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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.

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Dugout Canoe Project camp profile.jpg
NCES Product 800x800 Awakening Spirits B

Awakening Spirit:

Echoes of Ancient Yukon Traditions

Available for Purchase

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

Master Mentor Carver:

  • Wayne Price

Side 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

Side Participant Carvers:

  • Daniel Walker

  • Everitt Walker

  • Rhianna Skookum

  • Brian J. Francis

  • Terrance Clark

  • Justien Senoa Wood

  • William Skookum

  • Josh Skookum

  • Calvin Morberg

  • Collin Teramura

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