Finding Memory: Highlights from the Indigenous Reference files

SPRA 510.12.17.007 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 first story is from a newspaper clipping from May 13, 1948. Mrs. Florence Calliou gave birth to a baby girl on Mother’s Day in the Grande Prairie Municipal Hospital after a long journey with her husband and two-year-old son. The journey began with a one hundred and twenty mile (193 KM) walk to reach Fort Nelson, which took eight days. Mrs. Calliou explained that the snow was still very deep where they were travelling through even though it was May! After their long walking journey, they got on a plane to Grande Prairie and traveled four-hundred miles (643 KM) in less than an hour. The baby was born shortly after their arrival to Grande Prairie and Dr. A. M. Carlisle said the baby was in good shape (SPRA 510.12.17.007).

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, stay tuned to the blog for posts like this.

Other stories:

510.12.17.006  – 510.12.18.015

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