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    After arriving at Petawawa Point, the Brigade made its way to the Petawawa Heritage Village to warm up. There, President of the Heritage Society Ann McIntyre and her team welcomed them. Relaxing from a long journey are, from left, Canoe Leader Merle Pederson, Ann McIntyre, Canoe Leader Wayne Elliott, and Canoe Leader Bob Groves. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Despite the terrible weather, the Canadian Voyageur Brigade Society made its way safely to Petawawa Point on June 29. (Submitted photo)



Voyageurs stop at Petawawa Point

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday July 27, 2017

Members of the Canadian Voyageur Brigade Society made their way from British Columbia to Ottawa in time for the Canada Day celebrations.

The group of about 35 made a local stop on June 29, taking cover from the rain and warming up at the Petawawa Heritage Village.

Their trip was an enormous enterprise.

As part of Rendez-Vous Canada 150, men and women from Winnipeg, British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and parts of the United States made their way on different rivers, reenacting a taste of what their forefathers might have experienced. Most groups traveled about 40 to 80 kms every day, and they all converged on Parliament Hill on July 1.

The journey for Canoe Leader Bob Groves started at Fort St James, B.C. He compared the journey to a meditation of sorts; you get up early every day, and paddle mostly in silence, switching sides in unison. “It takes you completely out of your ordinary life,” he said.

He believes that this journey is an ideal way for any history buff or avid canoeist to celebrate Canada Day. Many of the routes the group chose have a historical designation and are steeped in stories of the past. “The rivers that we are paddling on are all heritage rivers and they are all fur trade rivers,” said Canoe Leader Merle Pederson. “We are just recreating what the voyageurs did.”

Though the group has paddled through many a downpour throughout the journey, it just added the authenticity as many fur traders had to undergo countless hardships to ply their trade. “I’m just enjoying the scenery and the people we meet,” said Pederson. “I really enjoyed the togetherness of our group.”