While searching for canoe themed material on Archive.org, I came across what may in fact be the oldest recorded film images of the construction of a bark canoe. It was filmed by Harlan I. Smith, archeologist and ethnographer with the Canadian Museum of Civilization. This film entitled, Cheenama the Trailmaker was supposed to document life in an Ojibway camp by following the "story" of Cheenama and his family. Apparently, it failed as an authentic ethnographic record for many of its posed & stereotyped scenes, but the construction of the bark canoe is fascinating to watch nonetheless. Also interesting is the footage the the main characters harvesting wild rice. Here are some stills
Bark staked out
Stitching the ends
Collecting wild rice with the canoe
You can either watch the movie on the Archive.org site by clicking any of the images above or download the .mp4 file (155MB) directly.
I'm an avid canoeist and general "outdoorsy type" guy with a bit of an artistic side. Recently started this hobby of making custom canoe paddles after my disappointing experience with most commercial brands. This site documents various styles of single blade canoe paddles I've made or researched as well as other canoe related info I've stumbled across on my internet wanderings. Hope you enjoy your visit.