This spruce bark canoe is made from a single sheet of bark. Bark canoes are made in the spring when the sap is rising and the bark can be easily peeled from the tree. Spruce roots are used to sew the bark at each end of the canoe. Babiche lashings along the gunwales hold the bark in place. Holes in the bark are plugged with spruce gum to keep the water out. Spruce bark canoes were often made for immediate use and then discarded, although a well made canoe could last up to five years.
A feed grinder used by John Goodall on his farm at Fort Simpson. Goodall was born in England and came to Canada in 1911, homesteading in the Athabasca district before World War I. He came north to Fort Simpson in 1927 with a small family, farming with livestock and agriculture, and stayed 44 years until his death in 1971 at the age of 80. At Fort Simpson, the soil was rich and plentiful and under Goodall’s watchful eye potatoes and many other vegetables flourished. He supplied fresh produce to the missions and settlements along the Mackenzie River. From 1954 to 1967, Goodall was a member of the NWT Council.
A toy snowmobile, made from carved spruce wood and tin metal, used at Johnny Klondike’s tent camp during the early 1980s. The camp was occupied during fall and early winter for hunting and trapping, and one of several camps used by the family.
A birch bark bowl, or ethawe, made by George Boots. He used it for drinking in the winter and for eating in the summer. Birch bark is strong and water resistant and can be easily cut and sewn. It has been a valuable material for Indigenous people for thousands of years.