Residential School Community Archives: Spaces of Trauma and Community Healing

My latest collaboration with Skylee-Storm Hogan, an article titled “Residential School Archives: Spaces of Trauma and Community Healing,” is now available as a pre-print via the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies.

Here’s the abstract:
Colonial archives are sites of trauma, erasure, and grief for many marginalized communities. In Canada the vast majority of archives relating to Indigenous peoples are held by government, church, and non-Indigenous archives. Colonial archives have actively taken Indigenous culture and heritage away from communities and made it inaccessible to those who the records are about.  Many archives containing information relating to Residential Schools have just begun to grapple with the ethical and professional obligations that come from holding records that document colonial violence, abuse, death, and assimilationist practices.

This article explores the practices of the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) community archive and the ways in which the SRSC supports community healing and navigates traumatic archival records.   Since its establishment the SRSC archives has been a place of raw emotion and grief, but also a place of tremendous community strength, healing, and resilience. This article will explore the trauma associated with archives of Residential Schools and the ongoing navigation of archival spaces which embody loss and community.

“That’s my Auntie”: Community-Guided Residential School History

fountain pen writing on a page

My latest piece ““That’s my Auntie”: Community-Guided Residential School History” co-authored with the fantastic Skylee-Storm Hogan can be seen in the KULA: Knowledge Creation, Dissemination, and Preservation studies journal.

Here’s the abstract of our piece:
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called for increased access to archival material documenting the history of Residential Schools. What does this access and associated programming look like? How can archives approach sharing Residential School history in an ethical and culturally appropriate way? This project report provides examples of reciprocal approaches to archival work by drawing on a case study of the community-guided work undertaken by the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association (CSAA) and the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC).

Historical Reminiscents Podcast EP 82: Archival Challenges During Covid-19

sign saying challenges ahead

In today’s episode I’m talking about archival pandemic backlogs and pressure points that COVID-19 have created in archival settings. 

Mentioned in this episode:
-Samantha Thompson, “Why don’t archivists digitize everything?

Download or Listen Now:

Transcript of episode 82.

AAO 2021 Virtual Conference

The Archives Association of Ontario is hosting the 2021 Annual Conference virtually from May 11-14, 2021. With the theme of “Doing The Work:  From Colonial Pasts to Inclusive Futures”, the 2021 conference will offer archival workers and allied professionals the opportunity to discuss areas of archival theory and practice that address racism, colonialism, and community centered approaches to history.

I have really loved being part of the conference programme committee this year and I am thrilled to see such an awesome (in my opinion) agenda come together.

Registration for this conference is now open if you’re interested in joining us in May!

Laughter Filled the Space: Challenging Euro-Centric Archival Spaces

journal cover

My latest article, written with Skylee-Storm Hogan is now out in the International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion. Our article, “Laughter Filled the Space: Challenging Euro-Centric Archival Spaces” looks at the physical spaces of archives and the ways in which archives can be more welcoming to Indigenous peoples and Indigenous community researchers.