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

Photograph: Awaiting Her Lord’s Return, 1906.  SPRA 155.02.16

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.

This photo (SPRA 155.02.16) is captioned “Aboriginal woman and child at the door of a teepee on the prairie.” The photograph is part of the Bezanson Family fonds; in 1906, Ancel Maynard Bezanson made his first trip to the Peace River Country.  Bezanson documented his trip through photos and notes and in 1907 he published The Peace River Trail, using many of the photographs taken on his first trip.  This photo was taken during his initial trip.  This woman in this photo is not identified in our records.

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