Rapids


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The 2003 Ft. Severn Elders Trip travelled more than 200 kilometres from start to finish. The group had to portage to reach river water at the beginning of the trip and only once thereafter, at Wapakwopowastik, the Big Rapids.

The Big Rapids is just that - approximately one kilometre across and almost two long. Everyone portages something here, at least to lighten their load while scouting the situation.

Here the group must unload the freighter canoes and either carry, let the boat down with long ropes, or shoot and wade with mostly empty boats. Two canoes and all packs, other luggage, motors, gas, coolers, meat, had to be either carried by man, or dragged on a sleigh by Stanley Thomas’ old four-wheeler found at the portage.

Four canoes came down the river either by line or by paddle, or both together with wading. Two of the Elders, Ezra Kakekaspan and Stanley Thomas, are seen paddling their big freighter, obviously enjoying their ride, confident in being able to, together with the canoe, get through in one piece.

Everyone and everything gets across and loaded into the canoes. A brief lunch is shared before embarking for the home stretch. On their way they will pass Cheman Ministik (Boat Island), Amisko Siiipi (Beaver River) and Sugar Island, the site of one of the original trading posts at Wasaho Siipi.