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The moosehide canoe is one of the four traditional watercraft set to be launched Thursday afternoon from the Whitehorse waterfront. (Dave Croft/CBC) One of Yukon’s major Canada 150 events hits a high point Thursday afternoon at the Adäka Cultural Festival when four traditional watercraft built on the Whitehorse waterfront will be launched on the Yukon River.

A moosehide canoe built by Teslin Tlingit citizens John Peters Jr. and Doug Smarch Jr. is one of the four boats.

Smarch said his mother cried when she saw the finished boat, from the memories it brought back. Doug Smarch Jr. says the traditional moosehide canoe was only a legend for citizens of the Teslin Tlingit First Nation until now. (Dave Croft/CBC) "It was only stories that we heard, a younger generation that only used to hear stories from our parents, and now it’s sitting there and we’re going to jump in this thing and paddle it. We’re going to create our stories," said Smarch.

He said the moosehide and black spruce used to make the boat are from the Teslin area.

Peters said it’s a milestone for his community.

"To me it’s history, history coming back, hope for our youth, hope for the children, to keep that identity," said Peters. John Peters Jr. says the moosehide canoe is history in the making. (Dave Croft/CBC) William Carlick, one of the crew in a support boat, has been on similar voyages including the healing journey to Moosehide , near Dawson City, Yukon, in a dugout canoe in 2016.

"The craft that they put so much time and effort to create is going to come alive, and they’re going to feel that energy, that good energy, and it’s going to be pretty tough to part with it once they get to the destination which is a few kilometres down […]

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