Kayakers to celebrate Nunavut?


I have seen little in your paper (or any other media, for that matter) about what kinds of activities are being planned to celebrate the birth of Nunavut, the first new Canadian territory in over 100 years. How can this silence be? Are committees hard at work somewhere?

Well, I can’t wait. I have an idea, and invite your readers to join with me in making it happen.

Here it is: The Nunavut Kayak Rally Round Baffin Island.

This idea would see kayakers depart from each community in teams of Inuit (and non-Inuit) kayakers, who would paddle to the next community on the coast of Baffin, travelling in clockwise fashion around the island.

Non-Baffin Islanders and the people of Nunavik could also join in. They would paddle to or towards the nearest Baffin community to them.

In other words, the summer of 1999 would see kayaks on the move from one community to another in celebration of Nunavut. Thereafter, it might become an annual affair, celebrating the spirit of our young people and Inuit traditions together. Summer 1998 would be a training and promotion year.

In later years, it might become the goal of all the world’s kayakers to say, they had completed the Baffin Island Rally 2, sort of like mountaineers look at doing all the mountains over a certain height.

The last time I was in the North, many people seemed skeptical about long distance (or even short distance) kayaking, but look around. More and more tourists are coming north and taking advantage of this activity. Why shouldn’t northerners get into the action?

After all, isn’t this the homeland of the kayak? Shouldn’t young northerners be getting some of the thrill their forefathers enjoyed?

So, I invite anyone interested to contact me or the appropriate people in their community who might wish to think about organizing the rally. For my part, I will be in training this summer, doing the Hall Beach to Igloolik segment. It’s never to early to start training! Michael Bradley
Ayer’s Cliff, Quebec

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