Pat Calihou, a Métis craftsman who lives in Maple Ridge, has begun construction on a new bateau exhibit on our site. Watch the work take place this winter, and chat with Pat, who has an interesting personal connection to the Hudson’s Bay Company’s boats.
Pat comes from a long line of voyageurs. He’s been able to trace his roots as far back as his great-great-great grandfather, Louis Calihoux, born in 1782, who worked for the Northwest Company. His great-great grandfather, Michel Calihoo, born in 1823 worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company in Edmonton for nearly 30 years. Michel worked as a river boat pilot for the Hudson’s Bay Company from Athabasca to Fort Garry.
Today, Pat is an active member of Métis Nation British Columbia and is committed to the revitalization of his Métis culture. He devotes his time to making a difference in the lives of Indigenous youth by sharing stories about his family history: their association with the fur trade, lands, treaties, canoeing, portaging and carving. He is a self-taught carver and has built a model Red River cart and a voyageur paddle for Fort Langley N.H.S. in 2018.
The new boat will represent a traditional bateau that would have been used to transport goods during the fur trade in the Columbia District. The exhibit will be a hands-on display that visitors can climb into, rather than a seaworthy engineered vessel.