This article is over 5 years old and may contain outdated information.

People & Culture

Young paddlers begin two-month expedition through Canadian north

  • Jul 06, 2016
  • 308 words
  • 2 minutes
Expand Image

Four canoes. 50 days. 1,384 kilometres.

That is what’s in store for the seven members of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society-funded Know the North expedition, which recently left their homes in Winnipeg towards Wollaston Lake in northwestern Saskatchewan. From there, the team will paddle almost 1,400 kilometres to Hudson Bay in an effort to, as their name suggests, get acquainted with Canada’s northern geography, and encourage the next generation of Canadians to do the same.

The group of educators and outdoor enthusiasts (Kira Burkett, Ian Girard, Hadley Burns, Paul Schram, Augusta Stobbe, James Swan and Steve Kesselman) are all under the age of 30. Together the friends will travel through four provinces, paddling north along the Cochrane River from Saskatchewan to the Northwest Territories, crossing into Nunavut via the Little Partridge River, heading south into Manitoba along the Wolverine River and, finally, traversing the Seal River to their finish line in Hudson Bay.

Throughout, the team will face challenging bouts of whitewater, plenty of upstream paddling and countless exhausting portages through remote, seldom travelled regions of the Canadian Shield, Taiga and Hudson Bay Lowlands.

As avid proponents of leave-no-trace camping, the team also hopes to promote the importance of environmental sustainability and will develop a suite of cross-curricular educational materials upon their return.

“Hard to believe all the time spent packing, dreaming, and mapping has come to an end, and now they’re off to see how their well-laid plans stack up against the world,” wrote Sydney Toni, the team’s media coordinator, on their Facebook page. “No doubt there will be surprises and obstacles that will make them wonder why they set out, but that is part of why they are going. To find a place where they can’t back down from a challenge.”


Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

Related Content

People & Culture

Kahkiihtwaam ee-pee-kiiweehtataahk: Bringing it back home again

The story of how a critically endangered Indigenous language can be saved

  • 6310 words
  • 26 minutes
Heinrich Scherer's 1702 chart of the North Pole

People & Culture

Why the North Pole matters: An important history of challenges and global fascination

In this essay, noted geologist and geophysicist Fred Roots explores the significance of the symbolic point at the top of the world. He submitted it to Canadian Geographic just before his death in October 2016 at age 93.

  • 5167 words
  • 21 minutes
Everest by sunrise


The pull of Everest

A century after a Canadian was instrumental in charting the world's highest peak, a fellow Canadian reflects on the magnetism of Everest

  • 4083 words
  • 17 minutes

People & Culture

On thin ice: Who “owns” the Arctic?

As the climate heats up, so do talks over land ownership in the Arctic. What does Canadian Arctic Sovereignty look like as the ice melts?

  • 4353 words
  • 18 minutes