Katie Johnson and the Adaka Cultural Festival

I met with Katie Johnson just 4 days after the final day of the Adaka Festival, and it was clear things were not really slowing down.  She had just gotten out of an interview with CKRW radio in Whitehorse and was working in the Whitepass building when I came in to chat with her.  Sitting at a conference table overlooking the Yukon River, Johnson filled me in on what she’s been working on, and what is next for First Nations Arts and Culture in the Yukon.

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The Forgotten Art of Moosehide Canoes

There are tools and gear everywhere in the wall tent that Doug Smarch works in.  Some are modern pieces of equipment like hand planers, some are traditional tools that I have never seen before and others look like they were specifically built for this project.  As I approached the “workshop”, Smarch is pulling two, long spruce planks from a steaming plastic pipe, explaining that this is home-made wood steamer he invented for boat building.

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The Chinese New Year.

When I was younger, I looked forward to the Lunar New Year celebrations. My family got together every year to celebrate; it gave us an opportunity to eat a metric tonne of food and catch up with each other. The adults dined at their adults table, and the kids dined everywhere else; it was perfect. We also got these little red envelopes from the adults with money; the Vietnamese kid’s equivalent of a Christmas bonus, but in February.

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