In summer of 2022, Raymond Frogner, the NCTR’s Head of Archives spent five days reviewing Rome’s Archivum Generale O.M.I. Romae (AG) which mostly holds the administrative records of the Oblate Order’s Missionary operations around the world.
The NCTR is pleased to share a report created that houses key findings from records reviewed between 1830-2020 and consist of five different series:
- Administration; and
Key findings noted that there are a number of black and white photos of Residential Schools from the early 20th century in the holdings and could be of use to Indigenous researchers looking for evidence of lost relatives. The Manuscript collection is very random and incomplete, however there are more complete collections of Oblate manuscripts at the Bibliothèque et Archives National du Québec (BANQ) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC).
As a private archives, most of the records are in analogue formats and not available online, and access is limited to visits by special permission. The records are primarily administrative and therefore do not hold much information on individual children. The Canadian Oblate archives, such as Dêschatelets in Québec, hold much more complete records on the operation of Oblate run schools.
The NCTR is currently writing a Memorandum of Agreement recommending all Oblate personnel files be open to researchers, educators and Survivors and their descendants. While these archives are likely not a resource that will resolve the search for many lost children, it will add valuable context to the operations and processes of an organization very closely involved in the operations of Residential Schools in Canada.
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