A group of Yellowknife paddlers got to experience a day trip in voyageur canoes on Monday. But it was more than just a canoe tour.
The event, organized by the Tree of Peace Friendship Centre, promoted intergenerational connections and reconciliation.
The project is called "We are all Connected" and invited about 20 participants of all ages to paddle a voyageur canoe to the rhythm of drumming and fiddlers.
Guided by Cathy Allooloo from Narwal Northern Adventures, they traveled around Yellowknife's Back Bay area.
Christina Moore, an organizer and a youth worker at Tree of Peace, said it's a good way to build relationships.
"It's really an activity — as anyone knows who's gone on a canoe trip — of working together. When you paddle, there's that vision of working to get somewhere and develop relationships," she said.
The canoe is used as a vessel to promote conversations about the past, present and future. Once on shore, there was a lunch of stew and bannock and story telling by Elders.
Ernie Bernhardt and his wife Beatrice spoke to the group about their experience at residential school.
Jessica Van Oveerbeek, a participant, said it was special to experience this with her young daughter.
"I think it's very important to keep that communication open and to make sure that we're learning and sharing and understanding," Van Oveerbeek said.
"It's the best way to start the path forward. It's a good start."
It's the first time that Tree of Peace organized this event in partnership with Communities Building Youth Futures, a youth advocacy organization in Yellowknife.
Moore said she hopes people enjoy the experience and that more events like this will be available in the future.
"It's a real opportunity for people to connect and develop relationships and promote reconciliation," she said.