Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bringing Kayaking Courses to Labrador Inuit

At the beginning of September 2008, Richard Alexander (the president of Paddle Canada) and I flew to Nain, Labrador to teach a Level 1 sea kayaking course. This course was special because we were going to be teaching Inuit youth. The course was a partnership between us and Heather Angnatok, who is the youth program coordinator for the Nunatsiavut Government in Labrador.

There are many reasons why a sea kayaking program is wonderful for teenagers: it develops physical skills and fitness, presents a mental challenge, promotes self-confidence and teamwork. For Inuit youth, it has added dimensions like connecting them with their cultural heritage and giving them a new way to explore their homeland, wildlife and coastline.

We had a great group of youth, adults and one elder. We covered all the Level 1 paddling skills and added an overnight trip. Three of the participants even learned how to roll their kayaks!

It was a wonderful weekend for everyone. Richard and I had an absolute blast and we look froward to getting back to Nain in 2009.

For more information on the course, check out the article I wrote for the winter/spring 2009 issue of Kanawa magazine called "Full Circle: bringing sea kayaking back to the northern coast of Labrador."

1 comment:

Bradpetehoops said...

Wonderful kayak place and events.