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Blog

Cree Hunter's Snow Shovel

jarrod

This is intended to hopefully spark some interest in an up and coming class that I'm teaching at North House Folk School.  The class is Making the Cree Hunter's shovel.  This wonderful tool can be seen in use on the classic movie "The Cree Hunters of Mistassini" for free here. In this class we will focus on 2 of the most traditional bushcraft woodworking tools of the "iron age" here in North America, the Axe and the Crooked Knife.  With these two tools one can make just about anything for use in the "bush". That's what I really love about them, they are simple and very effective. They are used to create such things as Canoe Paddles to Snowshoes, Wooden Spoons and Bowls and of coarse these are the primary tools used in the construction of the Birch Bark Canoe.  We will be starting with birch logs and splitting them down with wooden wedges, then using axe to refine the shape and finally the crooked knife to finish the shovel. The class really is about learning to use these tools and get some instruction and practice with proper axemanship, as well as the proper design and use of the crooked knife. I also like to promote certain concepts that you don't find in mainstream woodworking today such as the use of the raw materials i.e. starting with the trees and the forest. Fun stuff, well at least I think so. The class will also be held during the winterer's gathering with the weekend full of speakers and arctic films. Check it out here. There's still room in the class, come on up.