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Late September Update 2020

Sadly, we have been informed that we can only have a maximum of 25 in attendance – even if only one at a time!  The Government of Ontario has decreed.  As a result our Saturday Celebration will be limited to only 25 persons who have actually been involved in the build itself.


1) THIS SATURDAY EVENING, SEPT 26 FROM 7-9 PM, there will be a LIVE-STREAMED FACEBOOK EVENT sponsored by – called COME WALK WITH US!  It will be a recap of the build along with lively interviews and commentary about the build and about Algonquin culture along with entertainment.  To tune in visit the webpage.

2) We are planning a large celebration in the spring – provided COVID is more under control.
3) Dave McCallum is creating a wonderful video of the whole process along with interviews.  The long-term aim is to present it at a future Kingston Canadian Film Festival. A work in progress….

Thanks so much Elspeth Soper for the picture taken earlier in the build.  Captures the spirit throughout the build of Indigenous and non-Indigenous, male and female, working together, participating in something larger than our individual selves. 

Throughout the build Michelle Webb and I have been working in tandem. 
It has been a wonderful partnership.  Here is her letter:

Canoe Build Launch Weekend Cancelled!  Watch FB show Sat 26th

Kwe Pusu’l Nutaptut (Hello Mixed gendered plural friends)

It is with mixed feelings that I write to you today. The build has been a wonderful experience in many ways. We have deepened relationships and worked collaboratively to create something of beauty and personal value to each of us in unique ways. We are so grateful for the interest and support of the community and have enjoyed your visits. Some have made multiple repeat visits to check in on progress and have become very familiar to us. We have recognized our enthusiasm and delight, reflected from your eyes, and feel we have made meaningful connections with all of you. Interesting how a common love of boats and the waterfront can trigger conversations about all kinds of things, when you stay in one place for a couple of weeks! We were averaging up to 50 visitors per day and so despite the hiccups along the way, we feel the first build organized through the “Cataraqui Boatyard Project” has been a successful learning experience for both the Indigenous Community members and the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour.  

Organizing and re-organizing especially during COVID has been very challenging. We are grateful to have completed the build, after having to cancel the entire project earlier in the year. We want to thank everyone for complying with COVID regulations in order for us to share our build experience with you all and keep everyone safe.

Unfortunately it appears that a second “COVID Wave” may be trying to rear its head, causing the governments and health units to tighten restrictions. We are presently allowed to have only 25 people at the site per day. Most, of those 25 people, are those who have been actively working on the build and so unfortunately there was not room for a lot of guests.

With the build now finished, builders are not needed on site for Friday 25th which will be our last day for viewing. This will allow 25 people to see the canoe up close with an interpreter to answer questions. Others can see from a distance. I will try to reconstruct the Interpretive Panels which blew apart that can be spaced out in the park for viewing to help see details, and I can be available for discussion outside the construction zone on Friday.

The canoe will be blessed and launched on Sat 26th   and hopefully it has been properly gummed and will float! We need to test it while Chuck Commanda is still available to help us learn how to maintain a Birch Bark Canoe. Unfortunately the launch event needs to be closed to the general public due to the new COVID restrictions of 25 that are being enforced through severe fines. This has been a painful change in plans for us and we also feel the disappointment and frustration this causes. We ask you to again be patient with us and comply with these new regulations. The canoe will be remaining in our community and when we are able we will work on an event so we can introduce it to you, maybe at a Naming Ceremony.  

We have made decisions to use our limited funding to create photos, video, and Interpretive Panels so that the build project/process can be experienced and enjoyed again at a later time, so you don’t have to feel you have completely missed out at this time.

In the meantime, join us Sat 26th 7-9 pm for a live Facebook show with host Pytor Hogson on COME WALK WITH US at   where he will show some video and photos as part of the entertainment. This is our gift to you. If you watch, add a comment as your gift to us! Hopefully Pytor will remember to press record and we will also have a copy of that to share again as well.

In Love and Health, All Our Relations We Are One