Recognizing Relations is a community-naming project initiated in 2014 by the Archives & Special Collections department at the Whyte Museum. It was started in order to update the captions and descriptions of our large collection of photographs representing local Indigenous peoples, many taken at the annual event “Banff Indian Days”. A large portion of these photographs did not identify people by name or even what nation they came from.
Project Lead Dagny Dubois along with community Knowledge Keepers Corleigh and Fred Powderface reached out to Elders from the Stoney Nakoda community to learn the names and family connections of those people portrayed in these historical photographs. We honour and thank the Elders who were willing to meet with us and share their knowledge and memories. The information gathered through the interview and research process over the last nine years has been used to update the original captions and titles of over 500 photographs. You can search that database here!
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[unidentified woman and children], ca. 1906, Elliott Barnes fonds. v48_na_485
[Man with lasso rope-Pertains to Banff Indian Days], [ca.1920 - ca.1940]
George Noble fonds. v469_na_2203
The Recognizing Relations project is also working to make our collections of archival photographs, sound recordings, films and written records more accessible to Indigenous communities. Community Facilitator Colleen Crawler is actively reaching out to Elders, schools, and other community centres to share what we have and offer our resources. Our Indigenous Research Intern Jacinda Brisson has accompanied Colleen, as well as organized our photographic materials. We are part of the broader museum mandate to reach further out to other Indigenous communities who travelled through this territory. We welcome all visitors to our space to look at materials in person. We are also open to hearing feedback and name identifications on any of the photographs we have on our database.