Days on the River

Spots each day

Hour west of Toronto

Registration

is now closed to the public.
We are at capacity.

What is

the Two Row on the Grand experience?
Click Here

July 24 - August 2, 2024

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

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Minute(s)

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Gaining Traction with Reconciliation

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The Two Row on the Grand 2024

We are committed to paddling the wampum belts from Cambridge to Port Maitland this coming summer in a full 10 day paddle, sharing the river, meals, campgrounds and cultural/environmental teachings each day. If you prefer to bike or walk, check out the trail network at http://www.grandtrails.ca/.

Your Paddle Family planners

Hi & She:kon!

Join us for the ninth annual “Two Row (Wampum) on the Grand (River)” and paddle down the Grand River with Haudenosaunee Nations! We’re following up the successful 2013 Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign on the Hudson River, the 2016 and the 2017 Two Row On The Grand. 2018 and 2019 saw more great experiences of paddling, sharing meals, campgrounds and teachings. 2020 and 2021 presented us with a new way of paddling with respect and friendship. 2022 and 2023 brought back a full paddle, adding one more day to break up the long stretch from Cayuga to Dunnville. We also won a tourism award for partnerships!

This coming summer’s event will be another symbolic enactment of our original Two Row Wampum treaty – put in place over 400 years ago. Help us embody the treaty, paddling down the Grand River from Cambridge to Port Maitland.

We will paddle in Two Rows when possible – one Indigenous row, and one ally row – to demonstrate the simple concept of the Two Row Wampum Treaty. Our teachings say to paddle down the “river of life” on parallel paths, as friends close enough to help each other, but not so close as to disrupt each other’s path, interacting with the Good Mind, good words and good actions.

Together, we will share the river, campgrounds, meals, educational events, traditional teachings, interactive dancing, storytelling, and sharing circles.

Itinerary for 2024

Click Here

Slideshows and videos

Click Here

About Us

Our Vision

The Two Row on the Grand canoe paddle is an embodiment of the Two Row Wampum – the original peace treaty between indigenous and settler communities. We envision an annual canoe trip where participants, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, build mutual respect and understanding of individual values and culture through sharing the river, meals, campgrounds, mutual aid, cultural/environmental teachings, friendship and summer fun.

This experience results in long-lasting friendships, an increased understanding of each other and our cultures, and through friendship, peace. Participants will be able to partake in educational events given by knowledgeable persons each day: treaties, cultural teachings, dance/social demonstrations, storytelling, environmental concerns, and sharing circles.

We have approval from all municipalities along the Grand River to stop in each community and host cultural events open to local community members. Through this experience participants can build long-lasting friendships with those in surrounding communities. At the end of the canoe trip we will host a culminating event that will commemorate the polishing of the chain of friendship between Canadians and Six Nations community members.

Who We Are

We’re a grassroots group of local Indigenous and non-Indigenous paddlers who want to spread awareness of the Two Row Wampum in a positive way.

By carrying the idea of the Two Row Wampum down the Grand River we can re-polish the chain of friendship with our neighbours and each other while having summer fun. The group was created as a direct result of the success of the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign in 2013. Details of this successful initiative can be found at http://honorthetworow.org/epic-canoe-trip/itinerary-and-map/. Four Canadian and Haudenosaunee members of this journey agreed that a similar initiative would be of benefit to the Haudenosaunee and non-Indigenous community members along the Grand River watershed. This experience was transformational for us and we wanted to create an opportunity for more of our neighbours to participate in this journey of healing. In sharing circles as the trip was coming to a close, we found that it had such an impact on people’s lives that we felt it important to offer the experience on an annual basis. For further information see the FAQs at the bottom of this page. If your question isn’t answered there, try emailing: tworowinfo@gmail.com

Two Row Primer

About 1,000 years ago, the Two Row Wampum, as a teaching about relationship, solidified the unification of the previously warring five Haudenosaunee nations: Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida and Mohawk nations. As the first treaty on Turtle Island between Europeans and First Nations about 1613 between the Mohawks, on behalf of all Haudenosaunee, and the Dutch, the Two Row Wampum Treaty states that both nations will travel down the river of life in peace together— the Dutch in their ships and the Mohawks in their canoes. Further, each would have their own laws, values, and cultures, and would not try to ‘‘steer each other’s boat’’… tell each other how to live. The Two Row Wampum is the basis for all the treaties that followed. It was one of the wampum belts involved in the Treaty of Niagara in 1764, which confirmed the Royal Proclamation of 1763. Without this treaty, historians agree that the Americans would have successfully invaded Canada in 1812 and Canada would never have become a country. These agreements underpin the Canadian Constitution, yet are not officially recognized by the government of Canada.

The Two Row on the Grand canoe paddle is a ten day canoe trip down the Grand River from Cambridge to Lake Erie that will promote healthy relationships, friendships, and respect between cultures, allowing Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike a chance to grow in understanding based on trust and respect.

Registration

In registering, all participants agree to the guidelines below and agree to follow them during our time together. Failure to comply will result in your leaving the paddle at your own expense.

Be Respectful

Support Leadership

Be Safe

Be Reasonable

Clean up!

Follow Itinerary

Cooperate

No Drugs or Alcohol

Fees

The cost of participation covering food, Safety Paddlers, camping, logistical support and honoraria for speakers is $95 per day this year, unless you register before May 1st. The Early Bird rate is $85 per day. The latest you may register is June 1st. We are very focused on affordability for all, but the escalation of food, gas and other prices forces us to raise our fees. You may be surprised at how low the fees still are compared to outfitters’ fees. That is because we are grassroots volunteers and totally non-profit.

You may not use the public registration to register as a volunteer. You will need to contact us at tworowinfo@gmail.com for vetting and training before you will be given the link to our volunteer registration. Great opportunity for high school volunteer hours!

We also need support from all our paddlers on tasks like setting up for events, camping and meal sites, serving food, security, conducting outreach to local communities and much more. If you’d like to assist with those tasks, please let us know when you register! 

Registration is now only for a waiting list. We are at capacity.

If you are planning to register as a volunteer for Ground Support or Safety Paddler, email tworowinfo@gmail.com, stating your abilities and interest (Ground Support or Safety Paddler?) for instructions. Make sure you apply before May for vetting/training well ahead of the paddle.

At this date, we are at capacity for the first 5 days, the last 5 days and all 10 days.

Renting Your Craft?

Call 519-442-2519 or email
info@grandriverrafting.ca

Speakers from 2023: this year's list will be posted when available.

Grand River Community Play Project

You can lend your voice to a series of productions the length of the Grand River in 2025

How are you connected to the river?

Tell me more!

FAQs

If you have a question, it should be answered here. If it is not, please let us know at tworowinfo@gmail.com.
Why has the number of paddlers been reduced from 100 to 75 with no weekend option?
In 2023 we found that over 100 paddlers on the weekend was too much for our resources, concerning our comfort level with safety on the water and food serving. We also found that it was more difficult to engage with that many people and some could hide in the numbers without engaging much with others. In discussion as a committee, we felt that a two day experience was not enough to give the full picture of what the Two Row is about.
What does it mean that this is a healing paddle and how could that affect my participation?

Generally, people find paddling a healing activity: physically strengthening and corrective, meditative, restful and meeting the challenges. We encourage and help each other to meet those challenges and share those meditative thoughts.

This is also about healing the rift between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples through common goals, mutual aid and the Good Mind. We work together and help each other as we exchange skills, knowledge and thoughts, coming to a deeper understanding of how we came to be where we each are at present.

In addition, some people are on this journey in order to heal from trauma that they have survived, or from addictions. Without knowing who that might be, we hold safe and encouraging space for each other and avoid behaviour that could be triggering for some. If a trigger occurs, the person responsible could be asked to leave.

I’m getting into shape, what pace and distance should I target?
Be able to steadily paddle at close to 40 full blade strokes a minute for 3-5 hours at a time, with pauses. We will paddle between 10-21 km (6-13 miles) each day; camping along the route.The itinerary is established and available above. Any changes will appear on our Facebook group page.
What kind of dietary options will I have?
In your registration, we will ask if you have any life-threatening food allergies, such as shellfish and peanut butter. These will affect how food is prepared, served and how everyone interacts with the food. We will also ask about food sensitivities, such as lactose and gluten. We will offer options such as almond milk and some gluten free choices. If you have food preferences, such as vegan or keto, we will expect you to be flexible in your diet or bring your own backup camp food if you feel it is necessary.
Must PFDs be worn at all times?
Yes. You will sign a waiver allowing us to post your image on social media where there are many critics of the way events are run. We want to set a good example for other paddlers.
Are children allowed?
Non-paddling children in a canoe must be accompanied by two strong adult paddlers, at least one of whom must be their parent or guardian. Paddling children must be as proficient as an adult. If a child is in a kayak, the parent must be close by. In addition, parents must be responsible for monitoring their children’s behaviour and engagement with other participants on and off the water.
What is your Facebook group page?
Do we HAVE to paddle in a certain formation?
We’ll depart, pass bridges and arrive in two rows whenever possible. If the journey gets messy? That’s fine too. We take the rougher places in single file, with Safety Paddler guidance. We’re supposed to be bonding after all!
Do I need to carry my camping gear in my canoe with me?
No, Our Ground Support Crew transports everyone’s gear. Bring only what is recommended on the water (a gear list will be sent to you upon your application’s approval) so we take up as little space as possible.
No drugs and alcohol. Are prescription medications allowed?
Prescription medications are allowed. They are your private affair, used discreetly. If you flaunt a prescription or offer it to someone else, you can expect to be asked to leave.
Should I bring refillable water bottles, plates and cutlery to reduce waste?
That is the plan! We will provide potable water for refilling your bottles and dish washing facilities for your plates and cutlery. If you don’t have mess kit or plates and cutlery you can bring with you, please let us know on the registration form.
Could I bring my ... (insert artistic or musical instrument here)?

 

If you have a musical or artistic talent to share, by all means. It should be something that can safely and easily be transported either with our camping gear in the rental truck or in your vessel.

Will we be meeting the public when we stop?
Yes, sometimes.
What do we do if there is severe weather?
Most paddlers will be prepared to paddle even if the weather is unpleasant. It can be invigorating! We will evaluate each situation and if there is imminent danger we will lead you to shelter. Thunder is sufficient warning to leave the water, with no return to the water until 30 minutes have elapsed since the last peal of thunder.
What about parking and shuttling cars?
Parking is limited. Drop off at the beginning and pick up at the end is encouraged. There are designated parking areas for the first day and last day of each leg. We also have two long term parking arrangements. Any other parking along the way is self-arranged. Shuttling is done on an ad hoc snowball basis: that is, one carload of paddlers is shuttled back to the start by a volunteer paddler and they shuttle others, usually arranged on that paddle day among paddlers.
What happens in the evenings?
Educational and traditional events, usually after paddling and before meals; sometimes after a meal. The gatherings will feature traditional sharing and environmental talks by Haudenosaunee leaders and our allies. These events are listed on our Facebook Event Page as they are confirmed.
May we invite people to come?
You may invite people to come to our teaching events. However, we are limiting our meals and overnight campsites to registered  paddlers and ground crew for logistic and safety reasons. Guests may be offered food if there is some left over after the paddlers and ground crew have eaten. Guests are expected to leave when planned activities cease.
Can I bring my dog?
No pets allowed.