People & Families
Our archives can be a great place to look for information on specific people and family histories. Many of our photographs have been identified over the past several years by community members and we hold many textual records that can provide a glance into different aspects of people's lives.
Our collections contain numerous prints and negatives of Indigenous people and families. With the Recognizing Relations project started here in 2014, we have been able to identify hundreds of people and families with the help of the nations within Treaty 7 and their Elders. The names of anyone who has been identified will be visible on our database and are accessible via search. This is an ongoing project and we encourage anyone that would like to share information on any photos to contact the archives at firstname.lastname@example.org To learn more about this project and search through our database of photos, click here.
Looking through photos from Banff Indian Days is a good place to start because during these events there were a lot of posed photos taken of Indigenous people alongside their family and friends. Several members of the Îethka (Stoney Nakoda), Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy), Tsuut’ina (Sarcee), Nehiyawak (Cree) and Ktunaxa (Kootenay) Nations have been identified in these photos and can be found when searching either their name, family name or nation. To see the information we have on a particular family, try searching the family name into our online database.
Catharine Robb Whyte had a very close relationship with many members of the Îethka Nation. In our archives we have a lengthy collection of letters to her mother digitized and available to view online that date from the late 1920s to the mid-1960s. Catharine wrote thousands of letters to her mother with the notable details of her day to day life, so they can now be seen almost like a diary into the area at the time. Many of her letters contain details of her and her husband, Peter Whyte’s, relationships with different Îethka people and their presence within the Îethka community. To access these letters, search “Letters to Mother” and Indigenous, Stoney Nakoda or First Nations. Many of the people she mentions in her letters are named, so you can also search through her letters via last name.
Other useful letters from Catharine include her letters to and from Îethka families found under the file Indigenous letters.
Some Indigenous families may also have a biofile in our collections depending on how much information we have been able to collect from them. These biofiles are listed by family name and include documents and information that pertain to each family.
To start your search, try typing in the name of the person or family you are looking for into our online database.
For further research, try searching through the Indigenous genealogy page from the Library and Archives Canada. This page shows government records on Indigenous people across Canada and holds a larger database of information, useful for genealogy tracking and looking for people you may not be able to find information on within our archives.