A Visit with Elder Victor Henry

We are visiting with Victor Henry on Monday at the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre. Victor is an Elder who has considerable experience fishing and hunting.  He is very familiar with fishing and hunting tools and has made a number of tools based in tradition for the cultural centre’s collection.

Bring a pencil, notebook, camera.

Take notes and be engaged. Listen and observe.



Pinhole Camera Portrait Experiment

Brief: The portrait project is a challenge in pinhole photography.

stage 1

we will make cameras from tin cans, boxes etc. Bring a few boxes or tin cans with tight fitting lids to build your cameras.  We will work on making cameras in class.

stage 2

Your mission is first to find a good exposure time and camera function.  In order to do this you will need to take notes about how long your exposure is taking.  Where is it pointed  – is it sunny or cloudy. What time of day? How much time (minutes and seconds).  Keep a log. experiment, enjoy.

Note: These pictures can be portraits of people or some other thing. But not buildings, not interiors, and not street views and nothing that is attached to the ground. In order to make pictures you will need to work in the darkroom to load the film on your own. Please be aware that you will have to plan your schedule carefully.


I have been intrigued by the bicycles frozen and trapped in snow around Dawson. It is interesting to see an item of transportation become stagnant. I decided to focus on this within the pinhole project and instead create movement through the camera.

I tried to imitate the look of motion in photography by holding the camera, creating very slight movement.

The subject (the bicycle) is not always clear and I hope this engages the viewer, generating a deeper thought process.


Camera and Self

I found that the pinhole project was fun but annoying. It was fun in the sense that you have to do more things to get a photo. The annoying part was getting a good exposure time as the two cameras I was using had very different exposure times.


My Pinhole Project

For this project I was thinking about what I could do for a self portrait and I wanted to play with the idea of a hotel door peephole of someone waiting outside your door and how that intimacy can be interpreted in a number of ways. I would have liked to have done the circle outlining in a cleaner fashion but in the end was satisfied with the overall outcome.


Pinhole Self Portrait

I found the pinhole project to be interesting. I could see myself pursuing this art further. It blended with my rough style of work well. Furthermore, I found I liked the project because it is a skill that I’ll never forget.



Untitled Series #1

For this pinhole series I struggled with day-to-day weather in town (fighting the overcast). I found my best shots came out from the interior shots rather than the exterior shots.  I feel this might have been due to the reflection of the surrounding snow affecting the shots.


Untitled Series #1
(no description)


Victor Henry Visit: Student Reflections

After the visit with Elder Victor Henry, students were given the following brief:

Please write a few sentences about how this experience affected you. Write about it as an experience. Try to portray to the reader or viewer of your experience on several levels.

Consider what different levels of experience means to you and to others.

Student Reflections:

I found the experience of seeing elder Victor Henry’s talk about hunting and fishing tools and technology to be aggravating. Seeing/hearing a community/people being walked over and pushed around to the point of extinction was almost heart breaking. Even now as we live out lives in this modern age where people still label the native people as homeless or less important. We act and talk about change however no one takes action. This generation “rebels” because they see it as a “popular” or “activist” thing to do, however they do not want real change. For we’ve spoiled our generation. We’ve spoiled our children with technology that can connect the world, however doing so we’ve lost true connection. We’ve set up rules, yet sacrificed humanity. We’ve scared our generation into dogs that bake and can’t bite. A generation falls downward into a new age of the machine. Phones. 


Dear Victor Henry,

Thank you for your insight and knowledge with your tools and with the land. I’m happy to have been able to be shown the process of some of the items and know that those techniques and practices are something to hold dearly. I particularly liked the rotating fish net because I have not seen that elsewhere throughout my lifetime time of knowing the culture and it was cool to see something so ingenious, and it was also interesting finding out that it was discovered to be invented by the Japanese. I enjoyed being able to hold and feel the tools as I know normally tools such as those are usually just up for display unless you make your own. Thanks again, keep up the good work.



Deidre_Victor Response