Archives of Ontario Family Ties Exhibit

Yesterday the Archives of Ontario launched their sesquicentennial exhibit Family Ties: Ontario Turns 150Running until 2018 the exhibit looks at 150 years of Ontario and what Ontario was like at the point of confederation.  The onsite exhibit focuses on four family groups in Ontario during the confederation era.  One of those family groups is the Shingwauk family.  The exhibit section which focuses on the Shingwauk family and the Shingwauk Indian Residential School contains artifacts and images from the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC).

I couldn’t be happier about the SRSC content being included in this type of commemorative and educational exhibit.  Thousands of visitors and students will learn about the Shingwauk family through this exhibit and the Archives of Ontario educational programming.

Here’s a Storify of last night’s live tweet of the opening by the Archives of Ontario


AAO 2014: Treaty 9 Travels to Northern Ontario

This is the final post summarizing my experience at the AAO 2014 conference. The first post, “AAO 2014: Context and Commemoration” can be seen here

 Closing Plenary
The closing plenary of AAO 2014 was titled “Archives Roadshow: The Journey of the James Bay Treaty to Northern Ontario” and featured talks by Paul Mcllroy, Shannon Coles, and Lani Wilson all of the Archives of Ontario.

Their combined presentations focused on the history of the James Bay Treaty (also known as Treaty 9), the impact of the treaty of past and current events, and the challenges associated with preparing the treaty to be loaned to the Moose Factory community.  Almost 108 years after the Treaty was signed in the Moose Factory area the historical document was exhibited returned to the Mushkegowuk territory for display.  The treaty was on display as part of the Treaty 9 Conference hosted by Mushkegowuk Tribal Council from July 31st to August 1st 2013.

Mcllroy opened the plenary by discussing the unique nature of Treaty 9 and the signing tour that was undertaken to gather community signatures on the document.  Treaty 9 is the only numbered treaty that has a province as a signatory and the Ontario government has been closely tied to the administration of the treaty. A detailed history of Treaty 9 compiled by the Archives of Ontario can be found here.

Cole’s portion of the presentation provided an in-depth look at the conservation efforts required to prepare Treaty 9 for travel from Toronto to Moose Factory.  She did an excellent job of breaking down the conversation concerns around the document and explaining why particular conservation treatments were used. It was interesting to see what specific challenges the parchment document presented and how specially designed cases were built for the project.

The presentation concluded with Lani Wilson discussing her experience coordinating the trip to Moose Factory and traveling with the document to the remote community.  She explained the challenges in arranging air travel to a remote community and adapting crates to weight restrictions on the small planes.  Wilson also described the desire of the host communities to have as many people as possible see the treaty while it was in Moose Factory and the emotional impact it had on the community.  Some of the descendents of the original signatories to the treaty were in attendance and participated in the event.

This was a great concluding plenary that focused on an important historical document and work being done to make it accessible to the communities it has historically and presently impacts. 

Upcoming Events

The Canadian history and heritage fields have a busy couple of weeks ahead of them. There are number of national and provincial conferences being held, as well as a few smaller workshops and online events.

  • The Canadian Library Association annual conference is currently (May 25th to May 28th) being held in Halifax. The program can be found here and a number of participants are tweeting there impressions under the hashtag #CLA2011.
  • The Canadian Historical Association is holding its annual conference in conjunction with the 2011 Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences, from May 30th to June 1st.
  • The Association of Canadian Archivists’ (ACA) 2011 conference will be held in Toronto from June 2 to June 4, 2011. The complete program is available online and the conference hashtag is #ACA2011
  • June 1st is this month’s #builtheritage twitter chat. This month’s focus is on local engagement.
  • This year’s Ontario Heritage Conference is being held in Coburg, June 3rd-June 5th. The theme of the conference is “Creating the Will” and the conference schedule can be seen here.
  • June 15-17th is the Ontario Archives Association conference, which is being held in Thunder Bay this year. The full program is available online.
  • Doors and trails open events are also occurring in communities throughout Ontario.

I will be attending the ACA conference next week. I am particularly looking forward to two sessions focusing on the issues surrounding the archival preservation of Indigenous heritage. I am also planning to use twitter to follow some of the other conferences that I am unable to attend.

Main Street Sudbury, circa 1910

This week’s Northern Ontario historical image is of the Main Street of Sudbury, circa 1910. The image is from the Archives of Ontario and is part of the Photographs of the Audio-Visual Education Branch series.

The Archives of Ontario also holds a number of historical maps of the communities within the Sudbury district. Many of these communities were eventually amalgamated to form the City of Greater Sudbury in 2001. The majority of these maps can be found in the Parent plans series, which contains maps showing the status of crown land from circa 1785 to 1970.