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Traditional Canoeing Skills Featured on Terra

by admin ~ April 11th, 2007

Terra is an on-line film collective and video podcasting site that features stories on science and the natural world for educators, students and fans. They have an extensive list of over 300 video entries on a diverse range of topics: indigenous resource issues, biodiversity, marine ecology, environmental activism, and more. Episode 317, “Up a Creek,” highlights the nearly lost skill of canoe poling, important to the history of canoeing in North America, and central to the practices of trade, exploration, and indigenous lifestyles requiring extensive use of river routes as transportation corridors. Poling requires an upright stance and the use of a pole 10 feet or longer to propel a canoe upstream through rapids, or other sections of river impassable by ordinary techniques. The film, “Up a Creek,” highlights the skills and techniques of Bill Cummings, “renegade canoeist from Montpelier, Vermont.” More on the history and technique of canoe poling is available on-line from the “Revival of Canoe Poling” (by Peter Loy), or from the book “Beyond the Paddle: A Canoeist’s Guide to Expedition Skills” (by Garrett Conover).

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