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As well as the benefits noted above, the Initiative would connect Aboriginal Canadians to the Canadian Sport System through the sport of canoekayak, promote Canoe Kayak as an effective method for raising levels of physical activity, and raise awareness of safety by using CKC’s Canoe Kids learn-to-paddle program.

He also enlisted the enthusiastic support of CKC’s provincial affiliates to source additional funding and be the primary contact with the target communities.

Canoe “contests’ involving Aboriginal People and fur traders represent the earliest beginnings of canoe racing.

The modern sport evolved in waterfront communities in close proximity to native settlements, in particular the areas around Peterborough, Ont., Montreal, Halifax, and Victoria.

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To most Canadians, Aboriginal People and paddling are inextricably linked, and historically, that was true.

“Developing homegrown leadership in aboriginal communities is essential, and I believe that volunteer activities with community sport clubs is an excellence place to start.

It’s the ideal environment to hone skills.” He points out that clubs are the strength of his sport.

They are key to providing consistent local ownership and leadership.” Edwards convinced Sport Canada’s Sport Participation Development Program to provide 5,000 over four years to launch the Initiative.From Edward’s experience would come CKC’s Aboriginal Paddling Initiative, a reflection of the organization’s belief that canoekayak represents a unique opportunity to use a traditional activity to positively address aboriginal physical activity deficiencies and to give aboriginal paddlers the opportunity to access local, regional, and national competitions.“As a heritage sport, it seemed to me that CKC could reach out to Aboriginal Canadians,” says Edwards.British Columbia British Columbia began its involvement with the Initiative with an Aboriginal Canoeing Conference hosted by Canoekayak BC (CKBC).The two-day event brought together aboriginal canoeing enthusiasts from all corners of the province and laid the groundwork for future partnerships.

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