Capital to Capitol by Canoe


After 42 days of paddling...50+kms most days...

 at the Washington DC Canoe Club, 3700 Water Street, N.W.
Congratulations to all the crew.

Huge thanks to all who have helped us along the way!

It is an amazing trip - many stories to tell. And... this is in many ways, is just the beginning.
Here is to clean water!

An 1800 Km canoe trip from Ottawa to Washington to protect and restore the waters we all need and share.  This expedition is an amazing 1800 km journey. We will travel on rivers, lakes, canals, harbours and bays from Ottawa to Washington DC, possibly the first time this route has been traveled entirely in a voyageur canoe.

Our team will learn from local residents and organizations about the waterways on which they travel, engage in discussions about problems and solutions, and advocate for the importance of clean, healthy rivers. Although the canoe will cross from Canada into the United States, river systems know no borders. The Capital to Capitol by Canoe 2012 will spread the message that we must transcend political borders and work together to protect and restores our rivers.

Follow our progress on Facebook!

Capital to Capitol by Canoe 2012 is a project of the Canadian Wildlife Federation.

This is an ambitious and interactive undertaking to share the ecology and rich cultural heritage of the waters that connect us.  
Traditionally, voyageur canoes carried cargos of furs and trade goods. Our canoe will carry a different kind of payload – an idea, and a dream. 

Our watersheds don't have a passport, they are without 'borders'...but they all need a clean bill of health!  
We’re asking people to care about whether they can drink the water as well as swim and fish in the the river that flows beside them.  
Healthy rivers mean healthy communities.  
That is the message we will carry in our canoe. 

Our mission is to draw attention and pay attention to the need to restore our rivers.  

The goals: 
  • To draw attention to the need for our two countries to work together at all levels, from citizen advocacy to the highest political echelons.
  • To carry the challenge to citizens of both countries to have the two cleanest most ecologically healthy rivers flowing through capital cities in the world. 

To symbolize this idea, we will bring a bottle of Ottawa River water from the foot of the Parliament buildings to Capitol Hill in Washington. The trip will be done in memory of Elder William Commanda  and his vision for a Circle of all Nations, with the canoe as a symbol of how people, water, and nature combine and work together to animate peace, healing, and understanding.

The challenges are great.  
The challenge of paddling the waters that connect these two great rivers, in these two great countries, is daunting, but not nearly as daunting as the challenge of restoring the rivers and waters that connect us.  

We would like to see people advocate for a sister river project connecting Canadian and American Rivers as city’s have twin city programs.
We would like people to be aware if you can swim, drink and fish in the rivers in and near your cities and if not why not?
Healthy communities need healthy rivers and we’d like to people to advocate in their communities for this relationship to be strong.

Through stories, photographs, videos, and interviews on our web site and facebook, others will be able to join us on our journey to help us carry our message about the state of our waters, the state of the governance of our waters, the importance they play in our lives, our culture, our heritage, our health and our economy.  Follow us on Facebook!

This journey is dedicated to Grandfather William Commanda and his dream of a circle of all nations.

Grandfather Commanda was a leader, teacher, a man of inspiration who worked tirelessly to bridge the gap between cultures. He believed that respect, justice and harmony could be achieved between people of all nations, and he dedicated his life to sharing that message.

The pictures on these web pages are by Frances Anne Hopkins - an artist who traveled and painted many of the voyageur routes