Outreach Programs

Tillikum Lens & Paddles Across Canada

The Canadian Canoe Museum has Partnered with the International Sustainability Education Foundation (ISEF) and SONY Canada to collaborate two National programs- The Tillikum Lens Project and Paddles Across Canada. The collaboration will see paddle carving workshops brought to students, particularly at-risk First Nation, Metis and Inuit students, to locations across the nation and also incorporates a photography workshop that teaches the students the basics of photography on cameras provided by SONY Canada. 

Once the workshops are completed,  the students will have a photo blog of their experience learning about both photography and paddle carving. This photoblog will be hosted on the Tillikum Lens website – www.tillikumlens.com as well as here on the Museum's website. 

Through programs like these the Canadian Canoe Museum is connecting with youth and especially with First Nations and Metis youth whose heritage is so closely tied to the canoe and paddle heritage in Canada. It is hoped that through these programs the students will feel empowered to tell their story through their photography and explore new opportunities and passions related to photography, word working and paddling.  


Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, Peterborough, Ontario

In June, The Canadian Canoe Museum partnered with the Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre to deliver a paddle carving and Tillikum Lens photography workshop to youth from the Wasa-Nabin and Akwe:go programs. These programs aim to serve and enhance the quality of life for urban indigenous people.

Participants of the workshop will learned the basics of photography through the Tillikum Lens project, a program delivered by the International Sustainability Education Foundation with cameras provided by Sony Canada.

After three evenings of photography skill building at the NFC and the Museum, participants each designed and carved a full-size canoe paddle using traditional tools. The paddle carving took place June 18th and 19th at the museum. The following weekend, Museum staff lead participants on a canoe excursion, during which they obtained their ORCKA Level 1 paddling certification!

On June 30th, the finished paddles as well as a selection of the participants' photography will be on display at the Museum. The opening reception will start at 3:00pm. The public is welcome and invited to attend the opening.

Squamish First Nations, Squamish B.C.

In April 2016, The Canoe Museum are working with ISEF and the Squamish First Nation on a Paddles Across Canada project! Through the Tillikum Lens Project Squamish youth will learn about their paddling heritage while they carve traditional Squamish paddles under the guidance of Wes and Shucks Nahanee. The youth will use the paddles they carve to paddle a traditional Squamish canoe to the Silver Canoe Dinner where their paddles and the photographs they took while carving the paddles will be displayed. Paddling practice will start next week and the kids will be taking photos as well then and working on their photography. Practice will take place at Mosquito Creek marina (Squamish territory and run by the Squamish Nation).

Stay tuned for more photos of the paddle carving workshop, paddling lessons and the student's photoblog!

The pilot program: Lockport School, Manitoba

The pilot program of the Tillikum Lens, Paddles Across Canada collaboration took place at Lockport school just north of Winnipeg from January 25th to 29th 2016. The students will be at the Canadian Canoe Museum’s Silver Canoe Dinner being held on February 19 at Fort Gibraltar as part of the Festival du Voyageur.

At the dinner the students will display both their finished paddles and a selection of their photography. Through the dinner experience these students will meet people from all walks of life around Winnipeg and it is to be hoped they will feel empowered to tell their story and explore new opportunities and passions! 

 Please enjoy the photo galleries below of both the workshop in progress, and the student's chosen photos to be displayed at the Silver Canoe Dinner!

The process...

Image credit for the above gallery JT Austin from Sony

The finished product!

In the media...

January 27, 2016- CTV Manitoba- Teens learn about their past through paddle making

January 27, 2016-CBC Manitoba- Lockport, Man., first stop for new paddle-making program

February 4, 2016- Selkirk Record Front Page & Article