A Time of Change Painting and Photos by Bern Will Brown
Photographer Religious Life

Bern Will Brown came to north as a priest, a Father of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Naturally, he photographed the daily lives of other members of this Order. His work took him from the church’s northern headquarters in Fort Smith, to the Mission schools and hospitals of Fort Resolution and Aklavik. During his journeys, he photographed nuns, priests, lay brothers and bishops as only an insider could. His carpentry skills also enabled him to build log churches, themselves works of art, in Fort Franklin, Camsell Portage, Nahnni Butte, and Colville Lake.


Religious Life | An Artist's Eye | On the Land | Community Life

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Father Brown conducting mass in a tent. Colville Lake, NWT, 1966.
Mission scouts and cubs. Aklavik, NWT, 1956.
Georgina Cleary and Bernadette Taniton dressed up for a wedding. Fort Franklin (Deline), NWT, 1950.  
Brother R.Mahé, OMI, baking bread. Colville Lake, NWT, 1964. (N-2001-002-3309)

The blessing of the new church. Cardinal Pignedoli and Bishop Piché stand outside with the congregation. Colville Lake, NWT, 1964.

  Grey Nun and baby. Fort Smith, NWT, 1949. (N-2001-002-0183)  
A farewell to the Sant’Anna, the mission boat, which is leaving for the Arctic coast. Fort Smith, NWT, 1959.   Sister Laroche. Fort Smith, NWT, 1955.
R.P. Laperier. Fort Rae, NWT, 1951.   A group of children and two Grey Nun Sisters standing on the bank of the river. Fort Resolution, NWT, 1955.
The log church nearing completion. Nahanni Butte, NWT, 1961.

Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada