Widji is teaming up with Urban Boat Builders, a nonprofit whose mission is to empower youth to succeed in work and life through woodworking and experiential learning, and Alex Comb, canoe builder and restorer for Stewart River Boatworks in Knife River, MN.  Over the next 18 months these canoes will be restored to the point of being back on the water and helping extend Widji’s mission of respect.

Help donate to this effort to restore these historic canoes and continue the legacy of wood canvas canoe craft at Widji.

Joe Seliga was a friend to Camp Widjiwagan. The wood canvas canoes that Joe hand built with his wife Nora, have been an integral part of Widji’s canoe fleet for decades. In the early 2000’s Widjiwagan received 2 canoes from the Seliga family; an 18 foot BN Morris canoe and 15 foot BN Morris canoe. Joe Seliga used this specific eighteen-foot Morris canoe as the model for his original Seliga canoe design, as well as to innovate future designs. The fifteen-foot canoe was used as a mold for the approximately twenty-seven sixteen-foot canoes he made.

Widjiwagan would now like to restore these canoes and integrate them back into the fleet of wood canvas canoes. The opportunity for campers to know and paddle a canoe made in the early 1900’s that also served as the inspiration for Joe Seliga’s canoe work, underscores Widji’s ethic of respect towards the wood canvas canoe.