The Journal of Canadian

Wilderness Canoeing

  AUTUMN 2002

PAGE 5

OUTFIT 110
 

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In this issue

Front Page

Expeditions

Fall Packet

Canoesworthy

From the Editor

Canoelit

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We came across an interesting Web site www.wildernesscanoe.org 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 miles)

1996 Nastapoka River, Quebec, (230 miles)

1995 Clearwater River, Quebec (150 miles)

1994 Broadback/Rupert Rivers, (140 miles)

1992 Little Whale River, Que., (200 miles)

“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 canoeing community.

“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.”

In 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 Bay.

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 it ended.”

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 from Inukjuaq.

“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."

 

 Autumn 2002         Outfit 110 

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