Tyler McCreary author of Shared Histories. The project committeeis recommending research materials be transferred to the Witsuwit’en Language and Cultural Society for preservation and researcher access purposes. (Rebekah Jones photo)

Tyler McCreary author of Shared Histories. The project committeeis recommending research materials be transferred to the Witsuwit’en Language and Cultural Society for preservation and researcher access purposes. (Rebekah Jones photo)

Shared Histories Advisory Committee asks research material be donated

Dr. Tyler McCreary conducted the research between April 2016 and June 2018

The Shared Histories Advisory Committee (SHAC) is trying to ensure the research material for its namesake project is properly preserved.

The committee recently sent a letter, signed by Principal Investigator Dr. Tyler McCreary, to the Town and the Office of the Wet’suwet’en informing them they are intending to transfer copies of the project’s research material over to them by mid-January 2020.

In doing so the committee is recommending the two organizations donate the material to a local non-profit aimed at promoting a resurgence of Witsuwit’en language and culture.

“The Shared Histories Advisory Committee recommends that your institutions, in turn, transfer, via donation agreement, the material to the Witsuwit’en Language and Cultural Society [WLCS] for preservation and researcher access purposes.”

In a discussion of the letter at their Nov. 26 meeting council did not make any motions but instead Chief Administrative Officer Alan Harris said he wanted to review some documents relating to the project to find out what the SHAC’s priorities were when they started it.

“I just want to read what … they set out [to do] at the beginning of their project because normally it lays out what the next steps are.”

The reason the committee is sending the material over to the Town and Office of the Wet’suwet’en has to do with media consent forms signed by project participants.

The forms participants signed informed them their interviews would be transferred over to the two organizations to create a database “intended to become a public resource under community control.”

Now the SHAC is recommending the two organizations hand over the material to the WLCS who have indicated they would happily take the material.

“After discussions with the Bulkley Valley Museum (BVM), the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), and the research team, the committee believes the WLCS is the best institution for both researcher access and long-term preservation.”

The SHAC is encouraging both institutions to transfer their respective copies over to the WLCS to ensure researcher access to the material is controlled by a single set of research policies.

“The [SHAC’s] research material is an essential record of the project’s findings,” the letter states.

“However, some of the information is sensitive and needs to be properly restricted.

Proper data migration of this digital collection – i.e. transferring digital data to the newest file formats as digital storage technology changes so that the data remains accessible – is also essential.

“It is for these reasons that we recommend the material go to an organization with experience in providing research access to and the preservation of archival material. We do not wish to burden Town and OW staff with these additional responsibilities and we feel confident that the WLCS will ensure the material is responsibly accessed by researchers and properly preserved for future generations.”

The research used to put together Shared Histories: Witsuwit’en-Settler Relations in Smithers, British Columbia, 1913 – 1973 includes 3.89 gigabytes of archival material (1,617 files) and approximately 40 oral history interviews conducted with both indigenous and settler residents of the Bulkley Valley.

The project was led by McCreary, who conducted extensive historical research from April 2016 to June 2018.



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(BC Hydro photo)
BC Hydro planned power outages to darken downtown Smithers for most of day Sunday, Jan 17

Replacement of poles will affect approximately 250 customers in downtown core from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Smithers Local Health Area reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 Jan. 3 - 9. (BC CDC graphic)
Weekly new cases of COVID-19 rise to 25 in Smithers LHA Jan. 3 – 9

Northern Health reported 49 new daily cases for 497 active, 44 hospitalized, 13 in critical care

The first of two massive turbines headed from Prince Rupert for the Site C Dam near Fort St. John on Jan 10. (Photo: Supplied by Tasha McKenzie)
Massive turbines begin trek across Northwestern B.C.

Hydro-Electric turbines headed from Prince Rupert to Site C Dam week of Jan. 10 to 14

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read