We are proud of our two DAREarts grads – Jada from Webequie FN in remote northern Ontario, and Marlo from Vancouver – who dared to take this challenge!
Last May, DAREarts was invited by Board Director, AFN Regional Chiefs NS/NL Morley Googoo, to approach DAREarts Indigenous grads across Canada to participate in this project. Called the Msit No’Komaq Tall Ship Project, it was to be a special voyage as part of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta. Paralleling DAREarts values, this project was a youth development and skills-building initiative for Indigenous young Canadians, organized by Three Things Consulting.
THE ‘Msit No’komaq’ Tall Ship Project
‘Msit No’Kmaq’ is Mi’kmaw for ‘All My Relations,’ and promotes a connection between all people and things. The project was a partnership between Indigenous communities and the Canadian government, with the aim of empowering 45 Indigenous young people from across Canada as part of Canada 150.
Arriving on board, the 45 trainees were called ‘Warriors’ and made responsible for running the ship, trained by the crew of Gulden Leeuw from the Netherlands. Alongside watch-keeping, navigating and learning the ins and outs of sailing, the ‘Warriors’ also took part in daily leadership programs to ensure that they came away with new skills plus a greater understanding of themselves as leaders and the world around them.
About the Adventure
‘Msit No’Kmaq’ – the connection people have with each other and world around them – is a concept that is especially important for young Indigenous Canadians. The youths felt that this passage was more than just a fun adventure; it was history in the making and a unique way to connect with one another and learn more about themselves as individuals.
All those chosen had gone through an extensive application process that demonstrated their commitment to balance in their school, work and family lives. When this confident and capable group of young people first arrived at the dock before the voyage, they were already taking charge and putting themselves to work stowing sails and taking part in on-board life.
Gulden Leeuw arrived in Le Havre, France, for the final celebrations of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta on August 31st. Organizing facilitator, Cheryl Bear, highlighted the benefits the youths found from their adventure. “It has showed them they belong and they are important…” said Cheryl Bear.
“This trip has been an amazing experience. Thank you, DAREarts,” said DAREarts grad Marlo.