Eight teens from Lockport School are learning about their history through a paddle making workshop.

The program is a joint effort between Tillikum Lens and the Canadian Canoe Museum.

The teens, aged 12 to 15, learn how to create a hand-made paddle and photograph the process with cameras donated by Sony.

The finished paddles and photographs will be displayed at the Festival Du Voyageur Silver Canoe Dinner.

Fifteen year old William Miller has a new appreciation for how difficult life was for his Métis ancestors.

“I feel more connected to the wide range of all the First Nations and Métis that came before me,” he said.

The teens all identify as First Nations or Métis.

They were selected based on their connection to their culture, or their desire to learn more.

“We have to start giving power back to these youth. And I’ve noticed over and over again if we give that to them, they meet us way more than halfway,” said Jonathon Reynolds with the International Sustainability Education Foundation.

The students will use their new paddles during a canoe trip on the Assiniboine River in the spring.

When the paddles are finished, the students will post photos from their experience on a photoblog.