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Day Trip: Learning to paddle a First Nations canoe

"We paddle slowly away from the wooden dock at Cates Park. Our paddles beat to the rhythm set by Rueben George, grandson of the famous Canadian First Nations Chief Dan George.

Moviegoers may remember Dan George for his movie roles, especially the part he played in "Little Big Man," starring Dustin Hoffman. Members of the Coast Salish bands remember him as a leader of the native people, especially here on the north shore of Burrard Inlet, Vancouver's harbor.

Out-of-towners note at once that this is not the slim birch-bark canoe associated with the tales of Hiawatha. Our sturdy ocean-going canoe, Northern Dancer, is a 12-passenger fiberglass replica of the traditional cedar canoes used on the northwest coast for centuries. It is one of a fleet of boats run by Takaya Tours, an arm of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation which inhabits a reserve across Dollarton Highway."

Get the Story:
Iris Sanderson Jones: Paddling a First Nations canoe a learning experience (The Bellingham Herald 8/11)

Relevant Links:
Paddle Journey -

Related Stories:
More than 60 canoes arrive for annual celebration (8/2)
Weeklong celebration set for Tribal Canoe Journey (8/1)
Tribes begin to arrive for 2005 Canoe Journey (7/28)
Tribe gets ready to host 8,000 for Canoe Journey (05/02)
Thousands expected for 2005 Canoe Journey (04/13)
2005 Paddle Journey to end at Tse-whit-zen village (03/15)