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Metis Nation of the Northwest Territories fonds Sound recording
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[Temporary Audio-Visual]

This series consists audio and video recordings from the Metis Nation and Metis Heritage Association fonds.

Please note that this portion of these fonds are currently being processed. These materials are being provided in a partially processed state to facilitate access in the meantime. Catalogue numbers and arrangement of the material within the fonds will change once processing is complete.

Fieldwork Report; from B. Stevenson Sept 23-1980-

This item consists of a recorded report and response to questions by Metis Association Bob Stevenson on the Fieldworker program. The recording is in English. The original source item is side A of a 90 minute audio cassette. Bob describes a questionnaire being conducted by fieldworkers in the communities to get direction from the people themselves, beyond the mandate received at the Assembly. Bob reads out the various questions from the survey and explains what each question is intended to accomplish. Topics covered include priorities for the Metis Association, employment, land claims, Mackenzie Valley Housing Program, and the Metis Development Corporation. The completed forms and tallied results for the questionnaire referred to can be found in files N-2001-016: 76-3 to 77-9. Bob goes on to speak about the role of the fieldworkers, what will be done with the questionnaire results, how the fieldworkers have been received in the communities, what communities can do to make the job of fieldworkers easier, and the importance of having fieldworkers. Bob indicates that the future of the fieldworker program is uncertain due to lack of funding. He also mentions a new mailing list program on which the Metis Association will soon be embarking.

Jack Williams

This item consists of two parts. Both are in English. The original source item is side A of a 120 minute audio cassette. The first part is part of Pope John Paul II’s 1984 address after he was prevented from reaching Fort Simpson by poor weather. The Pope expresses his disappointment and shares the message he had planned to deliver there. This part of the recording fades into white noise after about 4 minutes. The second part of the recording is an interview of Jack Williams, likely recorded in mid-1984 in Yellowknife by an unidentified female interviewer (who is a daughter of Catherine Mitchell of Aklavik). Jack is currently a Petroleum Resources Development Officer with the Federal Government, but will soon be starting as the new Executive Director of the Dene-Metis Secretariat. He was previously employed by the Metis Association as a financial officer and Executive Director while on a break during his Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Calgary. Jack was born in Fort Smith and his family moved frequently throughout the territory for his father’s job as a wildlife officer. His mother is Chipewyan. Jack is married and has one son. His hobbies include hunting, trapping, and sports. He also has a small bookkeeping business, JR Enterprises, that he formed in 1978. Jack has future plans to return to school to earn a law degree or MBA, once the Secretariat job ends. The interview discusses why he has taken the Secretariat job, getting an education, job responsibilities, Secretariat communication difficulties, and the current status of land claims. The interviewer also shares some personal details about her life, including that she is from Aklavik, is the daughter of Catherine Mitchell, is married to John Latham, and is working for the Metis Association.

Wally Firth/Newsletter

This item is an interview of Wally Firth, recorded after he had become Metis Association President, by an unidentified female interviewer. The interview is in English. The original source item is side A of a 120 minute audio cassette. Wally Firth was born in Fort McPherson on January 25, 1935 to parents Mary and William Firth. His father was a Metis who had been an HBC post manager for several years. Wally’s grandfather was John Firth, who was a Scotsman from the Orkney Islands and the Hudson’s Bay Company manager at Peel River. Wally’s mother was an Indigenous woman whose father was from Alaska. Wally started school at about age 10 or 11, with minister Alec Dewdney and his wife, for a few months a year. In 1948-49, when a school was built in Fort McPherson, Wally attended there for a couple of years, but had to leave due to a suspected case of tuberculosis. A few years later, Wally began studying on his own. Wally spent time with his father on the trapline when he was young, but by the time he reached his teens, the price of fur was very low. Wally started working for the Hudson’s Bay Company as a part-time chore boy, working his way up to fur baler, clerk, and finally manager. He was posted to Wrigley in 1958, transferred a couple of times, and ended his HBC career at Arctic Red River (Tsiigehtchic). Wally then started work as the first announcer at the CBC Inuvik CHAK station in 1960. He then worked at CBC Yellowknife for 4-5 years. During that time he got involved with the Indian-Eskimo Association, which had the goal of helping Indigenous people across Canada to organize, by providing funds, advisors, and other resources. Wally left the CBC in 1968 to work full-time for the Indian-Eskimo Association and travelled throughout the Great Slave Lake area, Mackenzie Delta, and the Yukon, using a small aircraft. Wally was asked to run for the New Democrats in the 1972 federal election and won. He was re-elected in 1974 and served as Member of Parliament until 1979. Wally worked as a flight instructor in Ottawa for about a year before returning to the north to fly as a charter pilot. At the time of this interview, Wally had been recently elected President of the Metis Association. He identifies work toward settling the land claim as the top priority. He also suggests that a lot of progress has been made since the 1960s in the attitude of the federal government toward Indigenous rights.

1) M. McEwen; A. Fowlow; K. Landsburg - Hospital July 27/83 2) Jim Villeneuve- Municipal Office

This item consists of two interviews with people in Fort Simpson regarding the Norman Wells (IPL) pipeline project, recorded July 27, 1983 by Deena Soicher for the federal "Informational Pipeline" newsletter. The interviews are in English. The original source item is side A of a 90 minute audio cassette. The first interview is with a group of three women (M. McEwen, A. Fowlow and Lasndsburg) assumed to be nurses, at the hospital. The interviewer asks about predicted impacts on the hospital due to the pipeline project, in particular the camp with is projected to be located nearby. The interviewees discuss the current hospital staffing and capacity, service area, and territorial health programs. They indicate that they are not sure what to expect as there has been no information provided directly, but that they predict that impact would be more on environmental health than public health since camp workers would be unlikely to bring families with them and would likely be providing their own first aid. The interviewer also gathers some information about how long each woman has been in the community, impressions, future plans, and if they see a rift between the Indigenous and white populations of Fort Simpson. This part of the recording lasts about 15 minutes and has a lot of background white noise. The second part of the recording is the first part of a two-part interview of mayor Jim Villeneuve at the municipal office. The interview also includes item CN-113B. Jim was born and raised in Fort Simpson. He left in 1963, joining the armed forces, then working in southern Canada, before returning to Fort Simpson in 1978, becoming the owner of the grocery store in 1980 and mayor in January 1983. Jim mentions that Fort Simpson is one of the oldest communities on the Mackenzie River and describes the economic drivers, including hunting, fishing, trapping, and government. The economic impacts of the Berger Inquiry, bankruptcy of the Cadillac Mine project, and recently completed Liard Highway are discussed. The upcoming Norman Wells pipeline project is also discussed, including people's attitudes toward it, predicted social changes, winter road concerns, work generated, opportunities for local business, and preparations by the town. Jim also talks about the major recreation facility the town is trying to construct, predictions for future growth, other future plans for the town, and working with the Band Council.

A) Jim Villeneuve (cont'd.) July 27/83 B) Rod Norwegian July 27/83

This item consists of two interviews with people in Fort Simpson regarding the Norman Wells (IPL) pipeline project, recorded July 1983 by Deena Soicher for the federal "Informational Pipeline" newsletter. The interviews are in English. The original source item is side B of a 90 minute audio cassette. The first two minutes of the recording is pop music, which has been recorded over. The next part of the recording (about 11 minutes) is the second part of a two-part interview of mayor Jim Villeneuve at the municipal office. The interview also includes item CN-113A. Jim mentions that the council has eight members, including the mayor, and continues his description of working with the Band Council. He talks about major issues for the Council, including problems with the municipal water system and trying to get a major recreation facility built. There is some discussion about the average age, ethnic background, and employment of the population. The final part of the recording (about 34 minutes) is an interview of Rod [Norwegian?], owner of a local construction company and service station. Rod was born in Fort Simpson and worked as a trapper, in construction, and for Transportation, before starting a service station at the Liard Highway junction. He later worked as an outfitter for a few years running tours into Virginia Falls. Rod then started buying heavy equipment and moved back to Fort Simpson, buying a service station there and a running a construction company. He turned over operations of the Liard junction service station to his brother Philip. Rod talks about working on the Norman Wells pipeline project, disappointments regarding the opportunities generated by it, the impact of the Berger Inquiry on Fort Simpson, Liard Highway construction, additional development, and Fort Simpson's future. Rod also discusses the difficulty of getting into business and his own difficulties in taking ownership of the Fort Simpson service station. Rod speaks a little about his family, including his daughter who looks after the company books, his parents, and his siblings.

John Sheehan-July 22/83 Don Antoine/Kevin Menicoche July 28/83

This item consists of interviews with people in Fort Simpson regarding the Norman Wells (IPL) pipeline project, recorded July 1983 by Deena Soicher for the federal "Informational Pipeline" newsletter. The interviews are in English. The original source item is side A of a 60 minute audio cassette. The first interview (about 15 minutes) is a phone interview with John Sheehan, the Area Economic Development Officer with the Territorial Government. Deena states that the purpose of the interviews is to put together a profile on the community including the economic climate and expectations related to the pipeline project. John speaks about the general feeling in the business community regarding the project, the economic downturn following the release of the Berger report, recent positive improvements and future outlook, unemployment, and the position of Indigenous groups and Band Councils regarding development and getting involved in business. John has lived in Fort Simpson for about a year, having moved from Nova Scotia after working in banking. The second section (about 15 minutes) is the first part of a two-part interview of Don Antoine and Kevin Menicoche. They discuss the Community and Social Development Program, concerns about transients in the community, housing inadequacies for the Dene people in the community, the newly completed Liard Highway, funding for needs, the Band Development Corporation, and the effect of the pipeline on trapping. Don explains the losses he has already suffered due to the pipeline when construction prevented him from reaching his camp. The third section (about 2 minutes) appears to be part of an earlier interview that was mostly taped over. Mentions are made of the joint federal-territorial Norman Wells Research and Monitoring Working Group and trapping. The recording ends abruptly.

This recording includes sides A and B of the tape.

Don Antoine/Kevin Menicoche (cont'd)

This item consists of interviews with people in Fort Simpson regarding the Norman Wells (IPL) pipeline project, recorded July 1983 by Deena Soicher for the federal "Informational Pipeline" newsletter. The interviews are in English. The original source item is side B of a 60 minute audio cassette. The first section (about 12 minutes) is the second part of a two-part interview of Don Antoine and Kevin Menicoche. They discuss Community Development funding, training opportunities, unemployment, predictions for future development, and increased barge traffic. Kevin is from Fort Simpson and has spent time being educated in the south, including British Columbia and Toronto. He has spent the last couple of summers running and coordinating a community summer camp for students. Don mentions trying to get compensation for the loss of his camp related to pipeline construction and impacts on trappers in the larger area. The interview concludes with a description of program plans. The second section (about 6 minutes) appears to be part of an interview that was recorded at a faster speed and partially taped over. The interviewee and interviewer are not identified. Topics include the availability of planning money, field workers, Norman Wells steering committee, the environment, seasonal employment, and culture. The third section (about 4 minutes) appears to be part of an interview that was taped over. Topics include snow packing, equipment movement, and logistical planning for pipeline work.

This recording includes sides A and B of the tape.

March Board Meeting Steering Committee

This item consists mainly of the recording of a Metis Association Board meeting, recorded in March 1972. The meeting is conducted in English. The original source item is side A of a 60 minute audio cassette. At the beginning of the recording there is about a minute of live music with people talking and laughing in the background that seems to have been recorded over. The meeting includes a reading of past meeting minutes, mainly from late March 1972, which included elections and work on the Constitution and budget. The meeting continues with a financial report going through amounts spent, a discussion of Fort Smith delegates/guests, a debate on when to hold an Assembly and elections, and a budget report.

This recording includes sides A and B of the tape.

Fort Good Hope History of Church (Old)

This item consists of music and a tour of the Fort Good Hope church, likely recorded in 1972. Both sections are in English. The original source item is side B of a 60 minute audio cassette. There is about 2 minutes of music at the beginning of the recording and the music continues after the church tour for about another 14 minutes, seeming to indicate that the tour was recorded over the previous musical recording. The Fort Good Hope church tour is led by a female tour guide for two male visitors. The guide indicates that church construction started in 1865 with limited tools and the need to bring lumber from a distance. She points out numerous paintings inside the church and speaks about the various artists who created them. The guide also mentions the windows, floor, heating issues, organ, statuary, and vestments inside the church building. The tour continues outside of the building in the cemetery. The guide provides information about some of the people buried there, including Fathers, Brothers, and community members. The grave fencing, bells, and cross are also mentioned.

This recording includes sides A and B of the tape.

Katie Datsedi Feb. 19 Time

This item is an interview of Katie___, an employee of the Metis Association, recorded on February 19, 1983 in Yellowknife, by Susan Lavoie for the Datsedi radio program. The interview is in English. The original source item is side A of a 90 minute audio cassette. The interview centres around the Beaufort Sea Environmental Assessment Review Panel (EARP) and the review process. The interviewee explains that the EARP was set up by the federal Department of the Environment in 1981 and is responsible for reviewing proposals put forward by oil and gas companies regarding the production and transportation of oil and gas from the Beaufort Sea, particularly for impacts on the environment and people of the area. At the time of the interview, a seven volume Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) had been released by the oil and gas companies and was in the three month public review stage. The interviewee outlines the Metis Association’s position, which is shared by the Dene Nation, that the EIS is deficient in a number of areas and should be sent back to the companies for additional information. She indicates that the EARP will be meeting to determine whether they find the EIS acceptable and that public hearings can proceed in March or if hearings should be delayed pending the additional information from the companies. The Metis Association is hoping for the latter result. People who are interested can get involved at the public hearings or contact the interviewee for more information.

Dianne Doyle Datsedi April 30/83 Time 10:18

This item includes two interviews recorded in Yellowknife by Susan Lavoie for the Datsedi radio program. The interviews are in English. The original source item is side B of a 90 minute audio cassette. The first interview (about 5 minutes) is of Katie ___, an employee of the Metis Association. The interview provides an update on the Beaufort Sea Environmental Assessment Review Panel (EARP) and review process that was addressed in an earlier interview (CN-118A). Since the first interview, the EARP has completed a 3-week long meeting in Vancouver and released a deficiency statement outlining gaps in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submitted by the oil and gas companies. The companies are required to provide additional details on areas such as social and environmental effects and oil spills and provide a summary of the EIS in easy to understand language and in two Indigenous languages. After receipt of the information, another month is allowed for further public review. If the EARP is satisfied, public hearings would then be held. The second interview (about 11 minutes) is of Dianne Doyle, a social services employee, recorded on April 30, 1983. The interview focuses on foster care and adoption in the Northwest Territories, particularly for Indigenous children and homes. Dianne speaks about the proportion of Indigenous children in the system, the desire to place them in Indigenous homes, the difficulty of recruiting Indigenous homes, and possible reasons for that difficulty. She describes the criteria to become a foster parent, the screening process, financial supports provided, length of time for placement, ages of children in the system, length of stay in a foster home, and adoption following from foster care. The interview also discusses adoption, with Dianne answering questions on the number of children available, why some children are not available for adoption, the differences between custom and departmental adoption, and the screening process. People who are interested in fostering or adoption are directed to contact their community social service worker.

Joe LeMouel

This item consists of a discussion between Joe LeMouel and an unidentified man that occurs as they review the LeMouel family's scrip applications and receipts. The original source item is side A of a 60 minute audio cassette tape. The scrip is dated July 7, 1924 and was issued to Joe, his mother Mary Rose, brother Jean Marie, and sister Dora. Mary Rose's father was Jean Baptiste Bouvier, who submitted a separate application. Joe and the other speaker discuss the similarities and differences in rights between Treaty Indians and "half-breeds" (as Joe refers to people of mixed ancestry). The men also discuss why money scrip was provided instead of land scrip and what the understanding of recipients was about what the scrip was for and what rights they retained as Indigenous peoples. Joe also talks a little about his family history, describing how his father came to the Fort Providence Mission as a brother (or perhaps a novice), but left the Mission to work for the Hudson's Bay Company and as a trapper when he saw the opportunities available. The family subsequently moved to Rae (Behchoko), Arctic Red River (Tsiigehtchic), and Wrigley before Joe's father died and his mother moved them back to Fort Providence to be near extended family.

(Side 3) Leadership meeting at the Lions Den. Sept. 26/80.

This item is the third part of four-part recording of a joint Metis Association and Dene Nation leadership meeting at the Lions Den in Yellowknife, recorded September 26, 1980. The recording is in English and several Indigenous languages. The original source item is side A of a 90 minute audio cassette. The meeting also includes items CN-404A, CN-404B, and CN-120B. The meeting focuses on the joint position taken by the Metis Association and the Dene Nation on the Norman Wells pipeline that land claims must be settled before the pipeline goes through. Several people speak about continuing with the position that they have taken and participating in the upcoming National Energy Board meeting in Edmonton. Some speakers say land claims must be settled and rights entrenched before pipelines, while others are opposed to pipelines ever coming in. Metis Association President Jim Bourque mentions presenting the Minister with five requests in June that they have not received a response to yet. One speaker also makes reference to the Alberta Government dam project in Fort Smith, which has not brought as many jobs to the local Indigenous people as promised. One speaker mentions the difficulties brought to Fort McPherson by the Dempster Highway which cannot be used by skidoos and draws parallels to land taken by pipelines that will not be able to be used by trappers any longer. A speaker makes reference to when Justice Berger held hearings in the communities and another mentions that the position of the people has not changed. Many speakers question if there will be any benefits for the people if the pipeline is constructed. The Chair proposes a workshop-style meeting for the following day to work on strategy and presentations for the National Energy Board meeting.

Side 4 Leadership meeting at Lions Den. Sept 26/80

This item is the fourth part of four-part recording of a joint Metis Association and Dene Nation leadership meeting at the Lions Den in Yellowknife, recorded September 26, 1980. The recording is in English. The original source item is side B of a 90 minute audio cassette. The meeting also includes items CN-404A, CN-404B, and CN-120A. The meeting focuses on the joint position taken by the Metis Association and the Dene Nation on the Norman Wells pipeline that land claims must be settled before the pipeline goes through. One speaker continues with his statement from side A in support of sticking to the position and making it known at the upcoming National Energy Board meeting.

side 1

This item is a tape of dictation from the Metis Development Corporation, recorded in 1980. The recording is in English. The original source item is side A of a 60 minute audio cassette. The speaker may be R.J. Greene, General Manager and is directed to a secretary Violet. The first dictation is of a draft entitled "Norman Wells Pipeline", which outlines four alternative approaches the Metis Development Corporation (MDC) could take toward the Norman Wells pipeline project, ranging from complete support for the Dene Nation and Metis Association position that the pipeline should not be allowed before land claims are settled to coming out strongly in favour of the pipeline. The second dictation is of a draft memo to MDC directors, officers, and staff regarding declaring any conflicts of interest. The third dictation is of a draft entitled "Charter of Aircraft for June 11, 1980 Board Meeting", which describes why the general manager decided to charter an aircraft to transport Board members to the meeting, initial intentions, actual results, and a cost comparison. The fourth dictation is a memorandum to the Board of Directors on the subject of a proposal to undertake certain activities designed to ensure the positive participation of Metis people and to encourage the participation of other Indigenous people in the Norman Wells oilfield expansion and pipeline construction project. The memorandum states that there is no coherent development policy for the development of resources in the NWT and yet development continues to take place in an uncoordinated manner. The memorandum suggests that the MDC could undertake a program designed to provide Metis people with the information required to participate in public hearings on the Norman Wells pipeline in the context of some kind of coherent strategy for the development of the western NWT. The program would include providing information, getting feedback for input into terms and conditions under which the pipeline could be approved, and identifying research needs.

This recording includes sides A and B of the tape.

Side 2

This item is a tape of dictation from the Metis Development Corporation, recorded in 1980. The recording is in English. The original source item is side B of a 60 minute audio cassette. The speaker may be R.J. Greene, General Manager and is directed to a secretary Violet. The content consists of the dictation of the first part of a draft brief, possibly to the Norman Wells pipeline hearings. The brief provides a background on what the Metis Development Corporation is, the composition of its board, and the purposes for which the speaker (a consultant) was hired. The brief also outlines the position of the MDC on the Norman Wells oilfield expansion and pipeline construction project. The MDC is in favour of controlled and balanced development of the western NWT, actively participating in every phase of every significant development that is proposed or takes place. The MDC thus gives qualified support for the project. The brief goes on to say how the MDC can make this this statement and still support the political leaders of the Territory who appear to be opposing the proposal. The MDC believes the project is a manageable one and that action can be taken to maximize the benefits especially with regard to employment and business opportunities and to minimize the negative aspects.

This recording includes sides A and B of the tape.

CBC - Louis Riel Do Not Erase

This item consists of several recordings. All of the recordings are in English. The original source item is side A of a120 minute audio cassette. The first recording (about 8 minutes) is the second part of a two-part recording of a CBC Morningside episode hosted by Peter Gzowski about Louis Riel and broadcast on May 7, 1985. The full broadcast took the form of a commission of inquiry on whether Riel should be pardoned by the Canadian Government. Gzowski’s conclusions are featured in this portion of the recording. The second recording (about 26 minutes) is an interview of Jim Schaefer, recorded in 1984 by an unidentified female interviewer. Jim speaks about meeting attendance, trappers’ concerns, the Fort Smith Hunters and Trappers Association, loss of caribou range due to the 1979 forest fires, caribou hunts in conjunction with the Canadian Wildlife Service, selling caribou meat. Jim describes the activities of the Caribou Management Board, which was formed in May 1982, mentioning their yearly report, continued work on a management plan, school program, and the difficulty in forming a board and getting an agreement with so many players involved. Jim also voices his opinion that the government should reallocate fire protection money from protecting communities to protecting the caribou range. Jim was born in Fort Smith. He attended school, completing Grade 7 before going trapping with his brother. He later worked for NCPC for eight and a half years before becoming an electrician with his own business for fifteen years. After that he went back to trapping. Jim has been involved with the Hunters and Trappers Association, the Fire Management Board, the Hunters and Trappers Federation, the Caribou Management Board, the Fort Smith Metis Local, and Metis Nation. The interview concludes with a discussion of trapping and registered traplines. The third recording (about 10 minutes) is a narration by a female speaker about a proposal by the Mackenzie Delta Regional Council to negotiate a subclaim within the Dene Metis comprehensive land claim. The proposal was given moral and political support by a joint chiefs and board meeting in recognition of the fact that some areas need to go ahead faster than others. The fourth recording (about 20 minutes) is the first part of a two-part interview of a female staff member of the Dene-Metis Land Claims Secretariat, recorded by an unidentified female interviewer. Topics of discussion include devolution of powers from the federal to the territorial government, division with Nunavut, the line of division, constitutional development, and one organization for the Dene and Metis.

Louis Riel

This item consists of two recordings. Both of the recordings are in English. The original source item is side B of a120 minute audio cassette. The first recording (about 40 minutes) is the first part of a two-part interview of a female staff member of the Dene-Metis Land Claims Secretariat, recorded by an unidentified female interviewer. Topics of discussion include duplications of effort among Indigenous organizations and corporations, single or separate (Dene and Metis) institutions following the land claim, one organization for the Dene and Metis, hiring Indigenous people with degrees, resource sharing, wildlife harvest studies, resource management, and devolution. The interview also includes frank appraisals of the attitudes, motivations, and actions of several Indigenous and territorial leaders and bureaucrats, including Lynda Sorenson, Stephen Kakfwi, Richard Nerysoo, Tagak Curley, Nellie Cournoyea, and Jim Bourque. The second recording (about 23 minutes) is the first part of a two-part recording of a CBC Morningside episode hosted by Peter Gzowski about Louis Riel and broadcast on May 7, 1985. The full broadcast took the form of a commission of inquiry on whether Riel should be pardoned by the Canadian Government. This portion of the recording includes the concluding statements of the two lawyers, Ian Scott and Claude Thomson, and the deliberations of some of the twelve jurors.

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