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MNO Canoe Expedition - Welland

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The Expedition diverges from historic voyageur routes to visit the Métis community in Welland
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The morning started like every other morning before it. Breakfast was for 5 am, but this time we were leaving for 7 am to drive to Welland and do our planned event at Merritt Island. We were paddling in, which was nice. Even though it was a short 500m paddle, it was still tough on our behinds. We were greeted by many fellow Métis people as well as many who weren’t. It was a fabulous day: The sun was out and there was barely any wind although, my allergies were hitting me full force-making it difficult to breathe through my nose.We spoke with Reginald Bernier, regional councillor for the MNO Niagara Region Métis Council.  He was very friendly and quite knowledgeable. I very much enjoyed the lavishly beaded vest that he was wearing. Beading has always been an interest of mine. Reginald was also the cook for the event, and his cooking skills kept me coming back for more.Overall, the day was a good one. We made new friends and lasting memories.-- Kyle GrenierAs a road support person, I admit it that it has been too long since last I had a chance to paddle.  I insisted on paddling with the rest of the paddlers -but it was basically over before it started because it was only a 500m paddle.  I agree with Kyle that the event at Merritt Island went well.  Besides the excellent barbecue, my favorite part was jigging, and laughing with the on-lookers at our awkward jigging skills.  After we finished the event at Merritt Island, we realized that Niagara Falls was not too far from where we stopped to get gas.  Indeed, we visited Niagara Falls for a quick tour- a first for me.  I was awestruck by the natural beauty of the falls and the sheer size of them too!  I`ve been told that the Voyageurs have paddled through nearby rivers and completed massive portages to bypass the Niagara Falls.On behalf of the MNO Canoe Expedition, I would like to thank the MNO Niagara Region Métis Council and all who attended the event at Merritt Island, for their excellent hospitality, as well as for their keen interest in our expedition."-- Elizabeth Clapin

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