Globe and Mail journalist, Margaret Wente, recently published an article about the need to discuss privilege in Canada. She included a short test that she created herself to see how privileged you are. One of her markers of privilege is “You can paddle a canoe.” In all honesty the four of us are quite privileged people for variety of reasons. Although none of us are high-income earners, we are approaching that magical category of “middle-class” that politicians like to use so much in Canada.
The four of us lily paddlers have been aware of this from day one of our trip planning. It felt a little awkward to share our adventure with others when we do live in relative states of privilege. Yes, the canoe is rooted in Indigenous traditions whether in Anishinaabe, Hawaiaan, or many other territories, but it has also grown to be associated with privilege in Canada. Let’s be real. To be able to go on a canoe trip, you often need a car to transport said canoe. You need to be able to take time off work to even go on this trip. You need to have the financial resources to own or rent a canoe (unless you have a community to borrow it from!). You need to be able to afford the other necessities of a paddling trip. They may cost less than a cottage rental or a trip to Cuba, but the cost is still there.
Recognizing this privilege and understanding how fortunate we are to be able to pursue a canoe trip, we also recognize that many people aren’t. So, we wanted to create a new blog series called “Sharing is Caring.” Once every month, we will share our love for various organizations that facilitate opportunities to do trips like these for people who are less privileged. As we are told to budget monthly and all that adult stuff, we figured that a monthly “Sharing is Caring” post may encourage you to share a bit of your income every month. Why not even share big and try to match what you pay for your own canoe trip by donating it to one of these organizations?
These posts will include who the organizations are, what they do, why we love them, and how you can support the work they do.
The first “Sharing is Caring” post will be published soon. Stay tuned and be ready to share!