The advocate's archive: Walter Rudnicki and the fight for Indigenous rights in Canada, 1955 - 2010
This thesis explores the significant contribution Walter Rudnicki (1925-2010) made to the pursuit of social justice for Indigenous people in Canada through his use of archival records. Rudnicki took on the role of archivist by acquiring, organizing, disseminating, and keeping records that document government-Indigenous relations. Totaling 90.25 metres in extent, the Walter Rudnicki fonds at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections is an impressive private collection amassed in order to make injustice visible. As a federal public servant working to develop innovative government policies with Indigenous people between the 1950s and 1970s, Rudnicki had bitter personal experience with document creation and access to records practices in the Government of Canada that thwarted Indigenous aims. Thereafter, he stressed that accessing and archiving records play an indispensable role in protecting Indigenous peoples’ interests. He spent the rest of his life creating and employing an archive that would be used in advocacy for Indigenous rights.