Master canoe builder Chuck Commanda coming to Mohawk in July
From July 11 to July 29, Master Canoe Builder, Chuck Commanda will be joined by a small group of Indigenous students to build a traditional birch bark canoe in the Hoop Dance space at the Fennell campus. The canoe will take about two weeks to build, and once complete, will become a travelling companion for Theodore Too a popular kids program that builds awareness of the opportunities available in Canada’s marine industry as well as being an ambassador for Swim Drink Fish. All are welcome to stop by the Hoop Dance at any time during the build to watch the canoe take shape.
The canoe project is a collaboration between the Indigenous Initiatives and Indigenous Student Services (ISS), the Mohawk College Foundation and Kathy and Blair McKeil, who commissioned the canoe. When not travelling with Theodore Too, the canoe will be on display at Mohawk College with the location to be determined later.
July and August also mark the return of the popular Pathfinder Indigenous Youth Program, run by ISS. Pathfinder is a summer program for Indigenous students meant to de-mystify post-secondary education. The program focuses on Indigenous culture, identity, leadership skills, and pathways into post-secondary. Pathfinder did not run in 2020 and 2021, but will return to campus this summer from July 25 to August 10. One of the highlights of this year’s program will be a soapstone carving workshop by carver Waylon Snowshoe.