Canoeman Joe

In the early 20th Century mining town of Ely, Minnesota, Joe Seliga taught himself how to build wood and canvas canoes. What began as a life full of curiosity and adventure grew into a passion for the land and its people. Joe held a deep appreciation of wild places, cherished his close-knit family, and found joy in using his hands to create a thing of beauty and utility. Along the way, he forged a tradition of respect and integrity for the wooden canoe: if you take care of it, it will take care of you. And Joe knew that the same could be said of the earth, a good friend and a lot of other things. This biographical picture book celebrates Joe’s life with canoes as well as the independent spirit that instilled a tradition of self-reliance in a whole generation of campers across the lake country of northern Minnesota.

Robin Radcliffe of Brooktondale, NY

Robin Radcliffe was born and raised in Wisconsin and grew up paddling the wilderness waterways of northern Minnesota as a boy and young man in a blue Seliga canoe, number 390. He eventurally met Joe and came to respect his remarkable skill and the heritage his canoes represent. Robin attended the University of Wisconsin at River Falls and obtained his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. Today, Dr. Radcliffe leads an international research program to conserve the endangered rhinoceroses of the world. His first children’s book, entitled The Hornless Rhinoceros (US Fish & Wildlife Service, 2015), made the short-list for the 2016 Green Earth book award.

Consie Powell

Consie Powell, her husband, and their Newfoundland dogs all live and work in a bright and cozy off-grid house in the far-north woods of Minnesota. Visit her website at

Marketing & Publicity
  • Piragis Northwoods Company founder has demonstrated a sincere interest in promoting this book about Joe Seliga
  • Book launch at Curious Cat Books (formerly Ravenword Press) Ely, Minnesota
  • Lake Superior Magazine (readership 500,000) plans feature when book comes out.
  • Book Event & Anniversary of YMCA Camp Widjiwagan in Ely, Minnesota, where 60 Joe Seliga canoes are still in use.