Canadian canoe

One of the icons of Canada is the Canadian canoe. It was and is regarded as the ultimate mode of transportation for the aboriginals. In the modern era when we talk of being green the canoe is an long time example of this concept; all its parts come from nature and go back to it as well. The Canadian Canoe museum showcases this essential part of Canadian history. In Canada the canoe was a critical part of life for all the tribes except those living in plains. Every tribe was identified by their canoe. The canoe was the mark of the tribe and each tribe had its own design. These transportation vehicles of old were fashioned from large trees. The trees were either made into large vessels for tribal wars and trade, or into small watercraft which could easily travel through small creeks. The canoe is mostly made of white birch a tree which grows on the northern Pacific coast. The timber from the tree trunk known as rind is durable and lightweight. This feature is necessary as the Canadian terrain sometimes requires the canoe to be carried. The Arawak word Canoa which means a boat was the name given to this unique vessel by the aboriginals. When the European settlers arrived in the wilderness they were surprised by the well developed trade routes which were suitable for canoes. They realised that their boats were not suitable for these routes and quickly adopted the canoe as a transportation vehicle. This adoption of the canoe helped the settlers spread trade deep into the North American continent, the place we now call Canada. The most iconic figure among the early settlers was the ‘voyager’, the name given to the French Canadian fur traders who used these canoes. Their history can be found in many a folklore tale. It was the Canadian canoe and these men who established the early trade between settlers and aboriginals and shaped North American history.

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