To view the slideshow in its entirety, click here.

To view the slideshow in four sections, click the links below:

Opening Section

Slide 1-14

Introduction through
Traditional Canoe use.

Boat features/Otaining logs

Slide 15-27

Boat features through Infomation on obtaining logs.

Making the Canoe

Slide 28-56

Making the Canoe.

Tools through end

Slide 57-73

Tools through concluson.


Canoe Project

Summary Overview

ME’DIL is the Hoopa word for boat, i.e., native redwood dug-out canoe traditionally used by northwest California tribes for cultural and ceremonial purposes, including the Boat Dance which is part of World Renewal ceremonies performed since time immemorial. The name is also an acronym for the Me’dil Institute’s mission: Maintaining, Enhancing, Defending Indigenous Living. The organization operates as a tribally chartered non-profit corporation. Program activities support traditional cultural activities of northwest California tribes as a means of sustaining Indian identity and improving community health.

CICD supported The Me’dil Canoe Project which instructs on creation of redwood canoes. Old growth redwood is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain and great care must be taken in transforming it into traditional canoes.

Me’dil worked with community members who secured logs for two canoes. This project (1) encourages community involvement with traditional practices; (2) focuses on transmission of traditional knowledge; and (3) produces documentation that will be available as an aid to practitioners as they further develop their own skill and in turn share this knowledge with others in their families and communities.