Birch Bark Canoe Field School

UNBC May 15 – July 7, 2017

UNBC Residence Accommodation is available at the cost of $1,401.13 for the duration of the Field School (this does not include meals).

“Canoe Manned by Voyageurs Passing a Waterfall” ca. 1869 by Frances Ann Hopkins. Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada (e011153912)

Description: Students participating in the field school will be taking two in-class courses, the first looking at the history of the continental Canadien and Métis community. This course will trace the expansion of French-speaking Canadien, Iroquois and Métis from the Saint Lawrence across the plains and mountains to the Pacific. In this course, the 19th century history of Prince George and northern British Columbia will be presented and analyzed to understand how the history of this region ties into a larger regional and continental history. The second course will examine the culture and traditions of the contemporary Métis community. Under the direction of a Métis elder, this course will examine the foundations of Métis culture and environmental knowledge, tying it to the experience of the Métis in building canoes during the fur trade and their contemporary challenges. The third course will be a hands-on exercise in the building of a birch bark canoe under the guidance of a Métis elder. Students will be required to keep a detailed journal of the experience and write up a report on their experience.

Credits: Students will be receiving 9 credits for the completed coursework

Fees: Tuition + $1,000 field school fee

Professors:  Dr. Michel Bouchard, Professor of Anthropology and Earl Henderson, Instructor First Nations Studies and Métis Elder.

Courses: Students participating in the field school will be given a choice of three course bundles. The first for 1st and 2nd year students will include :

  • ANTH 298-3: Birch Bark Canoe;
  • FNST 298-3: Traditional Métis and Cree Culture; and
  • ANTH 206-3: Ethnography in Northern British Columbia.

Students in their 3rd or 4th year would be required to take a combination of:

  • ANTH 421-3: Ethnographic Research Methods;
  • ANTH 422-3: Ethnographic Research Project; and
  • FNST 498-3 Traditional Métis and Cree Culture.

Graduate Students would be taking:

  • ANTH 621-3: Ethnographic Research Methods;
  • ANTH 622-3: Ethnographic Research Project; and
  • FNST 650-3: The Birch Bark Canoe.

The quantity and quality of work required from students will vary depending on their level with upper level students and graduate students required to provide more detailed and more comprehensive work projects than lower level students.

This Field School is part of a larger project being organized in partnership with the Cercle des Canadiens Français de Prince George, the Two Rivers Gallery and made possible with funding from Heritage Canada.