2015 Friendship House Paddle for Wellness Project

The 2015 Paddle for Wellness project was an exciting, educational, hands-on
project that engaged Friendship House program staff, Elders, clients as well as
local municipal leaders and politicians in a series culturally-based activities.
The focal point of the project was 300 canoe paddles that were painted, blessed
by the Elders in a moving ceremony at the Jim Ciccone Civic Center and
showcased in the annual Seafest Parade - we even won first place for our floatilla
of three large canoes that seated proud owners waving their beautifully finished
Other aspects of the project were the hosting of a Seafest canoe tug-of- war
competition and several Wellness Days at Prudhome Lake where participants had
the opportunity to use their paddles while learning basic canoe skills and enjoying
Elders teachings, story-telling and good food around the campfire.

The Paddle for Wellness project encouraged and cultivated a meaningful
experience beyond merely ‘painting a paddle’ or ‘going canoeing’.
Its success was measured by the tremendous level of participation form
Friendship House staff, clients and the community at large.