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Dancing with the First Nation dancers

July 5

We had planned to bypass Little Current and go directly to another anchorage further east but a problem with the head on the boat forced us to Little Current.

The head problem was easily solved – it appeared to be plugged. There was a high wind warning in affect for the next couple of days so we decide to get a slip and batten down the hatches.

JULY 6-7

For those that have never been to the North Channel, Little Current is much like the Mos Eisley cantina on Tatooine in “The Empire Strikes Back” where Luke meets Hans for the first time.

Everyone going to the North Channel has to pass through Little Current at some point in time due to geography and roads. All kinds of boats are tied up at the docks at any point in time from very small sailboats to the largest of powerboats and even the cruise ship “Victory I.”

The winds were an issue but not as much as predicted, still we were glad to take the opportunity to go to the grocery store, get ice cream, and take in the “Little Current Cruiser’s Network Meet and Greet” on Friday night.

Every morning at 9 a.m. during July and August Roy Eaton broadcasts the news, weather and sports on VHF channel 71 and then asks boaters touring the North Channel to radio in with their boat name and position so those listening know who is out there. We have met lots of travelers thought listening to the network.

On Friday night the Anchor Inn hosts the Cruiser’s Network Meet and Greet. The event allows cruisers to meet in person, tell stories, get the lowdown on the current conditions of anchorages and other things going on in the North Channel.

July 6 was the first meet and greet and 34 of the 51 cruisers who called in that morning showed. Was

able to talk to a couple that had recently put solar power on their boat and said it was easy.

Earlier in the day we were invited to see a dance exhibit from a local First Nation dance troop doing dances that are original to the local First Nation Tribes.

The dancers were to put it bluntly – magnificent as were their regalia. Dancing to songs sung by four men beating on a single drum the dancers wowed the crowd with their skill and precision.

While the First Nation dancers appeared to have a great time demonstrating their dances, I was left with the feeling that somehow they were just trying to give the all-white audience most of whom came from the cruise ship, a show of what the audience thought savages should have danced.

July 8

Had the chance to talk to Sandra in Snug Harbor on July 8 after we anchored for the night. Sandra is a First Nation person from Toronto who was at Snug Harbor with her husband Steve anchored on a 30-foot-ODay sailboat.

Sandra’s take on the First Nation Dancers was completely opposite of mine. She said that the public displays like the one we saw in Little Current was the only way the world would ever see the First Nation culture. In fact she has a cousin who was the national champion hoop dancer. Sandra said she was very proud of the work the dancers are doing at keep the traditions and culture alive so I guess I need to chance my opinion of the matter.

While anchored in Snug we swam – the water was only 68 degrees, used the kayaks for the first time and took a short hike west to Devils Lake. As we walked the Devils Lake Trails we saw First Nation art hanging randomly in the trees. Interesting that as we walk in the woods now we are always looking for tree art.

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