Jim "Cheemis" Cowley lives in Hollow Water First Nation which is located about 190 kilometers northeast of Winnipeg on the shore of Lake Winnipeg.

Cheemis, born in 1936, never married. He is an independent, proud and smart little guy who takes good care of himself. Much of Jim's life was spent fishing on Lake Winnipeg.

Known for his antics in the community, Jim used to play fiddle and guitar and was a very good jigger; his presence at a party meant few dull moments. When I photographed him with a guitar in hand and wearing one of the many hats he was known for, people stopped, thinking a party was starting up. It reminded him when years ago he and Roddy Raven would get together and before long half the neighborhood would be in their back yard.

Jim passed away in the summer of 2003 but his reputation is very much alive. This portrait is of a fellow who provided many fond memories through his music and exploits in the community.

Back to Portrait Gallery

James "Cheemis" Cowley
Ojibway, Hollow Water First Nation

Image size: 12 x 14 inches
Edition size: 975