Indigenous family history research and a new $18 million cultural centre at Algoma University

The Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre is an archival repository and cross-cultural education centre with a special mandate to collect and preserve material relating to the legacy residential schools in Canada, healing and reconciliation, and Indigenous communities.

Last week Jenna Lemay delivered an excellent presentation on How to Research Indigenous Ancestors in Northern Ontario, hosted by the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) within Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

In the webinar, Ms. Lemay, who is a digital archives technician at SRSC, covered how to get started researching your Indigenous ancestors, what kind of records to look at and where to find them, and how to read those documents, along with many other tips and tricks you can use when carrying out research on your family history.

The recording of this webinar is now available on the SRSC_archives YouTube channel, along with other presentations, such as Historical Photographs are Health Records: Indigenous Tuberculosis History and How to Search for Residential School Records.

Canada and Ontario invest in new Indigenous Cultural Centre at Algoma University
There was other news on Friday from Algoma University.

The federal government, Ontario, and the university announced joint funding for a new Indigenous Cultural Centre at the university.

The Government of Canada is investing over $7.1 million in the project through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan. The Government of Ontario is providing more than $5.9 million, while Algoma University is contributing over $4.7 million.

The project includes renovations to the university’s East Wing building to construct Mukqua Waakaa’igan, the Anishinaabemowin name endowed to the new cultural facility. This space will serve as a venue to share and promote the culture of Indigenous peoples in Canada and showcase the work produced by children of Shingwauk residential school survivors.

The extensive archival collections of the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre will be a major feature of the new facility.

The new cultural facility will provide better access to culturally appropriate spaces for the local urban Indigenous population and surrounding rural First Nations communities. It is intended to serve as a Centre of Excellence, promote Anishinaabe culture, and help to advance the Calls to Action put forward by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Hononourable Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities and MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, said, “Algoma University’s campus is home to Shingwauk Hall, the only building left in Ontario that housed a residential school that you can visit today. The Children of Shingwauk are the survivors of this dark period in Canadian history. They have worked tirelessly to speak the truth of what occurred in Canada’s residential schools.”

He added, “This announcement is so much more than the construction of a large infrastructure project in Sault Ste. Marie. This $18 million project will house the largest set of residential school archives in the country and serve as a destination for people to learn more about our history. The project will form a critical step towards reconciliation.” 

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Posted On: May 24, 2021 at 06:12AM