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A group of Basques and Quebecois will travel the St. Lawrence River in a trainera to Montreal; they are the “Indianoak 2013”


Photo from a previous expedition in the St. Lawrence River by Ibaialde in 2003 (photo Ibaialde)
Photo from a previous expedition in the St. Lawrence River by Ibaialde in 2003 (photo Ibaialde)


The association Ibaialde of Anglet (Angelu, Lapurdi) and the Euskaldunak of Quebec Basque club are working together to organize the expedition Indianoak 2013. In a year, in June of 2013, a trainera with a crew from the Basque Country and Quebec will travel 500 kilometers up the St. Lawrence River from Trois Pistoles to Montreal, in honor of the Basque whalers who traveled these waters in the XIV century. The trip will include 12 stops, where cultural, musical and gastronomical exchanges will take place. The president of Euskaldunak of Quebec, Adelaide Daraspe tells us about the project.

Montreal, Quebec.  The Euskaldunak of Quebec Basque club and the Association Ibaialde from Angelu-Anglet have a year in order to organize the Indianoak 2013 expedition.  It is a very ambitious and logistically complicated project that includes building a trainera in the Basque Country and transporting it to Trois Pistols where it will travel the St. Lawrence River to Quebec.   Nevertheless, the members of Ibaialde already have experience in such adventures: in 2003 they carried out a similar expedition going from Trois Pistoles to Sept Illes which concluded with the donation of the trainera to the Parc de l’aventure Basque en Amerique (Basque Adventure Park in America).  This time it will go to the Euskaldunak Basque club who will use it to promote rowing in Quebec.

The trip will be an adventure, but will also include cultural exchanges.  The Basque rowers will share stages with local volunteers, who they will teach to row as well as share experiences.  Additionally, a group of Basque cooks and musicians will follow the trainera and will organize a cooking class and concerts with Quebecois music and other cultural exchanges at each stop. 

Resume of Euskaldunak

The Euskaldunak Basque club is responsible for the organization in Quebec, and has already begun making contacts, looking for accommodation and publicizing the project. “When we celebrated our 15 anniversary we brought the group Kalakan to Quebec and one of its members, Thierry Biscary, told us about the project,” club president explained to  “Afterwards, while I was in the Basque Country, Thierry took me to meet the Association Ibaialde, and they explained the project to me right then in Anglet.”

Euskaldunak was committed from the beginning: “right away we told them yes, because this project fits right in to our goals and interests.  It is true that the Basques are mostly known in Quebec thanks to the whalers.  A project like this the perfect thing to publicize Euskal Herria, both in big cities and in small towns,” Daraspe says.

A Live Trainera

The two associations are working on getting the necessary funding together and, among other things, they have created a system of donations on a website designed by Jean Lafourcade also of Quebec.  For a donation of 20 Euros visitors can “buy” a part of the trainera (to make a donation click here).

One of the goals of Indianoak 2013 is to keep the trainera alive in Quebec after the expedition.  For this, there will always be a free spot for people from Quebec who would like to participate.  Basque club members, of course, have already volunteered to row.  “The goal is for Basques from here, as well as people of Quebec, to learn to use the trainera.  The Basque club has been in touch with a rowing club in Montreal so that we can keep the trainera at their facilities,” Daraspe explains.  “It is very important, for Ibaialde, as well as for Euskaldunak of Quebec, that the trainera continues to live after the expedition.”   

The adventure will conclude with a big festival that will take place at the port in Montreal.

-More information on Indianoak 2013:

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