No phones, no Internet, and no dry land.
That’s what a group of Indigenous young people from across Canada have signed up for.
As part of Msit No’Kmaq Tall Ships Project, a sail training and leadership program, 45 young people will be trekking across the Atlantic Ocean from Halifax to La Havre, France on the dutch ship, the Golden Leeuw.
First time away from home
“It’s very empowering,” said Brennan Googoo, 20, from Millbrook First Nation, N.S.
“There’s nothing that compares to 20 days at sea with no Internet, no cell phone service, just you and your crew. There’s a lot of self reflection.”
For many of these young people, who are ages 15 to 24, this is their first time away from home — and even their first time aboard a ship.
“I wasn’t sure about the entire trip because I’m very nervous about the ocean, and it’s one of my biggest fears. So I decided to take a risk anyway and I applied and here I am,” said 21-year-old Chelsea Jane Edwards from Attawapiskat Cree First Nation in Ontario.
“The fact that I get to meet 44 other Indigenous youth and actually say that I’ve sailed the Atlantic ocean, that’s just amazing.”
Skills for future employment
Organizer Pytor Hodgson said the project is part of the federal summer jobs program, and he hopes the young people will take away skills they can use in future employment.
“You can imagine how much they’re going to learn. But equally important, they’re going to take part in a leadership and healing component,” said Hodgson, who is also the CEO of Three Things Consulting, an…