– Meghan Ormandy, Curatorial Assistant
My name is Meghan Ormandy, and I am from the səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nation. Through Young Canada Works, I have been working with MONOVA as a Curatorial Assistant since September 2020.
I was asked to develop an exhibit about war canoe racing. I started by collecting images and conducting interviews with people from both the səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) nations. With the interviews completed, I gathered all the information I already knew and started to develop the exhibition materials which was a fun and exciting process. With this exhibition, I hope to introduce the viewer to both the lifestyle and culture that goes into canoe and being a canoe puller.
I started canoe racing at the age 12. I started with my mom with the Burrard Canoe Club ladies crew, where we had a full 11 crew. When I first started I was nervous and a bit scared, not of the canoe but of the water. I soon fell in love with the sport and loved the feeling of being on the water and racing. Then I fell in love with the lifestyle of canoe, and the strict discipline it takes to be in the canoe.
Traditional Teachings Of The Canoe
Canoe is not just a sport, it’s a lifestyle. This includes training on and off the water, running, eating a healthy diet, taking care of yourself spiritually, and taking care of the canoe both physically and spiritually.
Canoe racing is a big part of my life and will always be. The races bring together people that love the sport and want to carry on the traditional teachings of the canoe. This is what I love the most: being around people that love the lifestyle and knows what it takes to be in the canoe.
I’m really looking forward to sharing my research and interviews about canoe. Watch for this work to be part of a future exhibit at MONOVA. Stay tuned.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally written on 12 March 2021. Since then, Meghan Ormandy has successfully completed her video project on Coast Salish Canoe Racing which you can watch here. For those interested, the 2022 War Canoe Racing schedule is below.
2022 War Canoe Racing Schedule
We rely on contributions, monthly or one-time gifts, to help MONOVA safeguard and expand our community’s archival and museum collections, build learning experiences and inspire future generations.
Donations are accepted through the Friends of the North Vancouver Museum & Archives Society, Registered Charity No. 89031 1772 RR0001.
We respectfully acknowledge that MONOVA: Museum and Archives of North Vancouver is located on the traditional lands of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, whose ancestors have lived here for countless generations. We are grateful for the opportunity to live, work and learn with them on unceded Coast Salish Territory.