Archives of the north, by the north, for the north: the meaning, value, and challenges of creating, keeping and running archives in the Canadian territories

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Carrie, Jason Derek
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Archives in the Canadian territories are meaningful, valuable and needed in the north. Archives’ meaning and value derive from their ability to be used to influence power, to defend rights, and to document political movements which necessitates their existence and accessibility. Yet, northern archives have, and continue to face, numerous challenges which include geography, retention and repatriation of archival records, infrastructure, education, professional development opportunities, staff retention, languages, and finances. As one form of social memory, territorial archives emerged in the 1970s to manage the records created in the north and to stem the flow of archival records south. Since then, a growing number of archives and archives councils have been established in the north to manage and care for northern archival records. This thesis examines the literature on place, value and meaning of archives and uses it to argue why archives are needed in the north. I use the Native Press photograph collection at the Northwest Territories Archives as a case study to compare the identified challenges and explore how the digitization and description project underscores the value and meaning of archives and archival records of the north, by the north, and for the north.
Archives, Canadian North, Northern Archives, Participatory Description, Native Press, Native Communication Society, Northwest Territories Archives