The canoe is more than just a piece of recreational equipment — it's a symbol of Canadian history and a reminder of the need for national unity and collaboration.

That's the message James Raffan wants to share when the Canadian Canoe Museum brings its Silver Canoe Dinner series fundraiser to Fort Calgary this Saturday.

"Here's a device that we've all used, with which French, English and Indigenous people have come and experienced," he told CBC's The Homestretch.

"Canada needs to rethink itself, especially after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission," he said.

"We're all in the same boat. We should be pulling together."

Raffan brings with him "the most effervescent canoe of the 600 odd in [the museum's] collection" in the form of a 38-centimetre long canoe crafted from pure silver by Garrard & Co. of London, silversmith to the queen. 

Raffan called it an "an unbelievably accurate likeness" of a 36-foot canot de maître with an incredible story. 

He'll share that story this weekend at the Fort, where three distinctly Albertan canoes built by Albertans will also be on display. 

Canoe Hyatt Lobby

This canoe hangs from the ceiling of Calgary's Hyatt hotel. "Alberta has some fantastic rivers, not least the Bow," said historian James Raffan. (Supplied)