Truth and Reconciliation in Ottawa Valley News Reporting.
For thousands of years, the Ottawa River was principal to a commerce route involving trade between Canada’s first peoples.
While speed boats have replaced birch bark craft for those plying the river’s waters, traditional canoe-making skills are not entirely lost.
Enter Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, who welcomed craftsman Chuck Commanda to the CNL site last month to display a canoe the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg member had built using traditional methods from a single piece of birch bark found on CNL property.
It had taken Commanda and a companion several months to construct the twelve-foot craft, using traditional tools.
While the knowledged involved in crafting the canoe is priceless, Commanda decided the vessel should be raffled– which it was, with proceeds going toward the activities of the nearby Kijicho Manito Algonquin Nation.
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