First Nations StoryTellers – Paddle Experience

Wolastoqey territory

Saint John, NB.

The Indigenous Tourism Association of New Brunswick took part in a guided paddling tour of the Wolastoq on National Indigenous Peoples Day or the summer solstice June 21. The event which was planned in tandem between Go Fundy Events and First Nation Storytellers unfolded across a three-hour window as the sun found its way below the horizon on this longest day of the year between 7pm – 10pm.   

Hearing the Stories

The paddlers rode the waves back in a time, according to Mi’kmaq tour guide David Smith, the ocean was much higher as the result of the giant beaver dam blocking its flowage out of the Bay in the past. Go Fundy Events pointed out that on the rockface one will find 500 million years old Precambrian stromatolite fossils which formed at a time when water levels were high. ITANB supports First Nations Storytellers on their new endeavor and sees their knowledge sharing and translation as part of rebuilding strong community connections that will ultimately have the capacity to transform the way we co-exist on this land and water.  

Sampling Indigenous Cuisine

A sampling of smoked sturgeon, and bannock or luskinikn made on an open fire with raspberry jam meant that not only did we hear and see the stories but felt and tasted them. Telling our stories in our own voice in our traditional ways allows for visitors and guests on our lands to make connections impossible without Indigenous knowledge. First Nations Storytellers welcomes everyone to join their circle, and while sitting around the open fire, sharing stories and laughter, it is impossible to forget this. As we grow Indigenous participation in the tourism industry in province we turn to our operators for inspiration and learning about using both our eyes to share Indigenous stories with guests. 

Collin Alexander