The whole website is interesting, showing numerous aspects of Dene and Cree culture, including language and crafts such as birchbark basket making.
Link to the videos at the Gift of Language and Culture web site here.
His brave battle ended on January 21, 2010. He passed peacefully at home in Toronto in the early hours surrounded by friends and family. It is comforting to know that he didn’t suffer; he was calm and quiet holding hands with those who were closest to him.
Contributions to the Quarrington Arts Society are being accepted in his honour; visit http://www.quarringtonartsociety.ca
|From Kingsmere 09|
Apart from its romantic association with the people who taught Europeans to kayak and to roll, the narrow-bladed Greenland paddle is popular because it is easy to brace and roll with and is not very susceptible to strong winds. Also, because it slips a little at the beginning of a stroke, it is easier on the muscles, and thus less fatiguing on day-long trips than wide-bladed “Euro”-style paddles. A further benefit for northern kayakers is that the Greenland paddle is adapted for paddling in freezing conditions. The shoulders where the blades and loom meet make an ice-coated loom easier to grip, while the narrow ends of the blades, which are immersed in water while paddling, offer an ice-free grip for emergency braces and rolls. The Greenland paddle is also popular because it is very easy and inexpensive to make with simple tools in a home workshop, which is the subject of this article. Working entirely with hand tools, it is possible to make a Greenland paddle with less than $10 worth of materials and 24 hours of labor.I spent more than $10 on materials and more than 24 hours in the construction, but it was fairly inexpensive and once I got around to actually doing it, the project went fairly quick. Those who paddle with these "sticks" get pretty passionate about it. I haven't put a huge number of miles on the paddle, but I have used it a fair bit and really like it. The first impression was that it really wasn't all that different from the more familiar modern paddle. It still catches a fair bit of water, I can accelerate quickly and can paddle in a "normal" manner just fine. I like the long reach I have with it when I want to do a sweep stroke. Although I've attempted rolls with it, I can't say that it works any better, or any worse, in that department. So far, my rolling has not been terrible effective (one of these days I'll take some lessons on that). I should probably build a couple more greenland paddles and reduce the weight as well as possibly trying out different lengths.