Discover a sampling of photos of the Residential Schools of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
We are pleased to inform you that more than 24,000 references about money scrip (certificates) given to Métis family members were recently added online. These cancelled land scrip certificates were once issued to the Métis by the Department of the Interior in exchange for the relinquishment of certain land claims. A scrip would be issued “to the bearer” and could be applied to the purchase of, or as a down payment on, any Dominion lands open for entry in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. These scrip were awarded to Métis heads of families and their children in the amounts of $240, $160 and $80.
How to find references
- Go to the search screen for Archives Search—Advanced.
- In the drop-down menu, select “Finding aid number” and then in the box, enter 15-24.
- In the next line, select “Any Keyword” and enter a family name, in this case “Riel.”
- Click on the “Submit” button.
Explorers and travellers have long been documenting their Arctic adventures in diaries, manuscripts, maps, sketches and watercolours. Their accounts portray the Arctic as a mystical land, whose inhabitants and way of life seem unspoiled, and this imagery was further disseminated to audiences abroad with the invention of the photograph.
The following photographs are part of the Arctic Images from the Turn of the Twentieth Century exhibition presented at the National Gallery of Canada. Featuring material from Library and Archives Canada’s collections, the exhibition showcases rarely seen images, which document photographers’ travels in the Canadian north. In many cases, these images present a romanticized view of the people and places.
One of the earliest images is this photograph of a hunter, taken by George Simpson McTavish while he was stationed at the Hudson’s Bay Company at Little Whale River, Quebec, in 1865.
The majority of photographers who ventured to the Arctic regions were men, and for the most part, were employed by the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Canadian government. Geraldine Moodie was one of the few female photographers. She had a successful photography studio prior to moving north with her husband when he was posted to the North West Mounted Police station in Fullerton (Qatiktalik in Inuktitut), Nunavut. Her portrait of an Inuit widow and her children, taken around 1904, is a good example of her beautifully composed images.
The vast majority of photographs of Inuit emphasized the ethnological attitudes of the era by presenting them as “types,” such as this 1926 image of an unidentified man.
In other cases, Canadian government staff took photographs to highlight federal government initiatives and policies, such as this 1948 image of four women looking at a family allowance poster. Below it, also from Health and Welfare Canada’s Medical Services Branch, is the portrait of Bella Lyall-Wilcox carrying her baby sister, Betty Lyall-Brewster. Taken in 1949, the lighting and composition of this portrait link it aesthetically to the pictorial tradition of the majority of photographs in this exhibition.
The Arctic Images from the Turn of the Twentieth Century exhibition opened on March 14, 2014, and will continue until September 1, 2014, at the National Gallery of Canada. For more information about LAC’s photographic collections portraying Inuit and the Arctic, visit our Project Naming web page.
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce updates to the Aboriginal Heritage portal. Representing Canada’s three Aboriginal groups: the First Nations, Métis and Inuit, the portal offers material organized by cultural group and subject, as well as resources for Indian residential school research.
Whether you are a first-time or experienced researcher, the portal will be the starting point for anyone interested in Aboriginal Heritage. It offers a wealth of resources held by LAC, ranging from archival and published materials, to research guides, tools and databases. These resources include existing material, such as the Indian Affairs Annual Reports, 1864-1990, as well as a new resource called the Guide to the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada “File History Cards, 1872-1984″.
Over the coming months, new research tools will be added to the portal as they become available.
What happens when the practical also has a poetic side?
In recent months, visitors to the National Gallery of Canada have had a chance to explore the answer to this question. A series of small exhibitions of historical photographs, drawn from Library and Archives Canada’s collection, considers the aesthetic, as well as the documentary properties of images created “on-the-job” by 19th-century surveyors, public servants and engineers.
At first glance, this beautiful photograph, which was part of the past exhibition Early Exploration Photographs in Canada, seem to be exactly as labelled — a view of the Peace River in British Columbia, as it appeared during a snowstorm in October 1872. It turns out, however, that Charles Horetzky, official photographer with Sir Sandford Fleming’s Canadian Pacific Railway survey team, deliberately enhanced its dramatic effect: paint splatters were added to the image in order to create the effect of non-existent snow.
The current exhibition, Paul-Émile Miot: Early Photographs of Newfoundland, on view until February 2, 2014, includes this portrait from the 1800s, by French naval officer Paul-Émile Miot.
It was taken while surveying and mapping the coastal areas of Newfoundland — at the time, France maintained a commercial fishing interest in these waters. Though Miot was capturing the earliest known photographs of members of the Mi’kmaq Nation, the extravagant pose of his subject suggests 19th-century European romanticism.
So-called inaccuracies or created effects in 19th-century documentary photographs do not negate the worth of these images as records of past events. If anything, they add fascinating nuances of meaning to these items, as artifacts.
We invite you to stay tuned for the next exhibition, on Arctic exploration photography, opening on February 7, 2014.
Three original works of art and over 30 high-quality reproductions from the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) portrait collection are on display in the Lieutenant Governor’s Suite at Queen’s Park in Toronto until March 31, 2014. The portraits are part of About Face: Celebrated Ontarians Then and Now, an exhibition developed by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario in collaboration with LAC. These historical and modern portraits represent men and women from a wide range of cultural backgrounds and walks of life, who helped shape the Ontario of today.
This rare portrait of Maun-gua-daus, for example, is one of the earliest photographs of an aboriginal person in LAC’s collection. A member of the Ojibway nation, Maun-gua-daus was educated by Methodist missionaries and served as a mission worker and interpreter in Upper Canada (now Ontario). From 1845 to 1848, he took part in a tour of England, France and Belgium, demonstrating the ritual, dance and sport found in Ojibway culture. This photograph was probably taken during that tour, in about 1846. It was made using the daguerreotype process, the first method widely used for producing photographic images.
An iconic portrait of figure skater Barbara Ann Scott was taken in 1946 by another notable Ontarian, Yousuf Karsh. At the time, the young lady from Ottawa was a Canadian national champion, but had yet to win a European championship and a world figure-skating title. Scott became “Canada’s sweetheart” and Olympic gold-medal champion in 1948, at the age of 19. In this photograph, Karsh frames the skater’s youthful face in what appears to be a saintly halo.
Come see for yourself! Contact the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Queen’s Park to arrange a viewing of the exhibition.
Aboriginal peoples have a long tradition of military service in Canada dating back several centuries. Although not legally required to participate in the war, an estimated 4,000 Status Indians, and an unrecorded number of Métis and Inuit enlisted voluntarily and served with the Canadian Corps in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF).
Almost all of the young men on many reserves enlisted for service. For example, approximately half of the eligible Mi’kmaq and Maliseet from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia volunteered for overseas duty. In other provinces, the number was even higher. In the small Saskatchewan community of File Hills, nearly all of the eligible men signed up to fight.
A number of Aboriginal men who served in the CEF became snipers or scouts. Private Henry Norwest, a Métis from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, was one of the most famous snipers. Another proficient sniper was Corporal Francis Pegahmagabow, an Ojibwa from Parry Island Band, near Parry Sound, Ontario. Three-time recipient of the British Military Medal and two bars, Corporal Pegahmagabow was the most highly decorated Aboriginal soldier of the First World War. Lieutenant Cameron D. Brant, from the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve near Brantford, Ontario, enlisted only three days after the Germans declared war on August 4, 1914. He died from poisonous gas during the Second Battle of Ypres, Belgium, in April 1915. Another Aboriginal man who served in the war was Olympic runner Tom Longboat, also from the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve.
Aboriginal women also made great sacrifices and played significant roles working behind the battle scenes. Nurse Edith Anderson, a Mohawk from the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve, joined the Army Nurse Corps of the American Expeditionary Forces, and worked at an American hospital base in Vittel, France. Most of her work involved caring for patients who had been shot or gassed.
The exact number of Aboriginal soldiers who lost their lives during the First World War is not known. It is estimated that at least 300 men were killed during battles or died from illness, such as tuberculosis.
October 7, 2013, marks the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, issued by King George III of Britain. With the end of the Seven Years War, Great Britain took possession of all North American territories east of the Mississippi River. The Royal Proclamation was a key legal document for the British to organize and manage their expanded North American empire.
The Royal Proclamation regulated the expansion of the newly ceded colonies of Québec, East Florida, West Florida and Grenada, and stabilized relations with Aboriginal peoples through the regulation of trade, settlement and land purchases on the frontier. It also set a boundary for European settlement, known as the “proclamation line”, along the Appalachian Mountains. Land along rivers flowing into the Atlantic Ocean would be available for European settlers, while territory along rivers flowing into the Mississippi would remain First Nations’ lands. The proclamation line was to be temporary and extend westward in an organized manner.
The Royal Proclamation became the constitutional framework for the negotiation of Indian treaties in British North America. It recognized Aboriginal peoples as autonomous and capable of negotiating agreements with the Crown. The document also acknowledged that First Nations are entitled to continue owning their territories, including hunting and fishing grounds, until they surrendered them to the Crown. The first attempt to enforce the treaty took place north of the Great Lakes and resulted in the Treaty of Fort Niagara on August 1, 1764.
To learn more and to read a full transcription of the Royal Proclamation, consult the web page, 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s website.
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the release of its latest podcast episode: Canada’s Royal Winter Game.
Author and hockey expert Paul Kitchen joins us to discuss the origins of the game, its evolution, and what our love for it says about the Canadian character. Mr. Kitchen also speaks to us about the wealth of hockey-related resources held by LAC.
Subscribe to podcast episodes using RSS or iTunes, or just tune in at: Podcast – Discover Library and Archives Canada: Your History, Your Documentary Heritage.
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the launch of the online toolkit Wahkotowin—Aboriginal Imprints in Canadian Heritage, on the new Aboriginal Heritage portal.
The toolkit gives access to the significant stories of numerous Aboriginal individuals and communities across Canada and streamlines digital content from LAC‘s databases, virtual exhibitions and digitized resources through a single portal.
Wahkotowin is a Cree-Michif term that embodies the notion of “kinship” in the context of identity, relationships and shared histories.
This first toolkit introduces the Métis, one of three Aboriginal groups in Canada, and Louis Riel, one of Canada’s most talked about and controversial figures.
Through Wahkotowin, you can follow the lives of Aboriginal people, places and events, and connect to our shared history, culture, heritage and identity.
For more information on recent announcements at LAC, visit “News“.