Pole Push

The incredible journeys of the Dene are both extraordinary and difficult to comprehend for many people today. Often Dene would travel in their birch bark canoes hundreds of miles to the Barrenlands to hunt caribou, set traps or to visit family. In order to travel on these canoe trips there were many portages where the canoe would have to be emptied of gear and carried sometimes up to 15 or 20 kilometers to the next river and then they would have to return back for their gear. These journeys required strength, endurance, persistence and an innate sense of direction. In order to maintain their astonishing abilities these grueling canoe trips, some Dene would practice the Pole Push. The Pole Push is similar to the tug-of-war game, but participants are using a 20 foot pole to try and push each other out of the circle.

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