Join local Skipper Sisters Gisele and Tsimka Martin on a Tla-o-qui-aht language odyssey in our traditional coastal dugout canoes. While out soaking up the spirit of this place you will learn some of the ancestral language spoken for thousands of years by our local communities. Don’t fret if you are a little rusty on your sea-faring skills or local lingo. You will be expertly guided through the basics of properly using your paddle, the magic of “pulling together”, and a respectful approach to the land and waters.
Guests don’t need to be “athletic” but should be prepared with a good attitude to try something new. This guided tour includes paddling (with breaks) and a walk on an uneven forest trail. Bring a bag lunch and lots of water. Our West Coast weather can be unpredictable, come prepared for rain or shine.
This is a partnership project with T’ashii Paddle School.
Gisele Martin is a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht Nation on the west coast of Vancouver Island. She is a Nuu-chah-nulth language activist, storyteller, singer and composer. She has worked as a First Nations cultural educator and interpretive guide since 1993. Her father, Joe Martin is a renowned traditional dug-out canoe carver and for many years she ran a culture canoe tour business out of Tofino. Gisele shares her love of these places and their life forms to uphold ancient cultural teachings and encourage continued responsibility in interacting with and caring for the natural world. Gisele is involved in the movement to preserve and pass on traditional knowledge in her community, as well as various language revitalization efforts through local radio, immersion camps, field trips, and working with local schools. Gisele just completed an apprenticeship with local elder, Levi Martin to become fluent in her language.