A canoe journey from Nanoose Bay to Tseycum near Victoria is going to include a strong contingent of Sunshine Coast paddlers.
Pulling Together 2014 is the continuation of a tradition that started in 1997. RCMP members traveled down the west coast in traditional canoes, apologizing to First Nations people along the way for the role they played in residential schools.
Kerry Mahlman, District Principal of Aboriginal Programs with SD46, says they’ll be joined by paddlers from other First Nations, along with RCMP and other public service members.
Mahlman the 120 km journey to Tseycum is going to take about nine days. She says the youngest member from the Sunshine Coast is 12 years old, and the eldest is 70. She says they’ll paddle for about eight hours a day.
Today they’re in Nanoose taking part in safety training. Mahlman says they’ll learn how to right the 11m canoes and use all of their safety equipment. They’re leaving Nanoose Bay on Friday morning at the crack of dawn. They will be spending Friday night on Newcastle Island, where they’ll be hosted by the Snuneymuxw First Nation, before continuing south on Saturday. You can follow their progress on their website or on twitter @PTCanoe.