Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre
|Location||East Wing, Algoma University, Sault Ste Marie, Ontario|
The Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) is an archival repository and cross-cultural education centre within Algoma University with a special mandate to collect and preserve material relating to the legacy residential schools in Canada, healing and reconciliation, and Indigenous communities. The Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre is jointly governed by Algoma University and the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association. It is a partner with the Engracia de Jesus Matias Archives and Special Collections which is also located at Algoma University.
The Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre developed out of the Shingwauk Project initiative.
The Shingwauk Project was started in 1979 by Algoma University professor Don Jackson and numerous local partners including: Lloyd Bannerman of Algoma University College, Ron Boissoneau of Garden River First Nation, Dan Pine Sr. a residential school survivor and member of Garden River First Nation, and many other former students of the Shingwauk and Wawanosh Indian Residential Schools. The Shingwauk Project was established as a cross-cultural educational and cross-cultural research project which aims to acknowledge the legacy of residential schools and bring to the forefront the history of the Shingwauk Indian Residential School.
Since 1979 the Shingwauk Project has under taken numerous projects in the spirit of 'healing, sharing, and learning.' These projects have included hosting residential school reunions, the creation of historical pamphlets, educational displays, offering guided tours of the Shingwauk site, and the establishment of an archive, library and heritage collections that would become the foundation for the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre.
Establishment of an Archive
The collection of archival material under the auspices of the Shingwauk Project began in 1981 at the first Shingwauk reunion. This event invited former students and staff of the Shingwauk Indian Residential School to return to the Shingwauk site and discuss their experiences. Many of the attendees brought with them documents and photographs that they wished to share with others. The result was the establishment of an informal archive. This grassroots archival effort evolved into the formal archival holdings of the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre.
From 2010-2012 the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre archival holdings underwent significant changes and began the process of professionalization. This process included the hiring of dedicated archival staff, creating digital records, and applying the Canadian Rules for Archival Description to the archival holdings. In 2013 these efforts were recognized by the Archives Association of Ontario at which time the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre and Algoma University's Arthur A. Wishart Library received the Archives Association of Ontario Institutional Award. In 2013 the archives were also the recipient of the Project of the Year award from the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre's SMMARt Innovation Awards.
- Don Jackson, 1979-2010
- Co-Directors Ken Hernden and Don Jackson, 2010-2012
- Jonathan Dewar, 2012-2016
- Co-Directors Ken Hernden and Don Jackson, 2016-2018
- Elizabeth Edgar-Wekamigad, 2018-Present
The Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre logo evolved out of the Shingwauk Project logo. The image of the cane was selected for the original logo because of Chief Shingwauk's connection the crane. He was a member of the crane clan and his dodem was a crane. The Shingwauk Project logo was modeled after the 'Rising Crane' painting commissioned by the Project. In 2011 Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre staff member Michelle McMillian designed a modern take on the classic crane logo. The logo created by McMillian is still currently in use by the Centre.
The Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre contains archival material relating to the history of residential schools across Canada, Indigenous organizations, Indigenous artists, and organizations engaged in healing and reconciliation work. The archives include residential school administrative records, photographs, school newsletters, church publications, staff correspondence, artifacts and artwork created by students during and following their time in residential schools, and other material.
In August 2018, the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre in partnership with Algoma University and the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, opened the Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall exhibition space. This space is an exhibit which tell this history of the Shingwauk Residential School site, within the context of colonialism in Canada, while also celebrating the resilience of residential school survivors.
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