Saskatchewan Archives Board

University of Regina
Regina, SK S4S 0A2
Organizational Type: 
Archive / Library / Museum

Organizational fonds

  • Interviews conducted in 1975 and 1976 under the "Towards a New
    Past Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the
    Department of Culture and Youth. For their book The Suicide
    Battalion, James L. McWilliams and R. James Steel interviewed
    twenty-eight survivors of the First World War who fought in the
    46th Canadian Infantry Battalion. The story that emerges is both
    tragic and deeply moving, telling of the sacrifice made by
    thousands of Canadians in the First World War.<br/>
    Originating in Moose Jaw in 1914, the 46th called upon 5734 young
    men from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta to fight in northern
    France. That there were 4917 men either killed or wounded from
    1914 until 1919 when the battalion was disbanded, gives an
    indication why the men called themselves "The Suicide Battalion".
    The informants talk about their training, the journey to the
    front lines and the many bloody battles in which they fought i.e.
    Passchendaele, Vimy, the Somme, Amiens, Canal du Nord, Dury and
    others when the battalion's companies were almost entirely wiped
    out, only to be replenished with fresh drafts. They relate their
    experiences as they watched their companions being killed around
    them. Most were wounded at some point, often more than once and
    many men were simply listed as "missing in action" which
    invariably meant they had been killed. The horrors of trench
    life are related, the lice, the rations and sleeping standing up
    and in the mud without the strength to rise and trudge on. Most
    of the informants speak of their lives after the war, coming
    home, finding work and trying to pick up where they had left off.

  • Interviews conducted in 1977 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Although stories about travelling on the old
    trails was the intended theme of this project, it became rather a
    jumping off point for general pioneer reminiscences. All but one
    of the informants was born in the last century. They were sons
    and daughters of the first Saskatchewan homesteaders who came
    from Ontario, the United Kingdom and Europe. Two of the
    informants were the sons of a ferry boat captain who operated the
    steam ferry Qu'Appelle on Last Mountain Lake from 1907 to
    Three accounts were collected of the trip west from Ontario. In
    one case the father of the family came west for the farming
    season while the rest of the family stayed behind minding the
    Ontario farm. The mother came out to cook for the harvest and
    returned to Ontario. Later, the father returned to Ontario for
    the winter. This commuting pattern continued for 15 years until
    the entire family moved west. The main reason for the delay in
    moving was to save Grandma from making the long journey and
    adjusting to frontier life in her old age, an interesting
    contrast to modern day attitudes towards the aged.
    The following describes some of the topics explored in the
    collection: an account of the planning for Regina's first music
    festival in 1909; laying the first cornerstone of the provincial
    legislative building; a description of the Hudson's Bay Trail
    running through the Condie area and the route it travelled;
    discussions of other early trails; a description of buffalo
    wallows still visible in the 1930s; a description of how a dog
    wheel works; early combining methods; relations with Native
    people; how plaster was once made with horse hair; ferrying
    settlers to their land claims on Last Mountain Lake; operating a
    family hotel on Last Mountain Lake around 1912; accounts of
    hauling supplies for troops during the Riel Rebellion; wheat
    varieties in the early 1900s; attending the first year of the new
    Agricultural College at the University of Saskatchewan in 1912;
    wintering in a log cabin 11 feet by 17 feet with eleven other
    men; descriptions of the first homestead houses made of sod,
    poles and logs; living in granaries; activities involved in the
    formation of the United Farmers and the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool;
    the Progressive Party; going to school at Boggy Creek early in
    this century; and working on the Qu'Appelle, a steam ferry on
    Last Mountain Lake.

  • Interviews conducted in 1976 and 1977 under the "Towards a New
    Past Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the
    Department of Culture and Youth. In conducting his research for
    a Master of Arts thesis, "A Study of the Lives of James Patrick
    Brady and Malcolm Frederick Norris, Métis Patriots of the
    Twentieth Century", and his subsequent book, The
    One-And-A-Half Men, Murray Dobbin found that oral history
    interviewing was a necessity. There simply was not enough
    documentary evidence available to make a complete study of their
    lives and their work as Métis and Native leaders. The people
    interviewed were predominantly of Métis or Native backgrounds who
    knew Norris and Brady and of their involvement in Native
    organizations, particularly the Métis Society of Saskatchewan of
    which they were founders. Colleagues, friends, family members
    and acquaintances speak of the personalities of the two men.
    Both were self-educated, brought together by one driving cause --
    a desire to encourage and motivate Métis and Natives to stand up
    and help themselves. They both believed that Métis and Native
    people should act together as one entity when facing the
    government and fighting for rights and money.<br/>
    There the similarities seem to end however. Brady was rather a
    quiet man with much time for people, reading, studying and
    thinking. He was comfortable in Native and Métis company and
    spent much of his life in the northern bush. Malcolm Norris, on
    the other hand, seemed to identify more strongly with the white
    culture. He was an eloquent speaker, sometimes forceful and
    impatient and perhaps, as some have suggested, before his time
    for he often alienated himself from Native and white people alike
    in his attempts to organize.<br/>
    Family members speak of the formative experiences of the two men
    and reveal the stability and relative economic superiority of the
    Norris and Brady families over the Métis population in general.
    Contemporaries in both Native and Métis leadership positions
    provide a different perspective. They speak of the evolution of
    the Métis Society of Saskatchewan from the founding meeting to
    the present including the issues separating the south from the
    north and the separation of Native and Métis people as a
    political entity. They tell of the influence of Brady and Norris
    in the development of the Métis Society, as well as tracing the
    parallel development of Native organizations. Politicians
    describe government policies towards Natives and Métis in the
    province and the difficulties encountered in trying to implement
    them. From these accounts a picture develops of conditions that
    exist for Natives and Métis in the north and how the Native
    social structure fits into that of Canada as a whole. In
    speaking of the lives of these two men, what they believed in,
    and their accomplishments, no one could deny the tremendous
    influence they had on the lives of the people with whom they came
    into contact and the lives of those for whom they fought.<br/>
    Not only is this collection a serious biographical study, but it
    includes valuable information about the situation which faces
    Métis and Native people on the prairies. The sound quality and
    interviewing style is excellent and the accompanying summaries
    are exhaustively thorough.

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 under the "Towards a New Past
    Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the Department of
    Culture and Youth. A significant number of Black immigrants
    fleeing oppression in Oklahoma sought refuge in the Maidstone
    area in Saskatchewan in the first decade of the 20th century.
    Five of the seven people interviewed were a part of this group or
    are descendants of them. One is a Cree Indian who raised a Black
    child in the Maidstone district and another is a Swedish
    immigrant who comments on the Black community in the area. The
    informants speak about other Black pioneers who have since left
    the area or have passed away, relate anecdotes about some of
    their homesteading experiences and to some extent describe
    relations between the Black population and other ethnic groups.
    Sound quality is poor: there is significant background noise to
    the point where occasionally informants cannot be understood.

  • Interviews conducted in 1977 under the "Towards a New Past
    Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the Department of
    Culture and Youth. A significant number of Blacks immigrated to
    Canada and Saskatchewan in the 1950s coming mainly from the West
    Indies. It is this group of people upon whom Trevor Rock focused
    his study, hoping to provide a basis for comparing the
    experiences, problems and impressions of these new immigrants
    with those of earlier Black pioneers. The informants come from a
    variety of places and backgrounds and include: a psychiatric
    nurse from Trinidad taking classes for a degree in Social Work, a
    nursing home orderly from Jamaica, a factory worker formerly a
    library attendant and construction worker in Jamaica, an
    occupational therapist from Barbados, a factory worker from
    Barbados, a retired professional baseball player now a steam
    engineer from Cuba, a psychiatric nursing instructor from
    Barbados, a nurse from Barbados, and a certified public
    accountant who immigrated from Nigeria to England and then to
    Canada. Three interviews were conducted with people who have
    some connection to the Maidstone colony in the North Battleford
    area and the Black pioneers of the 1910 to 1920
    Discussion follows a basic pattern where people relate why they
    decided to immigrate to Canada, the benefits they have gained by
    coming to Saskatchewan, the social, economic and cultural
    problems they have encountered and how they have been able to
    contribute to Saskatchewan life. Most experienced a general lack
    of discrimination here though there are some isolated examples of
    it in hiring, finding accomodation and police protection. They
    speak of the Diefenbaker government's policies regarding
    immigration and the Green Paper mentioning problems which Blacks
    have in immigrating to Canada. One gains an understanding of the
    educational systems, job opportunities, living conditions and
    family relationships in Barbardos, Cuba and Nigeria. Comparisons
    are made to these aspects of Saskatchewan life. They see a need
    for Blacks to associate through an organization and speak of
    their social activities together. The racial relationships they
    find at their jobs are described. As well, several individuals
    speak of homesteading in the Maidstone colony, one person tells
    how life improved in Cuba following the revolution and another
    describes the system of royal heredity of the Kalabari in
    Nigeria. Most informants indicate that they are happy with their
    lives in Saskatchewan and appreciate the opportunities they find

  • Collection of tape recorded reminiscences with long-time citizens
    of the Broadview district. Material was collected and donated by
    the Broadview Museum.

  • Includes interviews created by the Canadian Broadcasting
    Corporation and Société Radio-Canada in Saskatchewan. These
    unedited recordings were used as production material.

  • Interviews conducted in 1980 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. The historical value of a building rests not
    only with its physical presence but also in the memories and
    images held in the minds of those who know the building.
    Believing this, Michael Taft and Natalie Kishchuk began their
    oral history project shortly after the Capitol Theatre, Saskatoon
    had been demolished in 1979. Though they couldn't save the
    building, they were able to preserve invaluable memories and
    impressions of the theatre before these too had faded away.<br/>
    The project was twofold. As well as recording the reminiscences
    of people who had used the theatre and those who worked and
    performed in it, the collectors hoped to document the controversy
    surrounding its demolition. To this end, interviews with
    heritage campaigners reflect the co-ordinated efforts of the
    Saskatoon Special Committee on Historic Buildings, the Saskatoon
    Heritage Society and concerned citizens to save the theatre.
    Several city aldermen were interviewed explaining the position
    held by the city council and their own feelings on the issue. A
    member of the Legislative Assembly who sponsored the Heritage
    Property Act, 1980 was motivated by the demolition of the Capitol
    and speaks of the Act's usefulness in preserving historic
    buildings in the future. The president of Princeton
    Developments, the company which bought the theatre, recalls
    aspects of the campaign to save it and plans for the site's
    A mental picture of the theatre and of its importance in the
    lives of many Saskatoon residents can be obtained from listening
    to the interviews of several generations of theatre-goers. In
    subsequent years, as children, teenagers and adults, informants
    all thought of the theatre as a special place where they attended
    plays, concerts, musicals, lectures and graduations as well as
    movies. One individual, when describing the decorations and the
    feelings that the theatre evoked in her when she went to movies
    in the 1940s, called it a "fairyland place".<br/>
    Many people performed in the Capitol Theatre either as actors or
    musicians. Their recollections of university musicals, symphony
    concerts and dramatic productions are vivid and detailed, giving
    another perspective on the theatre's function in the community.
    Managers, ushers, doormen, candy counter workers, cashiers,
    cleaning staff and projectionists create another picture of the
    theatre which many patrons never saw. Their anecdotes and
    descriptions are often humourous as they recall some of the
    pranks that were pulled on fellow employees. Occasionally they
    are scary, as when one of the cleaning women describes how bats
    sometimes flew at them when they were working. One senses the
    pride which employees felt in working at a place such as the
    Capitol and the sadness they felt in seeing it go.<br/>
    These recorded memories of the Capitol Theatre can in no way
    replace the building that meant so much to people in Saskatoon
    but they are a precious supplement to the few pictures, posters
    and other memorabilia that have been salvaged.

  • Interviews conducted in 1971. This Opportunities for Youth
    Project was one of the earliest large-scale efforts to tape
    record the reminiscences of a cross-section of the province's
    early settlers and long-time residents. The Project, conducted
    with the assistance of federal funds, prepared the ground for the
    Towards a New Past Program, administered by the Saskatchewan
    Department of Culture and Youth, 1972-1977.<br/>
    Due to the limited travel budget, the thirteen students engaged
    by the project, were restricted to Regina and the immediate
    surrounding area. The students succeeded in recording 180
    interviews, all of which have been transferred to the
    Saskatchewan Archives. In some cases the interviewees donated
    documents such as photographs, diaries and publications.
    The interviewers did not attempt a thematic approach in their
    efforts but succeeded in capturing the personalities and personal
    contributions of the interviewees.<br/>
    A final report and evaluation prepared by B. Allan Quigley,
    Project Director, and diaries of the different interviewers is
    filed with the summary of Tape R-6106.

  • Interviews conducted in 1980 by children enrolled in grade 7
    social studies classes in Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan
    Archives Board invited these children to interview their
    grandparents or older members of their communities to record
    their reminiscences about the pioneering days in Saskatchewan,
    including migration, farm life, domestic life and life histories.
    The aim of the programme was to enhance students' understanding
    of the contributions made by their grandparents and other senior
    citizens to Saskatchewan's development, to introduce students and
    teachers to oral history as a teaching tool, and to record, for
    preservation as historical documentation, the recollections and
    reminiscences of Saskatchewan's pioneers.

  • Interviews conducted in 1991 as an exercise for a Jounalism
    class, University of Regina, organized by assistant professor
    Jill Spelliscy, and donated to the Saskatchewan Archives. This
    project focuses on Chilean refugees who came to Canada during the
    1970s and settled in Saskatchewan. The interviews examine their
    lives in Chile, the conditions that led to the military coup in
    1973 and the circumstances that forced the interviewees to leave
    Chile and why they came to Canada. The interviews also chronicle
    the expectations, the obstacles and the day to day stories of
    their lives here in Regina. Efforts were made to obtain a
    cross-section of stories and experiences including those of
    people who were very young when they fled Chile with their

  • Interviews conducted in 1980 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Interviewees are five Chipewyan and six Métis
    people who have lived in the north of Saskatchewan, near and in
    La Loche. Their experiences and stories reveal much about their
    native backgrounds as they speak of their personal histories and
    those of their families, comparing life as it used to be with
    what it has become for them today. Also, an awareness of La
    Loche as a community is gained from their reminiscences. For the
    most part, the interviews were conducted in English and Chipewyan
    with the assistance of an interpreter. Though this is not the
    most ideal way for interviews to be undertaken, it has advantages
    in that the informants were made more comfortable with the use of
    their native language and, also, an older style of Chipewyan
    speaking has been documented which might otherwise have been
    Most informants speak of their livelihoods and for both men and
    women this includes such things as trapping, hunting, fishing,
    and working for the Hudson's Bay Company. Necessarily a
    considerable amount of information related is about life in the
    bush; i.e. shelter, food, cooking, supplies, travelling and
    making birch bark canoes. The importance of certain elements in
    La Loche such as the R.C.M.P., the Hudson's Bay Company and the
    church are revealed as well, showing the relationships these have
    with the community. Their role in the North today is compared to
    what it used to be before white culture became so prominent.
    Unlike other native oral history projects in the Archives
    collection, these tapes deal very little with the folklore,
    legends, songs, beliefs and traditions of native people but more
    with their daily lives and how they are adapting to white

  • Recordings created in 1974 in conjunction with the Churchill
    River Study, Wildlife Sector, Department of Tourism and Renewable
    Resources, and donated to the Saskatchewan Archives. The project
    focused on the older trappers in the lower Churchill and Reindeer
    areas and sought information on wildlife resources. The history
    and life in the region are also discussed.

  • Interviews conducted between 1981 and 1983 with people who were
    active with the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and the New
    Democratic Party, and donated to the Saskatchewan Archives.
    Questions relate to the CCF and NDP activities in Saskatchewan
    and the government of T.C. Douglas. Former MLAs, cabinet
    ministers and others give their views on persons in the party,
    government and civil service and describe their own participation
    and work on committees and in shaping policy. People also
    discuss their own lives and what drew them to politics, their
    work and contributions to the political process.

  • Bandes vidéo réalisées en 1980 Ã Coderre dans le cadre du projet
    Celebrate Saskatchewan, comprenant des entrevues de pionniers et
    d'enfants, des discours, et un concert de l'orchestre d'école de
    Coderre. Les cassettes vidéo ont été données par M. Ralph
    Sturgeon, directeur de l'école primaire à Coderre.

  • Interviews conducted in 1979 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Many of the people involved in the Communist
    Party of Canada in its early years are no longer available to
    tell the story. Concerned that a significant portion of
    Saskatchewan's political history would be lost, Murray Dobbin
    proposed a number of interviews in an attempt to document
    something of the Party's influence. His project is not a history
    of the CPC in Saskatchewan but rather the memories of four
    individuals concerning their views of and experiences with the
    Communist Party. Three of the informants have been long-time
    members of the CPC. They relate something of their personal
    backgrounds and the circumstances which encouraged them to
    support the communist philosophy. They speak of the structure of
    the party, of conventions, meetings and educational gatherings.
    At times communists in the province were injured or imprisoned
    because of their political affiliations and the informants recall
    several incidents of this nature. They describe their
    involvement in organizations such as the Farmers' Unity League
    and the Workers' Unity League and the Communist Party's influence
    in the formation of the CCF.<br/>
    The relationship which existed between the CCF and Communist
    Party is described by the fourth informant. He was actively
    involved in the politics of the North and the CCF since 1949 and
    many of his associates are members of the CPC.<br/>
    Though the number of interviews is not large, their quality is
    excellent and they represent a valuable resource for researchers
    of Saskatchewan's political history.

  • Interviews conducted in 1982 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. The first black settlers arrived in the Canadian
    West at the turn of the century. They came from the United
    States and the West Indies. Attracted by advertisements of free
    land and lured by adventure, many blacks aspired to play a role
    in the opening of the Canadian West. Although Canadian
    immigration policy did not publicly exclude black settlers, they
    were not welcomed. Canadian immigration agents in the United
    States were instructed to discourage blacks from emigrating
    north. As a result, in the period 1896 to 1907, when 1.3 million
    Europeans and American Europeans entered Canada, only nine
    hundred blacks became Canadian immigrants. By 1911 the
    population of blacks in the prairies barely reached fifteen
    The largest black settlement in Saskatchewan was established in
    1908-1909 in the parkland area north of Maidstone. It was
    composed of settlers from Oklahoma who were squeezed out by an
    influx of white farmers to that state. The move to Saskatchewan
    was an attractive alternative to moving to urban centres.
    The descendants of the original black settlers to Saskatchewan
    have long since left the Maidstone area. They have moved to the
    larger centres and to Alberta. This oral history project was
    designed to examine this group from a cultural and sociological
    perspective. It examined language and dialect retention, black
    cultural identity, especially vis-Ã -vis the American blacks,
    place in Canadian society, intermarriage, religion and so on.
    The information on these tapes provides an essential link to the
    written accounts of the early black settlements in this province.

  • Interviews conducted in 1979 and donated to the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. In preparation of its 75th anniversary in 1983,
    Sask Tel engaged Donna Kraus to visit and tape record a number of
    retired employees of the Corporation. Although unable to locate
    any of the original workers when the Department of Telephones and
    Telegraphs was founded in 1908, Ms. Kraus succeeded in
    interviewing people whose careers began as early as 1913. A
    number of those interviewed had dedicated as many as forty years
    of service to the Corporation. The informants represent a good
    cross-section of personnel serving in various capacities of the
    operation. Operators, switchmen, supervisors, installers,
    cablemen, linemen and plant engineers all relate stories of their
    experiences. They reminisce about their duties in some of the
    larger centres such as Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Yorkton,
    Prince Albert, Swift Current as well as in a number of rural
    Jobs with Saskatchewan Government Telephones (SGT) were quite
    difficult to obtain in the 1920s. In many instances a
    prospective employee could obtain a position only with the
    support of the local M.P. or M.L.A.. The qualifications for
    operators were quite stringent: between 18 and 22 years of age,
    single, minimum height of 5' 1" and not "stout".<br/>
    The accounts contain descriptions of installing new telephone
    lines, problems associated with the old lead coated cables, the
    type of early exchanges, spectacular storms that severed
    communication, and details of repairing the lines.<br/>
    During the 1920s telephone service in Saskatchewan witnessed a
    marked expansion. The 1930s, however, brought a diminished work
    load and, as one person recalled, "we spent more time taking out
    phones than installing new ones". Many employees were forced to
    take cuts in salary and extra "holidays" with no pay. The
    Corporation, however, was quite lenient with subscribers who
    failed to pay their bills and sometimes waited for settlement for
    as long as three years before disconnecting the service.<br/>
    The Second World War brought back activity and expansion of the
    telephone service. The election of the CCF Government helped to
    establish a union in the Corporation. Prior to the involvement
    of the Government, the management fought against the organization
    of the union. Meetings had to be held in secret.<br/>
    The human element of the SGT is also revealed in the interviews.
    Most of the informants recalled many amusing incidents,
    especially when working the night shift. One story is of the man
    who rode a bicycle on top of the switchboards in order to impress
    the operators. Very often a switchman would court an operator
    and marriages among fellow employees were common.<br/>
    Nearly all of the informants agreed that the telephone service
    has changed dramatically from the time when they were part of it.
    They felt that the modernization and computerization of the
    system has resulted in a less personalized service and apathy on
    the part of the present employees. Furthermore, many claim that
    the camaraderie between employees that once prevailed, no longer
    This collection is valuable, from a documentary point of view, to
    those interested in the development of the telephone system in
    Saskatchewan from the 1920s to the 1950s.

  • Interviews conducted in 1981 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. The first Polish immigrants arrived in
    Saskatchewan in the late 1890s. They came from Austrian and
    Prussian Poland and homesteaded in several areas in the province.
    Small groups, however, were concentrated near places like Rama,
    Ituna, Krydor, Kuroki, Candiac, Wishart, Fosston, Prince Albert
    and Melville. Another group arrived in Otthon from the Silesian
    Polish colony of Panna Maria, Texas. The Polish nation and Roman
    Catholicism had been inseparable for centuries, and when Polish
    immigrants arrived in North America they brought their ancestral
    faith with them. The Polish parish became the centre where
    people from Poland regrouped after immigrating. The clergy
    served the newcomers by not only offering spiritual guidance but
    often by being the intermediaries between newcomers and the
    sometimes frightening civil authorities. The church building
    itself, or an attached hall or school, became both the rallying
    point for the community and the main physical manifestation of
    new fellow-feeling. The Polish parish also tended to ward off
    assimilation and acted to preserve the culture and language of
    the immigrants. Attached to the parish were smaller
    organizations such as language schools, dance groups, drama
    clubs, credit unions, mutual aid benefit societies, rosary
    associations, men's clubs, women's clubs and others.<br/>
    The 19 individuals interviewed in this project include active
    parish supporters and priests. Their stories span a period of
    nearly eighty years and relate mostly to parishes which no longer
    exist. The forces of assimilation and acculturation, combined
    with a dwindling rural population, have caused a drastic decline
    in the number of Polish parishes in Saskatchewan. These oral
    histories, therefore, are significant as they examine the
    infrastructure of the Polish ethnic parish as the centre of
    Polish cultural life. Struggles between different groups,
    individuals and clergy, and the interrelationships with other
    ethnic communities such as the Ukrainians, Germans and French
    also come to light. The attempts of the American-based Polish
    National Church to seed dissent and divide the communities is
    also well documented.

  • Interviews conducted in 1977 under a contract by the Saskatchewan
    Archvies Board. During the CommunicArt tour of the province in
    1977, many small towns were visited where long-time residents
    were available to be interviewed. Linda Hudson and Alayne
    Sewell, part of the CommunicArt staff, felt it to be a good
    opportunity to reach people and record their reminiscences about
    the railway and how it has affected their communities over the
    years. The project was conducted at a time when there was
    considerable research into the continuation or cessation of
    branch line and passenger service to these areas and the comments
    of informants concerning this are interesting. Necessarily,
    individuals tell many anecdotes about the development of their
    communities. Some of these include Hafford, Blaine Lake,
    Paradise Hill, Shell Lake, Spiritwood, Eastend, Fort Qu'Appelle,
    Carlyle, Gravelbourg, Frontier, Moose Jaw, Regina, Kyle,
    Clearwater, Elrose, Esterhazy, Oxbow, Auburnton and Melfort.
    Most speak of when the railway first came through, surveys, its
    construction and their first train rides. They describe the
    passenger cars, where they went, cargoes that were shipped, mail
    services and how the railway affected the selling and
    transporting of wheat. The railway station was an important
    social centre in some communities and today they are often major
    historical attractions. As informants relate information
    concerning the rail lines, one gains an understanding for what
    life was like in these places. They describe school, some of
    their experiences farming, effects of the Depression, how
    businesses have grown or declined and the development of
    Several individuals worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway
    Company or the Canadian National Railways for many years in
    various capacities such as telegrapher, station agent, releaving
    station agent, assistant agent, operator, leverman and section
    foreman. Their interviews give a slightly different perspective
    as they describe their jobs. Two individuals were the wives of
    former station agents and they speak of the effect this had on
    their lives. They describe the company houses in which they
    lived and how they helped their husbands at their work.

  • Interviews conducted in 1975 under the "Towards a New Past
    Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the Department of
    Culture and Youth. Concerned that there appears to be a growing
    number of people leaving Saskatchewan for other places, Alan
    Goluboff, a former Saskatchewan resident himself, began an oral
    history project to determine the reasons for this trend. Because
    he resides in Toronto and is actively involved in the film
    industry, it was decided to narrow his project's scope to pertain
    to those individuals working in the arts who have emigrated there
    from Saskatchewan. He interviewed other individuals involved in
    film and a businessman who owns an antique and interior design
    Most informants speak of their personal backgrounds and
    education, their work, how they became involved in their
    particular fields and why they had to leave Saskatchewan
    comparing the opportunities there in the arts with other places
    in Canada. They describe positive aspects of life in
    Saskatchewan and the attractions which Toronto life offers. Most
    feel regret at having to leave the province and give their views
    of what needs to happen here to encourage artists to stay.
    People researching the development of the arts in Saskatchewan
    would find the personal views of these individuals helpful.

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 under the "Towards a New Past
    Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the Department of
    Culture and Youth. In the 1920s and early in the 1930s, mining
    coal in southern Saskatchewan was a gruelling and highly
    underpaid job. These interviews are an attempt to document the
    story of the Estevan strike and riot which occurred in the fall
    of 1931 when miners were finally able to organize to improve
    working conditions and wages. As with most controversial issues,
    accounts of what actually happened vary from person to person.
    Among those who were interviewed are six miners, one city
    policeman, a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman, a city councillor,
    a bystander who was wounded during the riot and a miner's wife.
    Together, the miners provide a clear picture of the conditions
    under which they worked and lived, early attempts to organize and
    the response they received from their employers. They speak of
    events leading up to the strike of mine workers in the Estevan
    area, the support they received and the antagonism that developed
    against them. The riot is described from their point of view,
    from the perspective of the police involved and also that of
    Several of these accounts were used in the Towards A New Past
    publication Toil and Trouble: An Oral History of Industrial
    Unrest in the Estevan-Bienfait Coalfields. It was used
    successfully in a number of schools across the province to
    supplement the Social Studies curriculum. This would be an
    important resource for anyone studying early mining conditions
    and the union organization of mine workers in the 1920s and

  • Interviews conducted between 1973 and 1975 by the Cultural
    Activities Branch of the Department of Culture and Youth, as part
    of its "Towards a New Past" programme. The material relates to
    the history of Saskatchewan's native people before, during, and
    after the coming of white settlers. The recordings reveal many
    aspects of native life as it was before the treaties.
    Interviewees describe many of the skills essential for mobility
    and survival on the plains. They recall vividly the roles and
    responsibilities of individuals within a tribal society and air
    their convictions about spiritual powers.<br/>
    Native women describe their roles as wives and mothers,
    specifying duties and responsibilities and communicating survival
    skills related to gathering and preserving food and the
    manufacture and care of clothing. Since they were acutely
    concerned with child-rearing, these women elaborate upon
    education, discipline and other practices, including legends and
    songs used to quiet and soothe their young ones. Moreover,
    native women explain many deeply-rooted customs surrounding the
    cycles of birth, marriage and death.<br/>
    In their reminiscences about hunting, trapping and tribal
    affairs, the men place great emphasis upon "spiritual matters".
    One learns that spiritual beliefs formed the core of their way of
    life, of their perception of the natural world around them. For
    example, one accomplished hunter from Onion Lake declares that a
    successful hunter is one who is guided by dreams to the killing
    place. Only if the hunter or fisherman shared freely his gifts
    of meat with others on the Reserve would his good fortune
    continue. Even the selection of leaders hinged upon the
    manifestation of spiritual powers. A leader was chosen only
    after demonstrating remarkable physical and spiritual competence.
    Interviewees reside in Muskoday, Seekaskootch, Red Pheasant,
    Buffalo Narrows, Poundmaker, Paynton, Sweet Grass, Prince Albert,
    Bresaylor, and South Battleford.

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 under the "Towards a New Past
    Programme" of the Department of Culture and Youth, with Métis
    residing in Regina, Prince Albert, St. Louis, Wakaw, Duck Lake,
    Crutwell, St. Laurent, Saskatoon, Patuanak, I^le-Ã -la-Crosse,
    Leask, Batoche, and Melville.

  • Saskatchewan was populated by people drawn from every corner of
    the world. Peasants, artisans, entrepreneurs, footloose
    adventurers, political and religious refugees responded to the
    alluring attractions of free land and hospitable climate on the
    prairies. And even if the land was often nothing more than bush
    or swamp, the weather harsh, many sank deep roots into it.
    In many cases, entire families or even communities were
    transplanted from the agrarian life of the old world into the
    National Policy and wheat economy of the new. The promise of
    religious freedom and the privilege of educating their children
    in their native tongue dispelled fears of being swallowed up
    forever in British North America.<br/>
    In order to document the subjective response to the issues of
    immigration and ethnicity, the Saskatchewan Department of Culture
    and Youth through its "Towards a New Past Programme" collected
    hundreds of interviews with individuals from across the province.
    Many of the interviews were conducted in the interviewee's first
    language, thus making the oral history document not only valuable
    to the historian and sociologist but also to the linguist who
    might want to analyse language interference or other
    Immigrants recount their early experiences in a personal and
    informal manner. They reflect upon motives for emigrating. They
    recall in detail their first responses to the climate and
    terrain, seeking employment, their first home, and
    interrelationships with other ethnocultural groups. They
    describe family relationships, responsibilities and early forms
    of recreation and entertainment. The evolution of communities
    across the landscape testifies to an incredible amount of
    volunteerism and co-operation, which survives in a shared
    nostalgia for the "good old days".<br/>
    This collection includes interviews conducted in 1973 with
    American Canadians residing in Weyburn, Regina, Riceton, Moose
    Jaw, Gray, Macoun, Lang, Midale, Rouleau, Estevan and Wilcox.

  • Interviews conducted between ca. 1973 and 1977 with Francophones
    residing in Assiniboia, Courval, Gravelbourg, Regina, Wolseley,
    Sedley, Laflèche, Radville, Willow Bunch, Ferland, Coderre, Moose
    Jaw, Cadillac, Ponteix, St. Victor, Melaval, Meyronne, and
    Montmartre. See "Ethnocultural Groups of Saskatchewan: The
    Newcomers -- The Americans" for a general description of the

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 with Chinese Canadians residing in
    Saskatoon. See "Ethnocultural Groups of Saskatchewan: The
    Newcomers -- The Americans" for a general description of the

  • Interviews conducted in 1974 and 1975 with Doukhobors residing in
    Kamsack, Canora, Buchanan, Pelly, Yorkton, Keeseekoose Reserve,
    Verigin, Swan River (Manitoba), Benito (Manitoba), Grand Forks
    (British Columbia) and Kootenay (British Columbia). See
    "Ethnocultural Groups of Saskatchewan: The Newcomers -- The
    Americans" for a general description of the series.

  • Interviews conducted in 1974 with Hungarian Canadians residing in
    Mistatim, Porcupine Plain, Regina, Kipling, Edenwold, Peesane,
    and Calgary (Alberta). See "Ethnocultural Groups of
    Saskatchewan: The Newcomers -- The Americans" for a general
    description of the series.

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 with Italian Canadians residing in
    Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw, and Prince Albert. See
    "Ethnocultural Groups of Saskatchewan: The Newcomers -- The
    Americans" for a general description of the series.

  • Interviews conducted in 1974 and 1975 with Jewish Canadians
    residing in Weyburn, Regina, and Montréal (Québec). See
    "Ethnocultural Groups of Saskatchewan: The Newcomers -- The
    Americans" for a general description of the series.

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 and 1974 with Mennonites residing in
    Hague, Saskatoon, Waldheim, Wymark, Rosthern, Rheinfeld,
    Shantzenfeld, Blumenhof, Swift Current, Neunelage, Carlton,
    Laird, Rosenhof, and Barnwell (Alberta). See "Ethnocultural
    Groups of Saskatchewan: The Newcomers -- The Americans" for a
    general description of the series.

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 with Norwegian Canadians residing in
    Bulyea, Regina, Govan, Nokomis and Semans. See "Ethnocultural
    Groups of Saskatchewan: The Newcomers -- The Americans" for a
    general description of the series.

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 with Polish Canadians residing in
    Rama, Canora, Regina, Ituna, Weyburn, Melville, Mikado, Prince
    Albert, Verigin, Glenavon, Cedoux, Yorkton, Buchanan, Montmartre,
    Melfort, Otthon, Kuroki, Estevan and Candiac. See "Ethnocultural
    Groups of Saskatchewan: The Newcomers -- The Americans" for a
    general description of the series.

  • Interviews conducted in 1974 and 1975 with Polish Canadians
    residing in Regina, Saskatoon, Rose Valley, Wishart, Melville,
    Prince Albert, Candiac, Wynyard, Glenavon, Moose Jaw, Yorkton,
    Tuffnel, Foam Lake, Archerwill, North Battleford, Weyburn, Swift
    Current, La Ronge, and Poland. See "Ethnocultural Groups of
    Saskatchewan: The Newcomers -- The Americans" for a general
    description of the series.

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 with Rumanian Canadians residing in
    Regina, Assiniboia, Ormiston, and Kayville. See "Ethnocultural
    Groups of Saskatchewan: The Newcomers -- The Americans" for a
    general description of the series.

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 with Scandinavian Canadians residing
    in Saskatoon, Outlook, Elbow and Macrorie. See "Ethnocultural
    Groups of Saskatchewan: The Newcomers -- The Americans" for a
    general description of the series.

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 with people of South-East Asian
    origin, residing in Regina, Saskatoon, Grenfell, Broadview,
    Weyburn, and Moose Jaw. See "Ethnocultural Groups of
    Saskatchewan: The Newcomers -- The Americans" for a general
    description of the series.

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 with Ukrainian Canadians residing in
    Sturgis, Preeceville, Rhein, Endeavour, Yorkton, Stenen, Danbury,
    Jedburgh, and Hyas. See "Ethnocultural Groups of Saskatchewan:
    The Newcomers -- The Ukrainians" for a general description of the

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 with 29 long-time residents of
    Weyburn and surrounding district, and donated to the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Interviewees discuss their family history and
    describe the early pioneering days of the area. Material from
    the interviews was used in the writing of the book In His
    Hands, published by the First Weyburn New Horizons Board. Nine
    interviews were used in the production of nine "Voice of the
    Pioneers" radio programmes broadcast over CFSL Radio Weyburn.

  • Interviews conducted in 1982 and 1983 by Garry Fairbairn as part
    of the research for his book From Prairie Roots: The
    Remarkable Story of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, (Saskatoon:
    Prairie Books, 1984), and donated to the Saskatchewan Archives.
    Historian John H. Archer states in an interview with Mr.
    Fairbairn, that the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool "was one of the major
    forces, when it was started, in developing a sense of a
    Saskatchewan community because it brought [together] all of the
    ethnic groups [...] that had hitherto been left out of the farm
    organizations". This statement shows how closely wed the
    Saskatchewan Wheat Pool is to the history of Saskatchewan.<br/>
    The interviewees are past and present members, delegates and
    employees of the Pool. They talk of its early days, the
    expansion of the Pool into services and marketing of goods
    connected with agriculture. Members reminisce about joining the
    organization and their involvement in it. Elected delegates talk
    of the policies of the Pool, its relationship with the Canadian
    Wheat Board and negotiations with federal and provincial
    government on such matters as the Crow Rate. Also described are
    the evolution of the Wheat Pool over the years to its present
    organizational structure and how the Pool might change to
    maintain its position as a major force in the shaping of
    Saskatchewan's future.

  • Entrevues réalisées en 1980 dans toute la province dans le cadre
    d'un projet de la Société historique de la Saskatchewan. Les
    entrevues portent sur l'origine, l'habitat, le transport, le
    contexte socio-économique, l'agriculture, la religion, les
    paroisses, l'éducation, la vie socioculturelle, la santé, la
    profession, la philosophie de la vie et la famille des pionniers
    francophones en Saskatchewan, venus du Québec, de France ou de

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 under the "Towards a New Past
    Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the Department of
    Culture and Youth. Originally from the Muenster area himself,
    George Hoffman was interested in documenting attitudes held by
    German Catholics there towards the Co-operative Commonwealth
    Federation (CCF). One nun and five priests, two individuals
    closely associated with the early formation of the CCF and three
    others who were involved in farmers' organizations and the early
    co-operative movement were interviewed.<br/>
    The informants speak of their personal backgrounds, where they
    were born and raised, how they came to Canada and something of
    their early life in Saskatchewan. Several are from German
    backgrounds and recall the feelings directed against them both in
    the United States and Canada during the first World War. They
    indicate a difficulty in maintaining their cultural identity even
    in a predominantly German community.<br/>
    Early meetings of the Progressive Party, the Farmer-Labour Party,
    the CCF and farm organizations such as the Saskatchewan Grain
    Growers' Association and the Farmers' Union are remembered.
    Several of the priests attended these with interest and some
    sympathy towards the goals that were put forth. Others recall
    incidents of antagonism where the Catholic Church spoke out
    against these organizations. They describe the pull that was
    felt by many to remain loyal to the Church yet involve themselves
    in social and co-operative programnmes they felt were worthwhile
    and necessary.<br/>
    Several other topics emerge from these interviews as one person
    recounts his memories of the activities of the Ku Klux Klan,
    another person speaks of his struggle in support of rural
    electrification and others describe how the Depression affected
    their lives.<br/>
    Sound quality is good for the most part.

  • Interviews conducted in 1966 by author James H. Gray and donated
    to the Saskatchewan Archives Board. Interviewees discuss the
    decade of the 1930s in Saskatchewan: economic depression,
    drought, relief programs, and the Prairie Farm and Rehabilitation

  • Interviews conducted in 1976 under the "Towards a New Past
    Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the Department of
    Culture and Youth. By interviewing members of the "progressive"
    Ukrainian community in Saskatchewan, Clara Swityk hoped to place
    on record several things. First of all was her desire to obtain
    information concerning these people's lives as immigrants to
    Canada. Perhaps more importantly, however, she wished to
    document their expressions and feelings about their beliefs in
    social justice, the quality of life and freedom, the
    contributions they have made to their adopted home and how they
    have become integrated into the Canadian population while still
    retaining their cultural identity.<br/>
    Most of the informants that she interviewed describe how they
    came to Canada and why the decision was made to leave their homes
    in the Ukraine. Some were fleeing persecution, oppression and a
    life of fear while others came because times were difficult and
    they wished to find a better life for themselves and their
    families. In many cases, the conditions that they faced on their
    arrival in Saskatchewan were disheartening as people realized
    they had exchanged one life of hardship for another.<br/>
    The jobs that these people managed to obtain often involved
    cruel, hard labour. Some worked on the railroad or in the mines,
    long hours and under adverse and dangerous conditions. Life was
    cheap and workers wondered from day to day whether they would
    live to see the next. Housing was often poor, sometimes only a
    small shack built into the side of a hill. Some came in the late
    1920s and early 1930s to homestead only to find the situation
    almost desperate with the onset of the Depression. It was very
    difficult for many of the informants to describe this period in
    their lives. That it was a time of considerable distress for
    them is shown by their pain and tears forty to fifty years later.
    In part because of the hardships they experienced, most of the
    informants readily turned to progressive organizations such as
    the Ukrainian Farm Labour Temple Association, seeking to make
    their own lives and the lives of others better. They recall how
    the UFLTA was organized and their activities in it. As well,
    beginning in the late 1910s and early 1920s, many Ukrainian
    communities had their own progressive halls where meetings and
    social and educational gatherings were held. They describe the
    part that these played in their lives.<br/>
    That there was considerable opposition to the progressive
    Ukrainians is established by the government's closure of these
    halls prior to the Second World War. The government, as were
    large portions of the Canadian population, was afraid of any
    radical, communist and socialist thought of which the progressive
    Ukrainians were supporters. There was opposition from within the
    Ukrainian community itself, demonstrated by the group known as
    the Nationalist Ukrainians to whom these halls were turned over.
    Informants speak strongly both about issues revolving around the
    disintegration of the progressive organizations that were their
    way of actively working for change and the relationship between
    the two Ukrainian groups. They mention something about their
    political affiliations and how they acquired their particular
    These interviews relay with vivid detail how a specific group of
    immigrant people found life in Canada and tried to change those
    things which seemed unjust and needing improvement. Though they
    were for the most part conducted in the Ukrainian language, there
    are detailed English summaries and transcripts available.

  • Interviews conducted in 1977 under a contract by the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. The disaffiliation of the Retail, Wholesale and
    Department Store Union from the International RWDSU was a subject
    of great controversy among unionists in the province. To
    document this action, interviews were conducted with a
    representative sampling of RWDSU rank and file members, union
    officials and office staff.<br/>
    Each interview contains a description of the person's past work
    history including the type of jobs held, wages, working
    conditions, and working relationships with other workers and with
    management. Informants speak of their various union involvements
    and their development of trade union and class consciousness.
    They describe their role in the disaffiliation action and analyse
    the issues surrounding this event commenting on the future of the
    trade union movement as a whole. Several people relate their
    specific experiences in other trade union activity speaking about
    strikes, unfair firings, struggles with the Federated
    Co-operative system and organizing campaigns.

  • Interviews conducted in 1978 under contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. This project contains the reminiscences of those
    individuals who settled in the Big River area during the
    Depression, some with the help of government loans. Unemployed
    or struggling against drought and low prices in the dust bowl of
    southern Saskatchewan, people fled to the north hoping to make a
    new life. Anna Thiessen is one of these individuals. She knows
    her informants well and has shared their struggles, hopes and
    fears. Because of this, the interviews often take the form of an
    intimate conversation between close friends. Informants feel
    free to speak openly and sincerely about the hardships they
    endured and the co-operative spirit and neighbourliness they
    The long trek northward with oxen and horse-drawn wagons is
    described by some. Most had little more than a few dollars, a
    fifty-pound bag of flour and an axe to start out with. They
    lived in tents until they could build log cabins which were
    eventually sparsely furnished with homemade furniture and a few
    linens. That they had little or no money affected their lives in
    many ways. The only income some received was through the sale of
    butter and eggs. If anyone was lucky enough to have any grain to
    spare after providing feed for cattle it was generally sold at
    such a low price that a whole wagon load could not bring enough
    money for a full order of groceries.<br/>
    An interesting example of the scarcity of money and commodities
    which homesteaders faced concerns berry picking and their
    preservation for winter use. Having neither sugar nor jars with
    which to preserve them, the women and children would pick a batch
    of berries and sell them to the store for sugar. A second batch
    would be sold for jars. Not until they had picked the third
    batch could they keep the berries for themselves. Sugar was a
    luxury and mothers tried to save small quantities throughout the
    year to make some treasured candy for their children at
    The concerts held at Christmas in the school house were long
    awaited events in which all the children performed. Social
    gatherings such as this were grasped at any opportunity and the
    informants describe some of these occasions; stampedes,
    birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, harvest times, building
    houses and barns, etc. Tremendous value was placed on good
    neighbourliness and is reflected by the warmth with which these
    people speak of one another.<br/>
    Bush fires were not uncommon and neighbours battled these
    together. However, there were times when there was little else
    to do but huddle with their family and belongings in the garden
    praying that the roof of their cabin would not be ignited by
    sparks or flaming pine cones born up to one-half mile by the
    The development of the area is also described by the informants.
    The local store was a natural gathering place where people could
    get anything they needed and where credit was readily available.
    They describe the building of the church and the start of a
    cheese factory, a small industry which somewhat improved the lot
    of the homesteader. As they speak of the various aspects of
    their lives in the north, one gains a better understanding of
    what they endured in their struggle for survival. Anecdotes are
    numerous and vivid and leave a clear impression of what life was

  • Interviews conducted in 1978 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. In the early years of the province, horses were
    an integral part of people's lives. Those interviewed for this
    project were involved in a variety of occupations where they
    relied heavily on horses to aid them, including road building,
    hauling transport, ice cutting, logging and blacksmithing. From
    French Canadian, Swedish, English, Irish, Scottish and Métis
    backgrounds, the informants related a significant amount of
    material not only about the horses they worked with but also
    about their jobs and their lives. For example, one individual
    describes working for R.D. Brooks, the main road builder and
    hauler in Saskatchewan's north before mechanization came in. At
    one point, the company used two hundred horses and forty mules
    and maintained barns and barracks at twenty-mile intervals along
    haulage routes which were only used during the winter when the
    lake was frozen. These are described as well as haulage trains
    which usually consisted of four wagons drawn by teams of four
    horses each, a feed wagon and a cook wagon.<br/>
    Several informants relate humourous stories about their
    experiences with mules and others describe more situations when
    horses and wagons were lost through winter ice. How the
    butchering business has changed over half a century emerges in
    one interview with a businessman from Prince Albert. He recalls
    the method of making ice before refrigeration and how it was
    harvested annually by horse and wagon. Another reminisces about
    life in Cumberland House. Others recall homesteading in the
    Prince Albert and Paddockwood areas and the work done by horses
    on farms. One individual relates incidents about his work as a
    fur patrolman and later as an employee in Game Management of the
    Department of Natural Resources. Forest operations in the north
    are described with comments about living and working conditions
    for both men and horses. Several of those interviewed were
    involved in horse breeding and speak of the various kinds of
    horses they have dealt with. Most of the horses mentioned are
    heavy horse breeds such as Clydesdale, Percheron and Belgian.
    Small ponies were sometimes used for retail purposes in urban
    Though the sound quality of these interviews in not always good,
    they contain much anecdotal material concerning horses and life
    in the north.

  • Interviews conducted in 1977 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Over the years, individuals involved in horse
    showing in Saskatchewan have formed a well-defined group. As a
    member of this fraternity, Helga Reydon interviewed many of the
    people who have made key contributions to it. The reminiscences
    of horse breeders, trainers, show competitors, judges and the
    founders and directors of fairs, exhibitions and agricultural
    societies have been recorded. Several have become
    internationally known.<br/>
    Though one individual recalls showing horses in the Prince Albert
    exhibition as early as 1916, the predominant period which is
    covered by the project is from 1930 to the present. Other
    geographical areas which are represented include the Nipawin,
    Saskatoon, Craik, Davidson, Maple Creek, Lloydminster, North
    Battleford and Duck Lake districts. Informants are knowledgeable
    about a wide range of horse breeds and show activities such as
    jumping, dressage, chariot and chuck wagon racing, polo and
    hackney racing. Most travelled on the horse showing circuit in
    the summer which took them to fairs all across the province and
    possibly to Calgary and the Royal Fair in Toronto.<br/>
    Of considerable importance to horse showing activities are the
    contributions of the 4-H Clubs in various districts. They have
    been responsible for the training of horses and people and the
    organization of many fairs and exhibitions throughout the
    province. Many of the informants speak of their involvement in
    the development of these groups. The history of the Saskatoon
    Riding Club, as told by its founder, is also significant to horse
    showing in that community and to Saskatchewan and Canada, as
    several individuals who received training there have become
    international competitors.<br/>
    As these people describe the various aspects of breeding,
    training and showing, and they reminisce about past shows and
    horses, one gains an appreciation for their efforts in a sport
    which has become such a central part of their lives.

  • Interviews conducted in 1979 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. This project was originally begun by Archives
    staff as a study of Scandinavian settlement in Saskatchewan.
    However, when the vastness of such an undertaking was realized,
    the project's scope was narrowed and Endl Crane, Sound Archivist
    with the programme, began research on Icelanders in the Quill
    Lakes area. Although there were a considerable number of
    potential informants willing to share their reminiscences, time
    restraints limited the project to seven interviews, two of which
    were conducted in Icelandic and English.<br/>
    Interviews took place with ten individuals who have farmed in the
    communities of Elfros, Wynyard and Leslie. They not only reflect
    how an Icelandic heritage has survived in these areas but
    describe early life there, some of the first settlers and how
    these communities have developed. Several informants were born
    in Saskatchewan, others were born in Manitoba where their parents
    had come when they immigrated from Iceland, and still others had
    themselves come from Iceland.<br/>
    Icelandic people began emigrating in the late 1800s with the
    desire to make better homes and provide greater opportunities for
    their families. A lack of food in Iceland was a significant
    factor. Because of short growing seasons, volcanic eruptions
    which covered pastures and fields in ash, and the dangerous ice
    fields which frequently kept trade ships from Icelandic ports,
    the people were often hard pressed to find enough food. As mixed
    farmers, they had much to learn about choosing and working land
    for grain crops here on the Canadian prairies.<br/>
    Though few Icelanders had any opportunity to go to school in
    Iceland (travelling clergymen were often the only teachers
    children ever had), they placed a high value on education and it
    was a rare occurrence if an Icelander could not read or write.
    With the long, dark evenings of winter, families spent
    considerable time reading together and reciting poetry. Most
    households had extensive libraries. Though only a couple of the
    informants had received more than a grade eight education here in
    Canada, they stressed the appreciation felt by Icelanders in
    general for the opportunity to go to school. Several of them
    spoke about Icelandic sagas, folktales and superstitions. One
    recited some of his own poetry and that of another Icelandic
    Other attitudes typical of the Icelandic people were also spoken
    of. For example, adoption was an accepted practice and regular
    occurrence among Icelanders. They also had a custom of giving
    nicknames, usually to the head of a household. They were not
    always kind and often reflected some mannerism shown by the
    Icelandic celebrations, specifically that which occurs on August
    2 celebrating Icelandic independance from Danish rule, were
    described. One individual spoke in detail about Icelandic foods
    which are prepared for these occasions and others such as
    Christmas. To some extent, they are continued today.
    The informants spoke of their religious affiliations and the
    split in the Lutheran Church between the fundamentalists and a
    more liberal group. Their comments show how this has affected
    the churches and people in their communities.<br/>
    Rich in anecdotal detail, these interviews would not only benefit
    the researcher of Icelandic settlement but also the individual
    studying early farm life in Saskatchewan.

  • Interviews conducted in 1981 under a contract by the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Hunting, trapping and fishing once provided both
    native and Métis people of the north with a means of survival.
    Today, with mineral exploration and technological advances, the
    old ways of life as they used to know it are rapidly
    disappearing. Their reminiscences of how it used to be with
    comparisons to life in the present are important and provide
    significant insight into the adjustments they have had to make to
    fit into today's society. A resident of La Ronge since her early
    childhood, Janet Fietz knows the informants interviewed well.
    She speaks fluently in both Cree and English, an important fact
    as most informants are not comfortable with the English language.
    All but three interviews were conducted in Cree. Most informants
    were born in the late 1800s or early 1900s and speak of their
    childhoods, moving from place to place hunting, trapping and
    fishing. They always returned to the settlement of La Ronge or
    Stanley Mission at Christmas time to go to church and to pick up
    supplies. Some returned to the settlements in the summer.
    Children went to school at this time and families busied
    themselves with large gardens.<br/>
    Three of the informants attended the mission school at La Ronge,
    separated from their families throughout the year. One
    informant's father had been trained as a teacher and preacher and
    was involved in choosing the site for the school and its
    construction. The others describe their lives at school, meals,
    teachers, their chores and other activities. One speaks of the
    buildings and houses that existed in La Ronge at that time. They
    recall returning to their families to learn from their parents
    the skills necessary for survival in the bush.<br/>
    Many of the informants speak of tanning hides, the uses they made
    of these, trapping for furs and trading them, drying meat and
    making pemmican to prevent spoilage. One person, in describing
    dried and pounded fish, said it looked much like cornflakes.
    They used to eat this and other dried meat with all kinds of wild
    berries. Another individual recalls making birch tree syrup
    using much the same process as for maple syrup. To travel, they
    used dog teams in winter and canoes in summer. Two of the
    informants describe the building of birch bark canoes. The use
    of snowshoes is mentioned and their construction is also
    In speaking of their lives at present, many are saddened by the
    attitudes of young people who are finding it difficult to make
    their way in today's world. The influence of liquor has been
    felt by several of the informants as they have seen its
    destructive power in the community and in their families. All
    are grieved that people today have fallen so far from their faith
    and their church, recalling going to church as a child three
    times on Sundays and hearing, in the evenings, various families
    praying together in their homes. Receiving the old age pension
    and being cared for in an old age home means much for several of
    the informants yet many look back and wish for the spirit of
    those earlier days.

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 under the "Towards a New Past
    Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the Department of
    Culture and Youth. As part of his research for a thesis about
    the Ku Klux Klan in Canada, Anthony Appleblatt began this project
    to document the reminiscences of those individuals who had
    first-hand knowledge of the Klan's activities in Saskatchewan.
    Several informants recall meetings where people such as J.J.
    Mahoney spoke and another describes attacks against the Catholic
    Church. Unfortunately, the interviews collected are not as
    extensive as was hoped. However, they may contain some relevant
    information for a person studying the Ku Klux Klan.

  • Interviews conducted in 1983 and 1984 with former MLAs and other
    members of the Liberal Party in Saskatchewan during the years
    Wilbert Ross Thatcher was leader and Premier. The recordings
    were donated to the Saskatchewan Archives Board. Interviewees
    talk of their personal lives, what drew them to politics and the
    Liberal Party and give insights into the actions of the Thatcher
    government. Also discussed are the 1964, 1967 and 1971
    elections, the adjustment to the role of opposition after the
    years of being the government, and Ross Thatcher's death.
    Individuals talk of their own involvement in the party and the
    role they played in developing and implementing government

  • The interviews in this collection were collected by St. Paul's
    Lutheran Church, Youth Employment Service Project, Langenburg,
    during the summer of 1976. They were donated to the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Pioneers from the Marchwell area reminisce about
    their families, farming experiences and participation in
    community events. The interviewers were three students from the
    local high school.

  • Interviews conducted in 1978 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. In his project proposal, Don Forsyth outlined
    many of the recent trends in Saskatchewan agriculture resulting
    from advancements made in mechanization and commercialization.
    It is because of these that the rural setting has changed so
    dramatically in recent decades along with the farmer's
    relationship to his family, his neighbours and to the land which
    he works. How some farmers feel about these trends, have
    resisted them and tried to maintain their own way of life is what
    Mr. Forsyth hoped to document.<br/>
    The interviews portray daily life on a Saskatchewan farm from the
    early 1900s to the present. All of the informants are from
    farming backgrounds. Some were born in Saskatchewan while others
    were able to reminisce about their journey to this province and
    their experiences becoming established on a homestead. Most run
    small farming operations, three individuals are "organic farmers"
    (against the use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides), two
    made significant contributions to the agricultural industry
    through their inventions and several of the informants are women
    reflecting the woman's role on the farm.<br/>
    The interviews themselves cover a wide range of topics from which
    one can gain insight into the family farm. The informants speak
    about family and community life and one can feel the close
    relationships that once existed between people and share their
    enthusiasm for the community activities in which they used to
    participate. Aspects of farm life are discussed such as the
    various responsibilities held by children, housework, field and
    yard work, harvesting, the impact of the first radios, telephones
    and automobiles, attending a country school, working with oxen,
    mules, horses and finally tractors and the problems that these
    Recollections about the subjects mentioned above are contrasted
    with what is happening on many farms today. Public issues such
    as the use of chemicals versus organic farming, small versus
    large operations, pollution, depopulation of rural centres, the
    centralization of schools and the declining fertility of the soil
    are encountered and the opinions of those people interviewed say
    much for how they feel about the changes which have occurred in
    rural communities.<br/>
    Through this project excellent insight can be gained into the
    lives of those individuals who helped to shape Saskatchewan's
    agricultural history, and into the various communities where
    these people resided such as the North Battleford, Sonningdale,
    Borden, Buck Lake, Craven, Rocanville, Harmona, Netherhill,
    Jackfish Lake, Kindersley and Lajord districts.

  • Interviews conducted in 1978 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. The struggle which occurred between the CCF
    government and the medical profession in Saskatchewan in 1962 was
    a disturbing period in the province's medical history, and one
    which left definite scars on those involved. Although there is
    considerable written material relating to the crisis already
    available, it was felt that an oral history project documenting
    the personal recollections and impressions of those people who
    played significant roles would provide a valuable supplement.
    All of the informants interviewed were individuals who strongly
    opposed the medicare plan as it was proposed by the Douglas
    government. No attempt was made to document both sides of the
    issue largely because of limited time and financial resources.
    In this respect the collection is somewhat onesided. The
    informants were reluctant at first to discuss this controversial
    issue feeling that it was better left alone. However, as the
    project progressed, the co-operation and generosity of these busy
    individuals in sorting their memories and recalling their
    impressions and experiences in extensive detail contributed
    largely to the project's success.<br/>
    Seven doctors, a lawyer and a nurse were interviewed, discussing
    their relationship to events which occurred before, during and
    after the crisis period. Topics included such things as the
    "Keep Our Doctors Committee", withdrawal of services and what
    this meant to each individual and to the patients, emergency
    services which were organized, concessions gained and lost by
    both sides of the struggle, public support and rejection,
    step-by-step chronologies of events and perhaps most importantly
    how these people felt. Some of the doctors were directly
    involved in negotiation and study committees which met long
    before the medical care issue sprang into the open and throughout
    the crisis. These interviews are detailed accounts of the almost
    day-to-day happenings during the entire period. Another
    interview is a concise documentation of how the medicare crisis
    affected the working operation of the Regina General Hospital.
    Together, these tapes are an important addition to the Archives
    collection of materials on the medicare issue in Saskatchewan and
    would prove useful to anyone studying this topic.

  • Interviews conducted in 1981 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Informants speak of Mennonite history, beliefs,
    customs, weddings, holidays, education, cooking and the
    construction of their homes. They comment on life in an Old
    Colony village and reminisce about such pioneer practices as
    butter and soap making, butchering and making sausage. One tape
    includes a recording of a Mennonite choir singing German hymns
    and part of the interview with Mr. Peters was conducted in the
    Dutch language.

  • Interviews conducted in 1980 under a contract by the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. A Mennonite and a resident of the Park Valley
    and Big River districts since they were first settled in the
    1930s, Anna Thiessen brings an intimate knowledge of her faith
    and of life in Northern Saskatchewan to these interviews. She
    has recorded the reminiscences of three pastors who ministered in
    the Big River area. Together with interviews of lay people who
    also led active Christian lives there, they form a valuable
    collection concerning the role of the church in the Mennonite
    pioneer's life. With sincerity and some modesty the informants
    recall when the church was first built in Park Valley and the
    contributions they have made to it since then. Through their
    descriptions of picnics, suppers, weddings, funerals, camps and
    services, one senses the closeness and bonding these people felt
    as they joined together in fellowship. Their attitude of
    friendliness and caring towards neighbours and family was common
    in many pioneering communities; but here, it seems first of all
    built upon their Mennonite faith and principles and secondly as
    the outcome of pioneering spirits struggling to survive together.
    For example, a story is related of an occasion where sickness
    came to a family and neighbours ignored quarantine signs to help
    the family physically and also spiritually through prayer and
    fellowship. Incidents such as this say much for how the people
    of this area were held together.<br/>
    Though the interviews recorded for this project do not include
    much information on Mennonite history and doctrine, they are
    excellent in establishing how the faith of these people and their
    activities in the church are central in their lives. They also
    provide considerable information about homesteading in Northern
    Saskatchewan since the early 1930s.

  • Interviews conducted in 1982 and 1983 by the Gabriel Dumont
    Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research. Métis men and
    women were interviewed about various issues, past and present.

  • Interviews conducted in 1975 and 1976 by Berry Richards under a
    contract for the "Towards a New Past Programme" of the Cultural
    Activities Branch of the Department of Culture and Youth. The
    project covers the period from the 1920s to the present with some
    concentration on developments during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.
    Much of the discussion revolves around mineral finds near a
    multitude of lakes in the north such as the Reindeer,
    Deschambault, Hanson, Wollaston, Sulphide and Foster Lakes.
    Uranium City, La Ronge, Prince Albert and Creighton are the main
    centres from where most of the mining activity in the north is
    initiated. An appreciation of these communities is gained
    through interviews with their residents and people who used them
    as their bases of operation.<br/>
    A wide range of people were interviewed from a variety of
    occupations which are influential in the industry. Informants
    include prospectors, promoters, bush pilots, mining recorders, a
    cafe operator, hotel operator and a store proprietor, a radio
    operator, university personnel and government officials.
    Through the anecdotes and experiences related by prospectors,
    northern life is shown to be beautiful yet sometimes harsh and
    lonely. They often went into the bush for several weeks or
    months at a time, occasionally on their own but more usually with
    a partner or team, flown into isolated areas by bush pilots,
    travelling otherwise by foot and canoe. Some maintained cabins
    in the north and worked from there. Others set up temporary
    camps at different sites moving every few weeks or months
    depending upon the productivity of their search for minerals.
    One bush pilot explains how he often helped the prospectors set
    up their camps. Other pilots recall how their services were
    important during emergencies, the planes they flew and the
    intricacies of transporting a canoe and heavy mining equipment
    under the belly of a plane. A radio operator describes his
    duties and the messages he relayed, conveying the importance of
    his position in the lives of the prospectors and miners.
    A cafe operator and a hotel proprietor both speak of the
    prospectors, miners and promoters who worked out of La Ronge.
    The cafe owner was a counselor and friend to these people and she
    relates specific details about their lives, concerns and
    philosophies. The effect of the minerals industry on La Ronge
    and how it has influenced the development of the town are
    interesting to note.<br/>
    Others such as the miners, a surveyor, a promoter and government
    personnel help to explain what it meant to stake a claim,
    geological surveys, drilling, how financing was arranged, mining
    equipment and repairs, changes in prospecting and mining
    techniques, the importance of fishing and trapping in bush life
    and the sense of competitiveness between prospectors. That
    competition was keen is shown by several individuals who worked
    for the Saskatchewan Department of Mineral Resources recalling
    their involvement in "staking rushes" in the 1950s and 1960s when
    thousands of claims were staked and prospectors each tried to
    work in the utmost secrecy. It is also shown by the mining
    recorders how the Department has assisted prospectors and miners
    through its offices in La Ronge, Prince Albert, Uranium City and
    The government has also been involved in the industry through
    such things as the Prospectors' Assistance Programme and the
    Prospectors' School in Prince Albert, both of which are shown to
    be of considerable importance. Several individuals reflect on
    the government's increasing interest in mining and exploration
    and the effect that this is having on the industry. The role of
    universities has been significant both as teaching and research

  • Interviews conducted in 1981 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Though there has been considerable research done
    on the medicare crisis which occured in Saskatchewan in 1962,
    very little of it has dealt with the position of nurses who were
    working through that period. In writing a book concerning the
    role of nurses and their professional associations during the
    crisis, Alice Caplin, a nurse and Associate Professor at the
    College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, interviewed
    several people as part of her research. The informants were
    nursing at various places and in a number of different positions
    across the province at the time of the crisis. One individual
    was teaching nursing at the University of Saskatchewan Hospital
    and speaks of the relationship that existed between the School of
    Nursing and the College of Medicine and how it was affected by
    the crisis situation. Another person describes nursing in
    northern Saskatchewan among the native population and at Victoria
    Hospital in Prince Albert in the early 1960s. Two others recall
    their work during the crisis at the Grey Nuns' Hospital in Regina
    and another was at the Regina General Hospital. One individual
    was at the Providence Hospital in Moose Jaw and another was the
    Associate Director of Nursing at the City Hospital in Saskatoon.
    Each has a different story to tell concerning the events of 1962.
    As well, the president and vice-president of the Saskatchewan
    Registered Nurses' Association (SRNA) were interviewed and they
    recall in detail the position that the organization took during
    the medicare crisis and how it was involved in negotiations and
    decision making. The president of the Prince Albert Chapter of
    the SRNA speaks of the stand the association took on a local
    level. One other individual added an interesting perspective to
    the collection as she spoke from the point of view of a nurse who
    was a patient during the crisis. She and her husband attempted
    to establish a community clinic in Nipawin at that time and
    describe the situation which evolved there.<br/>
    Not only do these people speak of the actual crisis in 1962, but
    they relate something about their training and the developments
    in nursing and health care before and since that time. They also
    comment on the role of nurses and their position in future health
    care decisions.<br/>
    The tapes in this collection are only a portion of those that
    were recorded. On the completion of Alice Caplin's book, the
    remaining interviews will be deposited with the archives to
    complete the record. Though the informants have not placed
    restrictions on their tapes, Ms. Caplin has asked that prior to
    the publication of her book, researchers seek her permission to
    listen to the interviews.

  • Interviews conducted in 1979 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Travelling around the province with the
    CommunicArt Tour proved an excellent opportunity to interview the
    square dance callers, musicians and dancers of many communities.
    Unfortunately, several factors, one of which was time restraints,
    limited the length of the project so that the number of
    recordings made was not as large as was originally hoped. Linda
    Hudson and David Mahood, who is a fiddler himself, interviewed
    five individuals familiar with old time dancing. Three are
    fiddlers, one plays a harmonica and the other calls at square
    dances. The five informants recall something of their personal
    backgrounds, how they learned to play their instruments and call
    dances. They describe some of their experiences at school and
    wedding dances demonstrating dance steps and calls. Two others
    play dance tunes on the harmonica and fiddle. These tapes are
    augmented by recordings of portions of the CommunicArt Tour
    programme at Leoville and Radville when individuals from these
    communities participated in the dancing and fiddling. Senior
    citizens of Bredenbury speak in a group interview about old time
    dances in another recording. Robert Cosbey, folklorist and oral
    historian, was also taped as he told fables to children in
    Kerrobert as part of the CommunicArt programme.

  • Interviews conducted between 1985 and 1990 by Wayne Schmalz as
    research for his book On Air: Radio In Saskatchewan (Regina:
    Coteau Books, 1990), and donated to the Saskatchewan Archives
    Board. He recorded interviews with past and present employees of
    radio stations operating in the province. They talk about their
    own careers, what drew them to radio, and of the early days of
    radio, the technical developments and other changes that have
    taken place in the industry.<br/>
    The interviewees provide anecdotes and reminiscences on such
    topics as Canada's first open-line radio phone-in show, the first
    female radio announcer in Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan's first
    radio station, Canada's first radio broadcast of a hockey game,
    the keen competition that took place between stations for
    advertising revenue and the relationship between private stations
    and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). They also
    relate stories of the antics behind the scenes such as pranks
    played on colleagues who were on the air and desperate moments
    when things went wrong.

  • Interviews conducted in 1976 under the "Towards a New Past
    Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the Department of
    Culture and Youth. The On-To-Ottawa Trek and subsequent riot
    that occurred in Regina on 1 July 1935 is still today an issue
    that causes confusion, misunderstanding and brings out strong
    emotion in those who remember it. The four people interviewed
    here provide interesting insight into the circumstances
    surrounding the riot. They speak from different perspectives and
    it is significant to note that though many of the details they
    describe do not correspond, these are their reminiscences. Their
    interviews convey thoughts, emotions and attitudes that are real
    and neither right nor wrong. One individual was president of the
    Co-operative Commonwealth Youth Movement in Saskatchewan at the
    time of the riot. As a supporter of the trekkers, he was
    actively involved in securing rations and organizing the
    acquisition of clothing and shelter for them. His first hand
    account of the struggle that took place between citizens,
    trekkers, city police and R.C.M.P. is significantly different
    from the recollections of a city police officer also involved in
    the riot. Though they differ, each is no less valid than the
    other but they provide contrasting perspectives from which to
    view the situation as it evolved.<br/>
    Similarly, an individual involved in the Regina Union of
    Unemployed gives a different account of the trekkers' stay in
    Regina and the riot. Although the editor of the Star-Phoenix
    in Saskatoon speaks of the riot from an outsider's point of view,
    his contribution sheds light on the attitudes of others around
    the province towards the various groups involved.<br/>
    The project is limited in that so few people were interviewed.
    However, the information that has been collected is invaluable as
    it conveys clearly how people felt about the trekkers, police and
    government and the part each played in the On-To-Ottawa trek and
    Regina Riot.

  • Interviews conducted in 1978 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Mail delivery was of considerable importance to
    homesteaders and early farming communities as it was often their
    only link of communication with the outside world. In this
    project, Mildred Rose explores the experiences of postmasters,
    postmistresses, a mail carrier and several other individuals as
    they relate to mail services. As well, the interviews reflect
    much of what life was like in the districts of Pike Lake, Valley
    Park, Gledhow, Gravelbourg, Greenan, Edenwold, Arborfield,
    Daysville, Longhope and Zenon Park. Most informants speak of the
    first rural post offices located in settlers' homes or in general
    stores. They describe mail days which became social occasions
    when members of rural communities gathered to visit and purchase
    supplies. Not only letters came by mail but people did much of
    their shopping by mail order and looked forward to receiving
    parcels from Eaton's, Simpson's, the Army and Navy and Christie
    Grant's. It was a busy time in the post office when the actual
    "wishing books" or mail order catalogues came in the spring and
    fall. Many families also looked forward to reading the
    serialized stories in publications which came regularly such as
    Country Guide, Free Press, NorWest Farmer, and
    Farm and Ranch Review. Though it was minimal in comparison
    to the quantity received today, there was always a certain amount
    of "junk" mail too.<br/>
    As the informants speak of the kinds of mail they received, they
    also describe the work involved in getting it to its destination.
    The mail carrier's job was often a hazardous undertaking as
    horses and cutters were usually the only practical means of
    hauling mail from the nearest train stop in winter, even after
    the truck and car were available. Cream cans and eggs were often
    transported along with the mail to market for people along the
    route. The mail carrier also shopped in town for people in rural
    areas, picking up machine parts, groceries and, in one incident
    recalled, a birthday present. Women sometimes received a ride
    home with the mail carrier after having their babies in the
    nearest town or city and occasionally people were transported to
    hospital in this way.<br/>
    The cutters that were used are described as having small wood or
    coal stoves to keep the passengers, cream and eggs from freezing.
    One mail carrier from the Pike Lake area resorted to the use of a
    homemade snow plane in the worse weather. It was comprised of a
    box on skis with an engine run by a propeller at the back. This
    contraption could make up to 70 miles an hour and sped over the
    drifts and ditches which were impassable with truck or team and
    wagon. The co-operation of the community was offered to the mail
    carriers in the form of free meals, resting stops and substitute
    teams of horses when the originals became tired.<br/>
    Both carriers and postmasters received very small salaries.
    Around 1912 to 1917, the salary for postmasters was $35.00 per
    year. The job was considered to be a service to the community.
    Often the postmaster's position was handed down from one
    generation to another, keeping it in the family for many years.
    They were expected to be exact and responsible and to keep the
    post office open at the convenience of customers who came nearly
    anytime of the day or night to pick up mail.<br/>
    The coming of all-weather roads and better cars lessened the need
    for rural post offices. Most were closed down about 1963 and
    mail service for farmers changed to the rural route system which
    meant that mail was delivered by a postman directly to the
    farmer's mail box beside the road. Feelings about these changes
    among the people interviewed were mixed. Though it has become
    somewhat more convenient to receive mail directly, most question
    whether services are actually much better today and they look
    back at times past with fond memories.

  • Interviews conducted in 1982 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. The Seventieth Anniversary of the founding of
    St. Andrew's College, Saskatoon, was used as an opportunity to
    tape record the reminiscences of former students, faculty and
    others associated with the College. The College was established
    in 1912 by the Presbyterian Church to meet provincial needs and
    those of Presbyterian students in attendance at the University of
    Saskatchewan. In 1913, Professor E.H. Oliver, who occupied the
    Chair of History and Economics at the University, was appointed
    Principal. In 1920 the mandate of the College was extended to
    include the training of "leaders for work among the New Canadians
    of this Province". From the period following Church Union in
    1925 until the 1950s the role of St. Andrew's and other Western
    Canadian colleges was somewhat uncertain. At that time it was
    arranged that St. Andrew's should be the college on the Prairies
    to have primary responsibility for undergraduate theological
    education, while St. Stephen's College in Edmonton and the
    Faculty of Theology of the University of Winnipeg were to have
    responsibility in continuing education for ministers and in
    graduate theological degree programmes.<br/>
    Interviewees describe their personal background years at St.
    Andrew's and the effects of prairie history upon their ministry.
    Significant information is related by female interviewees who
    describe their struggles to study and become ordained during the
    early decades of the College.

  • Interviews conducted in 1978 under contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Brock Stevens and Alayne Sewell began
    interviewing in the Big Muddy and Grasslands area as they
    collected sound track material and did background research for a
    proposed film. Interested in collecting information about the
    area's development and about the people who settled and lived
    there, no one particular topic was focused upon. Instead, a wide
    range of subjects is covered as individuals speak of their lives
    and of the growth and development of their particular districts
    i.e. Val Marie, Rockglen, Big Beaver, Big Muddy, Fife Lake and
    Lacordaire. The informants related something of their personal
    backgrounds and how they or their families came to settle in the
    west. Other topics include breaking the land, breaking horses,
    rodeos, attending school, forms of entertainment such as dances
    and concerts, sports days, gambling, rustlers, prohibition and
    bootlegging, threshing, rail and mail services, coal mining,
    digging wells, teaching, different ethnic groups in the area,
    effects of the Depression, the decline of small towns and the
    centralization of farms.<br/>
    Though the quality of the interviews is not always good, they do
    impart something of the character of the region and its people as
    informants relate numerous anecdotes.

  • Interviews conducted in 1982 under a contract by the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. The Lutheran Collegiate Bible Institute,
    Outlook, Saskatchewan, is a residential school of the Evangelical
    Lutheran Church of Canada. In 1911, a group of Saskatchewan
    Lutherans recognized a need to establish a Lutheran Church school
    in the province to teach Lutheran Christian ideals to their
    children. The Outlook College was the result.
    Opened in 1916, the College evolved over the years to its present
    character where it offers a high-school programme encompassing
    grades 10, 11 and 12 and a one-year Bible College course.
    The first principal of the school was H.O. Gronlid and the
    courses taught were: College Preparatory, Normal, English and
    Parochial, Music and Commercial. In the period 1923 to 1936,
    Rev. K. Bergsagel was first principal and later president of the
    school. It was at that time (1927-1936) that the school became
    affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan as a Junior
    In the years between 1936 and 1939 courses at the College were
    discontinued and the facilities were used by the Provincial
    Government as a school of Home Economics. The College re-opened
    in 1939, and courses were limited to Bible Studies. The name was
    changed to the Saskatchewan Lutheran Bible Institute.<br/>
    In 1943, high-school classes were once again offered. Since 1948
    the facilities of the school have been continually upgraded with
    the renovation of existing buildings and addition of others. In
    1953 the school's name was changed to its present form.<br/>
    Interviewees describe their experiences at the Lutheran
    Collegiate Bible Institute and how those changes shaped their
    lives. Also described are changes to the campus and the
    evolution of educational goals of the College.<br/>
    The interviewers are graduates of the College.

  • Interviews conducted in 1976 and 1977 and donated to the
    Saskatchewan Archives Board. This project contains the personal
    reminiscences of long-time residents of the Radville and Brooking
    areas. As the informants describe their lives homesteading,
    farming or living in town, one not only gains knowledge about
    general pioneer practices but also about the development of these
    places. They speak of when they first came to Saskatchewan, why
    they settled in these districts and what they were like in the
    early years. They recall when certain buildings and houses were
    built, anecdotes relating to their neighbours and other
    townspeople and the history of businessess, clubs and
    organizations. Most interviews are accompanied by photographs of
    the towns and of the informants.

  • Interviews conducted between 1975 and 1977 under the "Towards a
    New Past Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the
    Department of Culture and Youth. In conducting this project
    John Turner attempted to fill a conspicuous gap which exists in
    written sources. Though there is considerable documentary
    evidence relating to the history of the farmers' movement and the
    development of the Wheat Pool in Saskatchewan, the personal
    reminiscences of those grass-roots individuals who were devoted
    to the idea of the Wheat Pool and co-operative organization were
    missing. The Pool was built on the support of such people. It
    was their work and faith that made it succeed. Necessarily,
    their oral testimonies are vital to an understanding of a history
    of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool's origins and development.
    Among the informants there were many who had immigrated from
    Europe, Britain and the United States. Not all had been farmers
    and certainly not all had been involved in an organized farm
    movement previous to their arrival in Saskatchewan. Some had
    been active in or at least conscious of other farm organizations
    before they became involved in the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. For
    others the Pool was a new experience. In establishing how and
    why it was organized, informants talk about the formation of
    organizations such as the Farmers' Unity League, the Farmers'
    Union and the United Grain Growers' Association. Several
    individuals played key roles in these and show how organizations
    like them smoothed the way for acceptance of Pool ideas and
    In almost every interview, the farming and market conditions
    which prevailed during the early 1920s stand out as reasons for
    the Pool's formation. Farmers were often being cheated and
    abused by line elevator men. They were docked unfairly, unable
    to get an honest price for their grain. A number of informants
    related anecdotes about such dishonesty where they or their
    neighbours were cheated. Not all line elevator men were corrupt
    as is shown in the interviews with several individuals who were
    line elevator men at one time. One had actually acted as a Pool
    agent and later became a line elevator man because of some
    Most informants recall the very early years of the Pool and the
    first attempts to get people to join. A number were actively
    involved in the initial campaign and helped to sign people up.
    They travelled around the province speaking to various groups and
    supported other co-operative leaders such as Aaron Sapiro. Many
    of the people interviewed were active on local Pool committees
    and describe what this involved and the grievances and issues
    they dealt with. Some were also instrumental in establishing
    other co-operative efforts in their communities and as they
    describe these, an understanding of the acceptance of the
    co-operative movement as a whole in these various areas can be
    gained. As well, informants talk about the relationships which
    existed between Pool and non-Pool members and the effect which
    the organization of the Wheat Pool had on their communities.
    The formation of the CCF and its influence on the co-operative
    movement is another area for discussion which occurs frequently
    among the tapes. A person's feelings and beliefs about
    socialism, communism, the CCF and the co-operative movement were
    often interrelated and determined to some extent how they viewed
    the Pool and other co-operative ventures. Political affiliations
    affected attitudes towards the Wheat Pool in many instances,
    though there was no official link between the two.<br/>
    Encompassing these various areas, the project as a whole sheds
    interesting light on a particular aspect of Saskatchewan's
    agricultural, economic and political history.

  • Interviews conducted in 1977 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Concerned that the history of the Wahpaton Sioux
    had not been recorded accurately, Robert Goodvoice, an elder of
    the Wahpaton Band, began narrating onto tape the stories that had
    been told to him by his grandfather. Sam Buffalo and Archie
    Eagle also contributed, relating those stories that they could
    remember. The tapes deal with historical, cultural and spiritual
    topics. A list of these follows, organized according to tape
    R-A1334: The origin of the Dakota tribe, the prophecy of the
    coming of white civilization, the Dakota people's experience of
    first contact with white civilization, the Minnesota Massacre in
    1862, the flight of the Dakota people to Canada, obtaining land
    for the Round Plain Reserve from the federal government in 1893,
    the Wahpaton chiefs both hereditary and elected.<br/>
    R-A1335: How the Dakota came to settle in the Prince Albert
    district, farming with assistance from the government, the coming
    of the McKays, the effect of the Riel Rebellion on the Dakota,
    ownership of Manhattan Island, New York by Indian people, the
    traditional structure of a Dakota village, division of the Dakota
    tribe into smaller groups, how knowledge is passed from one
    generation to another, observations on animal behaviour,
    premonitions concerning the weather, medicine, and curing and
    drying of meat.<br/>
    R-A1336: The story of the Dakota alliance in the War of 1812 and
    the chiefs' awards for aiding the British, how these medals have
    been passed down to successive Dakota chiefs, how the Dakota in
    Canada relinquished rights to the goods which were awarded
    annually by the British as a tribute to their loyalty, how at one
    time written permission was required for a Dakota to leave the
    reserve, a story of how two Dakota leaders were kidnapped and
    sold by white men.<br/>
    R-A1337: The story of Red Top, death and burial practices, the
    dislocation of families during and after the Sioux Uprising in
    1862 and the long search for relatives, digging and roasting wild
    vegetables, and making pemmican from buffalo meat.<br/>
    R-A1338: How his lost grandfather receives divine guidance from a
    poplar tree, how spiritual powers are invoked to locate a lost
    child and a horse, a discussion of spiritual powers and how they
    work, the white man's misunderstanding of the Indians' spiritual
    powers, a story of finding lost keys and a lost cow.<br/>
    R-A1339: How United States authorities offer bribes to the Dakota
    to return from Canada to the U.S., how a man is punished for
    breaking a rule during a buffalo hunt, the kidnapping of a Dakota
    woman and children, poisoning of the Dakota by a white man, a
    gift of contaminated underwear causing sickness and death to the
    recipients, a gift of poisoned buns and other poisonous foods,
    the song of the rabbit hunt and a description of how the rabbit
    is hunted, the song for gathering wild duck eggs and a
    description of how they are gathered, the practice of children
    dancing in front of the chief's lodge in the evening.<br/>
    R-A1340: The origin of the sun dance, how the sun dance is
    performed today and the function of the sun dance in healing,
    when and where a sun dance is held, "Unktomi" a spirit which
    appears in human form to help and guide the people, and the red
    R-A1341: The red path and "Chukanduta" society, rejection of a
    person from the "Chukanduta" society, the demanding role of a
    society member, a story of raiding for horses which is the first
    time the Dakota saw horses.<br/>
    R-A1342: Burning sweet grass to purify water, drying and storing
    berries and roots, how "Unktomi" guides the people and how this
    belief is dying out, the story of a woman's treachery to her own
    people and her punishment, the purification rite for a person who
    has committed a crime.<br/>
    R-A1343: The story of the first shot to be fired in the Minnesota
    Massacre, the Dakota fight and the division into two groups at
    the Cypress Hills, how the Dakota reacted to the Northwest
    R-A1344: Dakota child discipline, the sacred hoop, childhood and
    adult education, sponsorship of children in their training, how
    Dakota identity is learned, a children's story about friendship,
    the Dakota system of counting, how carving is taught to young
    R-A1345: The circle ceremony, the meaning of "Tiyoti", the circle
    of knowledge, judging women by the expressiveness of their hands,
    the practice of vegetarianism among the early Dakota, Chanya or
    wood counting - a record keeping of Dakota generations, skills
    taught by "Tiyoti", Holy Dance ceremonies, the separation of the
    Dakota nation into four parts, territorial losses at the time of
    the Minnesota Massacre, the disorganization and confusion caused
    by the reserve life, the Chief White Cap story, hardships, the
    location of the seven Dakota reserves in Canada.<br/>
    R-A1346: Dakota elders' predictions, a description of early
    reserve life, the practice of home singing of "Tiotowan",
    disruptions in the pursuit of traditional practices and their
    breakdown, the depression of the 1930s and a destructive form of
    dancing that sprang up, the effects of the introduction of social
    welfare assistance on reserve life, the Big Top Celebrations,
    Dakota language lessons, and the history of the Wahpaton
    R-A1347: The Holy Dance Society and the story of its origin, the
    red circle, stories of "Unktomi", a story of the first gramaphone
    on a Dakota reserve, "Unktomi's" physical appearance, the
    spiritual powers of large poplar trees, and "Unktomi's" power to
    R-5761 to R-5763: Indian medicines and how the Dakota tribe came
    to live in the Prince Albert area.

  • Interviews conducted in 1978 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. This project consists of six interviews
    conducted with senior members of St. Peter's Abbey, Muenster.
    Established first as a Priory in 1903 by St. John's Abbey,
    Collegeville, Minnesota, the intention of the Priory was to serve
    the spiritual needs of the German Catholic homesteaders who were
    arriving from the United States to take up land in western
    Canada. All of the monks interviewed are of German-American
    descent and, after entering the Benedictine community as novices
    in Collegeville, came up to St. Peter's in the early 1920s.
    The interviews follow a similar pattern throughout, documenting
    the various and wide-ranging experiences of each monk beginning
    with the austere pioneering conditions of life at St. Peter's in
    the 1920s. As well, they speak of the growth of the monastic
    community itself from a Priory to the status of an Abbey and
    later an Abbacy, through the years of the Depression, the two
    world wars, the changes wrought by Vatican II and up until the
    present time.<br/>
    Particular emphasis is placed throughout on the Abbey's
    high-school programme which was begun in 1921 and later its arts
    college programme. All the monks interviewed were actively
    involved with the students and their education at one time or
    another and the conversations about their experiences range
    across a spectrum of topics such as science and religion,
    extracurricular activities, theology, the problems of discipline
    in a boarding school setting, the original although unfulfilled
    hopes of encouraging young men to enter the Benedictine Order,
    the effects of the Depression as well as the recent and difficult
    decision in 1971 to end the educational programme entirely.
    The monks are deeply involved with the world around them. The
    Holy Rule of St. Benedict is nourished through their active work
    as well as their monastic life of prayer. Father Matthew Michel
    gives a lively, if not vigorous, account of his efforts and
    success to bring about an awareness of the need for rural
    electrification both at the level of the individual farmer and at
    the political level of the Saskatchewan Power Commission in
    Regina. He single-handedly organized a group of local men to
    install power and run lines to individual farms and communities
    in and around Annaheim in the late 1940s. This was the first
    step in a movement which saw rural electrification spread
    throughout the province. Father Francis Lohmer gives a clear and
    reflective account of what he terms "a spiritual response to
    social problems", his own involvement with the co-operative
    movement in its early days, and the formation of credit unions.
    Also carefully documented is the path of a novitiate's training,
    the kind of life and discipline that is involved in becoming
    ordained as a monk and a member of the Benedictine Order, as well
    as the kind of attitude that the Order attempts to foster and
    nourish in a monastic community. Included in the interviews are
    the monks' responses to the changes that have occurred within the
    church and particularly how Vatican II has affected the monastic
    community and the lay members of the Roman Catholic Church.
    The priests who were interviewed are for the most part in their
    late seventies and were ordained as monks in the early 1920s.
    This fifty-year span of time as perceived through their eyes and
    from their monastic context gives a unique perspective to the
    life of the province and the changes which have occurred here.

  • Interviews conducted in 1977 and 1978 and donated to the
    Saskatchewan Archives Board. Studies relating to the history of
    education in Saskatchewan have previously focused on legislative
    and administrative topics with only a few exceptions. Concerned
    that the more human elements had been neglected, the
    Superannuated Teachers of Saskatchewan and the College of
    Education of the University of Saskatchewan proposed that an oral
    history project be undertaken. Subsequently, John Henderson, a
    graduate student, completed fifty-one interviews with retired
    teachers, some of whom taught as early as 1916. Although most of
    those interviewed were living in Saskatoon at the time, they
    provided information regarding both rural and urban schools and
    about distinctly different parts of the province. The interviews
    generally follow a basic question set where informants speak of
    their family backgrounds and their own education including their
    teacher training at Normal School. That the latter little
    prepared them for working in a rural one-room school with upwards
    of fifty pupils was a common feeling. How they coped with such a
    large number of students and a wide range of grades is covered.
    They also speak of curriculum changes and teaching methods such
    as those supported by proponents of Progressive Education.
    Often the teacher had to perform janitorial duties as well,
    sweeping and cleaning the classroom and starting the fire in the
    morning to warm the room.<br/>
    Other aspects of school life are discussed such as library
    facilities, supplies and equipment, the annual Christmas concerts
    and how the school functioned generally in the community's social
    life. Teachers' accommodations varied depending upon the area
    they taught in. The effects of the Depression on their lives and
    jobs also differed between communities.<br/>
    Informants address issues such as the formation of larger school
    units and they speak of the organization of the Saskatchewan
    Teachers' Federation and the reforms that it has brought about.
    Containing much anecdotal and specific information, this project
    represents an excellent attempt to document the personal aspects
    of Saskatchewan's educational history.

  • Entrevues réalisées entre 1977 et 1981 auprès de francophones.
    Ces enregistrements donnent des renseignements sur les familles
    et le folklore des régions de Makwa, Gravelbourg, St-Victor,
    Ponteix, Meyronne, Prud'homme, Zenon Park, Ferland, Vonda,
    Meacham, Laventure, Spiritwood, Willow Bunch et Radville. Les
    thèmes choisis traitent des premières expériences des pionniers
    ainsi que des chansons chantées au début du siècle. Les
    enregistrements sont riches en détails ethnologiques car les
    paroles chantées varient selon la région de la province.

  • Interviews conducted between 1979 and 1981. Many of the stories
    have been transcribed and edited by Joan Olson in Prairie
    Reflections: Pioneer Life 1900-1930, Regina, 1985 (available at
    the Saskatchewan Archives, Call No. R-E2360).<br/>
    The Prairie Oral History Association was formed in 1979 by a
    group of seniors through the Department of Extension, University
    of Regina. In 1980, as part of the celebrations of the
    province's seventy-fifth anniversary the group obtained a New
    Horizons grant to tape record life stories and reminiscences of
    pioneers. They donated the interviews to the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board.<br/>
    The object was not only to depict the hardships and trials faced
    by the province's early settlers, but to give those interviewed
    an opportunity to articulate, in their own words, their personal
    experiences and observations. By returning to the same themes in
    each interview, the interviewers asked about both family and
    community life. Their stories reveal courage, perseverance,
    humour and resourcefulness that enabled them to survive the early
    years on the prairies.

  • Songs and interviews collected between 1984 and 1989 with
    Saskatchewan song writers and singers, and donated to the
    Saskatchewan Archives Board. The recordings were gathered as
    part of Ms. Knowles' research for her M.A. thesis Prairie
    Themes in Saskatchewan Songs.
    Donated with the audio tapes is correspondence from contributors
    and other related material: this information is located in
    collection R-1330.

  • The Rural Women's Project, sponsored by the Prince Albert Women's
    Work Co-operative and funded by Employment and Immigration
    Canada's Community Development Program, took place from February
    24th 1983 to February 24th 1984. Efforts concentrated on three
    tasks: a survey of rural women's needs, programming for rural
    women, and collecting the oral histories of three generations of
    rural women living in the Prince Albert rural district.<br/>
    The main areas of inquiry in the interviews were to document the
    changes in rural women's living and working conditions, changes
    in rural assistance programs, changing patterns of socialization
    within the community, and changes in the style of communication
    within families over three generations.<br/>
    Half of the interviews were collected in the Mayview district.
    Others originated from several different rural districts
    including Henribourg, Aylingly, Paddockwood, Spruce Home, and
    Birch Hills.<br/>
    The interview outlines can be located in the file for tape
    R-9204. The first outline was designed for the middle and older
    generations who dramatically experienced the introduction of
    power and running water into rural homes. The second outline was
    designed for the younger generation, although some of the
    questions apply equally well to the middle and older generations.
    The third outline was developed by Olga Allen, who collected half
    of the interviews, from several discussions of potential
    questions for interviews.<br/>
    It should be mentioned that all informants were pre-interviewed.
    However, some pre-interviews tended toward the coffee party
    experience. The style of hospitality offered precluded a gentle
    guiding onto the purpose of the visit.<br/>
    The documentation is complete including agreement forms,
    visitation reports and summaries of all interviews.

  • Interviews created under the Opportunities for Youth programme
    and donated to the Saskatchewan Archives Board. The interviews
    were only one part of a study conducted by university and high
    school students in the summer of 1973. Recollections of Our
    Pioneer Past involved nine researchers collecting data from
    original Saskatchewan homesteaders and their descendants. A
    total of 4500 questionnaires were mailed to people across the
    province, 1500 of which were returned. On the basis of these
    results interviews were recorded with a selected few.
    Oral history interviewing was employed to supplement information
    obtained from the questionnaires and to enable people to reply to
    more open-ended questions than the questionnaire would permit.
    A specific question set was determined which focused on several
    different areas. Project interviewers wanted to determine how
    advertising influenced people's decision to come to Canada and
    whether it made them adequately aware of conditions that existed
    in Saskatchewan. They asked what people expected Saskatchewan to
    be like and if they were disillusioned by what they found here.
    What was the homesteader's socio-economic background and was this
    an influencing factor in his decision to come? Why did the
    homesteader choose the particular homestead on which he settled?
    Were the services provided by the railway and line companies
    adequate and did the homesteader receive fair treatment from
    them? How was the homesteader involved in community affairs?
    Informants were also asked about the impact which the depression
    of the 1930s had on their lives, and about views on several
    current issues.<br/>
    Because the interviewers did not deviate from these specific
    questions, the interviews are limited in some respects.
    Questions were not tailored for each informant to allow him or
    her to respond as freely and vividly as may have been possible
    about their pioneering experiences. Despite this, several of the
    interviews are rich in anecdotes and details about pioneer days.
    For more information about the project, see the final report with
    the interview summaries.

  • Interviews in this project were conducted in 1985 with practicing
    and retired individuals in the real estate business in Regina.
    The interviewees talk about their experiences in real estate,
    various developments and important transactions. Comparisons are
    made between the real estate industry in the 1940s-1950s and the
    1980s. The interviews were donated to the Saskatchewan Archives
    The original project intended to include several more
    interviewees but since the interviewer left Regina the project
    was not completed.

  • Interviews conducted in 1981 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. In preparing a book about houses in Regina built
    prior to 1914, Margaret Hryniuk and Meta Perry found that oral
    history interviews with present and former occupants were their
    best sources of information. They conducted interviews with
    members of many of the city's early prominent families, for the
    most part in professional and business circles. The following
    are some that are specifically mentioned: Bole, Barr, Thornton,
    Cruikshank, Corbett, Duncan, Gardiner, Hamilton, Hill,
    MacPherson, Pettingell, Thompson, Bryant, Masons, Dawson,
    McKenzie, Brown, McCallum, Heffernan, Turgeon, Howe, McCauslin,
    McBeth, Balfour, Davis, Rowan, Sneath, Darke, Peart, and Martin.
    Many different homes are talked about but those that are
    described in detail include: 2102 (now 2100) and 2244 Scarth
    Street; 2990, 3220, 3238, 3100 and 3118 Albert Street; 2530
    College Avenue; 2164 Hamilton Street; 2605 Angus Boulevard; 2805
    McCallum Avenue; and 281 Leopold Cresent. The physical style of
    these houses, windows, individual rooms, furniture, fixtures,
    curtains, and other decorative items, renovations which have
    occurred, the grounds, gardens and occasionally the stables and
    other out-buildings are discussed and brought to life with
    related anecdotes.<br/>
    Most informants speak of the development of Regina and give one a
    clear understanding of what life was like in its early years for
    this particular social class. Several individuals reminisce
    about the political involvement of their families and discuss how
    this affected their home and social life. They speak of the
    entertaining that was done in their homes, preparations and who
    was present at these social gatherings. Because many were in the
    public eye, they had to be careful in almost anything they did;
    attend the right functions, associate with the right people and
    otherwise follow all of the rules of social propriety. This did
    not always happen of course but it did have a great effect on
    their lives.<br/>
    One individual was a member of Regina's law community for many
    years and relates numerous anecdotes about his colleagues.
    Others speak of the history of their family businesses. Two of
    the people interviewed have just recently become owners and have
    moved into their present homes. They describe the renovations
    and restoration work they have done and are planning for the
    future. Two others (also not early occupants of any of these
    houses) who are experts in architectural history provide
    considerable technical and historical information about them.
    This project is an important supplement to architectural drawings
    specifications and photographs already housed in the archives,
    adding a new dimension to these other collections. They provide
    objective descriptions of what the houses looked like and also a
    feeling for the life that was lived in them, of families,
    neighbours and friends. Anyone doing research about early Regina
    would find them valuable sources.

  • Interviews conducted in 1986 as part of The Royal Canadian Legion
    Aural History Project, to mark the 60th anniversary of Legion.
    The project was planned by The Royal Canadian Legion Dominion
    Command to cover all provincial commands, branches and ladies
    auxiliaries across Canada. Its stated objectives were, "not to
    produce war stories, but to examine each individual as to his
    early life, his service career and his legion life generally, to
    reflect motivation and provide research material for the future",
    and from the combined life histories to create "a composite
    portrait of a generation of Canadians [that] will be left as a
    legacy to this country".<br/>
    In Saskatchewan, 22 members of The Royal Canadian Legion and
    Ladies Auxiliaries were interviewed. They reminisce about their
    wartime experiences both at the front and at home, and talk about
    the aims, purpose and organizational structure of the Legion.
    An example of the interview kit used for the project (including
    general questions to be asked), a copy of the final report
    prepared by Marcel Dirk, Director, Aural History Project and
    related correspondence are filed with the summary of Tape
    The interviewers are volunteers and members of the Legion.
    The National Archives of Canada holds a set of the recordings for
    the whole of Canada (see "Royal Canadian Legion").

  • Interviews conducted in 1974 under the "Towards a New Past
    Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the Department of
    Culture and Youth. The Old Colony Mennonites, a relatively small
    Mennonite sub-sect, are characterized by their degree of
    conservativeness and their adherence to the principles set forth
    by the founding father, Menno Simons. Two settlements were
    established by them in Saskatchewan near Swift Current and
    Rosthern around the turn of the century; daughter colonies of
    those that were established in southern Manitoba during the
    1870s. It is these two village communities that provide a focus
    for this study and Richard Friesen's subsequent Master's thesis.
    It was felt that a project of this nature was necessary because
    these settlements were undergoing considerable change, the
    characteristic linear settlement plans and connected house and
    barn structures were disappearing, young people were leaving, and
    the original pioneers were all reaching advanced age.<br/>
    Several of the informants were born in Russia but most were born
    either in the Manitoba or Saskatchewan settlements. They recall,
    however, some of the reasons which prompted their parents and
    grandparents to immigrate to Manitoba and how they eventually
    came to Saskatchewan. How the land was chosen, acquired and
    divided is described, as is the subsequent establishment of the
    village pattern and how it was administered. Informants relate
    what the buildings looked like, how they were constructed and why
    the connected house and barn style was used. Gardens, orchards,
    pastures and livestock that was raised are described with
    comments about farming practices, the communal effort, struggles
    during the Depression and the general feelings about the
    mechanization of agriculture.<br/>
    Other attitudes are discussed such as those towards appropriate
    clothing, music and the use of automobiles. Changes which have
    occurred in these beliefs and other customs are described as well
    as changes in such things as food preparation and wedding rites.
    In this way, the character of these communities is shown.
    Similarly, an understanding of the villages' history and
    development is gained through comments about the effects of the
    railroad, migrations that were made to Mexico in the 1920s by
    some colony members and the influence of incoming Russian
    Mennonites and the relationship which existed between the two
    groups. An issue is described which revolved around education
    and whether Mennonite children could attend Mennonite private
    schools or had to go to public schools. People also speak of
    conscription and the effect that the two world wars had on them,
    and through all of the interviews the role of the church in the
    Old Colony Mennonites' lives is explained.

  • Interviews conducted between 1976 and 1978 and donated to the
    Saskatchewan Archives Board. In conducting research on the
    Saskatchewan Arts Board, William Riddell interviewed individuals
    who have been influential in its development. These include the
    Executive Directors, 1961 to 1971, the vice-chairman, 1952 to
    1961 and the current chairman in 1977. Several are with people
    who have been with the Arts Board since its formation. Recalled
    are the first meetings of the Board, the reception that it
    received in rural areas, how it developed resource people in
    small communities and the help it provided in the formation of
    local arts councils. Informants speak of policy and
    administrative decisions faced by the Board and the various
    programmes it has assisted over the years such as those of the
    Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts, the poetry and literary
    society, festivals, the Mendel and McKenzie Art galleries and the
    two symphony orchestras in the province.<br/>
    As the director of the art gallery in Swift Current, one
    individual speaks of cultural programmes and facilities developed
    in that city and the influence which the Saskatchewan Arts Board
    has had. Another board member acted as chairman of the
    Handicrafts Committee and describes in detail how she became
    interested in crafts and helped to encourage ethnic craftsmen
    through programmes such as the community progress competitions
    sponsored by the CNR in the 1920s.<br/>
    Though there have been some personality clashes on the Board,
    most informants speak of their colleagues with admiration,
    recalling individuals, both on the board and in various
    communities, who were influential. The relationship that existed
    between the Arts Board and the Thatcher and Lloyd governments is
    described as well as its relationship to other fund-providing
    bodies such as the Department of Culture and Youth and Sask
    Sport. The philosophy behind the Arts Board and how it
    establishes its priorities and goals is also related.<br/>
    Technical quality is not always good. However, this collection
    represents an important study concerning cultural development in
    the province.

  • Interviews conducted in 1985 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. In 1984 the Canadian Association of Social
    Workers (CASW) received a federal grant to conduct videotaped
    interviews with 50 retired high-profile social workers across
    Canada. Saskatchewan personalities were included in the project:
    Millie Battel, Bob Talbot, Dorothy Zarski, and Isobel Russell
    (see VT - R-1853 to R-1857).<br/>
    The Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers obtained a similar
    grant from the Government of Saskatchewan during Heritage Year
    (1985) to conduct audio tape interviews with mainly retired
    social workers. The project ran from June to December, 1985.
    Many of the potential interviewees were retired in Regina or
    Saskatoon. The Saskatchewan Archives Board provided the
    necessary equipment and technical assistance was provided by
    sound archivist Krzysztof M. Gebhard. Florence Driedger, MSW,
    was the project supervisor.<br/>
    Fifty social workers were contacted by mail; thirty of those
    were either unavailable or unwilling to be interviewed, and three
    more had to pull out of the project later. The interviews cover
    the early history of social work in the province. The
    interviewer was careful not to overlap interview material with
    that available from the CASW project, which is also deposited in
    the Archives. A complete project report is found in R-E2285.

  • Interviews conducted in 1979 and 1980 and donated to the
    Saskatchewan Archives Board. In conducting research for a book
    about the history of the Saskatchewan Hospitals' Association
    (SHA), William Riddell recorded interviews with individuals who
    have worked with the organization in various capacities over the
    years. Several reminisce about health care in Saskatchewan as
    early as the 1930s and most speak of the development of the SHA
    from the time of their involvement to the present. Informants
    include hospital administrators and surveyors, and individuals
    who held positions on the Association's board and on various
    committees. Discussion focuses on the role of the SHA and how it
    has evolved. Comparisons are made between it and other health
    care organizations such as the Canadian Hospitals' Association,
    the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses' Association, the College of
    Physicians and Surgeons and nursing homes. Several of the
    informants were instrumental in formulating SHA policies and
    implementing its programmes concerning employee benefits,
    education, labour relations and consultative services. They
    discuss how these programmes evolved and have changed over the
    years, with comments on the role of many other individuals who
    were also involved. The part that the SHA played in major health
    care such as the medicare crisis in 1962, is also discussed with
    accounts of negotiations between the medical profession and the
    From these interviews, one realizes the significance of the SHA
    in the development of the province's health care system.
    Technical quality of the tapes is not always good.

  • In 1985, Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association Inc.
    commissioned the writing of a history of the parks and recreation
    movement in Saskatchewan from the founding of this province in
    1905 up to and including the year 1985. This forty-year history
    was published in October, 1986, under the title,
    Saskatchewan's Recreation Heritage. These interviews were
    In the course of researching the book, interviews were conducted
    with individuals who have been involved in recreation in
    Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Recreation Association (later to
    become the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association) was
    established in 1961. Both the first President of the Association
    and the 1986 President are included in the interviews.
    Also included are accounts of the first provincial government
    involvement in recreation, with the establishment of the
    Saskatchewan Recreation Movement in 1945, early activities of
    that department, and the subsequent involvement of the government
    to the present day.<br/>
    Representatives of recreation boards and associations throughout
    the province, including the far north, have also been
    interviewed. The majority of these people are volunteers from
    their local recreation organizations who have gone on to become
    involved in the provincial scene.<br/>
    The province of Saskatchewan is recognized as one of the leaders
    in the development of recreation services in this country. It
    was the first province to include recreation as part of its
    mandate under the original National Physical Fitness Act of 1945
    and was a pioneer in the development of field services. The
    information in these interviews will therefore be of interest to
    all those in the recreation field. The interviews are also
    valuable in the picture they give of leisure activities, from the
    twenties and thirties up to the present day.

  • Interviews conducted in 1991 as an exercise for a Journalism
    class, University of Regina, organized by assistant professor
    Jill Spelliscy, and donated to the Saskatchewan Archives Board.
    This project looks at the strategies of the New Democratic Party
    and Progressive Conservative Party, during the 1982 and 1986
    Saskatchewan provincial election campaigns, through interviews
    with people involved in their planning and implementation. The
    interviews focus on: 1) the efforts of the parties to promote
    themselves, the personalities of candidates and the parties'
    respective ideologies and 2) the promises made during the
    campaign, to whom they were targeted and the inner workings of
    party strategies looking at the mistakes, the victories and key
    party advisors and the nature of their analysis.

  • Interviews conducted in 1977 under the "Towards a New Past
    Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the Department of
    Culture and Youth. This project is complementary to the
    extensive papers of the Saskatchewan Rivers Development
    Association (SRDA) now located in the Saskatchwan Archives Board.
    The project consists of eight interviews with a cross-section of
    people involved in or influenced by the SRDA from Regina,
    Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Outlook and Broderick. The Association was
    formed by a group of local Regina businessmen in the early 1940s
    in order to obtain a dam on the South Saskatchewan River. These
    people had lived through the 1930s and experienced the
    devastating effects of the drought conditions. Because many of
    them had seen the irrigation fields of Alberta and were aware of
    the benefits of such a system, they felt strongly that irrigation
    must come to Saskatchewan.<br/>
    The organization was eventually led by Dr. William Tufts who
    spearheaded the drive for a dam, rallying support in all parts of
    Canada and finally winning the federal government's approval in
    1957 under the John Diefenbaker administration. The agreement
    for the dam was signed between Saskatchewan and Ottawa in 1958
    and the dam, known as the Gardiner Dam, officially opened in
    1967, about twenty-five years after the Association was formed.
    In conducting the interviews, Mrs. Taylor talked with early
    members of the organization, directors of the Association and
    with its long time president, Dr. Tufts. Many interesting
    aspects of the struggle have been recorded with those personally
    involved in the long quest for a dam. They are invaluable for
    anyone researching the Association and its effect on the people
    of Saskatchewan.<br/>
    Also on tape are interviews with the farmers of the area who were
    opposed to the dam, to irrigation and who are still opposed to
    the provincial government's water usage policy. They are the
    people directly affected by the building of the dam, whose land
    was taken away or divided by irrigation canals, ditches, etc..
    To this day they are very bitter about the SRDA and the way it
    obtained the dam. They feel that the dam has not benefited
    Saskatchewan in many ways and certainly not benefited the farmer.
    Their story is very different from that of the members of the

  • Interviews conducted in 1987 as an exercise for a Journalism
    class, University of Regina, organized by lecturer Jill
    Spelliscy. The first-ever Grey Cup victory of the Saskatchewan
    Roughriders in 1966 had a tremendous impact upon the province. A
    holiday atmosphere prevailed for many months and the players were
    honoured in countless civic and community events. Recalling
    those days are former players, journalists and team

  • Interviews collected in 1985 as part of the Saskatchewan Safety
    Council Oral History Project, in order to prepare a history of
    the Council's activities after thirty years of existence. The
    recordings were used to obtain information not available in the
    Council's records and other sources. The following are the main
    questions asked of the interviewees by researcher Paul Megaw:<br/>
    1. The length of your involvement with the council and the
    position(s) held with the council.<br/>
    2. What did you feel were the achievements of the council during
    your involvement with the council?<br/>
    3. What was the level of public acceptance of the council?<br/>
    4. Could you please supply us with any further names of people
    who were active in the council at the same time as you?<br/>
    5. Was there very much cooperation between the council and the
    various other provincial organizations?<br/>
    6. How did the various government department and enforcement
    bodies react to council activities?<br/>
    7. Why do you feel the council was created and did you see the
    council as fulfilling that role?<br/>
    Correspondence and other records relating to the project are
    located in the file concerning tape R-9865.

  • Interviews conducted in 1981 under a contract by the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. The Saskatchewan Valley Oral History Project was
    carried out by the Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan
    and Alberta (M.H.S.S.A.) with the assistance of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. It is a continuation of "The Culture and
    Heritage Resources Survey of the Saskatchewan Valley Region"
    carried out by the M.H.S.S.A. in 1979. The Saskatchewan Valley
    Region covers approximately 3,240 square kilometres and is
    composed of the four rural municipalities of Corman Park, Laird,
    Rosthern and Duck Lake. Saskatoon was also included in the scope
    of the project as many of the participants are former residents.
    The original survey of 1979 showed the need for an oral history
    project, as the majority of the potential participants are
    elderly, and without their stories an important aspect of the
    region's history would be lost.<br/>
    The oral history project emphasizes themes such as immigration,
    agriculture and education. The project also documents the
    interviewees' personal histories by recording their occupational,
    social and family experiences.

  • Interviews conducted in 1979 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Weaving is a relatively new craft in the history
    of Saskatchewan. Because the province's pioneers could easily
    order linens, clothing and rugs from the east, there was no need
    for them to practise the art of weaving. Looms were awkward to
    transport from the east and few people had sufficient knowledge
    to build their own. Lack of the proper weaving materials in the
    province was also a deterrent. However, since the 1940s weaving
    has flourished in Saskatchewan and has become a widespread
    Saskatchewan Weavers is a project that was initiated in the
    summer of 1979 to document the growth of interest in this art.
    The experiences of six Saskatchewan weavers learning and
    practising their craft has been recorded. The collector, Elly
    Danica, is a professional weaver herself and discusses with her
    informants how and why each of them learned to weave, where
    materials and looms were acquired and what these entailed, the
    kinds of things that they made for their own use and for sale,
    what sort of market existed for their work, different patterns
    and styles of weaving and various techniques used in the weaving
    process from spinning and dyeing wools to the actual weaving
    All the informants are women from the Melfort, Craik, Coronach
    and Saskatoon districts and provide some interesting insights
    into these communities as well.

  • Interviews conducted in 1979 and 1980 and donated to the
    Saskatchewan Archives Board. In writing her Master's thesis,
    "The Changing Role of the Fieldman", Sylvia Robinson studied the
    activities of fieldmen in the Extension Division (now the Member
    Relations Division) of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, 1924 to 1974.
    During the course of her research, she interviewed former and
    current fieldmen to obtain their first-hand reminiscences.<br/>
    The field staff of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool served a number of
    functions. They were hired by the Pool to work with elected
    delegates, local Pool committee members and the general
    membership of each of the sixteen Pool districts. Salesmen,
    orators and teachers of the co-operative philosophy, they held
    meetings and attended those of the local committees, trained Pool
    staff, implemented educational programmes and study groups and
    worked with the co-operative schools. They helped to set up and
    develop other co-ops in various areas and provided a link between
    the central organization of the Pool and the rural populous.
    Each of the interviews follows a basic question set so that the
    informants comment on most of these aspects of their work. They
    relate something of their personal backgrounds, how they became
    interested in co-operative efforts and how they were hired to the
    Saskatchewan Wheat Pool field staff. Most comment on how little
    training they were given when they began as usually they were
    handed a briefcase, given a car and shown where their district
    was. From that point they were left much on their own to set up
    programmes and deal with the needs of their districts as best
    they could.<br/>
    Informants describe how they met these needs through meetings,
    training workshops, film-nights and social gatherings. When the
    division was first organized, it was felt that fieldmen should be
    well known in the community to non-members as well as to members.
    Thus, they worked hard to involve themselves in local areas on a
    personal basis. Slowly their profile has changed in this respect
    as they see a need to encourage the elected delegates to accept a
    more positive role in leadership. Other changes in the purpose
    of the field staff similar to this are also discussed.<br/>
    In describing their jobs, informants relate how certain aspects
    of their work have been deeply satisfying and others frustrating.
    For the most part, they all feel that their contributions to the
    success of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, the co-operative movement
    and Saskatchewan farmers have been worthwhile.

  • Interviews conducted between 1980 and 1987 under a contract of
    the Saskatchewan Archives Board. The interviews in this project
    are with and about women active in the Co-operative Commonwealth
    Federation during the party's early years. The grassroots
    organization of the CCF was its power base and women were very
    much a part of it. There exists an obvious disparity in the
    available documentation and sources on the CCF leadership and
    role of the women. This oral history collection serves to narrow
    this gap and contains a veritable wealth of information as
    related by women who were active in prominent, supportive and
    background roles. Although each interview is different, the
    general content of each is as follows: biographical data, family,
    social status, political influences and ideas during youth,
    involvement in the CCF and related organizations, such as the
    farm movement, arranging time for party work from other
    responsibilities such as home and family, role of other women, in
    general and specific, personal ideology of the role of women in
    society and politics, definition of socialism, particular events,
    present situation and outlook.

  • Interviews conducted between 1977 and 1981, under contract of the
    Saskatchewan Archives Board. Mildred Rose began her project
    intending to interview other senior Saskatchewan writers like
    herself. From 1979 to 1981 however, the project's scope was
    extended to include interviews with younger writers as well.
    Consequently, a wide range of ages, experiences, feelings,
    expressions and writing styles is represented. For several
    individuals, writing is their profession. Others find it
    necessary to work at various jobs in order that they may write.
    All have one thing in common: they are active participants in
    Saskatchewan's writing community, encouraging one another in
    their endeavours and their love of the art. Though each is
    unique, the interviews follow a basic pattern where informants
    recall their personal backgrounds, family history and education,
    often reflecting on how they became interested in writing. They
    describe writing as a craft and what the creative process means
    for them, i.e. how they are inspired, express initial ideas and
    revise. The various mediums they use are examined, some writing
    mainly through poetry, others through stories and novels. Most
    try writing in all forms though they may be more comfortable in
    one or two.
    In discussing poetry, both technical and sensory characteristics
    are mentioned. The authors look at their own work giving some
    insight into the background of particular selections. They
    relate their work to that of writers who have influenced their
    style. Also, they are given an opportunity to read several items
    of their own which is invaluable to anyone who may be studying
    their work in the future.
    The role of literary associations such as the Saskatchewan
    Writers' Guild and local writing groups is important in the lives
    of these people. As well, they discuss the availability of
    markets for their writing and where they have had work published,
    current affairs, travel and the teaching of English skills in
    schools. Each has advice for young writers just beginning to
    pursue this art.

  • Interviews conducted in 1984 and donated to the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. The Métis Oral History project was initiated by
    the Saskatoon Native Women's Association as one of its activities
    commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1885 Rebellion. The
    Association was assisted by the Batoche Centenary Corporation,
    the Gabriel Dumont Institute and the Saskatchewan Archives.
    Funding was provided by the Department of the Secretary of State.
    The main objectives of the project were: to gather historical and
    cultural oral history and oral tradition relating to the Métis
    group, and to assess the role of women in Métis society.
    Individuals were interviewed in Saskatoon and the surrounding
    The five interviewers followed a question outline which can be
    found in the file for Tape S-643. Questions relate to family
    history, occupations, cultural and community life, rural vs.
    urban life, religion, race relations, education and politics.
    Quality of interviews is generally good and all tapes are
    The original tapes have been deposited in the library of the
    Gabriel Dumont Institute, Regina and copies in the Saskatchewan
    Archives, Saskatoon.

  • Interviews conducted in 1986 and donated to the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Five men and two women talk about their personal
    experiences and observations of the sawmilling industry in
    northeastern Saskatchewan from the 1900s to the 1960s. They
    discuss both large and small operations, obtaining cutting
    rights, transportation of product to market and speculation.
    Working conditions in the camps, food and lodging and social life
    of the workers are also related in the interviews. Frederick
    Bayliss narrates a brief history of the lumber industry in the
    province from the 1880s to the present.

  • Interviews conducted in 1979 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. The St. Andrew's, Benbecula and Moffat districts
    of the province were originally settled by Scottish pioneers.
    The underlying objective of this project was to study the
    development of the community and the changes that occurred over
    the past half-century. Those interviewed discuss their
    backgrounds, adaptability to life in Canada, while at the same
    time revealing the degree of retention of certain aspects of
    traditional Scottish culture. Religion, folklore, music, Gaelic
    language and literature are some of the areas of attention.

  • Interviews conducted since the 1960s. Interviewees talk about a
    wide range of topics, including personal observations and
    experiences in their professional and personal lives. Sound
    quality and interviewing ability vary from interview to

  • Interviews conducted in 1980 under a contract by the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Because of the difficulty in getting work
    published in the major publishing houses of eastern Canada or the
    United States, many Saskatchewan writers would remain
    unrecognized if it were not for the small press publishers of
    this province. The history and present work of ten of these have
    been documented in this project as Mick Burrs interviewed
    writers, editors and publishers who have played key roles in
    their development. They include Banting publishers, Waking Image
    Press, Grain, Meadow Lark Publishing Company, Western
    Extension College Educational Publishing Co., Deodar Shadow
    Press, Anak Press, Sundog Press, Thunder Creek Publishing
    Co-operative and Thistledown Press. The informants come from a
    variety of backgrounds and many are writers and poets themselves.
    They are deeply involved in Saskatchewan's writing community and
    thus are sensitive to the needs of writers from a publishing
    viewpoint. Several are self-publishers while others concentrate
    more on publishing the work of others. They speak of every
    aspect of the publishing process from funding, selecting
    manuscripts, editing, designing, typesetting, printing and
    binding to publicizing and selling. In particular, two of the
    groups interviewed, Thunder Creek Publishing Co-operative and
    Thistledown Press, recount how they have published each of their
    books, including successes and failures. The problems that they
    face as small press publishers emerges as an important topic and
    informants discuss how they deal with these and the alternatives
    that are open to them.<br/>
    For the most part, interview quality is excellent and the
    summaries are exhaustively thorough. As Mick Burrs is a
    self-published writer and poet himself, he is conscious of, and
    has a personal interest in, the details of the publishing
    industry. He know many of his informants and has established a
    rapport that encourages them to speak in detail. Through these
    interviews, one can sense the tremendous enthusiasm and energy
    that these people have for their work.

  • These interviews conducted in 1981 under a contract of the
    Saskatchewan Archives Board. Unity is a prosperous town of
    approximately 2,700 people located southwest of North Battleford
    on the CNR and CPR lines. In 1946, deposits of oil, natural gas
    and salt were found nearby and in 1949, a Sifto Salt Plant was
    opened one mile east of the town.<br/>
    A former resident of Unity, Glennda Leslie conducted interviews
    with eight individuals who had worked at the plant at one time.
    Ten interviews were conducted with others who lived and worked in
    the community. Together, they provide information about the
    operations of the plant and how its presence has affected the
    development of Unity. One individual describes his job as a pan
    operator and then a stores clerk at the plant, making comparisons
    between the Unity plant and the Dominion Tar and Chemical
    operation at Waterways, Alberta. Another makes comparisons
    between work at the plant and work on oil rigs. Others describe
    how the plant operates, what it produces, various jobs,
    equipment, shift work, training, employee turnover, unionization,
    sales, shipping and ways in which the plant and its employees
    become involved in community activities.<br/>
    A rancher, the editor of the Unity Herald, the president of
    the Unity Chamber of Commerce, a businessman, two bank managers
    and the manager of the credit union were interviewed and speak of
    the plant's influence on the town. It brought approximately 75
    families to live there and, though the two strikes that have
    occurred at the plant did not affect the town's businesses
    directly, the increased wages that resulted for plant workers
    brought higher wages to employees working in town. The Sifto
    Salt Plant has also helped to make Unity known across Canada
    though the town's name is no longer present on packages.
    Physically and economically, the plant has caused Unity to grow.
    Though one would hesitate to call it "Boom Town, Saskatchewan",
    it is nevertheless several steps ahead of neighbouring
    communities, such as Wilkie, which at one time showed greater
    signs of prosperity.

  • Interviews conducted in 1979 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. As the daughter of a miner who grew up in the
    Bienfait and Estevan areas, Michelle Rohatyn had a keen interest
    in recording the reminiscences of miners in those districts. A
    good rapport with her informants encouraged them to talk freely
    and in detail. Three are the wives of miners and describe life
    in Taylorton, Stripland and at the mining camp of the Bienfait
    Coal Company. They speak of the housing for miners, schools,
    stores and prices, entertainment, working conditions and medical
    care. Miners who were interviewed also talk about life in these
    communities. However, they focus more on actual mining
    activities, describing their work at various mines and for
    different companies such as Eastern Collieries, the Manitoba and
    Saskatchewan Coal Company, Taylorton Mines, Western Dominion Coal
    Mines Limited and Utility Coal Company. Most interviews include
    reminiscences about mining operations in the past, working
    conditions, wages, hours and the relationship which existed
    between management and workers. The first attempts to organize
    in unions are recalled as well as events surrounding strikes in
    1931, 1938 and 1939. Many of the informants are actively
    involved in the United Mine Workers' Association and the
    Stripminers' Union and speak of the goals of the organizations
    and benefits already obtained by them for miners.<br/>
    These reminiscences are contrasted with discussion about modern
    mining techniques. Several individuals give detailed
    descriptions of machinery and their uses and compare the methods
    of deep seam mining with those of stripmining. To augment these
    accounts, Ms. Rohatyn recorded the actual sounds of the machinery
    as she talked briefly with various miners at the sites of the
    Utility Coal Company and the Manitoba and Saskatchewan Coal
    Company. Because the railway is of great importance to the area
    in shipping out the coal mined, she also spent time at the CNR
    station at Bienfait recording sounds of the trains and speaking
    to several railway employees.<br/>
    Technical quality and interview content are excellent.

  • Interviews conducted in 1982 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. The oral testimony gathered for this project was
    used in the preparation of a Master's Thesis in Physical
    Education at the University of Saskatchewan on the history of
    sport. It acted to supplement archival written and visual
    sources. Main areas of interest were ethnocultural and social
    background, rural and urban orientation, working conditions, and
    the impact of technology.<br/>
    The documentation of sport and recreation is an important
    dimension of social history. This project aimed at collecting
    information relating to this particular aspect of history with
    special emphasis on women. Sport and recreation were important
    as diversions from work and for the provision of relaxation,
    enjoyment and entertainment. Contrary to some impressions,
    pioneer life was not restricted to toil in the fields and
    struggle against perilous weather conditions. Social life and
    sport flourished and had a place in prairie society. For
    example, in 1891 sixty women participated in the Regina Rifle
    Club competitions, and in 1896 the first ladies' hockey team was

  • Interviews conducted in 1975 under the "Towards a New Past
    Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the Department of
    Culture and Youth. The State Hospital and Medical League was
    organized during the 1930s by a group of volunteers in Prince
    Albert. They were concerned that many people in the province
    were not receiving proper medical attention and felt that such
    care should be provided by the state. The interviews conducted
    for this project are with people who in some way are associated
    with the early beginnings of the League. Sound quality and
    interview depth are not always good.

  • Interviews conducted in 1987 as an exercise for a Journalism
    class, University of Regina, organized by lecturer Jill
    Spelliscy. As on many other North American campuses, student
    unrest and general demand for change affected campus life at the
    University of Saskatchewan, Regina. This project attempts to
    examine some of the issues of that time as well as the methods
    used to seek change by the student organizers. The interviewees
    include both participants and observers in the events: student
    leaders, university administrators, and members of the faculty.

  • Interviews conducted in 1982 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. In 1938 the Sudetenland region of the
    Czechoslovak Republic was annexed by Hitler's Germany with
    British and French approbation. The Nazis were not welcomed by
    all Germans living in the region. Hitler's coming also
    endangered those active in or sympathetic to socialist political
    movements. Therefore, individuals associated with the Sudeten
    German Social Democratic Party were immediately threatened. Many
    packed their belongings and within hours fled to the unoccupied
    parts of Czechoslovakia.<br/>
    It was only a movement of the Labour Party in Britain which saved
    the refugees from their plight. Britain decided to grant a
    temporary asylum to the German socialists and assist them in
    resettling overseas. A number of the refugees eventually
    emigrated to Saskatchewan under the auspices of the colonization
    departments of the CNR and CPR. While the CPR located 152
    families in the Peace River District of British Columbia, the CNR
    delivered its 148 families to the St. Walburg area of
    This oral history project aimed at recording the personal and
    group experience of the Sudeten Germans in Saskatchewan. The
    twenty-eight informants relate their life stories and talk about
    adjustments to the Canadian way of life. Few actually had worked
    in agriculture prior to their arrival in St. Walburg and their
    survival depended not only on acculturation but also on adapting
    to a new occupation. The interviewer also attempted to document
    their social and political structure in Canada, such as
    involvement in the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation.
    Represented among the informants are men, women and community
    leaders, and children of the refugees.

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 under the "Towards a New Past
    Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the Department of
    Culture and Youth. During the course of his project work, Lorne
    Abells wished to interview Mennonites from various walks of life
    to record their experiences, beliefs and feelings in the hopes of
    gaining a better understanding of what it means to be a Mennonite
    in Canadian society.<br/>
    Informants are from rural and urban backgrounds (Saskatoon,
    Rosthern, Swift Current, Carlton, and Laird) and include a
    railroad employee, two farmers, an engineer, several pastors, a
    secretary, a street cleaner, two teachers and a newspaper editor.
    Most came from Russia and speak of the reasons which prompted
    them to immigrate and the difficulties which faced them as they
    established their homes on the prairies.<br/>
    Several describe hardships that were suffered during the
    Depression with the attitude that these were nothing in
    comparison to the struggles they endured in their homelands.
    They sometimes had problems learning English, though the young
    children going to school found it relatively easy.<br/>
    Many found it difficult to accept the CCF government when in came
    to power in the 1940s because of its socialistic policies. They
    equated those policies in somes ways with the communism that they
    had fled. Today, they realize that their fears were unfounded.
    As well as talking about the politics in Canada at present, their
    attitudes towards war and peace are discussed, several of the
    informants commenting on the role of the Mennonite people to
    promote peace in the world. Many describe their feelings and
    beliefs about marriage, divorce and the disintegration of the
    family unit which is occurring more often today. In doing so,
    they speak of their faith, changes that have taken place in their
    church and general characteristics of the Mennonite people.<br/>
    Sound quality is not always excellent.

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 under the "Towards a New Past
    Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the Department of
    Culture and Youth. Many different people and associations have
    played a significant role in the labour movement in Saskatchewan.
    Those interviewed for this project include labourers and
    administrators, union representatives and civic politicians
    residing in Moose Jaw and Regina. Several are Ukrainian
    immigrants and this is shown to have had considerable effect on
    the development of their attitudes towards the labour movement.
    Most informants demonstrate concern that the welfare of the
    common worker is often neglected. They have seen poverty and
    injustice, particularly during the Depression, and hope that
    through their efforts, poor conditions will be rectified.
    Necessarily, there is some discussion of their political
    affiliations as these influenced the kind of stand they took on
    labour issues. Several were members of the Communist Party of
    Canada and one belonged to the Young Communists' League. Others
    were active in the organization of the Independent Labour Party
    and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation.<br/>
    Specific associations often supported those pushing for changes.
    One individual worked with the Disabled Veterans' Organization
    and several others were active in the Unemployed Union. The
    Ukrainian Farm Labour Temple Association was one in which the
    Ukrainian immigrants were involved.<br/>
    As well as speaking of associations which took a stand for
    labour, informants describe the various unions they have belonged
    to through their work, i.e. the Retail, Wholesale and Department
    Store Union, the International Brotherhood of Locomotive
    Engineers and Firemen and the Canadian Seamen's Union. Two
    excellent accounts of recent strikes are given, one, the B.A. oil
    workers's strike in Moose Jaw, 1965, and the other, the Moose Jaw
    Co-op Store strike, 1970. Most informants describe several
    strikes or union upheavals such as the On-to-Ottawa Trek and the
    Regina Riot, 1935, during the course of their interview. Other
    subjects mentioned in the tapes include conditions in the Dundurn
    relief camp, bootlegging in the 1920s and the Spanish Civil War.<br/>
    Sound quality is rather poor for most interviews.

  • Interviews conducted in 1977 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Concerned that many of Saskatchewan's northern
    youth do not have the opportunity to learn the skills of trapping
    and survival in the bush, Virgil Terry interviewed a
    representative group of trappers who through the years have
    depended on trapping for their livelihood. They speak of their
    experiences and their camps and traplines as far north as Barren
    Lands, N.W.T. and the Churchill River area in northern
    Saskatchewan. Others who set their traps further south describe
    life near Carrot River, White Fox, Clear Lake, Turner Lake, La
    Ronge, Candle Lake and Cumberland House.<br/>
    Trapping was characterized as a healthy and disciplined life
    producing strength of character. It was often found to be a
    necessary part of a homesteader's life as it was the only way
    many could find to put cash in their pockets. Four of the people
    interviewed are Native or Métis and three interviews were
    conducted with women trappers who were the wives of trappers.
    These interviews are remarkable stories of family life and the
    woman's world of meal preparation and homemaking in the bush.
    They also show a woman's equality when faced with the challenges
    of nature on the trapline.<br/>
    A trapper himself, Virgil Terry has known and worked with his
    informants for many years so there is little inhibition on either
    part. Most of those interviewed were acquainted with one another
    through attending the annual trapping convention or staying in
    each other's camps while travelling the north. The warmth and
    camaraderie which is revealed through their stories stems from a
    genuine friendship and respect that they have for one another.
    The informants seem to relish the interview as an opportunity to
    tell about their experiences in isolation along their traplines
    and at outlying camps. In listening to the reminiscences, one
    gains an insight into how the trapper's lives have changed over
    the years.<br/>
    Though Virgil Terry is well acquainted with the methods and
    skills involved in trapping and survival in the north, he seems
    to understand what a novice, listening to the tapes, need to
    know. He encourages the informants to speak in detail and the
    descriptions which he elicits are vivid and specific. The topics
    which are explored in the collection are varied and include the
    following: the evolution of trapping technology from 1915-1977;
    techniques for trapping various animals including muskrat, lynx,
    mink, fisher, beaver, coyote, otter, timber wolf and weasel;
    hunting moose for food; interesting experiences with bear, moose
    and timber wolves; falling through the ice; surviving in adverse
    weather conditions; travelling along traplines and maintaining
    several camps; early days when traders came in to traplines to
    buy furs and bring supplies; observations of wild life habits;
    imitations of moose mating calls; outdoor cooking; a woman's life
    at trapping camps; dog teams and driving; keeping dogs in feed;
    trapping as a family; how the conibear trap revolutionized
    trapping; how to snare an animal, the illegality of it and its
    eventual legalization; trapping by leasing zones; relations with
    other trappers in a conservation block; rotating the trapping of
    areas to maintain prices for furs over the years; the number of
    furs obtained over the trapping season; the necessity of
    snowshoes, rifles and dog teams, sleds or power toboggans; higher
    prices received at fur auctions in larger centres as compared to
    trading with local fur dealers; fur control programmes and
    conservation including trapping quotas and blocks; cooking and
    eating game; how trapping and bush survival builds character in

  • Interviews conducted in 1976 and 1977 under the "Towards a New
    Past Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the
    Department of Culture and Youth. This project was conducted in
    two stages. The first consisted primarily of background research
    into Saskatchewan Government Employees' Association (SGEA) files.
    During the second stage, the bulk of the oral history
    interviewing was done.<br/>
    In 1976, Larry Kowalchuk studied the evolution of civil service
    unions in the province concentrating on the history of the
    Saskatchewan Civil Service Association (SCSA), 1913-1944. On the
    basis of this research, he was able to secure the names of
    potential informants throughout the province who were willing to
    be interviewed about their involvement in civil service union
    activity. He was able to secure a valuable interview with
    William Leonard who was hired by the Saskatchewan Government
    Employees' Association to direct certification work and who
    played an important role in the provincial process to unionize
    civil servants.<br/>
    Darrel Orpen conducted the remaining eighteen interviews in the
    project in 1977 with individuals who had been involved in the
    activities of the Saskatchewan Civil Service Association and the
    Saskatchewan Government Employees' Association at various levels,
    i.e., one individual was a former president, another acted as a
    shop steward and several were involved as representatives at the
    local level. For the most part, the interviews follow a
    chronological question set as informants recall how the SCSA was
    originally formed and why such an organization was necessary.
    While speaking of their personal backgrounds and work
    experiences, informants also describe issues that were dealt with
    by the association such as the reduction of working hours without
    loss in pay meaning that civil servants no longer had to work on
    Saturdays. The classification of employees, the acquisition of
    group life insurance, the right of collective bargaining, a
    grievance committee and social benefits are other areas that were
    mentioned. Of particular interest are the varying opinions which
    emerge about the usefulness of a body such as the SCSA or the
    SGEA and whether it is necessary for civil servants to have
    collective bargaining rights. Because several of the interviews
    are quite short, they are occasionally superficial in their
    handling of these subjects.

  • Interviews conducted in 1982 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. The study of fibre art history in Saskatchewan
    has been largely a neglected field. Spinning, weaving and dyeing
    as a necessity have had only a brief lifespan in Western Canada.
    This is largely due to the fact that manufactured goods were
    readily available during the main settlement period of the
    prairie region. Nevertheless, textile making was practiced as a
    basic craft among a few groups of European origin. Today,
    spinning, weaving and dyeing have evolved into leisure crafts.
    This oral history project was part of an effort to document this
    evolution and determine the extent of the practice of the art.
    Spinners and weavers were interviewed about their personal
    backgrounds, early involvement in the craft, ethnic and regional
    influences, individual preferences and skills. One particularly
    important aspect in Saskatchewan weaving was the attempt by the
    Searle Grain Company to sponsor hand-loom weaving on the prairies
    in the 1940s. This effort to establish a cottage industry failed
    after a few years despite the fact that the products were sold
    through popular department store chains, such as Eaton's.
    Individuals who participated in the Searle effort provide details
    and personal accounts of their involvement.<br/>
    The interviewers are spinners and weavers residing in Regina.

  • Interviews conducted in 1978 under a contract of the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. In restoring the William Richard Motherwell
    homestead and preserving it as a historic site, considerable
    research was done to determine exactly what the house and grounds
    were like when the Motherwells lived there. As part of that
    research, Sarah Carter interviewed people who were once
    associated with the homestead including a farm manager, two
    farmhands, three hired girls, neighbours, Catherine Motherwell's
    sister-in-law, a woman who resided with the Motherwells as a
    young girl and several long-time residents of the Abernethy
    district. For the most part, informants speak of everyday life
    in the household. Using old photographs of the house and
    grounds, they describe each room in detail commenting on
    furnishings and relating many anecdotes about activities that
    occurred there. They also describe the gardens, flowers, trees
    and outbuildings. Those who worked on the homestead speak of
    their duties and several of the informants speak of the Abernethy
    district, of early businesses and of social life in the town.
    Two were actively involved in the Abernethy beef ring and related
    considerable information about this organization.<br/>
    In this project, memories are collected not only of the physical
    presence of a home and its furnishings but of the life of a
    particular family and the district in which they lived.

  • Interviews conducted in 1973 under the "Towards a New Past
    Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the Department of
    Culture and Youth. As research for a paper and possible thesis
    on the role that women have played in Saskatchewan's history,
    Kendall Kyle interviewed women who have been influential in many
    facets of Saskatchewan life, i.e. in civic and provincial
    politics, farmers' and women's organizations, churches and many
    volunteer associations. All feel strongly that women should play
    an active role in the community and that many have the potential
    to make great contributions.<br/>
    Most informants speak of their childhood years, their families,
    education and work. Several were teachers at one point and three
    were nurses. Others have become well known in Saskatchewan
    writing circles. One individual speaks of the struggle to
    establish a hospital in Porcupine Plain, another speaks of her
    work in the early years of the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation.
    Several were active in the Home and School Association, the
    Council of Women and the Homemakers' Club. They tell of their
    struggles through organizations such as these for women and
    people in general.<br/>
    In a number of interviews, the contact that these women had with
    others who were influential in the early CCF is mentioned, i.e.
    Violet MacNaughton, Dorise Nielson and Louise Lucas. Their
    political views are spoken of in many cases.<br/>
    As they reminisce about their lives, one senses the enthusiasm
    and drive that they have to make Saskatchewan a better place.

  • Interviews conducted in 1979 under a contract by the Saskatchewan
    Archives Board. Following the basic idea of Studs Terkel's oral
    history, Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and
    How They Feel About What They Do, Ted Wood began conducting
    interviews with people in Regina about their work. Of the
    individuals he recorded, two were students and tour guides for
    Wascana Centre Authority, one is a home economics teacher and a
    homemaker, and the others are a secretary and clerk-stenographer
    respectively. They speak freely about their jobs, what they like
    and dislike about them, their duties and future career
    possibilities. For various reasons, the project was not
    continued beyond this point though a larger number of interviews
    along this same line could prove of considerable value in
    documenting the history of ordinary working people.

  • Interviews conducted between 1982 and 1985 and donated to the
    Saskatchewan Archives Board. Long-time residents of Yorkton and
    surrounding area discuss their family history and describe
    Yorkton during its early years.

  • Interviews conducted between 1978 and 1984 with 61 long-term
    residents of Yorkton and surrounding area, and donated to the
    Saskatchewan Archives Board. Interviewees discuss their family
    history and describe Yorkton during its early years. Included
    with the collection are transcripts and partial transcripts for
    which there are no corresponding audio tapes; these are located
    in R-E 3325.

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