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Kent was born July 19th, 1962 in the coastal town of Madang, Papua New Guinea, and spent the first ten years of his life in New the rainforest environment of New Guinea. Living in the rainforest for the first ten formative years, among a family with a love of the out-of-doors, he grew up with a deep, innate commitment to and respect for the environment and for aboriginal peoples everywhere.
Kent's parents were Lutheran missionaries, interacting with and learning from tribal "stone-age" people in New Guinea. He was home-schooled for the first three years of school, later attending a British-style boarding school at Wau. At boarding school he was influenced by the international student body and by tales of World War II, as Wau had been one of the busiest airstrips in the world during the war. His closest friends at school were German and Australian, with teachers from around the planet.
During furloughs from New Guinea to the "States" Kent learned to fish and was very influenced by the family stories from both his maternal and paternal grandfathers, Wes and Bebe.
Kent's mother, Roselyn, is from Ellis Kansas, has German parents and grew up hearing German spoken in the home. Roselyn's father (Kent's maternal grandfather), Wes, lived to 100 and worked in construction, building many of the oil "donkeys" in Kansas.
Kent's father, Kenneth, is from Pueblo Colorado and was brought up with French customs. Kenneth's father (Kent's paternal grandfather), Bebe, operated a crane at a steel mill in Pueblo Colorado up until his untimely passing in 1968. Kent's paternal great grandfather, Timothy Graham, served in the First Colorado Cavalry during the time of the Civil War. Kent knew his paternal great grandmother, Cynthia, who was one of the last surviving Civil War Widows, receiving a pension until her death at the age of 100. Kenneth's maternal grandparents (Kent's paternal great grandparents) were a redheaded Irish trapper and a Blackfoot woman.
This means that Kent is 1/16th Blackfoot by "blood" according to the archaic way the U.S. government figures it, but that is only a beginning point for why Kent identifies so closely with indigenous peoples and their struggles around the world. Living in the rainforest among the New Guineans for the first ten years of his life had the largest impact on his concern for a sustainable future for all peoples.