Indian Canoe Crafts

Indianer III image by Volker Schwere from

Many craft projects incorporate Native American canoes as their theme. You can build a canoe model from birch bark and sweetgrass or from salt dough. You can make a waterproof canoe by waxing it with paraffin, or you can color in a color-by-number printout online to reveal a secret picture of a canoe. You can watch a video to learn how to make an origami canoe or watch the work of Boy Scouts making a wood canoe for their woodcarving badge.

American Indian Canoe Models

Family Fun offers easy to follow instructions for a playful child's canoe patterned after the Indian tribes of New England. This canoe is made out of cardboard, painted and stitched together, then dipped in paraffin wax. Wacky Kids offers a print-out for a paper model canoe, and comes with Native American drawings you can color and attach to the canoe. Enchanted Learning offers a simpler model of a canoe for kids to make out of a brown paper bag. They cut a canoe shape out of a bag, then punch holes and lace up the sides with yarn. Native Tech offers concise instructions on how to make a soaked bark canoe model, in addition to instructions for a birch paper canoe model edged with sweetgrass. Kaboose offers instructions for a salt dough canoe model with paddle and personalized with a child's name.

American Indian Canoe Oragami and Coloring Pages

You can learn to make origami canoes from an instructional video from Gaspr online. Wacky Kids offers a downloadable color-by-number sheet which reveals a secret picture of a Native American canoe when completed. Many websites offer free coloring pages with Native Americans and canoes, such as a print of two Indians in a canoe at Free Coloring Fun.

American Indian Canoe Lore and Practices

Many universities, historical societies and museums offer arts and crafts ideas in their lesson plan areas for teachers. The Smithsonian Institution offers an entire web page of resources on canoes including a documentary about a 1997 canoe ceremony with the Pacific Northwest Suquamish Nation, information about the techniques, tools and craft of canoe making, as well as spiritual blessings of canoes. You can read about a kids' dug-out Indian canoe project as part of a Boy Scout Woodcarving Merit Badge requirement in North Carolina. Creative Teaching offers a list of canoe facts for many Indian Nations, including the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Natchez, Seminole, Cayuga and Mohawk.


About the Author

Kirsten Anderberg has been a published writer since 1999. Her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, websites and books including "Utne," "HipMama," "ZNet" and "Adbusters." Anderberg received her Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Washington and her master's degree in history from California State University.

Photo Credits

  • Indianer III image by Volker Schwere from