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

Photograph: McArthur’s Store, Sturgeon Heights, [ca. 1935]. SPRA

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 caption of this photo (SPRA describes it as “A First Nations man and his dogsled team outside of McArthur’s store in Sturgeon Heights. The McArthurs also had a store in DeBolt. Used in “Across the Smoky,” p. 286.”  This photo is part of DeBolt & District Pioneer Museum Society fonds; the Museum Society published the local history book “Across the Smoky” in 1978.  Neither the book nor our description has any information about the identity of the man in this photo.

If you have any stories you’d like to share that would help us discover who this man is, we would love to hear them! Please contact us at or 780-830-5105 to let us know any memories or information you have.

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