Finding Memory: Highlights from the Indigenous Reference files

SPRA 510.12.07.012b-c Part of the Indigenous Reference Files collection

One of the large projects for our summer student this year was digitizing the Indigenous reference files. This project involved digitizing and describing the reference files related to Indigenous peoples in this region. There are twenty-two Indigenous reference files with twenty centimeters of textual records. This project was prioritized to support the Indigenous History Committee, whose purpose is to examine the ways we can preserve and promote the history of the Indigenous Peoples in the south Peace in order to support reconciliation. This committee was established in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s (TRC) Calls to Action. The Indigenous Reference File Project was chosen because it helps make Indigenous centered information publicly available.  This helps to do our part in fulfilling the TRC Calls to Action. This project was made possible with funding support from Young Canada Works.

The digitization portion of this project was finished in mid-July. As we create an itemized finding aid for the files we will start to share some of the items through blog posts, like this one!

This item is an article from the magazine “Legacy” about Indigenous people reconnecting with their culture and spirituality after Residential Schools stripped them of it.  There are stories of a few different people talking about Ka-keh-ci-hi-to-win Gatherings (Group Comforting in Cree) in their community helping them heal.  The photo is of George Amato, Jodi Bork, and Bryn Podolchuk; George Amato is an elder in his community.   He said in the article “we care about each other in this group.  And that’s how my people were.  They Cared. If they had one last piece of meat, they’d be sure to share half with you.  They made offerings of thanks when they killed an animal.  They took time to laugh and sing together.  That’s what we’re doing here.”

The reference files give us a glimpse into our local history, and especially now that they are digitized, are an incredibly valuable resource! If you want to see more from the Indigenous reference files, keep your eye on the blog for posts like this.

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