Library and Archives Canada Launches Portal for Residental Schools 1885-1996

The following is from the Library and Archives Canada website:

St. Joseph's Indian Industrial School, High River, Alberta, ca. 1896.
St. Joseph’s Indian Industrial School, High River, Alberta, ca. 1896.

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is launching a single portal to provide access to photos related to Residential Schools, taken between 1885 and 1996. Some 150,000 Aboriginal children attended over 130 residential schools located across the country.

The first set of published photos comprises about 65 images associated with the Residential Schools of Alberta. LAC will add photos for the other provinces and territories as they become available. The Residential Schools Photos page will make it easy to select the province or territory of your choice, and save or print the images you wish to view.

Check it out.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

Online Historic Digitized Canadian Newspapers

Bowling Green State University has links to digitized Canadian newspapers that are freely available on the Internet. The site is broken down into eleven tabs covering the twelve Canadian provinces.

They are:

Many Thanks to Cyndi Howells for posting these at and bringing them to my attention.

Stories & Pictures Wanted for a History Book of the Town of Hanna, Alberta

Hanna Sod house in Hanna, Albertawas founded as a village in 1912 and while it has a museum, the town is lacking a proper archive.

Ed Jensen and a centennial committee are trying to co-ordinate another historic book on Hanna, which will include the history of residents who called Hanna home.

It’s going to be a history of the town and we’d like the family histories in there as well,” Jensen said. “The last book we did was Historic Hanna. It never had any family histories though.”

Photographs, stories, and pieces of the past — they are all wanted.

He wants the personal stories grandfathers tell their grandchildren. Write them down, and give them to Mary McKay at the library. All submissions, photos, and writing will be treated with care, and returned in the same condition it was submitted in, advised Jensen. Photographs and stories can be mailed to Hanna History Book, Box 69, Hanna, AB, T0J 1P0.

Read the full article by Bromley A. Chamberlain, published December 30, 2010 in the Hanna Herald.

Ontario Adoption Records to Open on June 1

On the first of June, Ontario will join the other Canadian Provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Labrador, and Newfoundland in opening their adoption records. Although the government has given adoptees as well as birth parents the ability to opt-out of having their records disclosed, thus far only about 2500 (equally split between birth parents and adoptees) have done so.

As of April, nearly 1,100 people had requested “no contact,” while over 1,500 had requested conditions to any reunion. However, the vast majority seem willing to allow reunions to happen.

The new law gives both sides of an adoption equal access to birth information for the 250,000 adoptions registered in Ontario since 1921.

For more information, see Erin Anderson’s article in the May 27, 2009 edition of the Globe and Mail.

Note that Manitoba is considering following in Ontario’s footsteps on the issue. Although their adoption records are open from 1999, earlier records are more difficult to obtain. See the short article and audio file on the CJOB radio website. Announces World-first Online Launch of 1916 Manitoba, Saskatchewan & Alberta

The following was written by staff:

canada1916censusMore than 1.7 million names indexed and fully searchable – 38,000+ images of original documents

In a world first,, Canada’s leading family history website, today launched online the 1916 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, which contains 1.7 million names and more than 38,000 images of original Census pages in an indexed and fully searchable format.

From 1906 to 1956, a separate Census was taken for the Prairie provinces five years after every national Census, providing a more complete picture of Canada’s west at this time. By law, the collection was kept private for 92 years and this is the first time ever that Canadians can view these important records online.

Family and social history enthusiasts can search the collection by first and last name, residence, place and year of birth, by father, mother and spouse’s name. This Census was also the first ever in Canada to ask about military service, providing much more detailed information about one’s ancestors.

In addition to recording basic population and demographic statistics, the Census recorded primary migrant communities, which originated from England, Ireland, Scotland, the U.S. and Russia. In fact, 1916 was the year that the famous Doukhobors – a group of Christian Russian immigrants that would come to play a great role in building the Prairies – first arrived in Alberta.

Karen Peterson, Marketing Director,, comments: “The 1916 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta is a fascinating and valuable snapshot of the Canadian Prairies and the people living there during a time of tremendous significance in the shaping of our country.

“Not only are Census records one of the most vital resources for family history researchers but they help paint a picture of the times in which these people lived and the many challenges they overcame.”

1916 was a milestone year in Canada’s history, especially in the Prairies. On January 28, women in Manitoba were finally given the right to vote; this was the first time that right was granted in Canada, and thanks to the efforts of great women such as Nellie McClung, who appears in the 1916 Census living in Edmonton, Alberta.

It was also in 1916 that Canadian troops fought in some of the most significant battles of the First World War – the Battle of Mont Sorrel and the Battle of the Somme, in which Canada’s heroic role helped pave the way for a future Allied victory.

Many Canadians will be able to find ancestors in this collection and Census records are excellent for narrowing down individuals and families in a particular place and time. But family history enthusiasts can also scan the 1916 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta to see if they are related to notable Canadians from the Prairie Provinces, including:

Nellie McClung – One of the most important leaders of Canada’s first wave of feminism, she is still remembered for her role in the women’s suffrage movement. McClung appears in the Census living in Edmonton with her husband Robert and their five children.

Tom Three Persons – A famous Blackfoot Indian bronco rider, he broke many bronco records and was the first native person to be the world’s bucking horse champion. Persons appears in the Census living with his wife, Wolf Long Face, on the Alberta Blood Indian reserve near Hanna, Alberta.

Chief David Crowchild – As a young adult, Crowchild worked in the rodeos and at Indian fairs in Alberta. He became a Chief in 1946 and stood as the Tsuu T’ina People’s leader for seven years from 1946 to 1953. He appears in the Census living with his parents on the Sarcee Indian Reserve near Edmonton, Alberta.

Sarah Ramsland – Born in Minnesota, Ramsland moved to Buchanan, Saskatchewan after she was married and became famous for being the first woman elected to the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan. She is found in the Census living with her two children and husband, Max.

W. O. Mitchell – A famous author of novels, short stories and plays, he was born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan in 1914 and later settled in High River, Alberta. Mitchell is best known for his 1947 novel, Who Has Seen The Wind, which has sold close to a million copies in Canada. Two year-old William Ormond Mitchell appears in the Census living with his parents and older brother John, in Weyburn.

William “Bible Bill” Aberhart – Born in Kippen, Ontario in 1878, he later moved to Calgary, Alberta to teach. Called “Bible Bill” for his religious preaching, Aberhart helped found the Social Credit Party, which had power from 1935 to 1971. During this time he served as the Premier of Alberta, Minister of Education and Attorney General. He appears in the Census living in Calgary with his wife and two children.

The 1916 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta is available through a 14-day Free Trial at The data is also available to those having World Deluxe memberships.