turned: what was once a tool of forging new relationships became a tool of exploitation and conquest. Soon the First Peoples were forced off the very land from which they built their canoes. Placed on reserves and sent to Residential schools they were no longer free to travel the water ways. As this sad story winds its way towards the present, we begin to hear the calls for healing, reparation and reconciliation.
In the summer of 2017, the canoe will once again become a vehicle of encounter and relationship. Pilgrimage will be the next page of the story of the canoe in Canada. The Canadian Canoe Pilgrimage will bring together people from the First Nations, from English and French Canada, young and old, men and women, Jesuits and lay. These cultures and peoples will encounter each other while paddlers canoe together on the water ways of our ancestors. Listening to the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the paddlers wish to return to the canoe so that this vehicle of encounter and relationship may lead towards healing and reconciliation.
The Canadian Canoe Pilgrimage will take place over 28 days and follow a 900 km water trade route from Midland, Ontario to Montreal, Quebec. Along the route, young adults and others, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, will have the opportunity to be immersed in each other’s customs and traditions for an entire month. This pilgrimage will foster deep respect, trust, dialogue and hopefully friendship, the building blocks for reconciliation. During the pilgrimage the paddlers will animate and participate in prayer, ceremony and sharing that will be based in the traditions of Ignatian Spirituality and Indigenous Spirituality. Visit https://canoepilgrimage.com to learn more.
In order to cultivate a lasting impact on the process of reconciliation, our project will develop training and educational materials, so similar experiences can be repeated in locations across Canada. Additionally, we will be developing activities and that will educate youth about both the historic relationships between the European settlers and First Nations Peoples and the ongoing process of reconciliation post Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
MOUNTAINS 2 MONTREAL
Mountains 2 Montreal was a Canadian adventure across our great country to raise funds for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society in the summer of 2011.
The team members contacted Teal paddles asking for a donation of paddles for the trip and we gladly made paddles to suit each member.
Here is their testimonial to the paddles we supplied them with: “The hardy ash paddles that Teal provided us not only survived every hardship we put them through, but have become lasting trophies for our epic feat. Whether on flat water, as sail masts, braces against rocks in rapids or propped up as poles for an impromptu shelter, we were ever dependent on our precious paddles. Other canoers we met along the way using lighter, non-wooden paddles questioned our comparably heavy, traditional paddle choice; but we never needed to patch or repair the wood.”
To learn more about their cross Canada adventure check out their website at www.mountains2montreal.ca
We love to be a part of great adventures like the one these men accomplished!
This 3 Dimensional Maple Leaf was made by James A. Smith for the 2012 Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill. He painted 41 inch Teal Paddles red and screwed them together. People on the Hill had the opportunity to write on the paddle blades to show their Canadian Pride.
What a neat idea!
Teal Paddles was pleased to sponsor Darren and Danielle with paddles as they canoed Lake Superior in July and August 2013.
They started in Thunder Bay and finished at Manitoulin Island. The reason for their trip was to bring awareness to the problem of garbage in the Great Lakes. They collected garbage as they canoed beautiful Lake Superior.
Danielle says ' Hi Audrey, Darren and I have successfully canoed and cleaned up Lake Superior and the North Channel's shores! The Teal Paddles were incredible! We found the paddles light weight, comfortable and helped us to paddle hard in Superior's unpredictable, tough weather.
We have spoken very highly about the paddles and your company to other people as well. This trip has inspired us to do more environmental projects and we hope to maintain a relationship with Teal Paddles for any other shore clean ups Free4life may do in the future.
Thanks again for sponsoring us.'
Thank you Darren and Danielle for caring enough to do something about the pollution in our waterways!
You are Awesome!
Brian Johnston of Manitoba bought a couple Teal yokes for his folding Pakboat. He installed the yoke so that it can be removed.
Brian told us, "Your Teal yokes did a fine job during our three week canoe trip on the Meadowbank, Back and Prince rivers north of Baker Lake, Nunavut. Here is a photo of your yoke showing it with what became our daily companion and adversary during our 500 km canoe trip: ice!"
"For any portage that is measured in kilometres, I highly recommend a deep dished Teal yoke.
Thanks again for making wonderful yokes."
CANOEING THE GREAT
The Temagami River is an important resource for the Temagami District in several ways. It drains a lot of land and provides habitat for many wild life species but it also provides wonderful leisure and adventure outings for people.
I have been canoeing the Temagami River since childhood in the 1970’s. There has been much growth on the Temagami Lake since then but the River is still a place of solitude and adventure. The many childrens’ summer camps on the lake use the river as a training ground for white water canoeing with their campers.
The level of water in the river always depends on the amount of snow and rain we receive each year.
The Temagami River has everything from little swifts to joyously slide a canoe
through to breath taking falls that exhibit the raw power of nature. It can look
calm and serene and yet it should never be underestimated for the power of this
water flow can quickly turn a pleasurable paddle into a nightmare. One only has to
see the pioneering logging cross at the bottom of Island Falls to sober one’s
thoughts of the awesome power of water.
The cross commemorates the lives lost during the logging drives which took place here until the 1950’s.
To enjoy a leisurely canoe trip down the Temagami River beginning at the Lake Temagami hub, one should allow five
days which would bring you to the bridge at River Valley. There are many excellent camp sites to enjoy along the way.
Depending on the water flow, one can expect four portages on the upper part of the river to Red Cedar Lake. From Red Cedar Lake to River Valley, there may be up to seven portages in a normal year. The portages are worth the views that come with it. The scenery truly rivals any of Canada’s great rivers!
To manage the beautiful portages painlessly, we recommend a deep dish yoke. They are scooped out to fit along your shoulders and neck and will make carrying your canoe effortless.
For canoeing on a river, we recommend an ottertail or an eight inch paddle.
For those gifted at maneuvering through rapids and taking a chance, an ottertail paddle compliments the talent required. An eight inch paddle allows you to take more water when ferrying across or back paddling above a rapid to find your next line. Never panic when in a rapid. Aim for the next eddy or calm spot and always wear a certified PFD (personal floatation device). Never wedge your paddle between the current and your canoe or you’ll end up swimming!
If you don’t have five days to spend on the river, take a day trip. Grab your canoe, paddle, pfd, water and a picnic lunch!
Tell someone where you’re headed and when you’ll be back.
And don’t forget your camera–the pictures and memories you bring home will stay with you a lifetime!