A large canoe pulls to the sandy shores of Kitson Island.
For the long weekend, the Coastal Cultural Canoeing Society took two families aboard yeexsns gm goop, or Wave Rider, from Port Edward harbour, across Flora Bank, to a rare sandy beach on the North Coast.
“For us it’s watching and teaching our kids what the coast is about and enjoying it and to show that we can do things as a family. We can enjoy the natural beauty of the coast. That’s what we like to do with our canoe is to bring families out and provide that big canoe experience,” Lyle Angus said.
Lyle and Charlotte Angus founded the non-profit society in 2014. They had a large canoe made, and then they painted their crest on the exterior with feathers to represent paddling with their ancestors.
“The painting was done by my sons, myself and my wife. It was a long one-month project. It was a family project, we don’t get enough of those to put the time in the late nights, to walk in a process together to completion,” Angus said.
For four years the model they have followed is to connect families with each other, and to the coast. For some of the kids, and even the elders they bring along, this is the first time they’ve visited these places.
“That’s one of the things with Prince Rupert, there are no sand beaches that you can walk to, it’s either by boat or by big canoe and that’s what we do,” Angus said.
But it’s more than just a canoe journey, and an exploration of the coastline. The society also wants the riders to use the time to unplug and be present.
“Too much of us are connected to WiFi, too much of us are connected to gaming, so one of our rules when we’re in the canoe is we have to turn our phones to airplane mode,” he said.
Phones can be used for taking photos and video, but not for texting or phone calls.
The Coastal Cultural Canoeing Society is always looking for paddlers to join them on an excursion. Send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org