Pulling Together participates in Reconciliation Canada Sept 17 & 21st.

September 17th, 2013, Pulling Together Canoe Families were invited and participated in the Reconciliation Canada All Nation Gathering. A tremendous amount of work to organize seats, skippers and equipment was managed by our President Jolene Andrew to ensure both PTC Society Canoes were filled with representatives from Pulling Together and Survivors from Residential Schools and Elders.

On Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 a very special event took place in Vancouver’s False Creek.  Over 60 canoes participated in an historic canoe gathering.  They were there to open Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation – Vancouver 2013.

One of the participants, Ed Hill, provides his recollection of this momentous day.

PULLING TOGETHER was there to participate.  Both of our canoes proudly carried our usual crews of a cross section of society to mark the occasion.  Most importantly, we carried survivors of the Residential School system with us.  So too, many PULLING TOGETHER members were represented in many of the other canoes in the flotilla.  Indeed, some of our membership are survivors themselves.

It was an event of mixed emotions.  There was joy and exhilaration in those canoes, but there were also tears and sadness.  This event is about remembering, acknowledging and sharing.  PULLING TOGETHER has been doing the work of reconciliation since 2001 in our own small way, but this event was a monumental, once in a lifetime occasion for all who were there. 

The next day as PULLING TOGETHER participants from over the years walked around the Forum and Agrodome at the PNE grounds we were a part of a crowd of thousands.  It was a very emotional time for all of us.  We recognized faces and friends in that huge crowd and they recognized us.  Our good work of well over 10 years manifested itself in heartfelt hugs, smiles, shared stories and laughter. 

This wasn’t our first experience in learning and knowing of the pain of the Residential School system.  We’d all heard the stories throughout our journeys over the years.   Knowing what we know, we were here to support and share with our friends particularly as we proudly walked in the rains on that final day of the event through the streets of Vancouver.  I’m sure all PULLING TOGETHER participants who witnessed any part of the Truth and Reconciliation events were glad to be a part of it.  However, we all know this is just a beginning.  Canada’s work at healing, and the work of PULLING TOGETHER have just begun.

Ed Hill

As more pictures and stories follow this incredible event, links and photos will be added.

Thank you to all those came and support this important initiative.

Pulling Together Canoe Society

Vision Quest Recovery Society

Pulling Together canoe journeys were based on a 1997 Canoe Journey named Vision Quest. Their recovery house has just opened a new facility in Chilliwack, here is the story (Global news) and the link for their society- Vision Quest Recovery Society

Global News Video *click here*

Several Pulling Together Canoe Family participants were on hand for the Opening of this the new facility.

Our President Jolene Andrew, has provided her recollection of this important day for both Vision Quest and Pulling Together Canoe Society.

September 15, 2013 Grand Opening of Vision Quest “The Creek” a rehabilitation facility that has 100 beds, re-opened it’s doors after triumphantly succeeding in continued belief in the good work started with the Vision Quest Canoe Journey in 1997.  Vision Quest was initiated and founded in the same roots of The Pulling Together Canoe Society and our work in reconciliation.

Arriving at the Chilliwack River region for the Grand Opening of Vision Quest at the base of the mountains I was able to witness the beauty and serenity that motivated the choice of this venue to support the hearts, minds, and spirits of those that go there.

Welcomed by Vision Quest and Pulling Together alumni, retired Staff Sergeant of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ed Hill was in his glory reminiscing and catching up with the original team that helped execute that first vision of bringing First Nations and police together to acknowledge past injustices.  It was courageous first steps made by those first outsiders, who entered into a realm where hope, anger, love, sadness, resiliency and reality divide people.

I know we all thank Ed Hill, and his tireless efforts to remind us where Pulling Together began.  It was great to see it come full circle when they blanketed John Grant and Ed Hill recognizing their vision and dedication to a better future. We raise our hands to you Ed and John for your courageous love.  Below is an excerpt from yours truly Ed Hill.

Jolene Andrew

President

Pulling Together Canoe Society

 

Pulling Together nominated for award – Canoe & Kayak Magazine. Fundraiser for Collingwood Neighbourhood House -June 28th

Check out their website and place your vote. 

http://www.canoekayak.com/canoe-kayak-awards/vote/paddle-with-purpose/

Also view the article  “In the Same Boat” written on Pulling Together in same magazine (online version)

http://www.canoekayak.com/canoe/in-the-same-boat/

Share the link with friends

If you are in Vancouver near Collingwood neighbourhood House, check out their fundraiser Jun 28th, 5pm-8pm  5288 Joyce Street, Vancouver.

Canoe Club PSA 2012June21 (3)_1

 Last minute Federal Budget Cuts threatens their PT 2012 particiation (see attached pdf for details)

And finally, only 11 more days until day one of Pulling Together Canoe Journey 2012!

Long term weather includes sunshine and rain, so don’t forget your raingear.  Paddles up!