We acknowledge with respect that the South Peace Regional Archives is located on the ancestral and traditional lands of many Indigenous peoples. This territory is covered by Treaty 8, signed in 1899. The continuing relationship between Indigenous peoples and this land contributes to the rich knowledge and culture of the South Peace region.
We are grateful to serve the people on this land and honour the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The South Peace Regional Archives completed a major project in May 2021 to identify, describe, and digitize Indigenous related records held within the collection, thanks to funding from Library and Archives Canada. This Indigenous records research guide includes a list of archival collections, or fonds, we identified during the project as containing records that are Indigenous related. This research guide also includes resources that were not involved in the project but will be beneficial for conducting research on local Indigenous Peoples and histories. This includes lists on our Indigenous related library books, reference files, Telling Our Stories magazine articles, and a few external resources.
Fonds are collections of records that were donated by one family, organization, or individual. Fonds within our collection contain an assortment of records including photographs, correspondence, videos, financial records, meeting minutes, diaries, scrapbooks, oral history recordings, maps, land surveys, and lots more.
If you are interested in learning about records from fonds that belong to Indigenous individuals and families we recommended reading the finding aids for the fonds listed below:
- Fonds 179- Mary Belcourt Davis fonds
- Fonds 484- Davis, Hodgson, Coulter fonds
- Fonds 635- Klukas family fonds
- Fonds 660- Kirkness – Steinhauer – Testawich Family fonds
If you are interested in viewing fonds with large amounts of Indigenous related records we recommend reading the finding aids for these fonds:
- Fonds 001- Pioneer Museum Society of Grande Prairie & District fonds
- Fonds 002- Beth Sheehan fonds
- Fonds 007- Spirit of the Peace fonds
- Fonds 023- Lubicon Lake Indian Nation Research collection
- Fonds 190- Panda Camera fonds
To see a complete list of fonds that have been identified as containing Indigenous related records, please click here.
The South Peace Regional Archives Society publishes a quarterly, multi-page magazine that includes submissions and stories from Archives’ staff, volunteers, and members of the public. The magazine, titled “Telling Our Stories,” is filled with 1-2 page articles about records from the South Peace Regional Archives holdings, and history from the South Peace Region, that relates to one specific topic per magazine. Some Indigenous related articles from past Telling Our Stories issues include:
- Volume 9, Issue 3 (June 2018)
- National Indigenous History Month
- Volume 10, Issue 4 (September 2019)
- “Treaty and Land: The Foundations of Settlement and Settler Culture”
- Volume 11, Issue 1 (December 2019)
- “Babies in the Backwoods”
- Volume 11, Issue 4 (September 2020)
- “Truth and Technology: Exploring Opportunities and Challenges for Reconciliation”
To see a complete list of past Telling Our Stories articles about Indigenous Peoples and Communities please click here.
The South Peace Regional Archives Reference Library is a fantastic resource for conducting research. Our library holds over 1300 books on a wide variety of topics. We have many books about Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous communities, researching Indigenous genealogy, and Reconciliation. If you are interested in learning more about these Indigenous topics, and more, below is a list of some of our books that you may find most beneficial for your research.
- Tracing Your Aboriginal Ancestors in the Prairie Provinces: A Guide to the Records and How to Use Them. Saskatchewan Genealogical Society.
- Aboriginal Archival Records at the Provincial Archives of Alberta: An Annotated Guide. Provincial Archives of Alberta.
- Metis Families Vol. 1- 11. Gail Morin.
- Indigenous Relations: Insights Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality. Bob Joseph with Cynthia F Joseph.
- 21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality. Bob Joseph.
- Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada- Volume One: Summary. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
- A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools From the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (Edited & Abridged). Forward by Phil Fontaine.
To see a complete list of our library books about Indigenous Peoples and their history please click here.
The South Peace Regional Archives Reference File collection is made up of 29 different series that each contain pamphlets and newspaper clippings from the South Peace Region on a variety of topics including, but not limited to: Arts, Environment and Nature, Industry, Law and Justice, Public Events, and Women. One of these series is Indigenous, it is made up of 22 sub-series that each relate to a certain topic that relates to Indigenous Peoples. Some of these sub-series include:
- SubSeries 510.12.03 IND- Beaver First Nation. — 1700. — 1 cm of textual records.
- Written histories and copies of photographs.
- SubSeries 510.12.04 IND- Cree First Nation. — 1700. — 1 cm of textual records.
- Written histories and copies of photographs.
- SubSeries 510.12.08 IND- Family Histories. — 1892 -. — 1 cm of textual records.
- Lists of families and the local history books they are recorded in.
- SubSeries 510.12.09 IND- Friendship Centre. — 1965 -. — 1 cm of textual records.
- News clippings and papers about the Friendship Centre buildings and activities, and a copy of the constitution.
- SubSeries 510.12.12 IND- Land Claims. — 1989. — 1 cm of textual records.
- News clippings about land claims by Metis, Lubicons, Sturgeon Lake, Woodland Cree, and others.
- SubSeries 510.12.14 IND- Metis. — 1913. — 1 cm of textual records.
- Lists of early news articles, news clippings, and newsletters about life in the Metis communities.
To see a complete list of the Indigenous reference files, please click here.
The SPRA does not have a large collection about or from a residential school in our vault. A number of photographs and two oral histories that are part of larger collections have been identified as related to residential schools. An inventory of these items is included here.
The following resources might help you find information related to residential schools or other information you are looking for:
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
- Library and Archives Canada Residential School Guide
- The Oblates of Mary Immaculate Fonds at the PAA
- Archdiocese of Grouard-Mclennan
For a guide on how to research a specific Indigenous individual using the South Peace Regional Archives website, please click here for step-by-step instructions alongside examples of research results.