Through activities and Internet links, you can experience life in voyageur times, as André may have lived. You can speak some of the French words he used. You can LEARN and play some of the games of that time, write with a quill pen and homemade ink, and a lot more. You can VISIT forts, see real birch bark canoes and talk to people.  I’ll add more activities for readers to DO and resources for teachers.


Lots of great information in these links. Please check them out.



Read and research — these sites include accurate information on a wide range of topics.

Glossary of French terms (with sound link)    Practice saying the French words. (Thanks to Lauren Collett for pronouncing them and making the sound links!)

Glossary of French terms (pdf)

Ojibwe words (pdf)

Voyageur route in Waters Like the Sky (pdf)  See where the canoe brigade traveled.

A Voyageur’s Day (pdf)

Value of One Beaver (pdf)

Inventory of Canoe Cargo (pdf)

  1. Our Bibliography — the materials we consulted in writing the book.
  2. Biblio2 — These are additional sources used in Book 2
  3. North West Journal This online journal has many articles, some especially for teachers and students who want to do further research.
  4.  La Compagnie des Hivernants de la Riviere Saint Pierre “The Company of Winterers of the St. Peter’s River” is a group of re-enactors.
  5. White Oak Society This site also has great articles.


Birch Bark Do

Try these skills yourself.

Readability of Book 1: estimated at 5.3.  Contact me for an Accelerated Reader test.

André’s Journal (pdf) Keep a journal of André’s activities during his year as a voyageur and winterer.

  1. Concordia Language Camp, Bemidji, Minnesota  Canoe, camp and practice voyageur skills.
  2. Northern Tier High Adventure Program of the Boy Scouts of America Canoe and camp in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Minnesota and the Quetico in Canada.
  3. North Folk Arts School, Grand Marais, Minnesota  Families can take many different classes.
  4. Camp Widjiwagan (for youth) and Camp du Nord (for families and groups) offer unique YMCA camping experiences in northern Minnesota.


Birch Bark Visit


Discover living history at real places where the fur trade existed — reconstructed fur posts, costumed guides, museum displays — and equally compelling information on their websites. Visit in person or online. Check the EVENTS page for dates when various sites celebrate with a rendezvous.


  1. Grand Portage National Monument, Grand Portage
  2. Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, Mille Lacs
  3. Minnesota History Museum, St. Paul
  4. North West Company Fur Post, Pine City
  5. Savanna Portage State Park, McGregor
  6. Voyageurs National Park, east of International Falls             
  7. White Oak Society Fur Trade Post, Deer River


  1. Forts Folle Avoine Historical Park, near Danbury
  2. Heritage Hill State Historical Park, Green Bay
  3. Historic Indian Agency House, Portage
  4. Madeline Island American Fur Company Building, Madeline Island
  5. Villa Louis Historic Site Fur Trade Museum, Prairie du Chien


  1. Colonial Fort Michilimackinac, Mackinaw City  

North Dakota

  1. Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site, Abercrombie
  2. Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, near Williston
  3. Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Washburn    


  1. Museum of the Fur Trade,  Chadron


  1. The Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site, Montreal, Quebec
  2. Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, 30 miles north of Winnipeg, Manitoba
  3. Fort William Historical Park, Fort William, Ontario 
  4. Canadian Canoe Museum, Peterborough, Ontario
  5. Edmonton House Brigade

Nikki Rajala - Author No wonder Nikki Rajala writes about voyageurs—her French-Canadian ancestors paddled birch bark canoes on many fur trade brigades. One great-great wintered for 16 years in fur posts west of Lake Superior and threads of family stories infuse this book. On Girl Scout canoe expeditions as a teen, she explored Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Ontario's Quetico Provincial Park. Nikki loves rendezvous re-enactments, reading fur trade journals, visiting museums, tasting voyageur foods.

Books By Nikki Rajala



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