The Association of Canadian Archivists Conference 2018

During the Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) conference in Edmonton, members of the Steering Committee on Canada’s Archives (SCCA) provided an update on their work and that of the Taskforces.

In addition, the session “Building Trust, Creating Foundations: Updates on Reconciliation Action and Awareness” included speakers from the SCCA, including Erica Hernández-Read, University of Northern British Columbia, Normand Charbonneau, Library and Archives Canada and Emma Wright, Royal BC Museum and member of the Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce.

Funding for an information portal on competence profiles for information professionals

The Steering Committee on Canada’s Archives (SCCA) is pleased to share the news that the Professional Skills Working Group of the Association pour l’avancement des sciences et des technologies de la documentation (ASTED) recently received a grant of $22,000 from the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications for creating an information portal on the competence profiles of information professionals.

The SCCA’s Archival Workforce Working Group, which is collaborating with the Professional Skills Working Group, will indirectly benefit from this grant, as it will allow a human resource specialist to validate the archival and records management competence profiles. These profiles will then be disseminated on the future portal as well as the SCCA website.

This collaboration has already yielded an online survey, allowed primary data processing, and provided access to a group of experts where all professional associations are represented.

Finally, the Professional Skills Working Group invites you to help them establish an outline of the main tasks of information specialists.  To participate, please complete this survey by May 18, 2018:  Exploratory survey on the tasks of information specialists

Luciana Duranti & Cédric Champagne
Co-Chairs, Steering Committee on Canada’s Archives

New funding will support Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Taskforce

The Steering Committee on Canada’s Archives (SCCA) would like to congratulate Erica Hernandez-Read, Lead of the Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce (TRC-TF) and all of its members for their successful application to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant.

Funding from SSHRC’s Insight Development Grant will go a long way to support the continued efforts of the TRC-TF in achieving its mandate, which is directly inspired by “Call to Action #70” from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final report from June 2015, which states:

“70. We call upon the federal government to provide funding to the Canadian Association of Archivists to undertake, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, a national review of archival policies and best practices to:

  1. Determine the level of compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Joinet-Orentlicher Principles, as related to Aboriginal peoples’ inalienable right to know the truth about what happened and why, with regard to human rights violations committed against them in the residential schools.
  2. Produce a report with recommendations for full implementation of these international mechanisms as a reconciliation framework for Canadian archive.”

Together the TRC-TF and its Indigenous partners will continue outreach and dialogic engagement, expand its literature review and undertake comparative analysis to form its final report. The report will list of actionable recommendations to national, provincial and territorial archival associations and institutions as well as to the individual professional and present a set of protocols and principles pertaining to the culturally responsive management of Indigenous archival resources.

Taken collectively, this body of research will serve as a reconciliation framework for the Canadian archival system.

Please visit the SCCA website, to learn more about the TRC Taskforce.

Luciana Duranti & Cédric Champagne, Co-Chairs, Steering Committee on Canada’s Archives

Expression of Interest – Taskforce on the Archival Workforce

The Steering Committee on Canada’s Archives (SCCA) along with Jeanne Darche and Kathryn Harvey are seeking two new members for the English sub-group of the Archival Workforce Taskforce. This opportunity will allow members to guide the work on a national initiative that will ensure that the Canadian archival community can better respond to future opportunities and challenges.

Broadly speaking, this work will seek to develop a better understanding of the current and future archives workforce, as well as to explore linkages between archival education programs offered by universities, colleges, and other training opportunities on one hand, and the challenges experienced by workplace practitioners on the other. It will build on other related efforts undertaken within the Canadian Archival System and elsewhere in the recent years.

We are especially interested in hearing from those who have a background in survey development, administration, and analysis.

Details for this call for expressions of interest

  • Membership is open to the Canadian archival community, as well as those with an interest in Canadian archives;
  • Participation on these taskforces is voluntary;
  • The majority of the work will be done electronically or via teleconferences;
  • Participation on the taskforces will progress over the next 12 to 18 months;
  • Participation is limited to six members, selected by the Taskforce English sub-group Co-Chair and will be based on building a team of diverse archival experience and pertinent interest and expertise.

Responsibilities

  • The project charter includes the scope, objectives and deliverables for the priority;
  • Taskforce members will be responsible for implementing the work identified in the project charter, which will be presented to the SCCA, quarterly.

Deadline

  • Please express your interest before February 28, 2018. Expressions of interest should outline your general qualifications and experience, any special skills or knowledge you feel would be of particular use to the taskforce and your reasons for wishing to join.

Contact

If you are interested in joining this taskforce or require additional information, please contact:
Kathryn Harvey
Head, Archival and Special Collections, University of Guelph
519-824-4120 ext. 52089
kaharvey@uoguelph.ca

 

Welcome Jeanne Darche

The Steering Committee on Canada’s Archives (SCCA) has the pleasure of welcoming Jeanne Darche as the new Co-lead of the Archival Workforce Taskforce. She is an Archivist and Records Keeper at the “Institut national de recherche scientifique” (INRS) as well as the Vice-President of the “Association des archivistes du Québec” (AAQ).

The SCCA would like to thank Patricia Forget for her hard work and her contribution to the Taskforce over the last several months.

Update from the SCCA Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force (TRC-TF) – July 2017

Update from the SCCA Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force (TRC-TF) – July 2017

Dear members of the Canadian archival community,

I am pleased to provide a belated report on the work of the TRC-TF. Since our last report four months ago, we have been actively engaged in getting the first elements of this project underway. Here is a quick overview of our progress to date:

Governance & Administration

  • Completed Research Ethic Board applications for review and approval to the three universities who employ three of the ten TRC-TF members (University of Northern British Columbia, Laurentian University and Algoma University).
  • Completed a SSHRC Connection Grant application to secure funding for TRC-TF activities.

Relationship Development & Work with Indigenous Partners

  • Secured 7 Indigenous Partners to serve with us on the TRC-TF in a fully collaborative capacity – we are still hoping to find 3 more.
  • Worked with our Indigenous Partners on the development of the Survey on Reconciliation Action & Awareness in Canadian Archives (available in both French and English)

Outreach

  • Developed outreach protocols for engaging in a respectful and comprehensive way with Indigenous umbrella organizations, including: determination of clear objectives, extent of engagement, a clear communication strategy and identification of specific organizations across Canada to be contacted.
  • Presented on the scope of work of the TRC –TF to the Commonwealth Association of Museums Roundtable in Calgary, AB, June 21, 2017.
  • Presented on the scope of work of the TRC –TF to the Beyond Hope Conference in Prince George, BC, June 13, 2017.

Relationship Development with Heritage Sector Organizations:

  • Established a formal relationship of collaboration with the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA/FCAB) Standing Committee on Indigenous Matters. Camille Callison, Chair of the Indigenous Matters Committee will serve on the TRC-TF as an Indigenous Partner; while I will serve as a member of the Indigenous Matters Committee. Through this collaborative approach to reconciliation research we hope to not only eradicate the duplication of efforts, we also hope to contribute to each other’s process in a meaningful way. This collaboration also being critical as in many Indigenous communities, archives, museums and libraries are not often differentiated from one another.
  • Established an informal relationship with the Canadian Museums Association “Museums and Indigenous Issues Project.” Led by Jameson Brandt, this multi-year initiative will take place in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) recommendations, to address the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to consider other relevant issues.
  • Secured 1 year free memberships from provincial/territorial archival associations and from the ACA and AAQ for each of our Indigenous Partners as a gift of reciprocity in exchange for their engagement in this project.

Upcoming Tasks: With the release of the Survey on Reconciliation Action & Awareness in Canadian Archives on July 4, 2017 the TRC-TF will redirect its focus on the following tasks throughout the summer:

  1. Compiling Survey Results – We will begin this task on July 21st.
  2. Outreach – A fundamental step in the work of the TRC-TF will be to develop a balanced perspective on how effectively Canadian archives manage access and engagement with the Indigenous information resources in their care, and how successfully the Canadian archival profession includes Indigenous record keepers within its collegial embrace. To find this perspective, Task Force members will contact representatives from Indigenous umbrella organizations such as tribal councils, cultural centres and territorial governments, whose responsibility it is to oversee programs pertaining to traditional Indigenous knowledge, whether in the form of archives, language or heritage program development, treaty research, libraries, artifact collections, traditional land use studies.

Through this outreach and dialogic engagement all Task Force members will engage community representatives in conversation from both a Client Engagement Perspective and a Collegial Engagement Perspective. Members will seek to identify and understand existing relationships, issues and challenges encountered by Indigenous organizations (i.e. employees and/or volunteers thereof) as either a client or patron who uses Canadian archives for research; or as Indigenous record-keepers interacting on a collegial level within our profession. Through this outreach component of our project, it is also our intent to begin the process of relationship-building with Indigenous record-keepers and to extend a formal invitation to participate on a collegial level with the Canadian archival community – if they have not already done so or thought of doing so. At this point, outreach activities are expected to continue well into December 2017.

If grant funding is received this outreach will be done primarily face to face when practicable to do so. If funding is not received, this outreach will be done via email and telephone.

  1. Expanded Literature Review – Undertaken concurrently with this outreach work will be an ‘expanded’ literature review; whereby, we will be contacting authors of archival and related professional discourse pertaining to reconciliation work, participatory archiving, cross-cultural engagement and the development of a multi-cultural collegial network of professionals after reading the discourse. We will be following up with them about their conclusions: to see if they still stand, if they would make any changes to their methodology or proposed outreach strategies, or if they have any additional words of advice to offer to us as we continue along on our path towards reconciliation. At this point, research and engagement activities are expected to continue into January 2018.

In Grateful Acknowledgment: The work we have done to date is complex and time-consuming. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to each one of my tremendous team members who have worked tirelessly – off the side of their desks, evenings and weekends, shuffling work and family obligations – to get us as far as we are today.  I know the tremendous scope of our project and for all of your efforts and dedication I would like to say “Thank You”.

Call for Interest: I would also like to welcome anyone to contact me directly if they would like to take up the task of seeking additional funding for our work. It has been challenging, to say the least, to find funding streams geared towards reconciliation work within a profession, rather than as part of an Indigenous, educational or artistic program.

And as always, if you have any comments, suggestions or questions with regards to our work you are always welcomed and encouraged to contact me directly at Erica.hernandez-read@unbc.ca . As well, for TRC-TF documentation and updates, please check out our page on the SCCA’s newly launched website at https://archives2026.com/ .

Regards,

Erica Hernández-Read

Chair, Response to the Report on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force

Invitation to Participate: Survey on Reconciliation Action & Awareness in Canadian Archives

The Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force (TRC-TF) of the Steering Committee on Canada’s Archives, invites you to participate in this survey on reconciliation action and awareness in Canadian archives. The purpose of this survey is to gather and then review institutional policies, best practices, and related perceptions existent in archives across the country as they pertain to engagement with, and support for Indigenous community members and researchers. The results of this survey will be used to identify potential barriers to, or practices in support of, reconciliation efforts between the Canadian archival community and Indigenous communities across Canada.

Survey Link: http://unbc.fluidsurveys.com/s/TRC-TF-Survey/

Survey Completion Deadline: July 21, 2017

INTENDED PARTICIPANTS

This survey is open to all members of the Canadian archival community regardless of their role, employment status, the size of their archives, or whether they classify their archives as a ‘formal’ or ‘informal’ repository. Multiple responses from archivists within a single large institution are welcome. This survey is available in both English and French – please contact the TRC-TF Chair if you did not receive the survey in your language of preference.

SURVEY FORMAT & NOTES

This survey consists of 41 questions organized into the following 4 main themes, with some introductory and wrap up sections:

  • Policies and Procedures related to Indigenous Information Resources
  • Relationships
  • Awareness
  • Reconciliation

This survey will take approximately 10-30 min to complete, but your work can be saved and reopened at a later time. Respondents will also be able to edit their responses to completed surveys up until the survey submission deadline of July 21, 2017.

Please note, not all questions are mandatory.

For the purpose of this survey, we define “Indigenous Peoples” as First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples of Canada.

PRIVACY AND DATA USAGE

All responses will remain confidential.  Data collected will be summarized, anonymized and amalgamated into a survey report. All original surveys will be retained until the TRC-TF mandate expires or by December 2018 – whichever comes first – at which time they will be destroyed. While the survey maintains the overall anonymity of respondents, its structure does provide the opportunity for respondents to further discuss their institution’s various outreach programs, policies and/or practices with a member of the TRC-TF if they so choose. If this option is selected, the respondent will be asked to provide their name and a contact email through which dialogue will begin. All contact information collected through this means, will again be retained until the TRC-TF mandate expires or by December 2018 – whichever comes first – at which time it will be destroyed.

CONTACT

Should you have any additional questions or concerns regarding this survey, please do not hesitate to contact Erica Hernández-Read, TRC-TF Chair (Erica.hernandez-read@unbc.ca).

Thank you for your participation!