Voyageur’s Blog

Ask a voyageur a question

Here’s a blog to answer your questions, like what was life like during the 1800s in French Canada? Like who could or couldn’t be a voyageur? How big the canoes were? What trade goods they carried? What different furs were worth? What they used for medicine? I’ll answer these and more in the “A Voyageur’s Life” blog. Click on the button below to ask your question or go to the “Contact” section of this site — I’ll find the answers.

Tepees, lodges, bullboats and pemmican

We visited North Dakota’s Heritage Center and State Museum in Bismarck a few weeks back. I was admiring a Dakota lodge when a guide came by to offer more information. We then talked about tepee construction. What a gold mine he was!   He said me the lodge I was...

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Read “The Voyageurettes” for a giggle

Interested in a goofy read? “The Voyageurettes” is a giggle, especially if you’ve canoe-camped. The book fits delightfully in the tongue-in-cheek category—all the female characters are named Marie (the guys were mostly Jean Baptiste) and they are smart. To appeal to a...

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Canadian canoe pilgrimage nearly there

The paddlers of Canadian Canoe Pilgrimage, traveling along the Ottawa River to the St. Lawrence River, near their final destination in Montreal, Quebec, Aug. 15. At the end of the pilgrimage is a stop at the Shrine of St. Kateri, Khanawake Mohawk Territory, a First...

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A pilgrimage, not just a fun paddle

This 25-day-long, 850-kilometre canoe trip was organized in response to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The TRC, which was part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, began in 2009 and spent 5 years uncovering...

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Canoe pilgrimage more than halfway there!

The Canadian Canoe Pilgrimage I've been following has now traversed the Mattawa River to the Ottawa River. (This leg of the journey might have taken a week or more battling the upstream current in spring, when the water was the highest.) Fortunately the pilgrimage is...

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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.

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