Navigation, Canoe-building, and Native Water Consciousness

Since 2010, TCC has partnered with indigenous artists and canoe builders to create traditional watercraft in Native Californian styles, to hold hands-on educational workshops on canoe and paddle-making with native youth, and organized public events and Water Ceremonies with local tribes and international indigenous partners. Additionally, this project supports indigenous youth in cultivating creativity through Indigenous watercraft traditions and in exploring eco-cultural health and healing.

This video was created by the young Native participants of the 2013 Guardians of the Waters youth leadership internship. Participants were steeped in traditional ecological knowledge through Native artists and scholars, who taught indigenous watercraft traditions, such as tule reed boat- and paddle-making. Through listening, discussing, group processing, and audiovisual documenting, participants explored the connections between cultural healing and ecological health, personal and collective identities, as well as traditional and new media.

Photo credits: Melissa K. Nelson, Nícola Wagenberg, Tania Wolfgramm