Hand crafted birch bark voyageur canoe. Photo credit: wzzm13.com

This makes me wish I had a school program like this when I was in grade six.

The students at Goodwillie Environmental School in West Michigan launched last week an authentic 24 foot birch bark voyageur canoe that they have been working on for the past 2 years as part of a massive school project involving 50 students.

Last week they paddled it down the Grand River for the very first time.

Sixth-grader Lauren Kanai observed the historic moment.

“A voyageur birch bark canoe hasn’t been rode down the river in 180 years. That’s pretty cool,” she said.

“It started out with a roll of birch bark and an idea,” said student Lydia Hughes. “And it was really cool to sail it today.”

Last year, students built the canoe using age-old techniques. This year they carved oars and studied the river extensively in partnership with “Think Grand” a project through the nonprofit organization Great Lakes Lifeways Institute, www.lifewaysinstitute.org, and funded by grants.

More info: mlive.com

Image Credit: wzzm13.com

Published in General News

Birch Bark Canoe - Photo Credit: thisiscornwall.co.uk

The National Maritime Museum has revealed the discovery of what some are saying might be the oldest canoe in the world.

The birch bark canoe was discovered in a barn on a family estate where it has been sitting for over 230 years. Yes, 230 years.

It was originally brought to Britain from Canada by Lt. John Enys after he fought in the American War of Independence in 1776 and has remained on the family estate ever since.

The plan is to restore damaged portions of the canoe then put it on display at the National Maritime Museum in Cornwall from late January to September 2011 where it will then be repatriated back to Canada for further research.

The article doesn’t say where the canoe will be going but my guess is that it will end up at the Canadian Canoe Museum as they have a strong research and education department on staff.

Andy Wyke, boat collections manager at the museum said, ''Lt Enys sailed from Falmouth in a packet ship to join his regiment in Canada to relieve the city of Quebec, which was under siege from the Americans. He fought many military campaigns and toured the area for his personal interest – discovering this canoe along the way.

''It's incredible to think its legacy has been resting in a barn in Cornwall all this time."

More information: thisiscornwall.co.uk
Photo credit: thisiscornwall.co.uk

Published in General News

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