Dugout Canoe Project

2009 Dugout Canoe Project


During the summer of 2009, an idea was brewed up for months, and finally it hatched into a plan of action. A fundraiser drive was launched and the invitations to the carvers was given to work on this traditional dugout cedar canoe. There was 19 carvers who agreed to leave all technological devices behind and spend life in tents for the duration of the dugout canoe project. All of the carvers committed to stay at the tent camps on the YukonRiver until the dugout canoe was completed and could carry them home. The Tlingit Master Carver Wayne Price had guided the young carvers, mostly advanced carvers but some beginners carvers that had volunteered, and helped them by picking the 30 foot long, 13,000 pound cedar log. The beginning stages of the adze work on the outer hull took 19 day to complete and it approximately took 10 weeks for the carvers to complete this beautiful traditional masterpiece and paddle the canoe downstream to the Policeman’s Point. In the many stages of the cedar log transformation into the dugout canoe, many elders, family members and the carvers sang traditional songs over the canoe.

Master Mentor Carver:

Wayne Price

Participant Carvers:

Duran Henry

William Callaghan

Justin Smith

Ben Gribben

Josh Lesage

Jared Lutchman

Morgan Ayles Smith

Jared Kane

Aaron Blanchard

Jacob Blanchard

Sara Villeseche

Rhianna Skookum

Brian J. Francis

Terrance Clark

Justien Senoa Wood

William Skookum

Fred Stick

Josh Skookum

Calvin Morberg

Collin Teramura



This information was referenced from the book created by NCES, written with the artist & Heather Finton.


Awakening Spirit : Echoes of Ancient Yukon Traditions