Yukon River Canoe Project 2009 Blog

Work on the log begins. Source: Yukon Canoe Project.

I just found an interesting blog that traces a community project to carve a Tlingit style dugout canoe on the banks of the Yukon River near Whitehorse:

Nineteen young Yukon carvers made history by creating a 30-foot red cedar dugout canoe. Under the leadership of Tlingit Master Carver Wayne Price, the carvers went on a journey of discovery.

An island on the east side of the Yukon River became their home for the next two months as went go back on the land to learn the traditional techniques for carving a dugout canoe.

Steaming the canoe - look at all those fire cracked rocks in the making. Source: Yukon Canoe Project 2009.

Like a lot of blogs, its a it of work to go through it in chronological order.  This is the first posting, and if you follow the links at the bottom or in right hand sidebar you can do ok.  The same lengthy text repeats at the top of each post, which is unfortunate from a narrative perspective though I appreciate the care given to acknowledge all the participants and contributors.  Below this text are pictures of the canoe in progress, accompanied by little to no text.

Roughed out paddle blanks. Source Yukon Canoe Project 2009.

As always with these carving projects, I am struck by what a genuine sense of excitement is raised by engaging with traditional, material practices as a community.  It’s a great blog that tells a good story through beautiful photographs and is definitely worth looking through.

It floats. Source: Yukon Canoe Project 2009.

5 responses to “Yukon River Canoe Project 2009 Blog

  1. Glad to see there are still big redcedar left on the Yukon at Whitehorse! 😉
    Beautiful canoe!


  2. I hate to burst your bubble, but the log was trucked in from Terrace.

    Sort of related, I saw this story about a high school student in Ucluelet who is carving a canoe to auction off as a fundraiser for a school trip:

    Click to access hjelmer-canoe-project.pdf


    • I do know the northern limit of Thuja plicata – thus the winking smilie!

      The northern and inland Tlingit groups had to import all their cedar – wood, bark, finished products like canoes – from the south. Mathews and Hebda were right-on in their linking NWC culture type to the tree, I think.


  3. The Ucluelet HS student has done archaeology in Barkley Sound and is very maritime.


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