The Native Way of Building a Birch Bark Canoe

THURSDAY THOUGHTS–Oh, my goodness, you just have to watch this video I ran across about building a birch bark canoe using only small non-motorized hand tools, doing it the old way of the elders.

This was a Canadian-made hour long film, with a few subtitles in English, but really not much text is required.

Get a cup of coffee and get comfortable, because you are not going to want to miss this show!

Course, you can pause it and come back again later, but I was glued to the screen the whole time. Enjoy!

I really enjoyed watching how the 67 year old Native felled the tree, stripped off the bark, pulled and then cut and processed spruce root for lacing, made the shaping forms and also made a pitch or glue for the seams and did some carvings in the side of the canoe.

Watching he and his wife (I presume), paddle off to do some fishing near sunset was a very nice and touching end to this spectacularly insightful and fascinating process of an ancient craft. Thank you to the producer and of course, the craftsman.

What did you think of this old-time craft and way of building a birch bark canoe? Have you ever watched the process before? Please leave your comments below and be sure to “Like” this and Subscribe to their channel.


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2 thoughts on “The Native Way of Building a Birch Bark Canoe”

    1. No, I haven’t yet tried using porcupine quills on the birch bark baskets, but have seen some really beautiful ones in the past. Where are you located and where do you teach?

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