Sunday, January 17, 2010
Bern Will Brown
To my delight, this week I recieved a letter from Bern Will Brown. Bern is something of a living legend, having spent more than 60 years in the North. He came up here in 1948 as a young Roman Catholic Missionary, and has worked and travelled all over the Territory. He can speak several native languages and essentially founded the remote Arctic community of Colville Lake, where he and his wife still live today. A skilled architect and builder, he constructed the log church in Nahanni Butte, as well as most of the buildings in Colville Lake. In his 90's now but still a prolific painter and photographer, he is a fading link to a world that is now gone forever.
Wayne and Cindy knew him from their time teaching in Colville, and after reading his book I decided to write to him and thank him for sharing his stories. He wrote me back and sent a card of one of his paintings, which is now one of my most prized possessions.