Building a canoe is a creative act; one that requires skill, knowledge, and empathy, and that draws on the seven sacred teachings of love, honesty, humility, respect, bravery, wisdom, and truth. The canoe teaches us from the four sources of intelligence – emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual – about Ginawaydaganuc, a principle underlying Algonquin law that outlines human responsibilities stemming from the interconnectedness of all things. The teachings of the Algonquin-style birch bark canoe are connected with the revitalisation of Indigenous practices and communities as well as reconciliation; and link to family and community, legal traditions, and relationships with the land. Participants will make their own mini canoe.
Sponsored by DSBN.
A master birchbark canoe builder from the community of Kitigan Zibi, Chuck has been building canoes since he was a child, under the guidance of his highly respected grandparents, Mary and William Commanda. He has spent the past ten years making canoes in the traditional Algonquin style as well as teaching canoe building, birch bark basket-making and snowshoe-making workshops to Indigenous and non-Indigenous children, youth, and adults. Mr Commanda’s work not only produces beautiful pieces of art of incredible cultural, functional and artistic value; but also embodies the use of cultural practices to transmit Indigenous knowledge among peoples and between generations in the spirit of reconciliation and Indigenous community revitalisation.