Title: Mary E. Bruce Fonds
Dates: 1929 – 1932
Extent: 1 folder of photographs
Repository: The United Church of Canada Archives Manitoba Northwestern Ontario Conference and All Native Circle Conference
Mary Elizabeth Bruce was born in 1902 in the Bear Creek District of Manitoba to John Moodie Bruce (1870-1952) and Maggie (Margaret) Campbell (1873-1939) and grew up on the family farm at Helston, near Gladstone. She was one of 6 children; 4 girls and 2 boys. The family was Presbyterian prior to church union, and after 1925 they attended the United Church. There is evidence that she graduated from a Bible college in Toronto, possibly a Presbyterian institution. From 1929 – 1932 Mary worked as a matron at Norway House Residential School (United Church of Canada) in Norway House, Manitoba.
It is known that she was back at the family farm in 1950 helping to care for her widowed sister’s (Anna Smirl) family. Later she worked at Birtle Residential School (Presbyterian Church in Canada) in Birtle, Manitoba and possibly did mission work on Vancouver Island. Mary died in June 1982 and is buried in the Gladstone Cemetery.
Miss Bruce was a photographer and also a watercolour painter. She also developed and printed the photographs that she took. Several of the photographs have been hand coloured and it is evident that she experimented with technique. It is not known if her interest in photography continued after she left Norway House or if other examples of her photographic work have survived.
Scope and Content
The surviving records of Mary Bruce consist of 280 images taken in Norway House, Manitoba.
An item level description of the photographs is available. All of the photographs in the collection have been digitized.
The photographs were acquired in 2002 when Mary Bruce’s neice, Marilyn Dunham (d. 2006), donated them to the United Church Archives Winnipeg.
Relevant items in this fonds related to Indian Residential Schools are included in The United Church of Canada Archives Manitoba Northwestern Ontario Conference and All Native Circle Conference 2014 Index of IRS Related Records and were submitted to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Contact the Keeper of the Archives for more information.
Language: The records are in English.
Restriction on Access: No restrictions apply.
Accruals: No further accruals are expected.