The Yap State election Commissioner, Laura T. Ngaden and her staff along with a staff from the National Election Office, paid a visit to the traditional canoe carvers and registered several young men to vote this week. They were also informed by the National Election Office staff to visit their office and obtain their voters registration identification cards.
During the visit, the Commissioner was given an introduction of the canoe carving project followed by a tour of the various canoe house activities, including traditional rope making and other typical canoe house chores.
“This is a great project that is not only important to the boys learning the skills but the state as a whole,” said Commissioner Ngaden. In support of the effort to preserve traditional skills, Ngaden told the group she is offering them a breadfruit tree for future carving. She also left copies of her office newsletter for the boys reading.
The project is being carried out by local NGO, Waa’gey, Inc., in collaboration with the young men from the island of Lamotrek. The group is working with a strong conviction that during these times of change, it is vital to retain their cultural identities by keeping cultural values and practices intact.
The sailing canoe is expected to be completed by next month and in time to prepare a team to compete in the annual canoe festival to be held in November.
Learn more about Waa'gey here and how to support the effort here.