Power To Be and Takaya Tours join together to make the water, and its history, more accessible

It’s been said this is the rainiest spring in Vancouver since they’ve started recording the weather. No doubt this would deter many a folk from venturing outside for some time in nature, but the group from Canucks Autism Network (CAN) were up for the adventure and we were glad to make it happen.

We met our guides from Takaya Tours: First Nation Canoe and Kayak Adventures by the old nurse log in Cates Park, North Vancouver; a perfect place to set the tone for the evening with a traditional First Nations song from Cease Wyss and James Healy.

This is our second year partnering with Takaya Tours. We’ve been visiting Cates Park for a while, first sharing beach space and casual hellos with the Takaya staff and eventually passengers of their traditional First Nations Canoe adventure. For the group from CAN this was one of many adventures they share with us as we host monthly programs designed to support friendships and social skills among the participants.

On this evening, the water was calm and as we started to paddle the rain cleared, like our songs had been answered. We paddled along to the chants to keep our strokes in unison – “one, two, three” – taking breaks along the way to enjoy the scenery from a different vantage point. Our Takaya guides taught us about the traditional summer and winter villages in Cates Park and Belcarra. We listened to stories of Indian Arm, and life in a traditional village, working together as one big family to stay warm over the winter cooking and living close together.

Finishing off our canoe adventure we turned around to head back for the dock. Stretched out in front of us was the most beautiful sunset I’ve seen all year! Reflecting on the history of the waters we were paddling, we all took a moment to soak up the last of the day’s sun. A fantastic opening day for the water programs season!

– Story shared by Alli Hallett, Community Development Coordinator