The traditional skill of canoe carving is returning to the Little Shuswap Indian Band.
Tanner Francois Quanstrom’s band is in the B.C. interior and hasn’t carved a canoe in roughly 60 years.
He says it’s bringing back memories for elders of traditions they once knew and allowing him to pass this skill onto the next generation.
Quanstrom says the reasons why the skill was lost to his people is complicated, but are tied to assimilation.
He says while growing up, he didn’t feel pride in his First Nations heritage.
But he says that pride is returning as he’s relearning some of his people’s traditional skills.
Quanstrom is carving two canoes under the tutelage of Frank Marchand, one using modern tools and the other using traditional methods.
He says news of the canoe carving is sparking a renewed interest in the skill.
The canoes are expected to be completed by the end of June in time for the 25th anniversary of the band’s Quaaout Lodge resort.