15-year anniversary of Project Naming—connecting with Inuit, Métis Nation and First Nations history (March 1-3, 2017)

News Release

March 1, 2017                  Ottawa                                    Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is honoured to be hosting members from Inuit, Métis Nation and First Nations communities to commemorate 15 years of Project Naming.

The gathering is being co-organized with Carleton University from March 1 to March 3, 2017.

This event is the first major community and scholarly gathering to discuss the contributions of Project Naming. The majority of individuals depicted in LAC's photographic collections are nameless. Over the last 15 years, LAC has worked with Aboriginal communities to identify names and places in these images to rightfully preserve their history for present and future generations.

The anniversary is also an opportunity for Inuit elders and youth from across Nunavut and elsewhere to celebrate the project's achievements and to foster continued engagement with First Nations, the Métis Nation and Inuit communities from across Canada.

A component of this celebration will be the recording of stories and recollections from Inuit contributors to be included in a book about the history of the project being edited by Professor Carol Payne of Carleton University for McGill-Queen's University Press.

Event details and agenda [PDF 258 KB]

About Project Naming

Before Project Naming began in 2002, the Aboriginal peoples depicted in the majority of federal archival photographs were nameless. Project Naming provides a virtual space enabling First Nations, Métis Nation and Inuit communities to access Canada's historic photo collections and engage in the identification of people and locations, thereby reconnecting with their history to share memories and stories rekindled by the photographs. The project also aims to inspire and empower Aboriginal youth with a renewed understanding and access to their past.

Since Project Naming began, many individuals have reunited with their families and loved ones, and have sometimes themselves in the photographs.

About Project Naming—15th Anniversary

Speakers for the sessions on March 1 and 2:

Moderators for the various sessions:

On March 1 and 2, there will be several musical performances by students from Nunavut Sivuniksavut.

The session on March 3 will look to the future of Project Naming and will host a panel of artists, including Onondaga photographer and curator Jeff Thomas, Métis artist Rosalie Favell, and Inuk filmmaker Isabella-Rose Weetaluktuk. All three use archival images in their innovative artistic practice, and will discuss the ways in which they are reclaiming and re-telling their histories and stories.


"Project Naming is one of the most important initiatives at Library and Archives Canada. I am proud of what we have achieved, but moving forward together we will accomplish so much more. Building an honest and sharing relationship between those who record history and those who have been harmed by history takes time and trust—our organization is dedicated to preservation of memory and thus has a vital role to play." Dr. Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

"Views from the North, which is partnered with Project Naming, include photo-based oral history interviews. For this project, students from the Inuit training program Nunavut Sivuniksavut, interview elders from their own home communities over LAC archival photographs depicting those communities decades ago. In this way, Views from the North, like Project Naming, links generations of Inuit and recasts colonial images from an Inuk perspective." Dr. Carol Payne, Associate Professor of Art History, Carleton University.

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