Archival photograph of a canoe race, Alert Bay, British Columbia,
© British Columbia Archives
The Coast Salish peoples inhabit
coastal and adjacent areas
of British Columbia and Washington
State. Here immense rivers, placid estuaries,
distinct topographies and climate provide abundant resources. The
Coast Salish peoples' canoes demonstrate their needs, ranging from
small clam collecting boats to large ocean-going war canoes. Canoes
are a central part of Coast Salish life. For more information, visit
Canoe Racing - Pulling Together.
This long-nose Ojibway style canoe clearly displays how the
type of canoe got its name. It was built by members of a Chippewa
band located near Bear Island, Leech Lake, Minnesota. This
is an unusually wide and deep canoe. (977.51).
© 2000 The Canadian Canoe
Museum Photographer: Michael Cullen
Birchbark canoes are most commonly associated with
the central and southeastern regions of Canada and the northeastern
United States. The materials used to make such watercrafts were
readily available from the surroundings of the First Nations builders.
Birchbark covers the hull of the craft, while spruce root and spruce
gum were used to stitch together and seal the canoe. The form of
the birchbark canoe, like other canoes, is thoroughly influenced
by its requirements of use, whether it be for lakewater, coastal,
and river navigation or for travel through smooth, rough, or fast-running
water. The birchbark canoes' forms and functions are widely varied.
The characteristic that may be used to identify craft from different
regions is the shape of the bow and stern.