Our local First Nation organizations provide the Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival with an awe inspiring exhibition of the Aboriginal community’s culture and heritage. A program incorporating traditional ceremonies, spirituality, dancing, music, food, activities, vendors as well as interactive displays gives local attendees and visitors the opportunity to experience the traditions of Canada’s Indigenous people. The Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival’s opening ceremonies of the festival are led by the First Nations with a 6 a.m. Sunrise Ceremony and lighting of the Sacred Fire and smudging , followed by the Blessing of the Water.
The Mattagami River was once the main waterway system that our people used to use to get from summer camp to their winter trap lines and neighbouring communities. They would come from as far away as the James Bay coast by canoe.
This is a venue for Aboriginal crafters, performers, healers, drummers, dancers and vendors to showcase their talents while educating and entertaining festival attendees and participants. This portion of the festival is one of the most popular on site. Each year the festival ends on a high note with a Traditional Travelling Song and Prayer, courtesy of our First Nation partners.”