TIME TRAVELLER: First Nations canoe culture is kept alive | Squamish Chief

TIME TRAVELLER: First Nations canoe culture is kept alive

This photo shows a group of Skwxwu7mesh (Squamish) men - Dan Kí7ḵes, ‘Old’ Julian, Willie Baker, and Steven Antone - at Eslha7án̓ (Mission Reserve), with a newly made canoe, circa 1912.

These carvers are following the long-standing tradition of canoe making.  Western red cedar was the material of choice for the construction of these canoes.

article continues below

These trees were sacred and the felling of one was a spiritual act. Northwest Coast canoes are usually made by a specialist canoe carver with one or more assistants.

Everyone involved in the construction had to observe specific rules of behaviour.

As their primary source of transportation, canoeing was very important to coastal First Nations. Canoes linked villages, transported goods, and provided access to local resources and hunting grounds.

By the 20th century, systematic repression by the church and government as well as rapid social and technological change saw the canoe culture of the Pacific Northwest virtually disappear.

Today, First Nations canoe culture is kept alive through canoe racing.

For more information about the history of the North Shore and to learn about the new Museum of North Vancouver opening in late-2020, visit nvma.ca and sign up for the museum’s e-newsletter at bit.ly/35MWr83.

Currently, the Archives of North Vancouver at 3203 Institute Rd. in Lynn Valley is open by appointment only. Contact: archives@dnv.org.


 


 

Read Related Topics

@ Copyright Squamish Chief

Report a Typo or Error

Comments

NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Squamish Chief welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus
Sign Up For Our e-Newsletter!

Popular Squamish Chief

Community Events Calendar