Ah, the Canoe.
One of the seven wonders of Canada.
To some, a symbol of our connection to the natural world, a representation of our reverence for history, a tool of exploration and discovery.
To others, like Misao Dean, Professor of English at the University of Victoria, the canoe can be a symbol of colonialism, imperialism, and marginalization.
Dean is the author of the book Inheriting a Canoe Paddle: The Canoe in Discourses of English-Canadian Nationalism. In this interview, Dean asks us to consider the canoe, and what it really represents in Canadian society, and whose symbol it is. To Dean, the story Canadians tell themselves about the canoe is one of European colonialism, while ignoring the role the canoe played in displacing and harming indigenous people. She notes that hobbyist canoers today are a pretty specific group.