I have always loved canoes. I love how they look. I love how they move through the water. I love how it feels to be out on a river with someone you love.
Recent physical problems prevent me from enjoying many things including canoeing. I have missed it a lot and I spent a great deal of time feeling sorry for myself.
One day I just started thinking about the history of the canoe in the part of the world where I live, unceded Algonquin territory. The numerous waterways of this area were highways, routes of communication and sources of food for the native populations. When the Europeans arrived they quickly adopted the canoe as their transport for exploration, trapping and prospecting – for colonialization.
Events most poignant, some very recent like the residential school discoveries, illustrate the ugliness that faces native peoples and the lack of true caring from this nation we call Canada.
This project, currently in progress, shows contemporary canoes bruised, scared, damaged and poorly patched. For me they echo the state of affairs between the majority who are living here now and the people who were here before and are marginalized now.
Some Resources via Northern Film Collective
*Residential Schools in Canada Plain Language Summary
*In-depth information on Canadian Residential Schools
*Remains of 215 children found at former Kamloops Residential School
*Lost Children - Kamloops Residential School Child Deaths
*University of Alberta Indigenous Canada course *Free*