The process

The Good Tree

  Step 5 of 15  
Melvin canoe Zoom

Melvin making a wooden utakan (wooden wedge). Several utakan are made to split the wood. They are often badly damaged by being hit with an axe or maul and must be replaced.

Tools such as the utakan were probably very important to the Innu in the days before metal could be obtained in trade with Europeans. But wooden tools do not turn up at archaeological sites because the wood rots over time.

A big part of being a good craftsman involves knowing which trees will make good lumber for canoes, toboggans, and snowshoes.