A traditional Ojibwe birch bark ceremonial canoe, donated to the Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum by Rochelle Lamm in 2017, is being loaned to the Prairie du Chien Chamber of Commerce for display at their Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center. Prairie du Chien is located just above the confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers, and is the oldest European settlement on the Upper Mississippi River. The Welcome Center is located on Main Street just south of the downtown area, and provides the busy tourist trade with information on what to see and do in the area. WCHM delivered the canoe and it was installed in the center by city workers on March 11.
This rare example of the ceremonial use of a canoe was built by Ojibwe craftsmen at the Grassy Narrows Indian Reservation in Ontario, Canada. The canoe was presented as a gift to Barney Lamm of Barney’s Ball Lake Lodge in Kenora, Ontario, in the 1950s as he was inducted as an honorary Chief of the Ojibwe tribe and gifted with the name “Chief Thunderbird Continuous Day.” The loan of the canoe to Prairie du Chien will provide not only a place to display the canoe to the public, but also safe storage of the canoe and promotional exposure for the museum as well.
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