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1The Bluebird was acquired by Kirk Wipper and transported from British Columbia back to Ontario on the roof of his pick-up truck. It is the largest canoe in the collection at 53 feet 8 inches in length. The canoes origins trace back to a rich history of Coast Salish dugout canoe racing on the United States’ and Canada’s Western Coasts. This particular canoe would have been raced by an eleven person crew and even at its length, would have been required to make sharp turns during a race.

The Bluebird was carved by Elder and Master Carver Hwunumetse’ (Simon Charlie, 1920-2005) from Duncan, British Columbia. Later in life he encouraged and taught heritage, culture and traditions to both First Nations and non-First Nations alike. Charlie was passionately focused on the preservation of his peoples traditions, language, arts and culture. He was dedicated to passing on this knowledge to younger generations by mentoring young artists and teaching them traditional designs and methods. Read the rest of this entry »