Lindsay Bell and Jesse Colin Jackson
Lindsay Bell and Jesse Colin Jackson

Lindsay Bell is a professor of anthropology at the State University of New York at Oswego. She was a school teacher in Aklavik and Hay River NWT before going on to complete graduate degrees at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Toronto. Jesse Colin Jackson is a Canadian artist based in Southern California. He is an assistant professor in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine. Jesse spent the summers of his youth in the Yukon and the NWT working for his dad's construction company. User avatar credit: Andrew Johnson (cc).

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Lindsay Bell and Jesse Colin Jackson

    Arctic Interruptions

    Life in Hay River’s High Rise

    This photo essay is the third in our ongoing Arctic Interruptions series. Edited by Sara Komarnisky and Lindsay Bell, this series challenges our expectations about the North and opens new windows on its life and history. This series will appear in Volume 4, Issue 1 of Northern Public Affairs.

    In Canada’s Northwest Territories, rail, river and road meet in the town of Hay River – the transportation “Hub of the North”. Known for its key role in facilitating the movement of natural resource goods and labour in, out, and around the territory, pluri-ethnic Hay River is often described by outsiders as “not the real North.”

    Whether you arrive to Hay River in a World War II era DC-3 operated by Buffalo Airways or by car via the only paved highway, the first structure to catch your eye will be a yellowed seventeen-story building. Mackenzie Place, known locally as simply “the High Rise” is the tallest residential building in the NWT. Completed in 1975, the tower was anticipatory. The 80 units were to be filled by an influx of workers and residents that would accompany the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline.

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