Remembering the Voyageurs
When I learned about the Voyageurs in school history class, I couldn’t help but think that they were some of the coolest fellows a girl could ever want to know.
Back in the early ’90s, we would play these fur-trading games on the old Commodore 64s our school had, and it never failed that I’d die — usually swamped by waves in Lake Superior (darn you, big lake with big waves).
I think, though, that the reason I felt such a draw and connection to the Voyageurs was because of my own French-Canadian past and my summers on the lake.
Growing up in Northern Ontario, I spent my summers more in the water than out. If I had Irish blood, I’d say that I was perhaps part Selkie, but in truth I’m a good deal French Canadian, on both my maternal and paternal sides of the family.
While I am very much a novice canoeist to this day, it was my favourite way of travelling around the lake. There is something special about the sound a paddle makes as it curls through the water, the soft swishing dip sound that is an aural promise of forward motion.
I loved the lilypads and the frogs I’d sometimes see, or the fish swishing about in the shallows. To this day, I also think that the sun-dappled lake bottom, with its golds and greens and flickering shards of light, is one of the most beautiful things a person could ever see.
That is why I am so very excited to be part of the Canada 150 recreation of the 1967 Voyageurs Rendezvous. For the first time ever, we’re going to be able to share what it’s like to canoe along this old fur trading route with people who can’t actually be there.
And that’s special, because everyone deserves a chance to see a sun-dappled lake bottom.
January 13, 2017 / Stacey / 0
Categories: Canada 150