1970.127 | Canoe

Solomon Family Member
About 1900, 20th century
33 x 87.6 x 519.4 cm
Purchase from Aubrey Donnelly
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

Here since the beginning, Wolastoqiyik, or Maliseet First Nation, have always possessed a physical, intellectual, and spiritual bond with the River Wolastoq. The river, its tributaries, lands and forests provided an abundance of food, materials and medicines. Wolastoqiyik settled close to the river, near obvious food and transportation sources. Some even lived on the river during the warm months. During the spring, summer and fall, they traveled the river's length, using it as a map, with portage routes allowing access to other waterways. Fish, fiddleheads and wild game were to be found along the river's banks. River travel also united the people and allowed contact with neighbouring nations on the North American coast. Lightweight and easy to maneuver, a birch bark canoe was a necessity with this lifestyle.

This canoe, made of cedar and birch bark in the traditional manner, dates to about 1900.

Source : Window on the World: The Rivers of New Brunswick [Web tour], by New Brunswick Museum (see Links)

  • What

    Wolastoqiyik canoes are distinguished by birch bark flaps at the front and back.

  • Where

    In shallow water, poles were sometimes used instead of paddles to move the canoe along.

  • When

    The last birch bark canoe was built in 1920, by which time canvas had replaced the traditional bark.

  • Who

    This canoe was made by a member of the Solomon Family in Kingsclear.