Local History Project

The Northern Lights Library System is dedicating time and resources towards a project that seeks to engage and build relationships with Indigenous individuals and communities. The intention is to create a more inclusive library system that makes space for Metis, First Nation and Inuit voices. The Northern Lights Library System deals with the collection, storage and access of literary, audio and digital information, and seeks to use these capabilities to assist in recording and archiving local Indigenous stories and history.

The Northern Lights Library System is NOT interested in obtaining copyright or ownership of the stories or interviews collected. Legal copyright remains with the author or storyteller. It is our intention to create a space on our website where stories and images can be passed on, made available or directly accessed by all community members.

To learn more or to contribute to this project, please contact the Northern Lights Library System in Elk Point, Alberta, at 780-724-2596

Story Category Guide

Local History Project 2017

Making Space for Indigenous Perspectives

The following categories and descriptions may be used as a guide to help you determine if your story fits the project.

Young Indigenous Voices

History is in the making as we speak. These are exciting times for Indigenous people with the creation of social movements like Idle No More and the cultural re-awakening and reclaiming happening in Indigenous communities. In mainstream society, change is slowly happening as well. For example, the Canadian education system, from kindergarten to University, is changing to include and reflect Indigenous worldviews. This space is for youth to share their story, to describe present-day experiences or to celebrate what gives them strength and hope.

Local History from a Metis Perspective

This is space for those who said, “please come, record us so this information won’t be lost when we die”. The old people have stories to share about music, the land, the politics and living at a time without electricity, running water or Wi-Fi. Stories from the Metis perspective will be available here.

Local History from a First Nations Perspective

For many First Nation communities, oral history is a method and practice of passing on knowledge and it has been an effective approach for thousands of years. In fact, some knowledge is only passed down this way. Thus, stories are not “just stories”, as they might be considered by the non-Indigenous community, and some have rules and protocol around usage and are not meant to be recorded. This space is for those who understand the delicate balance of sharing some stories and keeping others in the original oral and experiential format. It was explained to me in this way, “protocol is important to ensure reciprocity in our learning and to be mindful of balance between the teaching and how we hold sacred the space”.

Historically, stories from within this geographical area were told from the perspective of white people, we hope this space will create an opportunity to hear historical accounts from the perspective of Indigenous people.

Untold stories

This space is for human interest stories that recognize it was Indigenous concepts of sharing and hospitality that allowed settlers a peaceful migration to the area. These narratives will include themes of mutual respect, cooperation, and collaboration between neighbours. This space is for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous authors.

Contract/Consent Form - Local History Project 2017

To access a copy of the consent form please click on the link: Contract-consent

Local History Project

Gilbert Fayant, Fishing Lake, Alberta.

Click on the link below to hear Mr. Fayant recall how his family came to live in Fishing Lake from Batoche. A few photos provided by Mr. Fayant accompany the audio.

Gibert Fayant 17