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Birchbark canoe displayed at visitor centre

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Compiled by Shari Narine







A birchbark canoe, made by Algonquin Elder William Commanda and presented to the Friends of Gatineau Park by the Waddell family, is now part of the National Capital Commission’s Gatineau Park Visitor Centre. The canoe was unveiled by Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Chief Gilbert Whiteduck, National Capital Commission Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mark Kristmanson, Claudette Commanda, Alexander Waddell and Sarah Crowe, of the Friends of Gatineau Park. Elder William Commanda crafted the canoe in 1988 and gifted it to Dr. Walter G. Waddell, the man he credited for having saved his life in the 1960s. Waddell passed away in July 2013, and his family wished to showcase this canoe in the capital region, as well as recognize Commanda’s legacy. “One of Elder Commanda’s most important teachings was being a promoter of environmental stewardship and bringing people of all walks of life together, which resonates with the Friends of Gatineau Park,” said Crowe.