BIRCH BARK CANOES by Mahigan
“I was asked which indigenous language I speak. I speak Michif but I am fluent in a more Universal language. The language that the forest and all its inhabitants; flora, fungus, fauna, animal, etc.) speak. One that humankind must relearn if we are to have a future on our Mother Earth.”
Birth of a Nation
Marcel has been working on the Birth of a Nation canoe which is nearing completion and will be ready for painting in the coming weeks.
LAURENTIAN SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE – Building Birch Bark Canoes the Old-Fashioned Way!
Click here to read the article
CTV Northern Ontario: The Canoe Project
Sacred Ceremony in Sudbury
Teaching architecture students to understand their work through canoe building:
Laurentian architecture student-built canoes on display
[click here for PDF version]
Learning From our Elders Gathering Oct 18-19, 2014 - Marcel was at this year's Elder's Gathering. An experience alongside elders and traditional knowledge keepers, authentic teachings on the historical, cultural and spiritual significance of Storytelling, Drumming, Sweats, Pipe Ceremonies, Sunrise Ceremonies, Smudging, Talking Circles and more: a holistic approach to teaching and learning -- renewing and educational.
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The McMichael Gallery - Sunday, March 9, 2014. Marcel participated in the March Break fun with replica birch bark canoe workshops and the screening of his documentary "The Art of Being Métis: Through the Teaching of the Canoe."
For more details click here
McMichael Partners with Federal Government to Highlight Canada’s Francophone and Métis Heritage
Brampton Guardian Nov 1, 2013 - Aboriginal studies transforming the culture of traditional education
[click here for PDF version]
Pan Am 2015 in Toronto: Marcel at the 2 year countdown event
Read the article about Marcel from Metis Voyager magazine: Metis Craft at Mississauga Sports Hall of Fame
Nishi - a 4 foot canoe
The OAC 2012 Aboriginal Arts Education Project "Teaching from the Knowledge Canoe"
About being Metis
Marcel Labelle is proud of his Metis heritage. His mother is Iroquois and French
and his father is Algonquin and French. Marcel grew up in Northern Ontario and spent
most of his childhood on the trap line. This is where he learned how to live with
and from the forest. Today he builds traditional Birch Bark Canoes and demonstrates
his craft at many venues. He also instructs a course in the Indigenous Studies field
at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. He is supported by the Metis Nation
of Ontario through their Training Initiatives Program. He is also the recipient
of an 2008 OAC(Ontario Arts Council) Aboriginal Arts Projects grant towards Birch
Bark Canoe Building. He received the highest individual amount for an OAC grant
recipient Aboriginal Arts Project, 2009.
Invite Marcel into your school to speak to your students
about his Metis way of life.
Come out and meet Marcel at one of the many events that
he attends each year.
View pictures and information for Marcel's past appearances