The River
The Mista-Shipu (Innu) or Grand River (English) is 856km in length and the longest river in Labrador. Many other rivers drain into the Churchill River (Grand River) and together with the current race route on the Goose River, drain into Lake Melville. Many outsiders over the years have come to take in the beauty of these rivers.

Mista-Shipu has been used for hundreds of years by the Innu of Labrador as a travel and sustenance route. For generations, Mista-Shipu has provided richly to the Innu way of life. Not only has it given food and medicine but it has been the birthplace, ceremonial and a burial ground for many Innu families. Mista-Shipu is the main artery for countless other rivers and lakes expanding across Labrador and Quebec.

When you're paddling down Mista-Shipu sometimes you see strong rapids and sometimes just flat calm water and when it's calm you feel more relaxed... This river is a beautiful place to canoe. A Beautiful place to be.

Them Days Vol.37, No.1 p. 127. Quote from Elizabeth "Tshaukuesh" Penashue.
The river has also been used by the Inuit-Metis population of Labrador. Hunting, fishing and trapping, berry picking and a stopping place to socialize is just some of the activities that have been a part of the cultural tradition.

Retired canoe builder and Labrador native, Joe Goudie, had his first paddling trip on the Grand River in 1989. His father and brother both trapped along the river in the early and mid 1900s. No doubt, the passion and dedication to take a trip on the river as his father and brother once did as trappers, was a driving force behind his decision to make the paddle and to become a canoe builder himself when he opened up the Grand River Canoe Company in 1998. In fact, a sixteen foot canoe that was designed by Goudie's brother Horace was named specifically after the breathtaking river and was specially named "Grand River Model".

Goudie talks about his canoe and guiding experiences in "The Grand River - Mista-Shipu" special issue of Them Days. You can also find many other stories from Labrador people and visitors about the history of the Grand River in issues of the magazine Them Days : Stories of Early Labrador.