Friday, July 25, 2008

Bark Canoe Resources

I've been compiling a list of people and organizations who either build bark canoes for sale, teach bark canoe building, or sell supplies for same. The list comes from various sources and I can't vouch for the accuracy or currency of the listings. I hope someone finds it useful. Please get in touch if you know of any other sources to add to the list or have any changes. Thanks.

Ancient Pathways Cultural Resource Group
3494 28th St.
Hopkins MI 49328
Tel: 269-793-8730
We build custom reproductions of native watercraft for museums and interpretive facilities as well as building canoes as educational demonstrations and as part of artist-in-residencies. We also have multiple canoes available for use in programming and for lease as props for the film and television production industry. We have build both bark canoes (elm- Southern Great Lakes and birch- Northern Great Lakes) in addition to historic and prehistoric copies of original dugout canoes.

John Lindman
We feature handmade birchbark canoes, fiberglass birch bark replica canoes and museum quality miniature birch bark canoes. We also offer instruction in birchbark canoe construction; sell birch bark for canoes and for rustic furnishings; sell spruce root, crooked knives, paddles, rustic furniture and much more.

The Birchbark Canoe Shop
Tom Byers
1518 Grassy Lake Road
Whitefish, Ontario, Canada, P0M 3E0
Phone: 705-929-4299
Birch bark canoes made to order in Algonquin, tete deboulr, long nose Ojibway and fur trade styles. For more information Check Wooden Canoe issues 75, 87, 90, 92, 98 and the 1999 Canoe Journal. Teaches birchbark canoe building courses + 2 day carving horse and paddle making courses near Manitoulin Island. Camp sites included. Brochure available.

Ojibway Canoe Co
Eric Mase
PO Box 746
Ely, MN 55731
Phone: 218-235-2936
Eric Mase moved to the canoe capitol of the world, Ely , Minnesota in 1996, to build birch bark canoes. Over sixty canoes and 12 years later, he has fine tuned his building techniques and is now considered as one of the finest birch bark builders in the country. Each of his canoes are built using traditional tools and building methods of the Voyageurs and Native Americans, and are not only museum quality but also collector's pieces.

Beaver Bark Canoes
Ferdy Goode
1583 Marsha Ln
Arbor Vitae, WI 54568
Phone: 715-356-3824 or 715-892-4740
Builds 3-4 birchbark canoes per season using traditional tools, materials and techniques. Canoes range in length from 4' model canoes up to 20' long. Also restore and repair birchbark canoes. Have been building canoes since 1979.

Barry Dana
46 Parkman Hill Rd.
Solon, ME 04979
Offers programs, lectures, and workshops in a variety of Wabanaki arts/crafts and other aspects of the culture, including bark canoes.

The photo at the top of the page is from the website


  1. This would sure be a fun thing to learn how to do.

    I bet it takes many years to master this craft,and it's not as easy as one would think.

    This would be a good thing for kids on a field trip to check out.

    Great blog with alot of interesting topics..:)

    Elizabeth in Minnesota

  2. Elizabeth,
    Thanks for your comments. I think you're right that it takes much work to become even proficient, much less a master of the craft. I've heard from people who have done it that it takes about 5 of canoes before they reach any level of comfort with their skills and knowledge.
    A field trip sounds like a great idea. When we built a bark canoe at the Penobscot Marine Museum, it was a popular demonstration and fascinating to watch. Maybe check out Mr. Mase at Objibway Canoe Co. in Ely (address in this blog post) and see if he could help you arrange a demonstration. Good luck.