More than 100 canoes from First Nations across British Columbia, Alaska and California are currently sailing around Vancouver Island as part of this year’s Tribal Journeys.
On Tuesday morning, several of the canoes arrived at the Esquimalt First Nation. The paddlers all take different routes around the island and the canoes that arrived in Esquimalt had journeyed down the west coast and up from Washington state.
Esquimalt First Nation Chief Andy Thomas said taking part in the trip is a vital experience for First Nations youth.
“It’s a healing journey for our young people to be able to get back on the water to feel the water to feel the wind blowing and to be able to heal together when they travel from community to community,” Thomas said.
The paddlers will make more stops along the east coast of Vancouver Island before finishing in Campbell River on Aug. 4.