Youth Leadership Paddle Program (YLPP) has been offered by Sea To Cedar since 2017 with support from A̱ka̱la Society. In 2022, the program was organized solely by A̱ka̱la Society, making it a program by Musgamakw Dzawada̱’enux̱w for Musgamakw Dzawada̱’enux̱w. Thank you to Sea to Cedar for holding space for this program since 2017.

The YLPP provides Musgamakw Dzawada̱’enux̱w youth with certifiable canoeing skills and leadership training. No previous paddling experience is required. There is no cost for the program. If you participated last year, please apply again! We are happy to have any previous participants join the group. 

YLPP is 7 to 13 days that includes a 1.5-day paddle school, a 10-day canoe expedition and a post program graduation ceremony. During the journey the participants learn outdoor skills such as:

  • setting up shelters,
  • cooking,
  • paddling,
  • starting a fire,
  • reading tides charts,
  • navigation and,
  • compass work.

Intertwined in these lessons is our traditional knowledge of how we used the lands and waters, traditional place names, medicines and foods. The youth participate in evening discussions with topics such as: value systems, decolonization, neuroplasticity, and overcoming adversity. As the expedition progresses there is a gradual transfer of responsibility from the instructors to the participants. The participants are set up for success and given opportunities to challenge themselves. They receive certification through Paddle Canada upon completion of the program. The course culminates in a celebration ceremony to honor the accomplishments of the participants.

The exact route is determined closer to the trip. We will be paddling in the traditional territory of the Musgamakw Dzawada̱’enux̱w. To get a feel for what this program offers view this video of the 2019 program.

There is no fee for participants; however, some gear (such as rain jacket/pants) is required. If needed, the program will help participants find the necessary gear. No one will be turned away because they do not have the proper gear. Transportation between Port McNeill and expedition start and end locations is covered. If you require transportation up island please let us know and we will help you find a ride.

Applications Closed

Please check back in early 2023.