British Journal of Canadian Studies

Archival photographs in perspective: Indian residential school images of health

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2017), 30, (2), 163–182.

Abstract

Photographs are some of the most visceral archival sources relating to the legacy of residential schools. Residential school images can be used to supplement textual records when creating historical narratives, as tools for sparking conversation and memory, and as the start of community healing. Images of sport and recreation at residential schools provide insight into the school experience, student life, and dynamics of power within the school system. This article uses an archival understanding of residential school photography to examine student experiences in sport and recreation at residential schools. Using photographs from the Rev. Father William Maurice Fonds at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre, this article addresses the challenges associated with present-day usage of residential school photographs, the ways in which these photographs can contribute to ongoing discussions about healing and reconciliation, and the use of archival photographs within the residential school survivor community.

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Author details

McCracken, Krista