Sunday, December 23, 2012

Going Huge Reflecting on a season of canoe—and community—building

Going Huge

By Conor Mihell
Things had a way of working out in 2012 for outdoor educator Adam Wicks-Arshack and his colleagues at Voyages of Rediscovery, a Washington-based nonprofit. Last spring, first reported on their KickStarter campaign to reintroduce aboriginal youth to birch-bark canoe-building on Ontario’s Lake Temagami. Having achieved their fundraising goal of $10,000, Wicks-Arshack, and fellow environmental educators John Zinser and Dan Cassell traveled across the country from their base on Washington’s Columbia River to Temagami in May and set up camp near the baseball field at the Ojibwa reserve on Bear Island. Just when they thought they might have to import bark for the construction project, a local craftsman showed them a secret stash of suitable birch. In the end, the team constructed two canoes with the help of native youth, parents, elders and the greater Lake Temagami community.

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