North

Exhausted paddlers finish historic Yukon River trip in dugout canoe

Ten paddlers in a Tlingit cedar dugout canoe completed a historic Yukon River journey from Whitehorse to the Moosehide Gathering, near Dawson City, Thursday.

"We were angry about things, we were also enjoying every moment we were in the canoe"

The exhausted paddlers mark the end of their journey at Moosehide Thursday. (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC)

Ten paddlers in a Tlingit cedar dugout canoe completed a historic Yukon River journey from Whitehorse to Moosehide near Dawson City Thursday.

The canoe and paddlers left Whitehorse on July 20 and organizers said it's the first time in over a century a dugout canoe has made the 700 kilometre journey to Moosehide.    

Chief Roberta Joseph of the Dawson City based Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation was at the shore to greet the paddlers. 

"I would like to welcome, it's a great honour and privilege to welcome you all here to Moosehide Gathering 2016," Chief Joseph said.

"Mahsi Cho for coming and making this a meaningful strong journey for all our people across the Yukon and elsewhere."

The voyage was one of healing for paddler Wayne Carlick, who said he's recovering from the death of his daughter on Easter Sunday.

"There were so many things to experience, not only the beautiful country that we went through, every turn was different, the rain, the environment, it just never let up on us as it pushed us to the limit of our strength," Carlick said.

"We were hungry, and we were sleeping under the trees with nothing to eat. We were angry about things, we were also enjoying every moment we were in the canoe." 

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said William Carlick is recovering from the death of his daughter on Easter Sunday. That is incorrect. In fact it is Wayne Carlick who is dealing with the loss of his daughter.
    Jul 30, 2016 9:04 AM CT

With files from Cheryl Kawaja

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