Noel Woods and Tūparahuia Pita have been selected as Leaders to represent Toi Māori at the Tribal Canoe Journeys 2017 expedition in British Columbia, Canada with the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde.
Canoe Captain Tūparahuia Pita says, "The biggest thing about this journey is connecting our canoe family here in New Zealand to the many canoe families of the world."
Noel and Tūparahuia are both waka captains from Wellington and are both dedicated to waka activities within their communities.
Toi Māori representative Tamahou Tēmara says, "He has been following the work of the paddlers from Waiwhetu right through to the ones here in Wellington for a long time now. One of the things Toi Māori looks at is who would be best to take overseas to represent New Zealand and present our culture to the tribes over there."
Tūparahuia says, "This is his first time going to America and only his second time out of New Zealand, so although he is fearful he is very excited to go."
The Canoe Journey which started in 1989 is a revival of the traditional method of transportation and is a significant cultural experience for all participants.
Tamahou says, "Tthe tribe that they have been following since 2009 are a tribe from within Portland Origin, The Tribe of Grand Ronde. They invited Toi Māori over so that their paddlers could be there in person."
Noel and Tūparahuia's journey to Vancouver begins on the 29 July.