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The Birch Bark Canoe is a piece created by the Manidoo Artist Collective, a group of Indigenous artists who work to preserve the teachings, practices and traditions of their people through canoe building.

About the Artists

Manidoo Ogitgaan’s mission is to work with their communities to preserve and revitalize the Spiritual knowledge, language, culture and ceremonies of the Anishinaabeg. This is in an effort to improve their health and the health of the ecological family. The organization conveys the traditions of its Indigenous ancestors through work from artists, such as storytellers, painters, beaders and canoe builders.

Featured artists on this piece include:

Zac Earley (White Earth Ojibwe), birch bark artist, painter, canoe building apprentice, storyteller and woodworker.

Ty Stately (Red Lake Ojibwe), canoe building apprentice, wood worker, singer of traditional songs and painter.

Kevin Rosebear (Red Lake Ojibwe), canoe building apprentice.

Robert Fineday (Red Lake Ojibwe), skilled birch bark artist, painter, Ojibwe folk artist, storyteller and canoe building apprentice.

Victoria Fineday (Red Lake Ojibwe), a birch bark artist, beadwork artist, seamstress and canoe building apprentice.

Kaitlyn Grenier, canoe building apprentice who likes to work with various art forms.

Rachel Austin (Black/Catawba), special guest artist who provided valuable insight and guidance works with birch bark, cedar weaving, seamstress and experienced canoe builder.

Marlyn Black (Red Lake Ojibwe), an artist and canoe apprentice.

Sherrylynn Rosebear (Red Lake Ojibwe), canoe building apprentice.

Laban Smith (Walpole Island First Nation), canoe builder, painter and tattoo artist who also contributed to the project.

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About the Organization

The Black Birch Canoe was created in partnership with Manidoo Ogitgaan. Its mission is to work with our communities to preserve and revitalize the Spiritual knowledge, language, culture, and ceremonies of the Anishinaabeg to improve their health and the health of their ecological family.

To be able to build here, it's really sacred. It keeps you grounded to your connection to Mother Earth, the land and an appreciation of what you have.

Victoria Fineday

Art In This Present Moment

This project is part of Art in This Present Moment, an initiative of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, with funding from the McKnight Foundation. We provided grants to three Minnesota-based nonprofit organizations to fund work by six BIPOC artists who are changing and challenging dominant narratives through their craft.

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