Press Release: Thomas Berger to open exhibit

Press Release: Thomas Berger to open exhibit

Former Justice Thomas Berger to open exhibit at Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre

YELLOWKNIFE (Feb 27, 2015): Former Justice Thomas Berger will be visiting the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre to officially open the Thunder in our Voices exhibit currently on display until April 30, 2015.

Between 1975 and 1977, Justice Thomas Berger visited thirty communities in the NWT and the Yukon to hold hearings into the proposed Mackenzie Valley Pipeline. The Berger Inquiry broke with tradition by considering perspectives offered by community members in their own languages. This year marks the fortieth anniversary of this process, whereby the people of the MacKenzie Valley impacted the project by telling their stories in their own words.

“The exhibit at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre is full of familiar faces that participated in this process,” said Minister Jackson Lafferty of the Department of Education, Culture and Employment. “The Museum is an important caretaker of our culture and heritage, and the collaboratively-created travelling multimedia exhibit contributes to our history through community photographs, video, and personal stories.”

In 1975, freelance journalist Drew Ann Wake traveled to the Northwest Territories to cover the Inquiry. Five years ago, Wake dug out her original sound recordings and photographs from that time. Along with photographer Linda MacCannell, Wake visited local schools in twenty-five villages across the Mackenzie River over several summers. Families looked at the archives together, and youth interviewed their parents and grandparents about their experiences with the Inquiry. The exhibit combines the remembrances of original participants as well as a new generation of youth reflecting on the legacy of the Berger Inquiry, all of whom helped create the exhibit.

Mr. Berger will be working with students throughout the day on Tuesday, March 3, and will be in attendance to do a public presentation and officially open the exhibit in the evening.

The Northern Heritage Centre maintains an online resource of Berger materials including recordings, photographs and video from the Inquiry.

Jacqueline McKinnon
Department of Education, Culture and Employment
P: 920-6222
E: jacqueline_mckinnon@gov.nt.ca