Members of the Micronesian community in Milan are planning to launch a hand-carved traditional outrigger canoe this Saturday morning at Lac qui Parle Lake. Boat building and navigation are central to the island culture of Micronesia. According to Milan resident Gabriel Elias, the project has given community members a rare chance to connect with their ancient cultural traditions.
“We thought we’d never be able to do this, but here we are,” said Elias, “I just hope we have enough wind to blow the sail.”
The Milan residents have been assisted by a master boat builder from the island of Polowat Atoll. Due to the large number of people who have stopped by to chip in, they have finished the boat one month ahead of schedule.
A boat christening ceremony will take place on Saturday at the swimming beach on the west side of Lac qui Parle lake at 11am. Members of the public are welcome to attend.