kayak race

© Hudson Bay Company Archives


Almost all groups of First Nations peoples across northern North America used the canoe or the kayak in daily life because these vessels were essential for their livelihood, travel and trade. These uses often required the paddlers of canoes and kayaks to possess skills of strength and speed. Interestingly, these are the same skills that are sought after in canoe racing. It is, thus, only natural that the traditional forms of Indigenous watercrafts were useful in the daily lives of the people, as well as in racing competitions. The archival photographs found on these pages are evidence of the racing traditions visible across northern North America.

This Learning Object Collection is based on the Virtual Museum of Canada exhibit, Living Traditions. Learn about the spirit and diversity of Indigenous culture and heritage. Join seven museums from across the continent in honouring the North American Indigenous Games by exploring the traditions and histories of sporting events and games of yesterday and today.

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans