National Indigenous Peoples Day

By Emily Hall
Canada Summer Jobs Position

National Indigenous People’s Day is June 21st and celebrates the heritage, cultural diversity and achievements of Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. Canada’s Governor General proclaimed the first National Indigenous Peoples Day 23 years ago in 1996. It is celebrated as a local holiday throughout the Yukon, North West Territories and Nunavut whilst being observed in the rest of the country. Today there are many events happening across the country, such as language lessons, blanket festivals & feasts, viewings of short films created by Indigenous Canadians and various ceremonies.

Photos by george hunter ”Views of the north” baker lake 1946

Photos by george hunter
”Views of the north”
baker lake 1946

Photographer George Hunter was sent to observe and record one of the eleven Inuit groups during the winter of 1946 located in Baker Lake, NWT, where the average temperature in June is only eight degrees. Located 320 km inland from Hudson Bay, it is near the nation's geographical centre, and is known for being the Canadian Arctic's sole inland community. The series developed from this expedition was called “Views of the North”, which focuses on the daily interactions, schooling and family lives of the Indigenous Peoples. Baker Lake was given its English name in 1761, whereas Baker Lake’s Inuktitut name is Qamani’tuaq, which means “ where the river widens”.

Photos by george hunter ”Views of the north” baker lake 1946

Photos by george hunter
”Views of the north”
baker lake 1946

National Indigenous People’s day is important for everyone in Canada to celebrate regardless of their cultural background. It is a way to support and connect with Indigenous communities across Canada and allows Indigenous communities like the ones in Baker Lake to be remembered and celebrated.

Project Update: Digitizing The George Hunter Archive

Images of Ontario by George Hunter, RCA - Digitization and Preservation Project
Check out a sneak peek of the digitized Ontario negatives and film transparencies by George Hunter

During the digitization process, our team of students from the Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations program along with the Canada Summer jobs initiative have come across a wide range of different sizes of negatives and film transparencies. Our team are using our new Epson V800 and V600 scanners to digitize using film holders and are working with a guide for best practices. A major challenge faced early in the project was related to scanning large negative transparencies. Many were curled due to age and would not fit in the holders, making it difficult to produce high quality digital images. As a resolution we are using newton glass to not only help with newton rings, which is an issue for the large colour transparencies, but also to help keep the large negatives flat for scanning.

The process of pulling the materials for this project to scan requires a significant amount of preparation. This process includes: auditing boxes, assigning accession numbers and creating accurate catalogue records. The materials also need to be placed in proper housing to preserve them for the future. We are custom creating our own negative sleeves while preserving George Hunter’s original envelopes with illustrated labels, titles and dates.

George Hunter shot with a variety of cameras and explored both black and white and colour photography. The George Hunter fonds are diverse with a wide range of photographic materials. Hunter explored and embraced the progression of new photographic inventions and materials. He really did move with the times, starting off with black and white film and moving forward with colour and finally fully embracing the digital era. It is very fitting that CHPF can digitize these images and move forward with Hunter’s vision to share the works of Canadian photographers.

Some highlights from the first one thousand five hundred scans include aerial views of Toronto, parliament buildings, mines, landscapes and portraits. Hunter’s Ontario images call attention to the many industries, developments and changes this province has experienced.

This project has been made possible in part by the government of Canada’s Documentary Heritage Communities Program through Library and Archives Canada.

Aerial works: A collection of George Hunter's aerial photographs as seen in TIME and MacLean's.

Aerial works: A collection of George Hunter's aerial photographs as seen in TIME and MacLean's.

George Hunter’s photographs have appeared in many publications over the years, including various newspapers, magazines, and books. Some notable magazines that have featured his work include TIME Magazine, TIME Canada, and MacLean’s, who have all had multi-page spreads featuring George’s aerial photography from all across Canada and the United States. The letter from the publisher in these issues of TIME and TIME Canada also discuss George and the work he did in these shoots. Here, we would like to share with you these letters and photographs, as well as the article that accompanies his spread in MacLean’s. We hope you enjoy!

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Digitizing The George Hunter Archive

Images of Ontario by George Hunter, RCA - Digitization and Preservation Project

This project has been made possible in part by the government of Canada’s Documentary Heritage Communities Program through Library and Archives Canada

The goal of the project is to digitize 4,000 Ontario Negatives by George Hunter

The project timeline is May 1, 2019 – September 1, 2019

Objective:
- Scan and Catalogue 4,000 Ontario Negatives
- Rehouse the scanned negatives
- Create an online digital collection