“Day 42. After paddling all day I spotted several caribou crossing the river. They take no notice of me, then upon reaching the other shore, they disappear into thick vegetation.
By late evening I hear loud barking and spot several Huskies peering at me from the opposite bank. At first I thought they were wolves! Then a man appears beside them and waves to me in a friendly gesture to come ashore.”
I recorded that first meeting with Kenneth Nukon in my journal. He was an elder of the Vuntut Gwich’in Native Tribe. My friendship with this enigmatic man, changed this life forever by opening my heart and mind to the wonders of Nature, and more importantly, respect for all life.
The Spirit Journey will gradually reveal the captivating story of this unique man. This particular blog is for the purpose of showing what is behind my cartoons of Kenneth. The real man, was a great human being. I am forever grateful for your willingness to share knowledge of your ancestors with me, Kenneth. Thank you my shijyaa (my friend), always!
This old photo, tucked between the pages of my journal, shows Kenneth’s camp. The large, canvas tent is where I lived for months, before moving into his cabin before the onset of winter.
Kenneth was the best story teller I ever came across. When I compared him to Christa, he thought I was speaking of my father!
After some time, he understood my intention to remain with him, (at least through the winter). Then began his mystical tales of the people of the North. This was an initiation of sorts, that altered my outlook on life and later, my artistic expression.
This photo shows Kenneth, strong cup of tea in hand. I still remember as though it was yesterday our long evenings spent sipping tea and sharing stories.
Fragment mojego dziennika, 1980 Yukon, Kanada – 2021 Yandoit, Australia