Monday, October 2, 2017

100+ Year Old Mi'kmaq Canoe - Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic

Came across an interesting article regarding a new exhibit at the The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic  in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

At the centre of the new exhibit entitled "First Fishers" is a  15.5 ft birchbark canoe that was constructed by Mi’kmaq builders in the early 1900s.  Constructed from oak, spruce root, birchbark and iron nails, it was made by Steven and Newel Labrador around 1910 at the Mi’kmaq settlement in Paradise for the late Rice Whitman at the cost of $1 per foot.

The canoe was apparently used for hunting and fishing in the backwoods of Nova Scotia until 1947. Passing to his son and then his daughter-in-law, Margaret, the canoe sat untouched in the basement of the Whitman home for decades.  The beautiful looking boat has survived well over the century and appears to have come with two paddles.

1910 Mi'kmaq Forest Hunting Canoe

After doing a bit more research online, I came across the page of Grant Murray Designs who appears to have been the consultant for the exhibit. The canoe has been placed in a humidity controlled case and another paddle is mounted on the wall.

First Fishers Mi'kmaq Canoe
Image Source Credit: Grant Murray Designs

The grip profile of one of the paddles is just visible resting on the thwart of the canoe.

First Fishers Mi'kmaq Canoe
Image Source Credit: Grant Murray Designs

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