Inuvik Qayaq Club Principles

a) To foster and promote traditional Inuvialuit qayaq skills and techniques; all facets of Inuit qayaq culture; and recreational sea kayaking skills and techniques

b) To foster the training of traditional Inuvialuit qayaq skills and techniques; and recreational sea kayaking skills and techniques

c) Host and run traditional Inuvialuit qayaq skills and technique training courses and workshops; traditional Inuvialuit qayaq and qayaq related equipment building courses and workshops; recreational sea kayaking skills and technique training courses and workshops

d) To do all things incidental to these purposes

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Qayaq Building Showing Progress

The build at this years' Great Northern Arts Festival up here in Inuvik is progressing well.  Yesterday the ribs were being placed, and this evening all three frames now have there ribs placed and looking over to the work area one of our frames has one stem piece and the keel attached.

Prior to the opening of the arts festival all of the materials were assembled, and suitable lumber was then processed into qayaq making parts.  Specific parts were constructed by Mark before he headed north.

The project is running smoothly.  There are several local youth engaged in this workshop, with four Inuvialuit youth.  Many visitors of the both the festival and Inuvik are having the opportunity to join us on this.

Check in again soon to see our progress.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Learn to Build a Inuvialuit Qayaq at GNAF

In partnership with the Great Northern Arts Festival the Inuvik Qayaq Club is proud to announce that we are hosting a qayaq building workshop during the years’ arts festival.

This project is open Inuvik youth from ages 14-24.  Prior registration is required, as seats are limited to 10 participants. 

Youth will learn:
-How to measure the appropriate dimensions of a qayaq
-How to safely and efficiently use hand tools
-Make joinery and lashing techniques
-Skinning and sewing the qayaq
            Simply put: How to make a Skin-on-frame qayaq from start to finish

Dates: July 15th-24th, 2011
This comprehensive course will involve long days of 8-10 hours, with meals provided for those pre-registered participants. 

How to Register:
Contact the Inuvik Qayaq Club at 867-678-0584, or through email at  

Friday, 8 July 2011

IQC - GNAF Inuvialuit Qayaq Build 2011- Instructors

The instructors for this years' 2011 GNAF IQC-GNAF Inuvialuit Qayaq Building for Youth intiative have a lengthy, thurough, and dedicated history in the research of building traditional hunting craft and the involved disciplines that all combine to support this knowledge.

Mark Reuten

Mark Reuten is the second instructor for this proposed project.  Mark is the owner of Nomad Boat Building, company that builds and restores wooden boats as well as skin-on-frame boats.  Mark has lead youth qayaq construction programs in the past including St. Michaels University School in Victoria BC.  He has also delivered construction programs in several arctic communities.  Mark has been commissioned to build two Inuvialuit design qayaqs, one for a Millennium project and was on display at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics; and the other is on permanent display at the Vancouver International Airport.  

Mark was a supporting resource during 2008, when Kevin Floyd constructed an Inuvialuit qayaq from the ground up by first starting with lumber made from a log pulled from the Mackenzie River.  This project was to see the historic challenges faced by historic Inuvialuit qayaq makers, to learn from the difficulties posed to them and not a reconstruction or a replica.  Mark provided consultation on various pan arctic construction techniques for that project.

The Inuvaialuit qayaq frame that Mark constructed at the 2010 GNAF is an example of his skill and embodiment of his extensive knowledge of Canadian Arctic qayaq contruction.  The finished frame was unveiled at the closing ceremonies of the festival and represents close to the 100th qayaq that he has made.  With feedback gained and shared by IQC President, Kevin Floyd, Mark was able to make this frame follow this new information and it weighs in at under 14 pounds!  Good work Mark!

Mark has also been active across the Canadian arctic prior to his visit to Inuvik and the ISR in 2010.  He has facilitated qayaq construction programs across Nunavut.  Closer to home, Mark has also partnered with Robert Morris at the Brewery Creek Boat Building; and you can see Mark in one or two photos in the book "Building Skin On Frame Boats".  

The IQC is very fortunate and pleased to have the support of Mark and his supporters.

Kevin Floyd

Kevin is the founder and president of the Inuvik Qayaq Club.  For several years he sought to find a way to bring his enjoyment and appreciation of the qayaq culture back to his people in a meaningful way.  He worked as a professional sea kayak instructor and certified sea kayak guide on throughout the epicenter of modern sea kayaking, the west  coast of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia.  In the past 10 years he has made a traditional living by providing and putting food on the table through qayaq.

Kevin is certified as a Level 3 Sea Kayak Guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of British Columbia.  Colloquially, this certification is just called "lead guide", and Kevin earned this through the lengthy process of over-lapping intervals of instructional courses and then applied commercial guiding, with an awful lot of personal experience out on the edge to see the full extent of what "paddling" is.  In preparation for his 3 Day exam, where scenarios can occur at any time, Kevin relied on his preparation throughout the winter with daily training sessions.  His years of commercial guiding filled in the gaps of what happens if a guest has this happen or this takes place.

During these training sessions, Kevin did two significant things, he practiced in the worst winter storms that hit the east coast of Vancouver Island, as he states, "it is the only time that you can surf outside of Nanaimo and surrounding areas"; and he delved into the research of the use of the short pan-arctic "storm paddle".  Kevin did all of this with much enjoyment when winds exceeded 35 NM and in a few instances at 60 NM!  "You only really gain the depth of theory when you jump into it, as though you are in it for a penny, and the following pound".

A remarkable happening also happened from these sessions, and also from the earlier sessions, Kevin was extrapullating from the modern sea kayak information of safety, recovery and techniques and then began to continue some of those techniques to what made sense with the body and water conditions.  This kinesiologic knowledge of doing what both worked for the body and in varying water conditions lead him to redevelop several of the primary gayaq rolling skills and rolls as preserved, recorded, and practiced by the Greenland Kayak Association (QK) and QajaqUSA.  It was not until much later that Kevin would see these entities and their techniques online.  

"As stated on the Paddle Canada site, As a Paddle Canada director, I would like to see Paddle Canada continue its mandate of protection and perpetuity of canoeing and kayaking as a unique Canadian heritage by providing experienced Inuvialuit representation from the NWT, specifically the Western Arctic, where kayaking originated from.  I would like to facilitate the standardization of training and certification of traditional Inuit kayak skills and develop a nationally recognized certification process for this valuable skill set. As a representative of the NWT, I want to improve the overall standard of paddling programs and access to them for all in the territories.  

Through proposed communication with recreational paddling clubs and organizations, and community organizations interested in recreational paddling across the NWT, I aim to provide a voice to Paddle Canada."  Kevin also provides a voice to the national paddling authority Paddle Canada.

With both of these individuals, and the combined and earned support of GNAF and the Inuvik GNWT ITI, they hope to provide a unique and highly experience to the youth of Inuvik that will be selected to attend the qayaq build.

Inuvik Qayaq Club 5 Year Plan

Here is the IQC 5 Year Plan,

This plan was developed to provide us and our supporters of our initiatives a map of sorts of where we are going and how their support will be able to make both a remarkable and measurable difference.

Please contact the IQC if you are serious about learning of this vision and how you or your organization is able to contribute to this success.

IQC-GNAF Partnership with GNWT ITI Sponsorship

We are pleased to announce that this year the IQC is able to support the Great Northern Arts Festival by providing a traditional qayaq build demonstration.  Adding to the inertia that the IQC and its directors have brought back home to the north,  the President of the IQC was able create a situation where the GNWT ITI was able to support the IQC/GNAF partnership for another qayaq build, but this is not any other qayaq build.

This year after a lot of practice conveying a positive and reachable goal, the President of the IQC gained support of GNAF to and ITI to build four traditional Inuvialuit design skin-on-frame qayaqs at the the festival.  What makes the initiative even more remarkable are that three of the four qayaqs are to be built by local youth under the guidance and instruction of IQC President-Kevin Floyd, and Mark Reuten-founder of  Nomad Boat Building.  This build will be the first time an a very long time that so many Inuvialuit qayaq will be constructed at the same time to be sea worthy, and not adorn a wall, and by both Inuvialuit and other local youth.

The IQC imparts a significant thanks to the staffing in support of this initiative at ITI, and even for those who have met and exceeded the level of the "northern" performance bar.

The Inuvik Qayaq Club has also several other proposed initiatives in play and for revue by these and other organizations.  To learn more about how you or your organization can support these initiatives to create a positive opportunity for the youth of the the Beaufort Delta and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region please contact the IQC at:

Inuvik Qayaq Club
PO Box 2208
Inuvik, NT, X0E 0T0, Canada
(867) 678-0584

IQC Summary

The Inuvik Qayaq Club is a unique entity for the principles and aims that it set to follow. The club has developed these principles with consultation, to enhance the world view, and recreation of all local youth.

In 2010, the IQC successfully managed to certify a class of local individuals, including two Inuvialuit youth in a nationally recognized sea kayak award. We also had one of the top skin-on-frame kayak makers in the country come up and join us to make one of our qayaq during the Great Northern Arts Festival. The IQC also represented all kayak clubs for the Sports North Federation AGM. Locally, the club also managed to facilitate a traditional paddle making workshop for the local high school.

These are very significant achievements that we have been able to create with a very modest level of support; imagine what we can achieve, and the potential that we can enhance within our youth with regular and dedicated financial funding and support.

To learn more of how you can assist in making a meaningful, measurable, and significant addition to the lives of local youth, please feel free to contact the Inuvik Qayaq Club, at:

Inuvik Qayaq Club
PO Box 2208
Inuvik, NT, X0E 0T0, Canada
(867) 678-0584