A History of Tobogganing

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In 1884, Edward Zamboni, a great Canadian military leader, invented the toboggan as a vehicle for the Canadian military. It proved triumphant in many battles until his opponents moved higher up the hill than his troops were located. It regained it’s popularity as a leisure activity in 1965 when our great Queen rode down the hill in Saskatchewan during her visit to our great country.

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Today was another monumental day in tobogganing’s great history as the Edmonton tribe of November Project Yahoos, yahooed our way down an impressive hill, home to Edmonton’s own ski club. To the background music of the great Little Richard, who is 1/8th Canadian, we snow-burpeed, snow push-upped and snow lunged our way into this city’s history books. As is tradition, there was a loud cry of “Fuck Ya!”, a copious amount of hugging and a hard hat awarded to our hardest working/most kamikaze tribe member of the day, Kyle.

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For those who like to sled, BOOM, we salute you.

AF

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2 Replies to “A History of Tobogganing”

  1. Hello this is Presley, I’m 16, and I’m from a small community in Canada full of Mi’kmaq people. I noticed you said that Edward Zamboni made the toboggan but actually were made by the Inuit. The word “toboggan” originally came from the ‘Mi’kmaq’ (a group of aboriginal people in Canada) they called the “toboggan” (“Tobakun”) kinda pronounced like the like the American English “toboggan”. Also many other words (example Caribou) also came from the Mi’kmaq and the English wrote it down like how the Mi’kmaq made it sound. Example the letter “K” in the Mi’kmaq language sounds like a “G” that how you would pronounce the Mi’kmaq word (“tobakun”) “to bog gan”. That’s all I had to say have a wonderful day and or night.

  2. He’s absolutely right, toboggan was in use by North American First Nations long before the Europeans settlers landed on our shores but like so many other aspects of our cultures, the settlers appropriated our creations and took the credit. Hockey being one of the most contested traditional games, the first ice hockey game documented by settlers was played by a group of Mi’kmaqs in the 1600s, long before Windsor College decided to appropriate the game for their own use. The Mi’kmaq used bones lashed to their moccasins as skates. Ironically, the residential schools used hockey to assist in the assimilation of Indigenous children but, regardless of how good our players were, Indigenous athletes were excluded from professional hockey.

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