Update on the return of Maliseet Canoe

A brief article from the Toronto Star provides new developments concerning the repatriation of the Maliseet Canoe from Ireland.

FREDERICTON – One of the world’s oldest known birchbark canoes may soon be returning to the Maliseet Nation.

The university said it would meet the “competing claims for the canoe from museums interested in conservation and display, and from representatives of those whose ancestors built the canoe.”

The 180-year-old canoe, currently on loan at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John, N.B., has been in Irish hands for almost its entire existence and is to be sent back to Ireland in June.

But a group from the St. Mary’s First Nation, near Fredericton, has been pressing Irish officials to hand over the artifact, currently the property of the National University of Ireland Galway.

“This is the oldest canoe of our people,” said G. Wayne Brooks, who is leading the quest for repatriation.

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