First Nations’ Lore Featured on Orca Kayaking Tour

Share Article

This summer Sea to Sky Expeditions offers kayakers a tour with a special First NationsÂ? cultural component. Many have kayaked Johnstone Strait on CanadaÂ?s West Coast to see orcas, but have missed the opportunity to delve deeper into a culture that is integral to the area.

This summer Sea to Sky Expeditions offers kayakers a tour with a special First Nations’ cultural component. Many have kayaked Johnstone Strait on Canada’s West Coast to see orcas, but have missed the opportunity to delve deeper into a culture that is integral to the area.

Johnstone Strait, on the northeastern coast of Vancouver Island, is well known as a whale watching area. It is the ideal location to observe and photograph one of nature's truly magnificent mammals, the orca or killer whale. Every summer, pods of various sizes, congregate in the waters of Johnstone Strait to feed on Pacific salmon, socialize, and rub themselves on the beaches of Robson Bight.

Lost in this annual phenomenon is the area’s rich connection to the cultural, traditional, and historical treasures of the Kwakwaka'wakw people. The Kwakwaka'wakw have lived in the area of Johnstone Strait for thousands of years. Their lives, traditions, and legends are closely linked to their west coast environment.

“We felt that a significant ingredient that made Johnstone Strait such an interesting and important destination was being ignored,” said Len Webster, Executive Director for Sea to Sky. “We have arranged with Tom Sewid, the world famous native guardian and historian, to relate the history, legends, and culture of his people, as passed down to him by his grandfather, while visiting archeologically significant sites not shared with most visitors.”

Tom Sewid was born of a Kwakiutl father and Cree mother and grew up in the area of Johnstone Strait. "My greatest education has been the elders of my family and Nation," says Tom. "I can bring forth our history through narration. Legends, stories and modern happenings is what captivates me, and I am constantly in pursuit of more to learn. Sitting with the older generations Native and non-native is one of my greatest passions. To me it cannot be classified as education because it is so exciting to hear about things that happened in the past."

Sea to Sky Expeditions has led sea kayaking trips into Johnstone Strait to see orcas for 17 years. They offer special seven day sea kayaking trips, originating from Vancouver, from June to September. Cost is $1225 US.

For more information visit their website at http://www.canadianexpeditions.com or toll free in North America at 1.800.990.8735 & international at 1.604.594.7701.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Len Webster
Visit website