Ojibwa Native Americans in Olden Times for Kids and Teachers - Canoes Illustration

Daily Life in Olden Times
for Kids

Woodland Ojibwa
(Chippewa) Native Americans
How did they travel?

The Ojibwa/Chippewa traveled on foot or in sturdy birch bark dugout canoes. Everything they used was made by hand, including their canoes.

The Chippewa were master canoe builders. First they put stakes in the ground, forming an outline of the canoe.

The stakes were not part of the canoe. They were used to hold the boat upright while it was being built.

Next, they placed thick sheets of birch bark inside the stakes, forming the canoe. They added bent cedar ribs to brace the canoe. They sewed the bark with string made from spruce roots.

They glued it together with spruce gum that made the seams watertight. They had a portable, light weight, sturdy, waterproof bark canoe.

Some of their boats were so big they could move entire families. They moved around a lot because, except in the summer, the Ojibwa lived in isolated family camps, harvesting foods, as directed by the seasons.

Canoes made by other Native American tribes

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