Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad

Bushman vows return

Deportee professes his love for the North and its people

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

Wrigley (May 09/03) - Expelled from a country he loves dearly, German adventurer Tyler Aukan pledges to return to Canada someday.

Aukan, 39, was arrested by RCMP in Wrigley last February while on a trans-continental journey through the bush, which he started on foot from Alaska. Immigration Canada ordered him out of the country because he crossed the border into Canada illegally.

He was also in possession of a loaded .44 Magnum handgun. Reached in his home country of Germany by e-mail earlier this month, Aukan admitted to the offenses but said he never meant any harm.

Travelling in the bush without a map and compass, he said he wasn't always aware of his location or where the border was for that matter.

"America or Canada -- there is only a difference because of the borders -- no difference for me," he stated.

Living in the wilderness, he felt he was part of nature, he said, and nature knows no limits, no boundaries.

"There I discovered a better world... nobody did care how you look, what you own. Your heart was your currency of trust and friendship," he wrote.

The powerful, loaded firearm he was carrying was a gift from a friend, he noted.

"I have seen over the years enough bears and bear trails, in wintertime too," he explained. "And heck, maybe I'm crazy but I'm not that crazy to cross wild country with empty hands."

That the .44 magnum was loaded while he was in a community was an oversight, he claimed.

The Department of Immigration also discovered that Tyler Aukan was travelling under an alias, and his real name was Tiele Stowhase. In his e-mail response, Aukan admitted this as well. He said Tyler Aukan is a name given to him by "wonderful, kind" people with whom he had lived.

"A name tells you nothing about its owner," he contended.

Some of Aukan's possessions, including the gun, were not given back to him. He said he has no hard feelings as he doesn't worry about material things, with the exception of some religious paraphernalia that he would like returned. Although friends and acquaintances have since made him wonder whether the Department of Immigration treated him fairly, he said he's 100 per cent certain that the Department had followed the law.

Aukan, who is now planning a trip to Finland and Sweden, said he's writing a book about his wilderness adventures.

He added that he's sure he will make his way back to Canada in the future to complete his trek.

"I love the people of the North," he wrote. "We are one soul and one heart."