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The oldest birchbark canoe in the world returns home

After more than 180 years, the “Grandfather Akwiten canoe”, thought to be the oldest birchbark canoe in the world, has returned to Canada from Ireland.

Passed among owners a few times, for more than 150 years it has been held at the National University of Ireland in Galway, which earlier this month announced it would give the canoe back to the “Canadian people.”

The repatriation of the majestic vessel, an impressive 6.5 metres long, is a point of enormous pride for the Maliseet, who number between 6,000 and 7,000 on the shores of the Saint John River in New Brunswick.

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