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Canadians Row Across Atlantic to Highlight Indigenous Rights

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Three Canadians are part of a 16-person team from around the world that is setting out to break a record for rowing east to west across the Atlantic, departing from Agadir, Morocco, and arriving in Canada about a month later.

It’s also an attempt to create a new record for shortest rowing times from east to west in the Atlantic.

But for Dylan White, Nigel Roedde and Zach Scher, rowing isn’t enough. The three Canadians are also collecting money to donate toward tribal efforts to guard indigenous land and protect environmental practices, according to the website Survival International, a nonprofit organization that helps tribal peoples defend their lives and land and control their future.

Dylan, Nigel and Zach are trying to raise at least $10,000 (Canadian) for tribal peoples.

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Rowers will work from two to four hours at a time, with the same amount of time in between for rest, Survival International said. They must complete the trip in 32 days to break the record for the fastest East to West crossing reliant solely on manpower.

On the Row4Survival website, White outlined his reasons for participating.

“From travels all over North and Central America, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with people in all walks of life and from diverse backgrounds,” the self-descibed scientist, musician and adventurer wrote. “From the Naskapi and Innu of Northern to Québec to the Mi’kmaq of Cape Breton, experiences with the indigenous people of Canada has allowed me to develop a sense of the cultural diversity that persists into the 21st century and the immense value of this spectrum of knowledge. Ensuring that these minority voices have a place in a modern globalized world is the aim of the fund-raising drive for Survival International.”