Dugout Canoe Project

During the summer of 2009, an idea was formed, and a plan of action was put into place. NCES held a fundraiser to launch and sent invitations to the carvers to work on this traditional dugout cedar canoe. There were 19 carvers who agreed to leave all technology behind and spend life in tent camps along the Yukon River until the canoe could bring the home. The Tlingit Master Carver Wayne Price helped select the 30-foot long, 13,000-pound cedar log, then taught and guided the carvers in making the canoe. The beginning stages of the adze work on the outer hull took 19 days to complete. It took approximately 10 weeks for the carvers to complete and paddle downstream to the Policeman’s Point. In the many stages of the cedar log’s transformation, many elders, family members, and 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

Daniel Walker, Everitt Walker, Rhianna Skookum, Brian J. Francis, Terrance Clark

Justien Senoa Wood, William Skookum, 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