The canoe is, to some, a symbol to express the journey on the pathways of life and connecting with nature.

Through the canoe, people learn about balance, co-operation, harmony and fun, said Romola Thumbadoo, volunteer coordinator with Grandfather William Commanda’s Circle of All Nations.

They learn to respect the environment, which leads to a respect for one another, two essential themes for true deep peace in the world, according to Commanda.

Yesterday, the Circle of All Nations hosted a Paddle for Peace event on Victoria Island as a step towards the reconciliation of Aboriginal Peoples and Canadians, and for the promotion of peace in general.

The morning started with a Sacred Fire and Pipe Ceremony in the rain, followed by a short canoe trip onto the Ottawa River.

The weather cleared up in time for speeches, canoe demonstrations and a concert.

Mayoral candidates Cesar Bello and Clive Doucet attended the event.