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HomeNewsNWT Archives Launches 13,000 Photographs by Bern Will Brown

NWT Archives Launches 13,000 Photographs by Bern Will Brown

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The Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) has recently announced the public launch of more than 13,000 photographs by Bern Will Brown. The Northwest Territories Archives collection consists of pictures showing northern life through Brown’s lens over decades of living in and travelling the territory.

Bern Will Brown, who was also a painter, filmmaker, journalist, dog-musher and pilot, came north in 1948 as a young priest with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. In 1962 Father Brown was sent to Colville Lake. In 1971, he left the priesthood and married Margaret Steen of Inuvik. They spent over 40 years in Colville Lake, which he helped establish as a permanent community.

His photos, both in black and white and in colour, capture the daily lives of northerners at work and play in their home communities, including Behchokǫ̀, Aklavik, Inuvik, Paulatuk, Délı̨nę, Fort Good Hope, Tulita, Fort Providence, Fort Smith, and Colville Lake.

The NWT Archives acquired this comprehensive collection from Brown in 2005. Prior to his death in 2014, the Archives worked collaboratively with Brown to record information about the people and places in the collection.

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