a birchbark canoe

Web sites

Books, Magazines

Bark canoes: a bibliography from Upsala University in Sweden

The Wooden Canoe Journal from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association often has articles and news about birchbark canoe building

Wilderness Journey by Ian and Sally Wilson who spent a year travelling as voyageurs, in a birchbark canoe and by dog cariole

Building Techniques

Joe River's pictures of building a birchbark canoe

The construction of the birch bark canoe - from the White Oak Society, White Oak Learning Centre and White Oak Fur Post, Deer River, Minnesota.

Construction of a birchbark canoe from Squeedunk Kayaks

How to Build Birchbark Canoe in Japanese with good drawings


The Bark Canoe Store

Bigfork Canoe Trails, Minnesota

A Developing Talent: Steve Cayard - an article about this builder from Wooden Canoe Journal

David and Ernestine Gidmark, Maniwaki, Quebec

Joe River, Wakefield, Quebec

Henri Vaillancourt, Greenville, New Hampshire

Westport Canoes - Jack LaPointe builds beautiful cedar canvas canoes and helped me with building my birchbark canoe

Tom Byers - Wood River Canoe Company


The History of the Canoe

Canoes and the fur trade from the White Oak Society, White Oak Learning Centre and White Oak Fur Post, Deer River, Minnesota.

Samuel de Champlain on birchbark canoes, from the Canadian Museum of Civilization

Canoe History from Water Spirits Miniature Canoes

The Alexander Mackenzie Voyageur Route - the web site comes complete with digital Voyageur songs

The Hudson's Bay Company Archives

The Edwin Tappan Adney page by Jim Wheaton who is writing Adney's biography


An Interview with David & Ernestine Gidmark

Gary Hodgson's Work Boat- This Adirondack forest ranger uses his birchbark canoe on the job

The Patagonian Canoe, Erhard Kraus' introduction to making canoes, Patagonian style. They're not made of birchbark but...

The Enduring Craftsmanship of Wisconsin's Native Peoples: The Ojibwe Birch-bark Canoe

Exhaustion and Fulfilment: The Ascetic in a Canoe, an essay by former Canadian Prime Minster Pierre Elliot Trudeau

Some great quotes about canoes, courtesy of Tripper Dave Robinson

Some more great canoe quotes from canoe.ca including the classic from Pierre Berton "A true Canadian is one who can make love in a canoe without tipping" and Philip Chester's answer "Anyone can make love in a canoe, it's a Canadian who knows enough to take out the centre thwart!"

The Canadian Heritage Rivers System - need somewhere to go paddling?

Musuems and exhibits

The Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario

Native Watercraft in Canada, an exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Hull, Québec

Old Fort William in Thunder Bay, Ontario

Give Me of Your Bark, O Birch-Tree!”: Accounts of the Canoe in Exploration and Travel Literature, an exhibit at the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis

The Bark Canoe Store's list of some museums with birchbark canoes

Flying canoes at the Peabody Museum


Birchbark Canoes at the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association Web Site. The WCHA has many birchbark canoe builders as members (including me) and holds a fun assembly every summer where you can get together with other like-minded people

The Native Watercraft Society


Pictures from the Mi'kmaq Portraits Collection:

Photographs from the Canadian Heritage Gallery:

A replica of a Beothuk birchbark canoe from the Newfoundland Museum

Model of a Mi’kmaq canoe


Back to birchbark canoes

© Judy Kavanagh, 2001