Send Tiniteqilaaq kids to the Kayak Championship

In addition to our modern skin on frame design work at Cape Falcon Kayak, we are passionate about historic arctic kayaks and supporting native Arctic kayak builders. Max is the school headmaster in the tiny village of Tiniteqilaaq in East Greenland, where skin-covered kayaks were still used to hunt narwhal for food up until the 1990s. In 2018, Max reached out to us, hoping to revive the local kayak building tradition and build skin boats with the school children to help them learn kayaking skills and reconnect with their history.

After many conversations over a very slow internet connection, we sent books on traditional kayak building, our kayak building video course and plans, and a big box of building materials by plane, then helicopter, and finally dogsled to East Greenland, and in 2019 the first kayak was built in Tiniteqilaaq in decades. The school started with a modern skin on frame kayak stable enough for the smaller kids to learn in, and with support from the local community have since added three East Greenlandic kayaks to their fleet.

At the same time, the Qajaq federation in Greenland encouraged Max to start a kayaking club in the village and to bring some of his students to compete in the Greenland National Kayaking Championship. In 2021, students from Tiniteqilaaq were the first kayakers ever to represent East Greenland in the championship. They brought home seven medals, including two golds!

This year Max is hoping to bring even more students to the championship, along with one of the oldest hunters from their village who used to hunt from skin kayaks. Travel costs within Greenland can be exceptionally high, and he has asked for our help to raise funds to get the kids to the event. The kayak club has some financial support already; our goal is to raise another $15,000 to help cover costs.

All funds raised will be collected by Cape Falcon Kayak (it's not possible to link GoFundMe directly to a Greenland Bank) and transferred to Tsaqqi Peqatigiiffik / East Greenland Kayak Club. Any amount raised beyond our initial goal will be used to aid in the club’s future travel expenses, educational programming, and kayak building and outfitting.

__________

From Max:
We live in a small village in East Greenland, Tiniteqilaaq. As a head master and teacher, I was doing plastic kayak activities on sea since many years, and three years ago we started a little kayak club where we could also built kayak.

With the help of Brian and his amazing teaching courses, first we built a F1, it was a real success.

Then Inuit people here suggested us to built an East Greenland kayak next time. That’s what we did during some teaching hours and also after school time. Today we have already built 4 kayaks.

We had also a dream to make East Greenland for the first time participating to the National Greenland Champion ship.

In our village just a few decades ago the Inuit kayak culture was still alive and high skilled hunters were able to do all kind of rolling and paddling in heavy sea. Little by little the knowledge around kayak disappeared. Still the sea is called: Tsaqqivik: the kayaking playground. Could this dream be possible: to revive some East Greenland Kayak techniques?

The oldest hunter of the village gave me his support and great encouragement to continue kayaking activities with children and my coworkers allowed me to use school to built kayak. Parents allowed their children to practice, and one day last summer…here we were: in Nuuk attending the Greenland National kayak championship. We received a very warm welcome.

We brought back 7 medals, including two golds.
Proud and joy were in East Greenland people’s heart.

This dream was only possible through supports from people here and connections beyond cultures among people who share the love.

It was such a success that this year, for the next competition, I plan to bring more pupils. This time it will be further North. Traveling from here to the airport and inside Greenland is unfortunately extremely expensive.

Our goal for the summer 2022 is that 5 pupils from here participate to the Greenland kayak championship in Ilulissat, the oldest hunter (who has known in his young age the real skin kayak)

To make this possible the estimate coast will be 132 000 Danish Kroner* for transport, hotel, food (*around $20,000 USD)

In case you can raise more, the rest of the money will be only used for kayaking activities with children ( like having extra security with boat, purchase of water proof combinaison and extra materiels for kayak building, renovation of our little kayak house, renovation of two old Inuit Kayaks)

We live in an uncertain situation, Covid spreading is getting worse everyday in Greenland, so in case the whole competition is cancelled, the amount gathered for the competition will be used for next year.


____

Cape Falcon Kayak is collecting funds on behalf of Max and the Tsaqqi Peqatigiiffik / East Greenland Kayak Club. All funds raised will be transferred to the club's bank account by the end of May, in time for travel to the Greenland National Kayaking Championship.

Any funds raised beyond our initial $15,000 goal will go to the Tsaqqi Peqatigiiffik to aid in travel expenses, educational programming, and kayak building and outfitting.

As always, we offer all of our teaching materials and plans for free to native Arctic builders, and are always happy to offer guidance and support in any way we can. We hope this will be the first of many fundraisers we can host to directly support native Arctic kayak builders.
  • Deborah Austin 
    • $30 
    • 1 hr
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 6 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 1 d
  • GoFundMe Team 
    • $500 
    • 1 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 1 d
See all

Organizer

Brian Schulz 
Organizer
Portland, OR