When I jumped on board with the Tea & Bannock team, my initial thought was that this would be the perfect opportunity for me to use this space to share the unique life North of 60. Share stories and images of the pristine land, the beautiful people and the rich culture that many don’t get to experience.
I’ll be honest when I was thinking up my next blog post (this one right here), I was stumped – not sure what to share and just so happened to be on my way to my partner’s yearly family reunion in Jean Marie River (JMR).
It wasn’t until I was camping in Jean Marie River that it hit me, why not share the beauty of this community? The land, water and sky.
Jean Marie River is a very tiny community in the Northwest Territories with a population of roughly 60 people. It is located in the Deh Cho region, right on the shore of the Mackenzie River. The traditional way of living is still very strong in the community of JMR. Most people still live off the land; using it for harvesting and traveling. The closest grocery store is an hour away; the water is delivered house to house by truck and the people are very friendly.
During our stay in Jean Marie River, we would spend most of the day trying to escape the heat by jumping in the creeks near by, boating and seadooing on the river or playing on a large makeshift slip N’ slide with the kids. The heat would finally calm down around nine in the evening and that’s when I would notice the sky… OH MY!
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve lived in the North my whole life. I’ve noticed the 24-hour summer time sunlight and the beautiful colored sky before but never took the time to capture it. I’ve never been one to capture landscape images, I’m not exactly sure why. I honestly couldn’t tell you. All I know is that I like to photograph people.
So while spending my nights camping under the Midnight Sun in Jean Marie River, I decided to challenge myself and keep my camera hanging around my neck… just shoot the sky I thought to myself.
So I did.
…And then I fell in love with photography and life in the North all over again.
– shawna mcleod