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a tradition kept alive HANNAH BERGE & GREG GUEVARA

Years ago, people of the Algonquin tribe paddled through rivers in handmade birch canoes. Careful craftsmanship transforms a simple piece of bark into a full-sized canoe. Pinock, an Algonquin canoe maker, keeps the tradition alive by creating boats the same way his ancestors did hundreds of years ago. At his shop located in his hometown, Maniwaki, Que., Pinock sells his impressive craftsmanship. The First Nations Cultural Expo in City Hall on Nov. 4 gave him the opportunity to share his passion to fascinated listeners.

Pinock shares his Algonquin culture by skillfully building miniature canoes. His station at the expo allows people to learn his history and how he builds these structures. (Hannah Berge, Centretown News)
Birch bark is light and waterproof, making it the ideal material for building a canoe. Today, Pinock struggles to find trees in the forests ravaged by logging and climate change. (Greg Guevara, Centretown News)
Wood pieces bathe in water first, allowing them to become flexible and easy to carve. (Hannah Berge, Centretown News)
Pinock's practiced hands move quickly and with ease as he whittles down wood to become a piece of string. (Hannah Berge, Centretown News)
As Pinock works, a carpet of wood chips starts to form on the floor. (Greg Guevara, Centretown News)
Pieces of curled and twisted birchwood surround Pinock’s desk, waiting to be turned into pieces of canoe. (Hannah Berge, Centretown News)
Pinock's calloused hands hold a traditional-style drill used to make holes in the wood. It is one of only two tools used to build an entire canoe. (Hannah Berge, Centretown News)
The string is tied around the canoe. These bands are the only thing keeping the structure together. (Hannah Berge, Centretown News)
Spruce gum waterproofs the vessel. Pinock heats the resin to mould into the creases of the canoe, allowing the traveller to stay dry. (Hannah Berge, Centretown News)
As visitors flip through Pinock's photos, he tells the stories of his ancestors. Years ago, Pinock's grandfather crafted canoes in the exact same way, a tradition passed down through generations. (Greg Guevara, Centretown News)
Pinock's niece and nephew paddle the river in one of his canoes. (Hannah Berge, Centretown News)
Pinock is surrounded by small models, but full-sized versions of his work can be seen in this nearby exhibition. He can make an entire canoe in only five days. (Greg Guevara, Centretown News)

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