Canoe Builders of Pikwàkanagàn

Creator(s): Omàmiwinini Pimàdjwowin

The Fading Art of Birch Bark Canoe Building

Aboriginal people in Canada have used birch bark canoes to glide down rivers and lakes for thousands of years, and they've passed along the craft of making these canoes from generation to generation. In modern times, this knowledge is slowly disappearing as a lack of material, fading interest, new technologies and new ways of thinking encroach on the old way of life.

This Community Memories exhibit honours the birch bark canoe builders of the Golden Lake community. It tells the story of the largest birch bark canoe ever built, now permanently on display at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, and describes the canoe's one and only voyage in September 1957. It also examines the lives of the people involved in the building of it and offers a reproduction of the vessel, built by Matthew Bernard of Golden Lake.

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