came across an interesting Web site
about north paddling and wrote to Troy Gipps, its Webmaster to
find out a bit more of what he was doing.
“Wildernesscanoe.org started as a
graduate school Web design project at the beginning of this
summer. I had perused the Internet several times over the last
year in search of a Web site tailored specifically for
wilderness canoeing enthusiasts. There were a few sites, such
as (Che-Mun’s) that appeared to be run out of Canada, but I
was unable to find a U.S.-based site that was solely dedicated
to wilderness canoeing. So I decided to try my hand at
building one. I was pleased to find that the URL wildernesscanoe.org was available for registration.
“The primary mission of my site is
to promote the art and science of wilderness canoeing. The
site is in its early stages, but it is my intent to create an
online resource that will cater to both novice and seasoned
wilderness canoeing enthusiasts. Novices can turn to the site
for detailed equipment advice and to broaden their
understanding of the sport, as well as to get a feel for the
Ungava and James Bay Regions of Quebec through photographs,
basic route information and by listening to audio clips of the
wildlife that can be found in the region.
“Seasoned wilderness canoeists and
novices alike will also have the opportunity to exchange
information and ideas about the sport through the use of a
'Message Board' and my 'Wilderness Canoeists' list that will
contain the email addresses and basic route information of
wilderness canoeists that voluntarily submit their information
to me for posting.
“Additionally, I intend to build a
comprehensive listing of North American Canoeing Groups and
Associations to further assist visitors in networking with
wilderness canoeists in their area. I recently added a link to
your CHE-MUN site to this section of my page.
“As for me, my trips to the Ungava
and James Bay Regions include:
1999 Ungava Crossing, Quebec, (400
1996 Nastapoka River, Quebec, (230
1995 Clearwater River, Quebec (150
1994 Broadback/Rupert Rivers, (140
1992 Little Whale River, Que.,
“My paddling team primarily
resides in New England and we try to head up north every few
years. We hope to return to Quebec and Labrador in the summer
of 2003. Any coverage you can give to the site would be
greatly appreciated. I look forward to creating a site that
will be a great resource for the U.S. and Canadian wilderness
“If either you or the other
readers of Che-Mun would like to be added to my list of
Wilderness Canoeists just click the 'Join the List' link on
the main menu and I'll be happy to add your e-mail addresses
and some route information.”
Outfit 104 we told you about an interesting project that would
combine a great canoe trip with some historical research.
The Payne Lake Project would
take the 1948 Jacques Rousseau route across upper Ungava. The
next group to take that route was the HACC in 1990. The route
goes up the Kogaluk River from Hudson Bay and over the
height-of-land to the Payne River which drains into Ungava
The plan was to
have two canoe parties go out this past summer; one doing the
full traverse and the other situated near the sites of
interest on Payne Lake where some believe there are Viking
artifacts. We had been waiting to hear something from George
Sollish, the project manager, a dedicated amateur historian.
We finally heard what happened to the project in an e-mail.
“Sorry for the delay responding,
but the short answer is that Avataq blocked the expedition and
I've been unwilling to admit it to myself by taking down the
website. I'll have to do it shortly, of course.
“If you want to know how one of
the best staffed archaeological expeditions never to take the
field didn't happen, I would be willing to provide some
information if you can keep it to yourself -- nothing for
publication, I'm afraid.
“In the meanwhile, I've been back
in the Belchers (3rd time) and am hard at work on a history
chronicling (I hope) the entry of Europeans into the central
arctic from Greenland, where it began, to the Belchers, where
Avataq is a group formed in 1980
to promote the Nunavik culture and language in Northern
Quebec. I can only presume Sollish’s group ran afoul of the
red tape required to do something bordering on official.
George said he
will link to a PDF of his report on the Web site at www.autogear.net/paynelake.htm.
But the irony is exquisite. When
you go to the English part of the avataq.qc.ca Web site you
are met with this quote from Lazarusie Epoo, Nunavik Governor
“All the people of the world,
Inuit and non-Inuit will explore and learn together, because
we who are breathing on earth are all relatives."