My Heart on the Yukon River
by Monique Dykstra
Washington State University Press
Available on Amazon
In a canoe named "My Heart," photographer Monique Dykstra paddled down the Yukon River, traveling over 3,000 kilometers across Canada’s Yukon Territory and the state of Alaska. Travelling 50-60 kilometers a day for three months, Dykstra photographed the unique individuals she met in the sparsely settled wilderness.
My Heart on the Yukon River includes 45 dramatic black and white portraits and insightful interviews of women, men and children. Many of them are native born, but a surprising number are originally from elsewhere: the "Lower 48" states, the Canadian provinces and Europe. Their reasons for being here are as varied as the vast landscape they occupy. Some are “scarred by something” and running from their past, while others “simply fell in love with the north.”
Their tales of economic survival, social change, alcoholism and attachment to the land, river and animals reveal the unique social fabric of this northern land, where ancient and modern lifeways strangely intermingle.