Murray McKenzie, (1927-2007

By Amanda Rozyk Murray McKenzie was an accomplis ed p o!o"rap er# a$in" is ar! displayed and pu%lis ed in local# na!ional and in!erna!ional $enues& Remarka%ly# e !ook more ! an '000 p o!o"rap s ! rou" ou! is career& Murray(s lo$e o) p o!o"rap y %e"an a! ! e a"e o) se$en!een& *e was dia"nosed wi! !u%erculosis and was admi!!ed !o a sana!orium& +urin" ! is !ime# is mo! er "a$e im is )irs! camera and e passed ! e lon" ours in ! e ospi!al %y !akin" pic!ures o) ! e o! er pa!ien!s )or !wen!y)i$e cen!s a pic!ure& , is sparked a desire in Murray !o con!inue !akin" pic!ures o) -a!i$e people# cap!urin" ! eir spiri!# !alen!s and na!ural di"ni!y& Murray !ook a !wo-year correspondence course )rom ! e -ew .ork /c ool o) 0 o!o"rap y# owe$er e was primarily sel)-!au" !& *e worked as a re"ular )reelance p o!o"rap er )or ! e Winnipeg Free Press and as more p o!o"rap s pu%lis ed in ! a! newspaper ! an any o! er p o!o"rap er& *e was also ! e )irs! news p o!o"rap er !o !ake pic!ures more ! an 1#100 kilome!res nor! o) 1innipe"& Murray credi!ed is p ilosop y o) p o!o"rap y !o is "randmo! er and er !radi!ional !eac in"s& 1 en !akin" p o!o"rap s o) -a!i$e people# e cele%ra!es ! eir proud and ones! manner and por!rays ! e posi!i$e side o) -a!i$e cul!ure& Murray(s work as %een displayed in pres!i"ious "alleries in , ompson# , e 0as# -or! Bay# 1 i!e orse# *amil!on# 2ondon# ,oron!o and -ew .ork& An in$i!a!ion !o display is ar! !o an in!erna!ional audience occurred in 1993# w en e was asked !o e4 i%i! is p o!o"rap s in Muns!er(s 1es!p alian Museum in 5ermany& Murray was ! e )irs! -a!i$e p o!o"rap er !o old a 6uropean e4 i%i!ion& Murray(s work as %een pu%lis ed in ! e Toronto Star# Photo Life# US Camera and Time Magazine& 7ne o) is mos! )amous p o!o"rap s was also selec!ed as a na!ional pos!er %y ! e 8anadian 8ancer /ocie!y# and as a selec!ion in ! e 9ord Mo!or 8ompany(s :9aces o) 8anada 64 i%i!ion&; Murray worked in a $arie!y o) o! er )ields as well# includin" !rappin"# commercial )is in" a! Reindeer 2ake# pulp woodcu!!in"# mill solu!ion opera!in"# care!aker a! a camp si!e# and minin"& *e was also an ins!rumen!al )orce in producin" ! e )irs! 8ree lan"ua"e radio pro"ram e$er o))ered in -or! ern Mani!o%a# and was ! e $oice %e ind many radio %roadcas!s& <! s ould also %e no!ed ! a! Murray played a $ery impor!an! par! in ! e de$elopmen! o) ! e A%ori"inal 9riends ip 8en!res in , e 0as and , ompson# Mani!o%a& 0 o!o"rap y remained Murray(s !rue passion owe$er# and one o) is proudes! ac ie$emen!s included !eac in" s!uden!s ! rou" ou! ! e -or! a%ou! ! e ar! o) p o!o"rap y and inspirin" ! em !o cap!ure ! eir surroundin"s& Murray McKenzie# o) /co!s-Me!is and 8ree descen!# was %orn on Marc 1=# 1927 in 8um%erland *ouse# /aska!c ewan& *e mo$ed !o / erridon# Mani!o%a w ere e was

raised )rom ! e a"e o) ! ree# and la!er mo$ed !o , e 0as# Mani!o%a !o li$e wi! is "randmo! er a! ! e a"e o) se$en& Murray was )a! er !o se$en c ildren li$ed wi! is wi)e in , ompson# Mani!o%a& Murray(s sis!er was 6! el +esc am%aul!# w o worked )or many years as a i" ly respec!ed social >us!ice ac!i$is! and 0ro%a!ion 7))icer in ! e , ompson Re"ion o) Mani!o%a& 6! el was one o) ! e $isionary Me!is leaders w o were ins!rumen!al in ! e es!a%lis men! o) ! e 2ouis Riel <ns!i!u!e&

Compiled by Lawrence Barkwell Coordinator of Metis Heritage & History Research Louis Riel Institute

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