Episode 2 – War Canoe

Being a warrior in my own backyard!

This week I stick close to home when I pick up a paddle (squmel), and step off of dry land. I am in my own Coast Salish territory for the Stz’uminus War Canoe Races. It’s pretty cool to do a show so close to where I grew up in Duncan, BC. It’s funny that I spent my childhood living next to the water, and never really learned how to canoe (snuxwulh). Well this is my chance to change all that.

A bunch of fairly young looking girls from the Rainbow Canoe Club are my teachers this time. Showing me how to paddle (while still on the beach), and even how to get into a canoe (not as easy as it sounds). I have to say I was very nervous about falling into the water, and with good reason.

Everything is going pretty well until the team tries to switch paddles from one side to the other. Despite my best efforts, things get pretty wet, including one of our cameras (ouch, expensive).

Later on, when we hit the water for a race, my big burly size is no match for these local girls who have been training for many, many years.

Although my canoeing lesson turns into a bit of a swimming (ti'tu'c'um) lesson, it was still a really good time. And it made me feel closer to my warrior ancestors who have been paddling these waters for thousands of years.