Item N-1998-051: 3926 - [Fort McPherson]

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[Fort McPherson]

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  • Graphic material

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N-1998-051: 3926

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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  • 1980 (Creation)

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colour negative

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([1946 or 1947]-2001)

Biographical history

William Bonnetplume was a Gwich’in artist who created oil paintings, pen and ink drawings, political cartoons, and at times wood sculpture.

He was born in 1946 or 1947 near Aklavik to Sarah (Mitchell) Bonnetplume and Paul Bonnetplume and was raised in the Aklavik area. He attended All Saints Anglican Residential School in Aklavik before 1959, where he began painting and drawing. He attended Inuvik Federal School beginning in 1959-1960, and lived in Stringer Hall. After, he lived in Akaitcho Hall (Yellowknife Federal Hostel) while attending Sir John Franklin School in Yellowknife.

He was living in Yellowknife in the 1970s and appears to have mostly made art in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1979 his drawings were featured in a booklet on Gwich’in traditional games (James Ross, Dinjii Zhuh Dene Games). His political cartoons were featured in The Native Press and later in Denendeh: A Dene Celebration (Dene Nation, René Fumoleau, 1984). In the 1980s his work was exhibited at galleries in Yellowknife (Toa-Chen’s Gallery, Twin Pines Motor Hotel, Arctic Art Gallery), in Calgary, and at the Arctic Arts Gallery in Edmonton. In 1990, his work was featured in an exhibition at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife. Several of his paintings from the 1970s are currently held at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.

He died in Edmonton in 2001 at age 55.

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Fort McPherson - -1980 -Drawing- William Bonnetplume [A political cartoon drawn by William Bonnetplume.]

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      CREDIT: NWT Archives/Rene Fumoleau fonds/N-1998-051: 3926

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      Copyright held by the Government of the Northwest Territories.

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