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      Manitoba Historical Society
           Keeping history alive for over 142 years


      The Manitoba Historical Society was devastated by the recent news that the remains of 215 Indigenous children who went missing at the Kamloops Residential School have been found. Our thoughts are with the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, especially their families, relatives, and community. We acknowledge the harmful and horrific impact and ongoing legacy of the residential schools, and this discovery further illustrates the tragic and devastating impact of colonialism on Indigenous peoples.

      The Manitoba Historical Society recognizes the role that we, as an organization, can play in supporting the calls to action made by the National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation. We also understand that before real change can happen, the truth must be revealed, and only then can we make the path clear for reconciliation. Our organization is committed to help educate, support, preserve, and promote indigenous, First Nations, Metis, and Inuit histories, traditions, languages, and culture through our publications and online resources. We can help to address the systemic racism, discrimination, and marginalization that has been experienced by Indigenous communities in Canada.

      The Manitoba Historical Society is working actively to draw attention to the Residential Schools and their harmful legacy. We have included the sites of schools and their cemeteries on our map of historic sites. We hope this may be of help for more identification and commemoration rites and, in time, healing.

      The Brandon Indian Residential School Cemetery includes graves of people who were students at the Brandon Indian Residential School. A commemorative monument contains the names of eleven people known to be buried here but it is believed there are other unmarked graves inside and outside a chain link fence at the site.

      The Elkhorn Indian Residential School Cemetery includes the graves of several children who died while attending the Elkhorn Indian Residential School which operated at Elkhorn between 1888 and 1949. Crosses were raised by former staff and students during a reunion held in July 1990.

      The Manitoba Historical Society has published articles to help document and share about the commemoration of students who died at the Brandon Residential School, including “A Cup of Cold Water” which can be read on our website.

      We encourage our members to support the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. It is “A BC-wide non-profit organization dedicated to providing First Nations emotional and cultural support services.” Survivors of the Residential Schools or those impacted by these reports can get help by contacting a 24-hour support line at 1-866-925-4419.

      We acknowledge that the Manitoba Historical Society office is located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. We respect the Treaties that were made on these territories, we acknowledge the harms and mistakes of the past, and we dedicate ourselves to move forward in partnership with Indigenous communities in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.

      Tracey Turner
      Executive Director, Manitoba Historical Society

      Dr. Gordon Goldsborough
      President, Manitoba Historical Society

      Manitoba Historical Society

      Are you interested in the history of Manitoba and Western Canada? If so, the Manitoba Historical Society is for you! Membership is open to individuals, students, families, organizations, and businesses.

      Link to:
      Membership fees | Membership form

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      Become a member using the MHS Online Shop.

      Please contact the MHS office with questions and to become an MHS member.

      Benefits of membership in the Manitoba Historical Society include:

      Prairie History
      Our journal, published three times a year, is devoted to the history of Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the US borderlands. It contains well researched, scholarly articles as well as articles of general interest and book reviews.

      Our website contains a wide variety of historical information drawn from our publications (Transactions, Manitoba Pageant, Manitoba History, Prairie History). It also contains unique documents and articles, biographies, historic sites, lists of award recipients, and information about MHS programs.

      MHS Fundraising Dinners
      This annual event is the Society’s primary fundraiser. Dinners feature guest speakers on a variety of topics.

      Multicultural Dinners
      This annual events highlights the ethnic diversity of Manitoba. Each dinner features a particular group, including its indigenous foods and beverages, and accompanied by a presentation on its activities in Manitoba.

      Field Trips
      The MHS operates guided historic bus tours to various sites in the region. Trips have included stops at Wawanesa’s Sipiweske Museum, the Archibald Museum near La Rivière, the Inglis grain elevators, the Royal Canadian Artillery Museum in Shilo, and the northern communities of The Pas, Flin Flon, and Grand Rapids. The MHS has prepared walking tour guides of the Tuxedo, Crescentwood, Wolseley, and Point Douglas neighbourhoods in Winnipeg.

      The MHS’s standing committees address topics of specific interest. Some committees are responsible for research, planning, and presentation of awards, or operation of museums. Others are more wide-ranging in their terms of reference. At present, committees include: Centennial Business, Centennial Farm, Centennial Organization, McWilliams, Young Historians, Field Trip, Publications, Membership, Program, Fundraising Dinner, Historic Preservation, and Heritage Trust.

      Presentations & Programs
      The MHS Programs Committee, often in collaboration with other MHS committees and external groups, organizes presentations on a range of topics.

      Affiliated Societies
      The MHS’s mandate includes assistance in the formation and work of local historical societies in furthering the objectives of the Society throughout Manitoba. Any local, regional, national, or international group which endorses the objectives of the MHS is invited to become an affiliated society with a view toward facilitating intercommunication and mutual enrichment.

      Centennial Farm Awards
      This program was initiated by the MHS in 1980 to recognize farms which have been operated continuously for 100 years or more by a single family. To date, over 1,200 farms have been so designated throughout southern Manitoba. Recipient families receive a plaque or certificate, usually at a formal presentation ceremony. A separate Century Farm program of the provincial government provides signs which recipient families post at their farm gate.

      Centennial Business Awards
      In 1999, the MHS initiated the Manitoba Centennial Business Awards to recognize businesses that have operated continuously in the province for over 100 years. Changes in business location and ownership are permitted. Recipient businesses, of which there have been 52 so far, are presented with a commemorative plaque at the annual Fundraising Dinner or at an event sponsored by the recipient.

      Centennial Organization Awards
      This program was started in 2004 as part of the MHS’s 125th anniversary celebrations. It commemorates 100 years of continuous operation by non-profit organizations, clubs, congregations, and associations in the areas of culture, economic development, education, health, heritage, labour, politics, recreation and sport, religion, and social reform. Numerous awards have been made to date, usually at our annual awards ceremony.

      Margaret McWilliams Awards
      This award, one of the oldest literary awards in Canada, was instituted in 1955 as a memorial to Margaret S. McWilliams, a well-known Manitoba author, by her husband, former Lieutenant-Governor Roland F. McWilliams. Its purpose is to encourage the study and interpretation of the history of Manitoba. Certificates are presented at our annual awards ceremony to authors of scholarly books, popular books, local histories, and other works.

      Page revised: 2 June 2021

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