Building a Birchbark Canoe
shows readers the practical process of the construction of a birchbark canoe
, at the same time as demonstrating the cultural significance of an elegant and practical craft that might otherwise be lost to history.
Although it had been more than a generation since the last birchbark canoe
was built, in 1997 two more were built by elders, and another elder began making canoe models.
Brooks and her family are skilled birchbark canoe
builders, and believe that the spirit of the grandfather "akwiten" has returned with the canoe.
The painting is representative of Kane's work: Dalle des Morts, or the Rapid of the Dead shows birchbark canoes
descending rapids on the upper Columbia River in British Columbia.
He teaches people how to make birchbark canoes
; his sage advice is sought by world leaders; he has travelled the globe talking to schoolchildren and statesmen; he is equally at home in a luxury hotel or a canvas tent.
Travelling in birchbark canoes
with a hundred or so Frenchmen, an equal number of friendly Indians and the inevitable pair of priests, Cadillac picked a site on a bluff overlooking the strait between Lake Erie and Lake Saint Clair, where he and his men spent some weeks building Fort Ponchartrain du Detroit.
The world spins along with little need for clipper ships or birchbark canoes
, or a capable ice house switchman.
Today, paddlers in fiberglass canoes come seeking fun rather than furs, but they cover territory that appears much as it did when trappers traversed it in birchbark canoes
From the building of birchbark canoes
by the earliest natives to the crafting of great sailing ships and fine walnut clock cases in Colonial times, we learn how the subtleties of specific tree species were matched to needs for practical function and sheer beauty.
The protest group sees as evidence of the Indians' insincerity the fact that spearers today use aluminum canoes and high-powered flashlights to stalk walleyes in shallow water, rather than traditional birchbark canoes
and flaming torches.
The next two chapters, which focus primarily on the Maritimes, largely concern themselves with Micmac birchbark canoes
and with aboriginal stories about the origin of the canoe.