Native River

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Parcs Canada

Marine Territory

EcoMaris partners with First Nations to offer internships to Indigenous youth.

Through direct action, nature’s elements build Indigenous confidence, motivation, leadership and solidarity, as well as a deeper connection to the environment.

Winds, tides, shores, bays, fjords and marine species circle the EcoMaris training vessel, which allows participants to reconnect with a ‘marine territory’. To many, this program offers a first expedition on ancestral waters.

Native River was - and is - developed in a co-creation process with Indigenous peoples. It aims to focus on their specific needs. At the end of each expedition, youth are referred to various resources by members of their community.

Native River provides participants with an opportunity to reconnect with their own Indigenous culture, and regain pride in it. This program encourages reflection on the role of First Nations within their territories. It also immerses them into tradition, through a concrete experience on the great ocean river.

Purpose of the Program

Native River allows participants to:

  • Reconnect with a marine territory through the discovery of the St. Lawrence
  • Reflect upon the protection of the river and the global ocean
  • Reclaim traditional knowledge in favour of solidarity
  • Express themselves freely towards healing (through collective connection to nature)
  • Build constructive interactions between community members of all ages
  • Become or choose ambassadors of change
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Wahsipekuk Seminar

This 5-day expedition is the very first initiative created under the Native River program, thanks to the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation.

This seminar allows a dozen participants to work together on our ship's operations while at sea. Youth discover the basics of navigation and marine ecosystems while addressing specific issues. Leadership and communication skills are encouraged through a humane perspective that fosters hope. This expedition is an opportunity to discuss Wolastoqey identity, Indigenous leadership and the general importance of the Wahsipekuk culture.

Communities involved in this seminar fund the initiative, thanks in part to the support of Parks Canada’s and the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation’s Indigenous Guardians program.

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A Joint Effort

Parks Canada’s and the Wahsipekuk Wolastoqiyik First Nation’s Indigenous Guardians program aims to re-establish and strengthen the role of the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation as stewards of the lands and waters of the Wolastokuk traditional territory. Its other objective is to ensure the transfer of traditional knowledge in the community.

This program fulfills Parks Canada's mandate through the acquisition and sharing of traditional knowledge. Such knowledge promotes conservation, as well as awareness of Indigenous peoples’ roles and responsibilities when it comes to heritage protection.

Indigenous Guardians will help fund various initiatives falling under the Native River program.

Partners of the Program

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