Author: David Gidmark

In this groundbreaking book, David Gidmark reviews the early history of bark canoes, providing readers with an overview of construction methods and featuring the individual techniques of four traditional 20th-century Algonquin craftsmen and their assistants. Detailed descriptions of their step-by-step construction methods are included, and the adoption of tools and methods from non-Indian culture as shortcuts are noted (such as the use of canvas and roofing tar, duct tape and C-clamps). A chapter on paddlemaking in the native tradition completes the book.

Building a Birchbark Canoe: The Algonquin Wâbanäki Tcîmân is one of the most significant studies of Algonquin birchbark canoes and their construction. The author is one of the few outsiders to have learned the ancient craft of birchbark canoe making from the Algonquins, and in Building a Birchbark Canoe, he not only shares this skill but invites readers to appreciate the cultural significance of an elegant and practical craft that might otherwise be lost to history.