Where I Come From

Where I Come From

There was a time when all I ever knew was what was taught to me from very few people, like my mother and my great, great uncle Taylor McGundy. In the traditional ­way my mother gave me over to him for a short while to raise. As a small child I had to learn what it was to live on the land. That meant following him with a small pack filled with snares, that he would set as we trekked along his trails. As I followed along, he would quietly instruct me what to do, like not to talk or how to walk so as to not scare off the animals. Since I was only six we would stop to rest from time to time. As a child, I was able to see what it was to live off the land…what efforts it took to survive on a day-to-day basis.

When I was born, the Yukon had nothing more that dirt roads, so traveling great distances was limited. That meant our experiences were also limited… it wouldn’t be for almost seventeen years of life before I would even experience a real city. Living in relative isolation takes it toll on a young person­, but you don’t know this until you are much older and wiser. However, looking back now, it is stuff that fuels my creativity today. Living in two world-views was once a difficult thing to endure. Now it has afforded me absolute freedom from both worlds, and the knowledge to understand and appreciate them both.

It is in this context that I am more able to express “where I come from”. Where I am today has a lot to do with who I am and may very well guide me into the future.

Where I come from is about recognizing that far remote experience: the long periods of isolation to knowing that there was more than hunting, trapping, skinning, tanning and walking endless miles into the hills with nothing more than what dogs could carry.

-Mark Preston



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The art I have is something I take care of rather than hold on to. We carry it, we breath life into it, and then we pass it on to the next generations. For my family I have carried the art, inspired my children, walked with them and have been inspired.

With Mark, I have been given the same gift. "Where I Come From” is both in the past and the future. My grandfathers, my grandmothers, my parents, my uncles, my aunties and now with pride, I watch my children carry it, too.

- Chris Paul