The event is called Adventures in Understanding: Exploring the canoe as a vehicle of reconciliation and reconnection and the main speaker is Don Watkins, a committed Peterborough Rotarian who organized a canoe trip last year to bring together First Nation and non-First Nation youth, paddling from Peterborough to Curve Lake First Nation. He's planning a second Adventure in Understanding journey this year and is looking for participants.
James Raffan, Director of Development at the Canadian Canoe Museum is hosting the event and is very interested in supporting the initiative because the Canadian Canoe Museum is working to put the canoe in the middle of a sesquicentennial push to put a canoe in every school in the country to remind Canadians that in this nation of rivers and this river of nations that we're all in the same boat and that to make this country work we should all be pulling together.
Don's presentation about his project will be set in the context of talk of the Museum's plans for Canada's upcoming 150th birthday as well as in the context of a short film about another much older cross-cultural canoeing initiative in BC called "Pulling Together" involving First Nation Youth and the RCMP.
The event is next Thursday, May 21st at 7 pm, admission by donation. A tour of the museum will be available to people who come at 6pm.
More about Don Watkins: Don Watkins is an active member of the Peterborough-Kawartha Rotary Club and has worked for more than two years on building a partnership with Camp Kawartha and Curve Lake First Nation to create a cross-cultural canoe trip for youth. The first of these journeys happened last August, a five night journey in a 26' North Canoe from Beavermead Park in Peterborough to Curve Lake First Nation. Don will be speaking about the continuing evolution of this ambitious project as it moves into its second year.
Details on last year's trip
Details on Pulling Together
A sketch of the museum's plans to expand its audience by connecting to programs like Adventure in Understanding, Pulling Together and to centers of canoeing across the country are contained in this short film about a surprising visit James Raffan took to Gibsons, BC in February.