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Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern History Department displays traditional style birch-bark canoe

Georgia Southern University’s History Department has a traditional style birch-bark canoe on display on the Armstrong Campus through Spring 2020 in Hawes Hall. The canoe, named Muskeego, was built in 1998 and has been used to travel between Minnesota and Canada the same way that Ojibwa Natives have done for hundreds of years. After a long career of being used, it was placed on display in Ely, Minn.

The Museum of Underwater Archaeology (MUA) in Savannah acquired Muskeego as part of its small boat collection. MUA Board member and Assistant Professor of History Kurt Knoerl, Ph.D., has gained access to use the canoe at Georgia Southern. This will provide students and the public an opportunity to see an artifact that played an important role in North American history. 

“The collection is being used to educate Georgia Southern students about maritime history in the United States and the world,” said Knoerl. “Our position here in Savannah, as a port city, makes Georgia Southern the perfect place to teach maritime history, archeology and material culture.”

Muskeego is being used this semester in Knoerl’s class, Introduction to United States History, to teach about Native American history as well as the fur trade. Students in the graduate program in public history will also have the opportunity to benefit from studying small boat documentation and preservation.

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