Peterborough paddle project a unique way to honour Indigenous past

·1 min read

Tom Cowie is praising a new tourism initiative in Peterborough as a way of acknowledging the Indigenous contribution to the area.The Painted Paddle project was unveiled Feb. 1 and for the rest of the month, people can visit 19 downtown businesses and organizations to see the artwork.Cowie, lands and resource consultant from Hiawatha First Nation, contributed by painting a paddle that depicts birch bark (wiigwaas) and clan (doedems) to showcase his family of the Miichi Saagig. “The paddle creates a unique way to honour/acknowledge the original families in Treaty 20,” says Cowie. Jill Stevens, economic development officer for Hiawatha First Nation, says using a paddle to incorporate Indigenous culture as is a creative way to represent Hiawatha. “Having a paddle as the canvas was the perfect backdrop for the Hiawatha logo, which depicts someone paddling through the Manoomin (wild rice) stands.”The paddle project was open to anyone from the area. Artists volunteered their time to paint the paddles and some painted them on behalf of their charity or organization.The exhibit runs until March 5. Exhibition paddles will be available for auction from Feb. 19 until March 4.The virtual auction can be viewed at

Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Peterborough This Week