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Building A Model Birch Bark Canoe (Preserving The Past)

Course Overview

Bring the colorful history of the voyageurs alive in this course co-hosted by the Grand Portage National Monument and the North House Folk School. Explore the traditions, history and technique of building a birch bark canoe by constructing your own authentic, scale-model “North Canoe” of the 17th and 18th century on site, at the historic Grand Portage National Monument Visitor Center (35 miles NE of Grand Marais). You build a 3-foot birch bark canoe – a 1/8-scale model of a fur trade canoe – with the same techniques and materials used in building full-size, traditional canoes. The course covers most of the skills, techniques and materials that are used to build a full-sized, traditional canoe including building on a mold, frame preparation, sewing the skin (or birch bark), and 'pitching' or sealing with spruce gum. Under the supervision of Monument staff, participants may access the collections and exhibitions to further their study and appreciation of the bark canoe, the fur trade and Grand Portage Ojibwe contributions.

Currently Scheduled Sessions