The Dream Canoe program is the result of a partnership between Kílala Lelum, Saa-Ust, Indian Residential School Survivor Society, and Dudes Club Society. Leaders from these organizations recognized we share similar goals in supporting the wellness of Indigenous community members in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver, BC. We have come together to explore opportunities for community members to access canoeing and associated cultural and ceremonial programming. The goal of this partnership is to improve the health and wellness of urban Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples through participation in the practice of canoeing and associated ceremony and cultural activities.
Our program officially launched in August of 2021 with a formal Waking Ceremony held at Crab Park where, with the help of several Elders and Knowledge Keepers from our host nations, we introduced Stəqayeʔ to our community.
We are now in the process of building our capacity to offer ongoing seasonal outings ranging from half-day local events to multi-day cultural excursions.
Cultural canoeing is inclusive to all members of the DTES community. If you would like more information about the Dream Canoe and its cultural healing opportunities, please contact the Dream Canoe Program Coordinator Vicki Haynes at email@example.com.