Monday, 26 June 2017

Four Winds Sesquicentennial Ottawa Brigades Intro PART 1

Voyageur Brigade Society – background

What an amazing journey. There are people who paddle long distances in Voyageur canoes for fun. This year, Max Finkelstein has organized Four Winds Voyageur Brigades. People have come from all over Canada, as well as, for example, England, to participate. We met Barb, and her husband, who were driving the vehicles and trailer in case of incidents. They are from Victoria, B.C. Other vehicles hauled the canoeists gear.

Each group will meet on Victoria Island (Asinabke) in the Ottawa River, at the foot of the parliament buildings as its final destination on Canada Day, July 1st. The participants will join in a welcome ceremony organized by the Anishinaabe First Nations.
Jones Falls Locks
We are situated on unceded Anishinaabe land, here in southeastern Ontario. France and England sent people to harvest wood, beaver pelts, and to exploit the natural resources. While many of those traveling to Canada's shores didn't not understand how to live off the land, Indigenous Peoples, while wary, helped many white colonist settlers through Canada's harsh winters.

Max Finkelstein said,  "I hope we do better for the next 150 years."

Why do they paddle? 
  • To draw the attention of Canadians to the historic role that Voyageur canoes and Canada’s rivers made in the founding of our nation. 
  • To celebrate the historical and ecological significance of rivers like the Ottawa, the Gatineau, and the Rideau that connect our communities and our ecosystems and that connect our people through time and geography. 
  • To celebrate the canoe as an icon to the values of this country:  cultural cooperation, freedom and respect for the environment. 
  • We also want to draw attention to the rivers the brigades follow like the Ottawa, the Gatineau, the Rideau in order to better protect and celebrate their importance to all of Canada, and to restore the Ottawa River to a position as the world’s cleanest, most ecologically healthy river to flow through a national capital city.


Traditionally, voyageur canoes carried cargo of furs and trade goods. But these canoes will carry a different kind of payload – ideas, hopes and dreams.  Our mission is to draw attention to the need for everyone, from citizen advocates to the highest political echelons, to breath live into the spirit of reconciliation – we want to see a Canada where all cultures can work and live together in peace, harmony and justice, and we want to highlight the need for a reconciliation with the ecosystems that support us – our waters that for centuries have been used as garbage dumps, open sewers and exploited for commercial gains without consideration for the ecosystems that supported the living communities (including people) along these waterways. We’ve come a long way recently, but we still have a long way to go.  

We met the South Wind Brigade at Jones Falls on June 24th. There were close to 140 paddlers in thirteen canoes. They left Kingston late (9:30), but arrived at 3:50, earlier than their anticipated 4:30 arrival. We were happy to see them arrive from the comfort of our rooms at the Inn.
Finally, around the bend in the river, they arrived. We cheered.

The Four Winds Sesquicentennial  Brigades 

There are four groups in the Ottawa Brigade, coming together from the four directions.

Schedule for the day

 Saturday June 24 Day 1 Rideau Acres to Jones Falls 
 7:30 am Breakfast at Rideau Acres Restaurant (included with fees) 
 9:00 am Depart 
 Distance 36 km. two sets of locks 
 Lunch stop possibly at Upper Brewer’s Lock 
 4:30 pm Arrive at Jones Falls; lock through if possible 
 Overnight at Jones Falls Lock Station; camp by the Stone Arch dam at the top of the lock 
 7:30 pm presentation at Hotel Kenney, Wildlife of the Rideau with Simon Lund, a naturalist & photographer

Four Winds Sesquicentennial Ottawa Brigades PART 1 –arriving @Jones Falls
South Wind Brigades videos
South Wind Brigades PART 2 – going up @Jones Falls locks 42 => 39.
South Wind Brigade PART 3 –departing Jones Falls
South Wind Brigade PART 4 – @Chaffeys Lock
Rideau Ferry: more paddlers Kingston -Ottawa
South Wind Brigade PART 5 – @Rideau Ferry


Lowcarb team member said...

This looks a great event, thanks for sharing your photo's.

All the best Jan

Anvilcloud said...

A good event and good thoughts on your part.

William Kendall said...

Well worth doing! I hope the remainder of their trip passes without incident.

Powell River Books said...

What an exciting event. One year we went to the Sliammon First Nation to watch the ceremonial canoes land. Nations up and down the Strait of Georgia (including Washington) paddle to one site to gather and celebrate. - Margy