The Purpose


What is this expedition?

A campaign to connect people with each other and the environment.


Our Mission

  • To connect with people along the South Kawishiwi waterway.
  • To share stories of the South Kawishiwi waterway, including our own.

Our Values

  • Community
  • Compassion
  • Gratitude

Why connect with people along the way?

As the idea of this expedition has evolved, we have come to the recognition that more than anything we want to bring people together in nature.  Mushers, snowmobilers, skiers, hikers, motor boaters, canoers, everyone enjoying the areas through which we are traveling.  Community for us is the most important aspect of this expedition.

The current climate of the world (society, not the weather) feels divided and our own community is not immune to this.  In Ely, Minnesota, where we live and where this expedition begins, there is a lot of debate over a proposed sulfide-ore copper mine along the South Kawishiwi River and we see it polarizing the town.  And not just our town, but surrounding communities as well. 

We believe the connection to each other is missing in the conversation, the notion that we as a community are a team. What we want is to bring people together in a space that so many different people care about and enjoy. We believe there is a story and connection to this water and to each other to tell, and that story and connection reaches beyond the borders of our community.


Why the South Kawishiwi River?  

The South Kawishiwi River and connected lakes in Ely, Minnesota are our backyard. Outside of our jobs being connected to the South Kawishiwi, each of us has our own personal connection to the area and story for it’s significance to us.

In addition to that, the South Kawishiwi River is the center of a mining debate in the area. With educating ourselves on the proposed mine, Samantha, our team member who first dreamt of this expedition, became curious, “where does the South Kawishiwi River water flow?” The answer is north to Hudson Bay.  And thus the route and the vision for this expedition were born. 


Does the route really follow the South Kawishiwi?

While the South Kawishiwi River does end, the water continues to flow through the Boundary Waters and the Quetico on to the Rainy River, Lake Winnepeg, the Nelson River, and ultimately reaches it’s outlet in Hudson Bay. This is the route we will be taking.

Our goal is to stay as true to the way the water flows as possible.  We know that there will be obstacles (dams, rapids, bad ice) that will pull us off the water (or ice rather) at times and away from the exact route the water flows, but as much as we can, we plan to travel on and with the water.