Articles by CanoeSki

Canada’s Churchill River: the fix for a wilderness canoeing addict by Cliff Speer (pdf – 501 kb)
Planet Canoe – Journal of the International Canoe Federation 2009
Story Line: “Saskatchewan Helps Put Planet Canoe into Orbit.” It sounds like something from the realm of Star Wars, but no… Planet Canoe is the new glossy, attractive and colorful production featuring elite paddling athletes in World Cup and Olympic competition plus stories on lifestyle canoeing. This is where Saskatchewan made its debut in Cliff’s article on the Churchill River – one of our “world-class” recreational paddling venues.

Our River is Alive with History and Archaeology by Cliff Speer (pdf – 280 kb)
Neighborhood Express newspaper, June 2009
Story Line: David Thompson is known for his heroic achievements in the exploration and mapping of Canada, but the fur trade era of his time has some sorry tales to tell. Saskatchewan forts were the scene of some gruesome conflicts and killings involving fur traders and native inhabitants. Two ancient forts on the South Saskatchewan River, operated by the major competitors in the trade, are the repository of such little-known dark secrets. Discover more of the sombre side of Saskatchewan fur trade history in Cliff’s article in this Saskatoon community paper.

Saskatoon’s Centennial Has River Tales to Tell by Cliff Speer
Ness Creek Journal Spring 2006
Story Line: In an effort to trumpet its status as a full-blown Canadian city, Saskatoon put on a 100-year-old birthday extravaganza in 2006. In an effort to get with the program, CanoeSki initiated a series of Centennial River Run day trips on the South Saskatchewan River putting well-known historians on board to regale paddlers with intriguing tales of local river history. Read this short story to discover a bit more of Saskatoon’s fascinating past connection with its treasured waterway.

Stewardship Starts With A Personal Encounter by Cliff Speer
Saskatoon Star Phoenix April 24, 2002
Story Line: It’s a tree-hugger’s dream boat and the answer to the planet’s environmental woes. “The canoe is the quintessential eco-vehicle”, this article claims. It doesn’t pollute, runs on renewable energy and leaves no trace of its passage. Better yet, you can get a spiritual high by just using it to take you to those wild, quiet places that provide sustenance for the soul. Lay claim to your Canadian canoeing heritage, exhorts this article, and find out how to reap the rewards!

Canoeing is Good for the Soul by Cliff Speer
Ness Creek Journal Spring 2001
Story Line: Inspired by the Ness Creek Music Festival organizers to make a greener festival, author Cliff Speer shifts the focus on environmental responsibility back home to the South Saskatchewan River Valley. In reference to the river, he claims that “the essence of stewardship is caring for Nature’s gift as if it were your own.” And a sense of ownership of this fabulous ecological resource can be acquired by having a personal encounter with it, in what else – a canoe!

River of Golden Sands, River Beyond Dreams by Cliff Speer
Paddle Quest – Canada’s Best Canoe Routes, Ed. Alister Thomas, Boston Mills Press 2000
Story Line: Without a doubt, a canoe trip on the William River in the remote northwest corner of Saskatchewan is an other-worldly experience. “I knew I was on home territory, but felt like I had been transported into an alien land,“ writes Cliff Speer of his encounter with the exotic landscape of the William River. It’s not simply marvelling at the immensity and grandeur of the most northerly sand dunes in the world. There’s more: like the ten exotic plant species found no where else on the planet; the surreal intermingling of blue and white water, forest green and golden sand created by the river as it winds its way through the dunes to Lake Athabasca. Read on to explore more of this northern Saskatchewan jewel!