First Nation teens find jobs, adrenaline-pumping fun on Yukon mountain bike trail
'It's given them hope. It's given them pride in what they do,' says Carcross/Tagish First Nation chief
When one of Yukon's most picturesque communities went looking for economic opportunity, they found it on the mountain.
Carcross/Tagish First Nation has taken traditional hunting paths that have been around for centuries and turned them into what Outside magazine describes as the best mountain biking trail in the world.
The trails are part of a larger push in the community to draw in tourists, who are arriving by the busload.
"It's made a remarkable change," says Carcross/Taglish First Nation Chief Andy Carvill. "It's given them hope. It's given them pride in what they do."
Drugs and alcohol took 16-year-old Jade McLoud's brother away from him a couple of years ago. He says the trail gives him purpose in life.
Jade says the teens built the trail mostly by hand, without machines.
It took years of work, including removing large rocks and overgrown trees, to develop the extensive trail system. But the effort is paying off for the young people of Carcross/Tagish First Nation, as well as the riders who come from across Canada and the U.S. to one of the best mountain bike trails they can find.