St. John River Wolastoq Brigade

The St. John River Wolastoq Brigade

St. John River Wolastoq Brigade

Paddlers in brigades across the country, under the Voyageur Brigade Society, are making treks to celebrate not only Canada 150 but the canoe as a Canadian symbol, the country’s water stewardship and its history of cultural co-operation. 

The Honourable Jocelyne Roy Vienneau, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick

The Honourable Jocelyne Roy Vienneau, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick graciously agreed to serve as Honorary Patron for the Brigade. Her Honour invited members of the Brigade to use the grounds of Government House as their camp during their stop in Fredericton on July 18, 2017. 

Old Government House, Fredericton

The St. John River Wolastoq Brigade is tracing the path of the St. John River, a designated Canadian Heritage River, from its midpoint in New Brunswick to the Bay of Fundy. The entire length of the St. John River is steeped in history.

The Wolastoqiyik, the indigenous people of the St. John River region, referred to the river as ‘Wolastoq’, symbolizing its goodness and abundance. Over time, they adapted to the shifting economic landscape shaped by European colonization, war, and industrialization. Today, they remain a resilient community, closely connected to their river. Several waterways within the St. John system still bear their original aboriginal names, such as Tobique, Meduxnekeag, and Nashwaak.

On June 24th, 1604, the St. John River received its current name in honor of St. John the Baptist’s feast day, when Sieur de Monts and Samuel de Champlain’s expedition anchored at the river’s mouth. The contemporary residents of the St. John River region are descendants of various groups, including the Wolastoqiyik (now known as Maliseet), Acadian settlers, Loyalist refugees from the American War of Independence, and waves of immigrants from Europe, primarily from Great Britain and Denmark.

Paddlers on the St. John River

The St. John River Wolastoq Brigade started at Florenceville and finishes with a short paddle through the harbour in Saint John. Most days sees the brigade cover between 40 and 60 kilometers.

Voyageur Brigades celebrate the heritage of the river and its communities. 

The St. John River Wolastoq Brigade

Paddlers in the brigades across the country, under the Voyageur Brigade Society, are making their treks to celebrate not only Canada 150 but the canoe as a Canadian symbol, the country’s water stewardship and its history of cultural co-operation. 

The brigade will finish their journey in Saint John by paddling through the Reversing Falls to the Saint John City Centre. 

Click on a thumbnail to see more photos. 

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