The History of Women and Canoeing


New Member
My doctoral dissertation conducted under the aegis of the History Department at Carleton University in Ottawa, ON seeks to enrich and broaden the iconography of the canoe. To do so, it considers the ways in which women have encountered canoes over the course of a long twentieth century (1880s-present). My current vision of the project includes those who laboured in and around canoes, such as craftswomen and guides, as well as recreationalists, including those who paddled with local canoe clubs, at summer camp or the cottage, and on wilderness trips with family and friends.

As this is a field with a limited institutional archive, I am appealing to the public to meet my research objectives. I am interested in written sources (journals and letters), visual and material culture (scrapbooks, photographs, canoes, paddles, and related gear) and oral history. If you are interested in discussing the possibility of sharing your stories or source material or know of an archive that might be of use, please contact me (Jess Dunkin) at or 2-3 St. Francis St., Ottawa, ON, K1Y 1W6.