Kootenay Balsam Bark Canoe

The unique shape of this canoe is the reason this style of watercraft is sometimes known as the ‘sturgeon nose.’ These canoes were used primarily by the Ktunaxa (Kootenay) People on the rivers and lakes of southern British Columbia and in northern Washington State.

The hull is constructed of balsam bark, and the sections of bark running underneath the gunwales are birch bark. Alder bark has been used in the lashings.

There is much speculation regarding the design of these craft. The unique shape of the bow and stern likely improves the dynamics of the craft and compensates for the inferior properties of this type of bark.

Accession Number

4.45 metres (14 feet 7 inches)

81 centimetres (2 feet 8 inches)

Builder unknown, date built unknown.

If you would like to adopt this canoe, or for more information, e-mail us or call 705.748.9153 x211.