Archives staff are busy today printing the June issue of Telling Our Stories! This issue celebrates National Indigenous History Month and will be mailed to Archives’ members next week. Stay tuned!
Please note that the South Peace Regional Archives will be closed on Friday 11 May for a meeting. Thank you for your understanding!
MAY 7 UPDATE:
Effective Monday May 7th, the Archives has reopened to the public. We thank the community for their patience and continued support.
The South Peace Regional Archives has activated its Emergency Response Plan to ensure the safety of our personnel and collections. The Archives will remain closed to the public until further notice.
For up to date news from the City of Grande Prairie, visit: www.cityofgp.com
The South Peace Regional Archives Society recently formed The Indigenous Peoples History Committee to take action in response to the Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action for Archives. Our initial response was to conduct a search for any records related to Indian Residential Schools within our holdings.
Besides a few photographs, we found very little material to document this part of our collective past. We also noted that we have very few collections representing Indigenous people, families, or communities. However, something interesting did turn up: records related to Indigenous people are scattered throughout many of the collections in our care.
This find expanded the scope of our search.
As a first step, we are completing a broad survey of the records in our care. The purpose of the survey is to identify collections that may hold documents related to Indigenous communities and people, including residential schools. This initial survey is nearly complete. With the help of research volunteers, we are embarking on an in-depth search of these collections to find as many of these scattered records as possible.
Future plans include creating school kits, an online searchable database, displays, and a final report of our findings to submit to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Stay tuned as we unearth find these” lost” records from our past.
Top Image: Plan of Flying Shot Lake Settlement in Township 71, Range 6, West of the Sixth Meridian in the Province of Alberta, produced by the Department of the Interior and compiled from official surveys by J.B. St. Cyr, DLS, on August 20, 1907. The plan shows lots, location of houses and stables, including the buildings of Harry & Maude Clifford on the west side of the lake. Flying Shot Lake was home to a large population of Métis families. SPRA 0437.01.01 J. B. Oliver Funeral Home collection.
“The Spirit of Grande Prairie”, owned by the Trumpeter Swan Balloon Club and later by the Grande Prairie Hot Air Balloon Events Assoc., flew in many Provincial and National Hot Air Balloon Championships. SPRA 0263.02.01 Grande Prairie Hot Air Balloon Events, Assoc. fonds.
An interesting research request arrived on our desks last week: Do we have any balloon airmail commemorative covers from the Hot Air Balloon Championships held in Grande Prairie in the 1980s and 1990s? A good question that led to a few others, most notably – was that really a thing?
Yes it was. Expo ’67 sparked the first air balloon flights in Canada. And according to our researcher from the Canadian Aerophilatelic Society, it was a thing up here in Grande Prairie during our Air Ballooning heydays.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that we have two collections related to ballooning in Grande Prairie, we have come up empty handed in our search for hot air balloon commemorative covers. The Trumpeter Swan Balloon Club fonds and the Grande Prairie Hot Air Balloon Events Assoc. fonds both have detailed records related to planning, memberships, and events but nothing about balloon airmail. We are calling on you dear readers for assistance.
If you have any commemorative covers from local balloon flights and are willing to donate the original items or a digital version, please contact us. We would be happy just to see one.
The Archives will be closed on Friday 30 March for the Easter holidays. We will be open for our normal business hours on Monday 2 April.
Photograph: SPRA 362.02.08.035, Darwin tulips, 1925
The South Peace Regional Archives Society of Friends of the South Peace Regional Archives Society invites you to attend…
2018 Annual General Meeting
Saturday, March 24th, 10am
Archives Community Room
10329 101 Ave
FREE public parking across the footbridge
The AGM will include:
The Archives is currently seeking applications for the temporary position of Archives Assistant (Student).
The purpose of the South Peace Regional Archives Society is to encourage the appreciation and study of the history of the South Peace River area by acquiring, preserving, and making accessible to the public, records that reflect the cultural, social, economic and political history of this area. The Archives Assistant (Student) contributes to that purpose by providing public education regarding the importance of archives, and processing archival records so that they are available for public research.
Visit www.SouthPeaceArchives.org/careers for eligibility criteria and application information. The Archives Assistant (Student) position is contingent on funding from the Young Canada Works Program.
Your wedding is a celebration, and sharing the day with family and friends is important. There are many unique ideas to honour loved ones, both past and present, on your special day.
One way to make your family history part of the wedding day is to use, alter, or repurpose your mother’s or grandmother’s wedding dress. Take a piece of the dress and incorporate it into your wedding dress, bridal sash or headpiece, jewelry, a clutch, or attach the lace onto the bouquet or garter.
You can also use, alter, or repurpose your father’s or grandfather’s suit. Wear the same tie, pocket square, or cuff links they wore on their wedding day.
Use stones from a family heirloom or family wedding ring(s) in the ceremony. Wear family heirlooms like jewelry, watches, or a bridal headpiece.
Recreate your parent’s entire wedding cake, incorporate details from their cake into yours, or use their cake topper.
There are so many unique ways to make your wedding day special for you and your loved ones. Check out the March 2018 issue of Telling Our Stories for more ideas.
The South Peace Regional Archives would be happy to assist you in safely storing your photographs and documents. If you donate or loan for copy your family records to the archives, you can easily access the items and help preserve your family history.
Image: In 1949 a second floor was added to the Grande Prairie Municipal Hospital, almost doubling the bed space. (SPRA 1969.42.01.6, Alberta Association of Registered Nurses fonds)
Science and technology records are often in short supply in a small, regional archive. This is certainly true at the SPRA where the Smoky West Rural Electrification Association Ltd. Fonds, the Bear Hill Rural Electrification Association fonds, and the Grande Prairie Electric Co. fonds, which sound all power resource science-y, generally contain records related to administration and membership. The same is true for collections containing records related to medicine including the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses, Chapter 13, fonds, Tangent Municipal Nursing Society fonds, and Wanham Municipal Nursing Service fonds, as well as a few doctors’ records, tend to be administrative or related to family and social life.
One fonds with a solid chunk of material is the Peace River Archaeology Society fonds. It contains administrative records, newspaper clippings, and newsletters. The science-y part is the Project series which contains slides, negatives, and field notes for the Grande Prairie Inventory in 1985, the Birch Hills Survey in 1987, and the Peace Project in 1991. These records help share the stories the land has to tell about its history. Al Martin’s recent donation of records related to his and Doug Cottrell’s work as land assessors adds to those stories. The donation includes 5 metres (10 banker boxes) of documents including manuals, farm guides, soil surveys, and related histories as well as three maps. We are very excited to be able to include this material in our collections, especially as the land has played and continues to play a big part in writing the history of the people in this region.