Keeping In Touch With Our History

Aboriginal Canadians have been involved in canoeing and kayaking from time immemorial. As such, paddling is one of the acknowledged traditional sports of the Aboriginal Peoples. Parallel to this, the sport of canoe/kayak is acknowleged as one of Canada's most successful Summer Olympic Sports. Since Alwyn Morris' gold medal performance at the 1984 Olympic Games, no Aboriginal Canadian has been on the Canadian Olympic or World Teams. CanoeKayak Canada believes the sport of canoe/kayak represets a unique opportunity to use a traditional sport to positively address Aboriginal physical activity deficiences and to give Aboriginal athletes the opportunitiy to access national and international level competitions.

In 2004, CKC, with the endorsement of the Aboriginal Sport Circle and the Canada Games Council, received a contribution from Sport Canada under the Sport Participation Development Program to promote the Aboriginal Paddling Initiative. The program has received support on an annual basis since 2004.

The strength of the Canadian CanoeKayak Sport System is the Club system. Clubs are volunteer run, self-sufficient community based organizations. Once of the strategies is to promote local Aboriginal community-based clubs as noted above. They are key to providing consistent local ownership and leadership in the local community.


  • To effectively connect Aboriginal Canadians to the Canadian Sport System through the sport of canoeing and kayaking.
  • To promote canoeing and kayaking as an effective method for raising levels of physical activity amongst Aboriginal Canadians.
  • To raise levels of canoe and kayak safety amongst Aboriginal Canadians by using the CKC CanoeKids learn-to-paddle program.
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