Updated: Mar 3
May 29, 2018
From da Captains Log
We crossed our waterways and International border to connect with the Island of Salt Spring, BC Canada, bringing our message of "he wa’a he moku, he moku he wa’a”...the canoe is our Island, the Island is our canoe.
We began the morning at Drummond park where we began the day with a Gratitude Circle and the crew hearing a version of the Thanksgiving Address for the first time. Speaking to all life around us and giving thanks and gratitude. This ancient prayer that united the 6 broken tribes under the Great Law of Peace brought by the Peacemaker; known today as the Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaunee) The Kaigani Canoe program holds these original words and instructions to us as humans as central and vital to our program. Paddling forth our voyaging canoes to heal communities, to heal the damages and disconnection between humans and the natural world, for the cultural repair, and striving towards peace and harmony extending beyond our own communities.
Our crew seemingly sinking more into the rhythm of group travel and the unknown. Bonding more as a group, working harder on their self-awareness, and starting to improve on camp craft. Pretty amazing cooking coming from our meal prep crews!
We camped at Ruckle Provincial Park our first 2 nights, blessed with a beautiful Moon our first night, songs, climbing trees, people working on knots, forestry skills with hatchets, and some starting to work on mastering the aboriginal bulroarer; which crew members will carve on their own our last week of program.
Crew was shown their first Bow Drill Fire (with successful coal and fire, whew!) which they will work on Canoe week at Westcott Bay house.
A highlight by far was connecting with the Salt Spring WOLF school (Wisdom of the Earth) and their leadership and our new Brothers & Sisters JeanClaude, Ingrid, Alaina, Marion, & Frog. Our groups co-mingled and hiked to Tsawout First Nations preserve while part of our group got to rig a Polynesian/Micronesian inspired outrigger canoe and share our knowledge with the WOLF school and paddle this canoe alongside kayaks and a 12 person traveler canoe. We shared chants on the water and it was perfect…
Our groups all converged on the beach of the native preserve and played games, shared stories, games, we traded songs, and Kaigani Skipper’s Matt & Sarah facilitated a Peace ceremony, connecting and bonding the energy of the two groups..On a personal note, the dream of this part of the story, tears were held back because nothing existed but a happy content heart. Watching our youth and the Salt Spring youth dissolve borders and NATURALLY bond.
It was no coincidence we came to connect with WOLF and Founders JeanClaude and Ingrid whom share a common Elder with Matt.
Jake Swamp, Chief Wolf Clan, Mohawk Nation, traveled the world endlessly with Matt’s mentor/friend Uncle John Stokes, and together planting Trees of Peace around the World and engaging thousands of native and non-native youth and introducing the Thanksgiving Address & translated into many languages.
It was Jake Swamp's vision that when our children went out into the world to meet one another, they would realise that they came from the same place.
This was never more apparent than by witnessing the beauty shared between our 2 groups of youth and their Leaders. The memory is ingrained forever and no doubt more memories to come with our new friends across the water.
Next time, we will arrive on their shores in our canoes.
We ended the week with a tour of the Royal Museum and some journal assignments.
And then…DRAGONBOAT! We had the opportunity to come together as an entire canoe family in the sam canoe and our Crew impressed the heck out of the Coach!
We rocked it practicing drills in gusty winds and feeling the burn of paddling hard with one mind…
No doubt our crew is ready to take to our own waters next week in our own canoes!