Teach Us With Culture and We Can Learn



One Culture At A Time

Exploring Indigenous Cultures Through Authentic Indigenous Voices


A Cultural & Environmental Discussion

Promoting Equity, Diversity & Social Justice

Canoe Kids - "We're all Mother Earth's children."

Two problems we all face are environmental and cultural rights. We believe we have a solution to this problem.Visit www.canoekids.com for more information.Filming by FirstTel Communications Corporation

Posted by Canoe Kids on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Filmed by FirsTel


Canoe Kids is now 4 Canoes. Our publication is focused on authentic Indigenous voices discussing Cultural Rights, Human Rights, Environmental Rights and Equity.
4 Canoes better reflects our miission. www.canoekids.com and www.4canoes.com are and will remain active URLs and are the same organization.







Authentic Indigenous Voices Take You On Extraordinary Explorations
Of Learning & Fun



Haida - Inuit - Inca (Quechua) - Haudenosaunee - Cree - Maori - Blackfoot
Dakelh (carrier) - Mi’kmaq - Celt - Dakota - Apache - Seminole - Comanche -  Ute
- Lanape (Delaware) - Shawnee - Mayan - Sami (Laplander) - Shoshone - Pawnee



Canoe Kids and 4Canoes was evaluated and recommended by ERAC. Review ERAC evaluation please click here.



News: Our name has changed to better reflect our publications core principals: Cultural Rights: Human Rights: Environmental Rights & Equity


Our name has changed to 4Canoes. Canoe Kids was a wonderful name and our intention was to create an edition for all ages, adults too. We learned that a tradition in the Ojibwe culture is to acknowledge children at meetings and listen to them. What a wonderful tradition. We decided to call our publication Canoe Kids as we considered a number of our reading public may be new to Indigenous cultures, similar to children learning from the elders. While we love the name and concept there has been some misunderstandings in the marketplace that our publication is just for kids. Because our publication has been embraced across Canada and now  through the USA and our readership is growing so rapidly,we decided it was time to change the name. Here is why we think 4canoes is the perfect title.


Before we started Canoe Kids and  now  4Canoes from Volume 4 forward, we were involved in a few  traditional birch bark canoe builds and we noticed something that struck us. People of all cultures, ages and genders were effected ethereally by the canoes. People needed to touch the bark canoes and feel the textures. They felt a connection. Canoes after-all, connected people over great distances since time immemorial. Perhaps the canoe is represented somehow in our cultural DNA. We also noticed that after experiencing the physical canoe they turned their attention to the builders with a myriad of questions. The value they perceived in the canoe was transferred to the builder and the builders instantly became teachers, and the people listened respectfully. That was magical to us. The canoe was the impetus that created a connection to the builder. Barriers disappeared and respectful conversation and communication occurred... Every time!


4Canoes is our response to the calls to action resulting from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The canoe, or transportation of each Indigenous culture is always a theme in our editions. The four canoes in our name each carry authentic Indigenous voices in respectful discussion about cultural rights, human rights, environmental rights and equity. Come experience and explore Indigenous cultures with us.



More News
4Canoes, formerly Canoe Kids has Grown: 4Canoes has been embraced by thousands of schools and libraries in every province and territory in Canada. We have also fostered a relationship with Indie Bookstores to make 4Canoes available to the general public. 4Canoes is now displayed and/or listed in almost 600 Indie bookstores.


New  Announcement for Teachers: Digital distribution for every computer,laptop,white-board and tablet school-wide/teacher wide/student wide. We have commenced a program to distribute school and school-board wide. These digital copies are permanent licenses, one small fee and are
unlocked and take advantage of recent technology for the visual and hearing impaired. Click on the digital school house below for more information.


We appreciate the huge support the 4Canoes has received. We look forward to creating more editions and will strive to continue to earn your support.  Please let us know if you have any suggestions or comments. Your thoughts are appreciated and welcomed. Let us know your thoughts at suggestions@4canoes.com



Our Volume 4, The Yavapai, People of the Sun is now complete.


The digital edition is released and is available in our store now. The print edition will follow.  As a special thank you to our readers, anyone purchasing the digital edition before the end of May 2019, may acquire the print edition when available for 30% off.  This edition is simply extraordinary and certainly lives up to the very high standards we hold ourselves too. You


Best Regards and a big thank you from The 4Canoes Team


4Canoess: Our Journey

As we travel to explore and learn from different communities we have learned one fact that is as certain as the sun rising in the east. That fact is that while each of the cultures we learn from are different in many ways, they also share one affinity that is incontestable. We refer here to our connection with nature and the precept that we are all in partnership with the land, water and all the creatures and plants. We must all be good stewards working in concert with nature. 4Canoes is a celebration of both the differences and similarities among Indigenous cultures.


A geopolitical view of the world prior to long distance travel by colonizing forces looked much different than it does today. For example, the borders that now exist between across the Americas were not present 500 years ago. Indigenous people moved freely across what is now a border, and in some communities, even straddled it. Tribal territories were respected and elaborate trades routes existed from east to west, north to south. To begin to understand cultures that have existed for millennia, you must appreciate their world view is so much more than just the last 500 years.



As always, we at 4Canoes appreciate you joining us in exploring Indigenous cultures and territories. We invite you to take this journey with us, to listen and learn from Indigenous peoples who have occupied these lands since time immemorial. Everyone involved in the creation of 4Canoes believes we are very privileged to do this work, and we couldn’t do it without you, our readers.


As we learn and grow, we know you learn and grow with us. Together, we can shine a light into the darkness of ignorance and create a brighter world for us all.





Each edition follows a common theme and features:

1:  The history of the culture pre and post contact

2: Compelling and beautiful pictorials that draw you into the stories and place of the featured community
3: The story of the vessel and/or other modes of transportation used by the featured Peoples
4: Art and Food
5: Kids Zone
6: Resources for everyone including kids, parents and educators

7: Stories by and of the featured Peoples in each edition

8: Extraordinary pictures of the lives, land and waters of the featured Peoples











Teach Us With Culture And We Can Learn


About 4Canoes:

Inspiration: Teach Me With Culture And I will Learn… (from the James Bay Cree education statement)

4Canoes is about cultures, equity and the environment. Our readership is from the very young to the very mature. We are privileged to have the opportunity to live among beautiful and vibrant cultures and we strive to bring an honest and authentic perspective from the First Peoples to our readership. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission inspired Indigenous and non-indigenous people throughout Canada and its call to action provided the impetus that brought our group of like minded individuals together in 2015. The TRC devotes two entire sections to Media and Education. 4Canoes is our effort to embrace the TRC message.



4Canoess is an eight-year project that will produce 24 volumes commencing with our first edition released in January 2016. We endeavour to provide authentic and empowering materials in an inspiring way. 4Canoes is photojournalism based with full colour pictures and illustrations accompanied by poetry, art, recipes, stories, and editorial content that showcase cultures whose time stretches through prior millennium but are also well anchored in the present. There is so much to learn when you have the opportunity to live in communities for months at a time and listen to the elders/knowledge keepers and join in the community. 4Canoes shares this journey so that the reader can experience and learn about these extraordinary Peoples and cultures first hand.


We always start by seeking permissions and fostering relationships in the communities we visit. We commenced by requesting contact with the Grand Chief, Chief of the Council and members of the education facilities and language and culture centres. These contacts and discussions led to relationships within the community. Respecting this process provides the opportunity for us to learn. 4Canoes is simply a reflection of our learning. We are members of the Canadian Association of Journalists and believe in the ethics and responsibilities of journalism. This follows our commitment to create cultural and environmental awareness especially from remote locations.



North America, (Turtle Island) is experiencing an awakening and embracing of First Nations cultures. We focus on the extraordinary depth of traditional knowledge especially as related to the environment and culture. Cultural and environmental awareness is a common discussion now and so the timing for our publication is fortunate.


Mark Twain said “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”


People may not be able to travel to remote places but creating content with the cultures of these areas allows information to travel to the reader. If the materials are authentic, inspiring, accurate and pertinent then awareness is expanded. Expanded awareness helps shape dialogue and dialogue can lead to action and action can lead to environmental and cultural acceptance and change. This is precisely what we wish to help foster with 4Canoes.





This inclusive concept is truly an Indigenous way of being.


4Canoes is all about Cultural Rights, Human Rights, Environmental Rights and Equity. Our Indigenous communities have always included the little ones in their circles and talk and teach to them in the same way they talk and teach to young adults and adults. The views of the children are valued and respected. Learning and having fun are for family and community together. We decided to follow that inclusive way of life for the layout of the book. Rather than create editions for different age groups we decided to have one book for all ages. We wanted one book for the family so that parents can read to their children from the same book that the children have fun with in the Fun Zone. We wanted the same book to be a resource for learning and a resource for educating too.


4Canoes is a book that we hope you will keep. The information, stories and pictures are timeless and will never feel old. The stories are already thousands of years old and they are as relevant now (perhaps more so) than ever before. As your collection grows each new and past edition can be enjoyed, re-read and shared by new family, students and acquaintances.  Our team doesn't just travel and spend a few days in each location. We spend months on location and build real relationships. That means that the materials you read are not only the result of exhaustive work but also of the care and closeness of the friendships made within the community by the 4Canoes staff. This, we believe, is much more than  just reporting. This is our mission and lives too, and we are thrilled to have you join us on our journeys.


Our materials are equal parts cultural and environmental. The latter is a natural offshoot of the former as Indigenous cultures are wrapped around and through the lands and water and sky both spiritually and from a harvesting and gathering perspective. Indigenous Peoples have long been the caretakers of Mother Earth and we can all learn from these experts whose message is perhaps more relevant today than ever.


Each edition features Peoples from a different Nation and is approximately 130 pages (without advertising). Both print and digital versions are available. Our materials are inspiring for all ages. Come explore with us!


WHY 4Canoes?


Because embracing Cultural Rights, Human Rights, Environmental Rights and Equity in a respectful and embracing manner will make us all better.


Learn about and from knowledgeable voices that promote understanding of Mother Earth, cultural diversity ... and have fun too :-)The canoe, or transportation of each Indigenous culture is always a theme in our editions. The four canoes in our name each carry authentic Indigenous voices in respectful discussion about cultural rights, human rights, environmental rights and equity. Come experience and explore Indigenous cultures with us.






THE Land




The 4Canoes Store

Print and digital editions, books and movies



Contact Information

General use email:

Teacher/librarian and education:

Order inquiries:


Wholesale inquiries:


Distributor inquiries:


Kelly Brownbill 

Senior Editor & Cultural Advisor




Kelly Brownbill’s spirit name, Wabunnoongakekwe, means Woman Who Comes from the East and she is proud to be Wabizhashi Dodem, Marten Clan.  She is a member of the Flat Bay community of the Mi’kmaq Nation in Newfoundland.

As an educator on Aboriginal issues, she has conducted countless cultural awareness training sessions across a broad range of service sectors including key staff from both the provincial and federal governments.  She has worked extensively with teachers and staff, both in the education and child welfare sectors.  The birth of 4Canoes means she will finally have somewhere to point people struggling to find authentic and appropriate information on Indigenous Peoples.


Having raised a daughter in the public school system, she has been frustrated repeatedly over the misrepresentation of her culture, and the misinformation that perpetuates stereotypical images.  Her wish is that teachers finally feel like someone has their backs when it comes to portraying Indigenous Peoples as foundational to our global cultures today.

 Kelly honors the wisdom and vision of her elders, both here and in the spirit realm, and acknowledges their guidance.  She continues to seek their assistance with her ongoing journey.  For more information, please visit www.kellybrownbill.com.


Kevin Milne

Journalist, editor and Media Lead




Kevin is a photojournalist, journalist, author and documentary film maker. Kevin has filmed throughout the Americas. Cultural studies through media is his passion.


A continually learning student of media, Kevin is at home with digital and videography and is often immersed in all things Adobe.


Kevin is a human rights and environmental rights advocate and believes they are in fact the same thing.


Kevin has explored, camped, hiked, canoed, kayaked, motorcycled and parachuted in the arctic, rain forests, deserts, mountains and works to make sure his grand children can do the same.


Field research and writing is another passion for Kevin. Having an opportunity to work with people to help them write their truths is an ultimate reward.


Glen Woolner

Editor and Management Consultant


Glen has devoted many years to education and environmental fields. Glen focuses on editing, administration and consulting.


Glen is active in many pro-education and environmental groups and his expertise is an invaluable part of The Canoe Kid's team.