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Woodland Cultural Centre (Virtual): [Archives Alive] Digital Access and Indigenous Histories: Supporting Self-Determination and Historical Research in Community
January 17 @ 12:00 pm
The year 1924 marked a dramatic change in politics in Six Nations of the Grand River. That year, under the authority of the Indian Act, and with the support of a small number of community members, an Elected Band Council was established. In October 2024, Woodland Cultural Centre will open a new exhibition which seeks to better understand the pressures and priorities in Six Nations of the Grand River that led to this dramatic change in governance. The exhibition will connect archival records, oral histories, Indigenous languages, and the perspectives of youth to better understand historical and contemporary debates about who represents the community and what governance should look like in the future.
McMaster University Library’s Archives and Research Collections houses important clues to understanding this time in the papers of A.G. Chisholm, a lawyer who served the community for about 40 years, first working for the Confederacy (traditional governance system) and later the Band Council (elected system). He tirelessly researched and sought reparations for loss of land due to flooding of the Grand River and loss of trust fund dollars through mismanagement by government officials. Through his papers, we gain a better understanding of some of the pressures that Six Nations was facing in 1924.
Woodland Cultural Centre Guest Curator Heather George will join McMaster University archivist Gillian Dunks to discuss the importance of digital access to archival records for George’s work on the 1924 exhibition, highlighting key finds from the A.G. Chisholm fonds and connecting them to other archival collections globally.