A Canoe from Algonquin Elder William Commanda

The Friends of Gatineau Park are happy to announce that they have received a unique, once-in-a-lifetime and significant donation, that is a birch bark canoe hand made by Elder William Commanda in 1988. The canoe was given to Dr. Walter G. Waddell by Elder Commanda in recognition of care given by Dr. Waddell in the sixties. The Estate Trustees (Jonathan, Thomas and Alexander), sons of Dr. Waddell, who died in July 2013, offered to give the canoe to the Friends of Gatineau Park last Fall. Working in close cooperation with the NCC throughout this initiative, the canoe was recently transported from a cottage in Lac Ste-Marie to the Visitor Centre in Old Chelsea where this artefact will soon be placed on display by the NCC in the Exhibit area of the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre. Interpretation materials will be prepared to provide background information on this artefact and Elder Commanda, who lived in the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community and who passed away in August 2011.



Here are additional information on Elder Commanda and Dr. Walter G. Waddell (Source: Wikipedia).

Additional information will be provided later when the birch bark canoe is actually displayed in Exhibit area of the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre.


5 responses to “A Canoe from Algonquin Elder William Commanda

  1. Pingback: Birchbark Canoe of W. Commanda Now Displayed at the Visitor Centre | Friends of Gatineau Park

  2. Frode Th. Omdahl

    Is it possible – anywhere – to learn how tio make such canoes? I’d love to learn it.

    • Hello,

      During the last weekend of Fall Rhapsody at Gatineau Park on October 18-19, 2014, there was a number of activities organized by the NCC close to the Visitor centre of the Park under the theme Algonquin Summer and a gentleman from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community was showing those techniques (Demonstration of the steps in making a birchbark canoe. Presentation given by Daniel (Pinnock) Smith, who makes traditional birchbark canoes — a skill known to few people these days). So, you should contact this person if interested in knowing more about these techniques.

    • I teach people how to construct a birch bark canoe in an outdoor environment

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