Pioneer Life in Upper Canada

Aboriginal Peoples Helping the Pioneers

     The Canoe 


Canadian Encyclopedia

Canoes were developed by Native people in North America over a very long period of time.  In fact it took thousands of years for the canoe to evolve into the important vessel it is today.  The word 'canoe' comes from the word 'kenu' which was a dugout log used as transportation long, long ago.
     Canoes were a very important part of the Native peoples' lives and are still used today because they are strong, light vessels that can be transported easily.  There are different kinds of canoes including kayaks which are used by one person.
     Originally canoes were made from a wooden frame covered with birch bark.  The bark of the birch tree is very light and smooth and it is also waterproof which makes it a perfect choice for a boat.  Birch trees were found all over Upper Canada at the time of the early settlers which made it even more desirable.
     The joints in the canoe were filled with the root of the white pine tree and then hot pine or spruce resin was poured into it to make it waterproof.
     The early settlers began to use and make canoes.  Canoes were an important part of the fur trade and made travelling faster and easier.

Source: Long Ago Before I Was Born:
A Look At Life in Early Settler Times - A Unit for Grade 3