Canoe As Teacher

Larry (Shucks) Nahanee, Chiaxten Wes Nahanee, Lilia Yumagulova, Kathleen Sperry, Jonathon Reynolds


This article is about the Squamish Ocean Canoe Family and is based on stories shared by the Skwxwú7mesh Chiaxten (“Protocol Keeper”), Wes Nahanee, and the President of the Squamish Ocean Canoe Family, Larry (Shucks) Nahanee. The article tells the story of a revival of the Skwxwú7mesh ocean-going canoe and traditions, particularly through the annual Tribal Canoe Journeys. Through the stories, reflections, and teachings shared by Wes and Shucks, this paper looks at the “canoe as a teacher” and how Indigenous Pedagogies are attained through Canoe Journeys, particularly in the urban Indigenous context where this canoe resurgence means cultural continuity and healing.

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