Submitted On June 1, professional wilderness guide Chris Cooper and his team will cast off from lelem Café in Fort Langley and embark upon – The Spirit Of The Coast – a canoe journey travelling over 1,200 kilometres from the Fraser River to the Alaskan border.
All are invited to join the Spirit of the Coast official send-off celebration on June 1 at lelem Café from 12:00 – 1:30pm.
“Spirit of the Coast is about education, culture, environmental stewardship and most of all spreading awareness about our beautiful BC Coastline. We want to share with Canadians the amazing place we live in,” said Cooper.
“It is not an environmental protest, but rather a journey to educate those who have never seen the coast up close.”
Cooper continues, “In BC, we have some of the most amazing biodiversity. The Spirit of the Coast is a vital effort to bring more awareness to our most treasured BC coastline, which is one of the most threatened coastlines in the world. Having said that, it is also the jewel of Canada.”
The canoe to be used on the Spirit of the Coast is a very important piece of the journey. The name of the canoe is “Hiyakw e te Stahluxw” which is a Hun’qu’ma’num word for “Chief of the River.” The Kwantlen People bestowed the name on the newly refurbished canoe which is over thirty years old. The red cedar used on the ribbing, seating, and gunnel of the 25 foot fiberglass canoe came from Vancouver’s world famous Stanley Park in traditional Musqueam and Tsleilwetuth territories. Brandon Gabriel, an internationally renown Kwantlen First Nation artist and designer, painted the artwork on the canoe which tells the ancient Kwantlen creation story of the Great Flood.
Acclaimed outdoors professional Cooper will undertake this 90-day trek with an international team of crew members from BC, Ontario, Alberta, Scotland, England, the US and the Kwantlen Nation. In addition to spreading awareness, the mission of the Spirit of the Coast is also to provide an opportunity for people of all ages and cultures to interact intimately with the unique history, customs and hospitality of host cultures along the water. This year’s team also includes videographer Don Jonasson who will capture the breathtaking views of the rugged Pacific shoreline and upload them as the team travels and visits many communities along the way.
To join the Spirit of the Coast online, follow @SQwantlenGroup on Twitter or visit facebook.com/seyemqwantlen.
For more information or to view the map for Spirit of the Coast, visit www.spiritdancercanoejourneys.ca.