Traditional techniques teach traditional knowledge

Youth at Saugeen First Nation had the opportunity to hone traditional canoe building techniques over the past few weeks thanks to an Indigenous grant.

Starting from scratch, the students learned what it was like to construct an original birch-bark canoe using historic traditional methods.

Using a variety of woods, the students worked with instructor Kevin Finney from Michigan.  “This is about learning how to live with nature in a way that’s sustainable,” said Finney. “It’s also about more than building a canoe.  it’s about building self-esteem and confidence through a hands-on experience.  This is also about teaching traditional knowledge.”

The canoe has been initially constructed but on-going work, including traditional artistry, has yet to be done before it is officially launched in the Saugeen River in the early summer.

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