Friday, June 8, 2012

First Month on Bear Island

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First Month on Bear Island, a set on Flickr.

Check out some photos from our first month on Bear Island. We have been harvesting quite a bit of birch bark, taking young people on canoe trips, and simply loving life on Lake Temagami!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Update #4 - Traveling with Shishcan-Chiman from Voyages of Rediscovery on Vimeo.

Paddling Shishcan-Chiman, the 24ft. birch bark canoe, on the lake from which it was created is The Power of the Canoe. Thinking about the story behind this canoe from paddling on the tranquil waters of Puget Sound to the mighty Columbia River, this canoe has a story to tell. From paddling with second graders on Sacajawea Lake in Longview, Washington to the Wellpinit Middle School on Turtle Lake on the Spokane Reservation, this canoe has provided powerful paddling experiences for many many people.

To return this canoe to the land from which it was created brings this canoe full circle and also to the beginning of a new story. Birch bark canoes on Lake Temagami. Canoeing has such a rich history in the Temagami area and birch bark canoes started it all.

We would like to give a huge thanks to Conor and Kim Mihell of Sault Ste Marie for helping us portage the canoe over one of the toughest portages we have done, for great company on the water and at camp, and also for being great water people!

Also a huge shout out to Tim "G-Man" McDonnagh, Voyageur Ambassador and director of the Kirk Wipper Voyageur Center. With out your paddling and portaging support we would not be where we are today. Thank you for your stories, help, and wisdom.

Most importantly our thoughts and prayers are with the Trask Family. We still need to get ya'll in the canoe and go paddling!

Please enjoy and share this update with your friends and if you are in the Temagami area, come on by and lets go paddling!

Conor Mihell Website :

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bear Island Potluck and Paddling the Birch Bark Canoe

Last night we hosted a Potluck/Presentation/Paddling event at the recreation center. It was a great evening, which gave us the opportunity to further introduce ourselves to the community, share our goals and expectations for the project and to give everyone the opportunity to paddle in the big birch bark canoe. About 30 people showed up which was just awesome and the food was incredible.

Daniel's dutch oven chicken mole and someone's Moose Shepard's Pie were definilty the dishes of choice for the evening. After eating and watching our 30min video about building the big birch bark canoe, Joe Kat gave a great introduction for us and we proceeded to introduce ourselves and tell the attendees our story and our relationship to canoes.

After many questions, applause, suggestions and laughs we all headed outside for an incredible sunset paddle on Lake Temagami. About 15 young people ranging from ages 4-17 were extremely excited/hyper to get in the canoe. After doing two short trips with the youth, the adults were eager to hop in the canoe and go for a short sunset cruise.  Of course the kids wanted to go paddling again, so Dan guided, sang and paddled the youth into the sunset.

For everyone there it was their first time paddling in a Birch Bark Canoe! This was a beautiful evening and hopefully the first of many paddling opportunities for the people of bear island.

Restoring the Camp Wabun Birch Bark Canoe

Camp Wabun Birch Bark Canoe Restoration from Voyages of Rediscovery on Vimeo.

Never before have we restored a historic Birch Bark Canoe. It is a learning process that we hope to share with the campers of Camp Wabun. The craftsmanship of this canoe is incredible and we are honored to have been asked to restore it.

After hanging on the wall for many many years we hope to paddle this canoe on Lake Temagami by the end of the summer. There is still much work do do on the canoe including: sewing huge tears in the bark, replacing broken and missing ribs, re-pitching the entire canoe, and more!

This is the first update of the restoration process, check back soon to experience the process of restoring this beautiful and powerful canoe.

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Camp Wabun: