Monday, March 26, 2012

Temagami Birch Bark Canoe Project

An interesting Birchbark canoe project is in the works for this summer. The folks at Voyages of Rediscovery are raising funds for a canoe build on Bear Island, Lake Temagami. They've begun their drive with a detailed video of their goals and intention (see below)

Seems like worthy project to involve the youth of the island and bring back some pride in their native canoe heritage. Their project site on Kickstarter mentions their fundraising progress...they're getting close to their goal of $10,000. Their pledge page also lists some tempting "rewards" for pledges ranging from bumper stickers, T shirts, DVDs, crooked knives, for donations of $25 or more.

The builders previously built a 25 foot trade canoe based from a historic HBC freight canoe photo taken on Bear Island in 1896...

Photo credit: R.S. Cassels collection at the National Archives of Canada.

Here are some of their Program Objectives:
  • Film the entire project and conduct interviews with tribal community members and the young people who help build the canoes.
    Harvest enough materials to build 3 birch bark canoes.
  • Build 2-3 birch bark canoes with and for the young people of the Bear Island Band of the Temagami First Nation.
  • Incorporate the youth in every facet of the Birch Bark canoe building process: harvesting materials, preparing materials and building the canoe.
  • Facilitate a week long material gathering canoe trip for 10-15 teenagers. On this trip we will look for all the necessary materials needed to build a birch bark canoe: Birch Bark, Spruce Root, Cedar, and Ash.
  • Produce a professional feature length documentary as well as a 3 minute trailer, and a 12 minute promotional edit.

For those wondering what the donated money will be spent on, here's a list from their site:
  • Transportation to and from Bear Island, Lake Temagami, Ontario, Canada. We will be driving from Washington State in our Waste Vegetable Oil Van over 6,000 miles round trip (WVO is cheap but there are still expenses). Then taking a 2 hour barge ride with all of our equipment to Bear Island.
  • Fine wood working tools
  • Food for three months (we won't have a fridge so it'll be cheap: rice and beans, cans, pasta, nothing fancy)
  • Some professional quality videography equipment
  • Post-production expenses
  • Entry into film festival

Wishing these folks well and good luck on their exciting project!

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