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Indigenous youth C.R.E.W. participates in Pulling Together Canoe Journey

The scene on the beach at the Gathering of Canoes

The scene on the beach at the Gathering of Canoes (photo by Doug Clement)

CNH’s Indigenous youth C.R.E.W. (Culture, Recreation, Education, and Work) canoe club recently participated in the annual Pulling Together Canoe Journey.

This journey brings members of police and government public service agencies together with members of First Nations, especially youth. Participants from both groups travel together on eight to ten day canoe journeys through hundreds of kilometers of British Columbia’s waterways. The goal is reconciliation by learning and understanding each other’s cultures.

Near the end of the journey, all the journey participants arrived in twenty canoes at Vanier Park for the Gathering of Canoes event, in which Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh chiefs gave the nearly 350 paddlers permission to come ashore in a traditional ceremony.

CNH Director of Youth Services Vive Wong (left) and Assistant City Manager of Vancouver Wendy Au (right)

CNH Director of Youth Services Vive Wong (left) and Assistant City Manager of Vancouver Wendy Au (right), in front of one of the two CNH canoes that participated in the journey

CNH’s Aboriginal Youth C.R.E.W. Program Coordinator Jillian Hildebrand said, “We had a blast on this year’s canoe journey. Along the way, we experienced some very challenging waters, were greeted by a black bear and met some amazing new people we hope to connect with again. We want to thank the four host nations of Sechelt, Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish for the warm welcome and amazing opportunity to visit and connect with their communities, land and waters. We also want to thank all the organizers of the Pulling Together Canoe Journey for coordinating such an amazing event.”

Verna Kate Smith, one of the C.R.E.W. paddlers and a program leader

Verna Kate Smith, one of the C.R.E.W. paddlers and a program leader (photo by Doug Clement)

Many thanks to Wendy Au, Assistant City Manager at the City of Vancouver, who was very supportive of the Collingwood Indigenous youth C.R.E.W.’s participation in the 2017 Pulling Together Canoe Journey.

City of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson

City of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who paddled in one of the Pulling Together canoes for the morning paddle (photo by Doug Clement)

Thanks to Doug Clement, who took the first, third, and last photos.

For more information on CNH’s Indigenous youth C.R.E.W program, visit http://www.cnh.bc.ca/programs/youth-activities/ To learn more about the Pulling Together Canoe Journey, go to https://pullingtogether.ca/2017-pulling-together-canoe-journey-information/