Six police departments and five Aboriginal youth groups are spending the day together today in an annual canoeing event aimed at helping improve relations between them. The cops and kids in the 13th Annual Flotilla for Friendship will launch this morning at 11:00 AM after a water ceremony with an Algonquin Elder from Dow's Lake, travel the length of the canal, and portage down to the Ottawa River. Once there, the 37 canoe friendship flotilla will paddle upstream to Victoria Island for Ottawa Police feats and a final feast.

On board the canoes this year are 52 kids from the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, Odawa Native Friendship Centre & the Ottawa Inuit Children's Centre. They will pair up with thirty eight officers from the OPP, SQ, RCMP, Akwesasne Mohawk, Lac Simon and Ottawa Police Services.

When the cops and kids finally drag their canoes out of the water, they will feast on the traditional foods offered at the Aboriginal Experiences cultural attraction. This year's 'feats' for the children will feature an Ottawa Police Tactical Team demonstration.

The event is sponsored by the Trailhead Paddleshack, Rideau Canoe Club, Jenda Paddlesports, Mountain Equipment Coop, Expeditions Raddisson, Dow's Lake Pavillion, Malone's, Ottawa Police Association, Ottawa Carleton District Public School Board, Ontario Provincial Police, Ottawa Police Service, Surete du Quebec, Akwesasne Mohawk Police, Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, Minwaashin Lodge, Odawa Native Friendship Centre, Ottawa Inuit Children's Centre, Lac Simon Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.