Renaming the Past, Reclaiming Their Stories: Indigenous Records at the South Peace Regional Archives

(above: Christ Church Mission. 1906. SPRA 0157.20a Part of Jessie & Robert Holmes fonds)

The South Peace Regional Archives initiated a survey of the region’s holdings in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) call to actions to locate records within their holdings related to Indian Residential Schools. We found very few records related to residential schools, but we did find several records related to Indigenous people and communities in our region. We decided to expand the scope of our research to look for any records related to Indigenous peoples within our holdings.

Thanks to the efforts of staff and volunteers, we now have a small database of material to share. While we pursue avenues of access, we would like to start sharing some of these images and documents.

The postcard featured above depicts a walk a winter walk to the Mission Church. The caption on the back reads:

“Christ Church, Shaftsbury Peace River, 1906. Old Nookom over 90 and walk every Sunday to Church 5 mile. Many years ago when going to church, she was met by a bear. Nookom climbed up a tree & the bear climbed up after her as far as he could & chewed her heel off. I have seen her foot. Every after she always carried a knife in her belt.”

This is a wonderful local story, possibly written by Jessie Holmes, wife of the minister at Christ Church. It would be more wonderful if we knew who “Nookom” was. If you have any idea who this woman might be, we would love to hear from you.  Please contact us at or 780-830-5105.

Christ Church Mission. 1906. SPRA 0157.20b (reverse of top image) Part of Jessie & Robert Holmes fonds.

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