The Institution of CanoeKayak Canada
First Nations elders and youth want to participate in the Olympic sport of canoe and kayak racing. “My relationship with this institution started in 2012, when I was a canoe and kayak coach living on a remote “aboriginal rez” for a period of 18-months. My goal and purpose was to prepare a group of youth to qualify for the 2014 North American Indigenous Games Canoe Championships and onwards to our own Olympic dreams [2020/2024]. That experience resulted in me being one of the “nominees” that year for their “Coach Excellence Awards: Development Award”. The CanoeKayak Canada Development Award “is presented annually to the coach who has clearly demonstrated his or her abilities to develop a club/ sport through the grassroots levels of building a club/ or program - such as an aboriginal paddling or PaddleALL program, or the promotion of the sport through the club.”
- How many Olympic Sprint Canoe Clubs in Canada name themselves after Indigenous words? 19% of the clubs do.
- How many Olympic Sprint Canoe Clubs in Canada use stereotypical "Indian" head logos? 2% of the clubs do.
- How many Olympic Sprint Canoe Clubs in Canada advertise mainstream "war canoe" racing? 38.5% of the clubs do.
To understand interactionism, we need to start with a generic perspective that dates back to George Hebert Mead, an American philosopher. The general belief of Interactionist is that “presupposition of sociological analysis that is diametrically opposed to that of the structuralist perspective.”. Therefore, it would be to ignore the social facts while adding credence to the social relationship. Much in the way of who cares about the names of the clubs, the “indian” head logos and the mainstream “war canoe” races. We have a personal relationship with indigineoous people and their culture as Canadians and we may even have the same dreams. We respect them as people and therefore want to get the First Nations people to the Olympics in the sport of canoe racing, hence the need for an “Aboriginal Paddling Initiative”.
When we consider that the organization CanoeKayak has been operating for more than 100 years and they are carrying forward their traditions of a) naming themselves after indigenous words, b) wearing “indian” head logos and c) racing war canoes as a sport. One must consider the times of that era and how it was once considered popular and acceptable to appropriate the First Nations people of Canada’s culture while they were being put into the Canadian Indian Residential School System. The benefits to Structuralist Perspectives is that it allows for the organization to be studied from a macro-sociological perspective.
 Sam Edgar Interview - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFpFR7htG90&feature=youtu.be