Expressing Identity

A Window on the Past and a Mirror for the Future: Talking about Change through Candace Cochrane’s Photography

Research Team

Andrea Procter

Candace Cochrane


In 1969-70 and again in 1985-86, Dr. Candace Cochrane photographed daily life at fishing camps and homesteads around Nain and Hopedale for the Grenfell Mission and then for the Labrador School Board. She worked closely with Levi Nochasak, especially, as well as Ron and Mary Webb and their family, the White family, the Merkeratsuk family, and many others as she travelled to Cutthroat, Webb’s Bay, Black Island, Railroads, Nain, and Hopedale to document Inuit life.

Candace’s photos show a time in northern Labrador that is very different from today’s Nunatsiavut, but it is not so far away that the way of life or the people in the photos have been forgotten. Families spent summers at their fishing places, communities came down to the wharf when a boat came in, and the land claims process was just beginning! The photos are within living memory, and they are a valuable resource for Nunatsiavummiut to examine, to reminisce about, and to use to discuss the huge changes that have occurred over the last forty years.

Through the Tradition & Transition project, Candace and Andrea Procter are now working collaboratively with people in Nain and Hopedale to create a book based around the photos, with text of Nunatsiavummiut voices discussing the 1970-1985 era. Designed by and for people in Nunatsiavut, the book will explore a time that still strongly influences life in Nunatsiavut today.