UNBC’s commitment to First Nations culture and tradition recently led to two remarkable First Nations Studies classes: FNST 284 Dakelh Studies in winter 2013, and then FNST 298/301, making a Cottonwood Canoe in summer 2013. The Dugout Cottonwood Canoe (Ts’i) courses focused on traditional and contemporary forms and processes for creating and carving of a traditional dugout cottonwood canoe. Through participating in the Dugout Cottonwood Canoe project students developed an understanding of local Lheidli T’enneh First Nations traditions. The culmination of the summer FNST 298/301 - Making a Cottonwood Canoe course was the completion of a cottonwood canoe made from scratch which was launched into the Nechako River at the Lhezbaoonicheck reserve where the course took place. Robert Frederick said this was the first time a cottonwood canoe had been launched in 60 years.
The canoe from the first course, FNST 284, has been put on permanent display at UNBC, as one of the 25th Anniversary legacy projects.