12 Jul 2012

Waka captains join native American canoe journey

5:56 pm on 12 July 2012

Two crew members of traditional war canoe Te Hono Ki Aotearoa, which was part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the river Thames,are heading to the United States next week for the Tribal Canoe Journey.

Chappy Harrison from Kaitaia, who captained the waka, will accompany Joe Conrad, who participated in last year's Tribal Canoe Journey.

Mr Harrison says they and a crew of native Americans will travel 209 kilometres to Squaxin Island territory in the Puget Sound.

He says it's all about building a closer bond with First Nation people in North America, and is a journey of development.

Mr Harrison says he and Joe Conrad one day hope to build a waka in the United States, and help develop a stronger relationship with First Nations people in North America by encouraging young Maori to travel to the United States and help paddle it.

The canoe journey exchange with the Grand Ronde Tribes in Washington State which began in 2009, sees their tribal members taking part in Waitangi Day Waka Pageants.