Steve Cayard - Birchbark Canoe Builder

Madawaska Maliseet First Nation, Edmundston, NB


About the workshop

In the summer of 2010, I was invited to lead a birchbark canoe building workshop at the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation near Edmundston, New Brunswick. Together with David Moses Bridges and Eric Otter Bacon, Passamaquoddy birchbark artists, I assisted a group of community members there in the building of an 18-foot canoe. It was built in the shop of Noel Francis, and launched on the Madawaska River. Wayne Brooks came up from St. Mary's to lead the launching ceremony, and he and his son Cody brought the 21-foot Grandmother Canoe along for the occasion. Then in 2012, I was invited back to Madawaska to help build another canoe in Noel's shop, this time a 14-footer, and members of the group participated in gathering the bark for it as well. In 2015, I was again asked back to lead the building of a 22-foot canoe with a group of mostly college-age First Nation members.
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