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César's Bark Canoe

César's Bark Canoe

| 57 min

This documentary shows how a canoe is built the old way. César Newashish, a 67-year-old Atikamekw of the Manawan Reserve north of Montreal, uses only birchbark, cedar splints, spruce roots and gum. Building a canoe solely from the materials that the forest provides may become a lost art, even among the Indigenous peoples whose traditional craft it is. The film is without commentary but text frames appear on the screen in Cree, French and English.

  • director
    Bernard Gosselin
  • photography
    Bernard Gosselin
  • producer
    Paul Larose
  • sound
    Serge Beauchemin
  • editing
    Monique Fortier
  • music
    Maurice Blackburn
  • re-recording
    Roger Lamoureux
  • participant
    Cesar Newashish


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Ages 11 to 17

Arts Education - Visual Arts
Diversity - Identity
Geography - Territory: Indigenous
History - Early Colonization/Settlement
History and Citizenship Education - First Occupants (to 1500)
Indigenous Studies - Arts
Indigenous Studies - Identity/Society
Indigenous Studies - Issues and Contemporary Challenges

In Aboriginal culture, the making of the canoe is more than a means of transportation. What does it signify? Compare and contrast this canoe and one bought at Canadian Tire. Why go through all the time and effort to build one? What values are represented in the film? What are some other ways in which traditions are passed down in Aboriginal culture? In our culture?

César's Bark Canoe
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