A.D. In 2015, free Canadian filmmaker Diane Willan covered nearly 17,000 miles of what is now called Trans Canada Trail, including green roads, trails, and waterways from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the North to the Arctic Ocean. On August 1, at the parent, partner, and company, Wylan, 56, traveled the last few steps to become the first person to complete the next step (reducing a few stimuli) to the three oceans. Land and water. She plans to make a documentary of “500 Days in the Wild,” detailing her six years of experience.
As a documentary director for the Everest base camp and the Arctic voyage, Ms. Willlan experienced extreme weather. But Trans Canada’s journey proved its mental and emotional strength, as well as physical endurance, contact with bears, paddling thousands of miles alone, and countless oatmeal trials. Until the outbreak, her journey included road stops, often in collaboration with other artists in indigenous communities. For the past year and a half, she has worked alone with the help of supplier Luisa Robinson.
A few days before the end of the trail, the boat pulled a boat off the coast of British Columbia, north of Vancouver, to talk about its adventure. The following are excerpts from the discussion, adapted for clarity.
What did he decide to do with the entire trail?
Like a fairy tale, I really liked the metaphor that this is the core that unites us all. When I left, I thought we had at least forgotten all about Western culture as a culture. Somehow, we lose contact with the web of life and the future. I called it an ecological pilgrimage.
What types of transportation did you use?
I paddled some 10,000 miles (over 6,200 miles). I paddled the great lake. I paddled from Alberta to the Arctic Ocean. And now, I am on the Salish Sea. When I’m not paddling, I’m on the trail. Old railroads are great because they have no slope. In winter, I ski or cross the country, dragging my ski. Some were dirt roads, and in those cases, I rode a mountain bike. Because of human kindness, I have been able to do these things. He was just meeting people, sharing the story, and people were saying, “Hey, Uncle Joe is driving that way, he can take your boat.” It was very radical. I learned this beautiful story from Danny Paul, an elder from the indigenous community, and we are like trees. On top of that, each tree seems to stand alone. All the trees in the underworld are connected.
How did you manage to be alone for so long? Were you there constantly?
I like to say that loneliness reveals what the mirror cannot. I was terrified, as any woman in the forest would feel. But that fear was never confirmed, and that fear eventually disappeared. It was a very humiliating experience; In fact, the lake is so humble that it feels like only a fragment of these huge waters. Something ancient woke me up and suddenly, I began to feel more connected with life than ever before. I was not on the paddle, I was with the paddle. People really remind you that they are the .001% life on earth, and we are part of this wonderful web of life. The only thing that kept me from growing in love was ticks and black flies.
After he left, the house became a trail. For the first few years, I tried to get through the winter. One of the elders I met wrote to me, a Cray woman, and we did not travel in the winter. That’s when you create art, share stories, prepare food. After that little wisdom, I went out of the way for about five weeks this summer. Not at all about athletic success. Like the rabbit and the telegraph, it is an old fairy tale. The tortoise completes the journey. The rabbit burns itself. I dropped the rabbit and put on the tortoise shell.
Are you very competent? How did you prepare?
I did some training but not in a very crazy way. I carried some weight on my back and walked up to six miles[10 km]every day. I started the journey slowly. I also took a “Forest Medical” course so that I could take care of myself. You are getting shape as you go. I will wait until that most appropriate thing happens.
How does this journey compare to other difficult adventures you have made?
It’s about integrating indigenous art in science and technology so that everyone can be safe. The best thing about science and technology is, yes, we have these amazing satellite phones and GPS and high tech stuff. But when a hurricane strikes about 200 miles and decreases by 80 miles from the North Pole, all that technology stops working and it is the wisdom of the elders that keeps you alive at that time – because their understanding and connection is passed on to them through many generations. Everest was exactly the same thing – very few climb without a mountain. I have high hopes that if we combine traditional indigenous art with science and technology, we will be able to find sustainable ways to live on earth and in all life on earth.
Ever wanted to see an oatmeal or trail mix again?
I never ate oatmeal in my life. hardly ever. Throughout the day, I had a bag of snacks and dried fruit and cheese and biscuits and nuts. And of course, I have chocolate, and I have a soft spot for rubber bears. Dinner was quick noodles, pasta, carbohydrates. At first, I was trying to protect the bear and the clean camp. I found many, many, many bears and 98 percent of them were kind and wonderful to watch. For most of the trip, I carried nothing but bear cubs. On my way to the Arctic, I had to carry a gun, so I had to use it once. My partner was with me. She picked up the gun, fired two warning shots, and we hurried into the boat, realizing that we had not poured out our coffee.
Indigenous children disappeared in Canada
Ruins of what are believed to be indigenous children have been found at boarding schools in Canada. Here is what you need to know
- Background: Around 1883, in many parts of Canada, Indigenous children were forced to attend compulsory schooling. Most of these schools are run by churches, and all indigenous languages and indigenous cultural practices, often violently banned, are banned. Illness, as well as sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, is widespread. An estimated 150,000 children attended schools that opened and closed in 1996.
- Lost children: The National Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up by the government as part of the government’s amnesty and resettlement program, said at least 4,100 students had died while attending school, many of them due to illness or negligence, and others due to illness or accident. In many cases, families do not know the fate of their children, now known as “missing children.”
- The findings; In May, members of Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation found 215 bodies at the Campus School, which was run by the Roman Catholic Church until 1969, after a ground-breaking radar. In June, an indigenous group reported that up to 751 people had been found in a former boarding school in Saskatchewan, mostly in unmarked graves.
- Cultural genocide; In a 2015 report, the commission concluded that the system was a form of “cultural genocide.” Former judge and senator Moore Sinkler, who chaired the commission, said he believed the number of children recently lost was “more than 10,000.”
- Sorry and next steps The commission apologized to the pope for his role in the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Francis stopped only once, but the archbishop of Vancouver apologized on behalf of the archdiocese. Canada has publicly apologized and provided financial and other support, but Indigenous leaders believe the government still has a long way to go.
Any obligations you look forward to?
Well, the toilet really. And food. I say my bed, but I have come to a place where I can sleep in my tent. I joked that I would make my tent at home for the first few weeks.
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