Birch Bark Canoe Raffle - Carlton, MN

John Anevski

Curious about Wooden Canoes
The Natural Resources Office of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa are raffling off a birch bark canoe to help pay for their new LEED (energy efficient) building. It is located in their museum and was built by the Tribe. I was up there on business last week and they told me about it. I wasn't able to see the canoe myself. Here is the link for the raffle.

I was told they use a secret recipe for their sealant, which includes pitch and animal fat. Good luck, but I hope I win it not you!!! :D They are also building a new birch bark canoe outside their museum. Here is the link for their museum:

While I was up there, I learned about how they try to control the water levels in their lakes for growing wild rice. Beautiful area.

-- John

A note about birch bark canoes from their site:

“The birchbark canoe, called in Chippewa the wiigwaas jiimaan,”… “is made for hunting. The wiigwaas jiimaan's smooth outer skin is made from the honey-colored inner bark of the white birch. It glides silently through the water. Its buoyancy comes from the white cedar that makes its ribs and lines its interior. Spruce root stitches the bark together.

A sweet-scented mixture of pitch, animal fat and charcoal makes the canoe watertight, and marks its sides with black blazes. Birch bark scallops on the side of the wiigwaas jiimaan side make the canoe stronger, and more artful, said Savage.”