News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, May 10, 2018
Community canoe build set to begin

Canoe mural

Artist Nancy Winters displays the completed to-scale mural of a 42-foot longboat canoe to be built by volunteers this summer.

Photo courtesy of Ken Weeks

by Anne Berleant

Saturday, May 12, kicks off the official start to the 42-foot long canoe build at Ken-Rose farm, a project started by traditional Native American birch bark canoe maker Ken Weeks.

A full-size mural of the canoe will soon be hung on the side of the barn located at 1381 Pleasant Street (Route 15) in North Blue Hill, marking the project’s site.

“[This] has been in the works for the last several years. The bark is harvested, cedar, root, all ready to prep and more to be harvested,” Weeks said in a widely distributed email.

Volunteer students from the College of the Atlantic will arrive to help get the project moving on Saturday, beginning to make pegs, cedar planks and ribs, and joining members from the Peninsula community that Weeks hopes to see get involved. He said 10 a.m. is a good time to arrive although he will be there earlier.

“Any and all are welcome; this is a community (tribal) project and depends on everyone’s involvement,” Weeks said.

Weeks will present an orientation to the project and a calendar of future events before the build begins.

But constructing the traditional Native American long boat is only the first part of Week’s project.

“This build is not just construction of a watercraft. It is about the natural dynamics of what this technology will bring, and brought forth originally….It is not about technical or cultural appropriation, just the opposite,” Weeks stated. “The success of this build will result in its accurate historical use on Blue Hill Bay in the form of historical reenactments as well as modern events with reverence to its origin.”

As the work continues, Weeks said campgrounds will be available on or near the site for contributing visitors, and he hopes to set up a tepee field kitchen to serve local organic foods.

For more information, contact Weeks at okwks2000@yahoo.com or 207-385-8364.