Title: Presbyterian Workers Among the Indians Fonds
Dates: 1909 – 1930
Extent: 1 folder of textual records, 1 journal with photographs
Repository: United Church of Canada Archives Manitoba Northwestern Ontario Conference and All Native Circle Conference
Retrieval Numbers: Acc. 15-01
The Association of Presbyterian Workers Among the Indians in the Synods of Manitoba and Saskatchewan (and parts of Ontario) was created in 1908 by Presbyterian missionaries for the purpose of meeting and discussing concerns and issues that they had in common. Seven successful conventions were held. The location of the first one is not known; Birtle Indian Residential School, Manitoba (2nd Annual,1909); Portage la Prairie Residential School, Manitoba (3rd Annual, 1910), Augustine Presbyterian Church, Winnipeg (4th Annual, 1911); Crowstand Indian School, Saskatchewan (5th Annual, 1912); Deaconess Training Home, Toronto (6th Annual, 1913); File Hills Indian School, Saskatchewan (7th Annual, 1914) The next convention, held in 1915 at Cecelia Jeffereys Residential School, near Kenora, Ontario was poorly attended. The conclusion was that the geographical territory for the Association was too broad. The final convention, in Winnipeg in 1916 was very poorly attended and was the last. The remaining funds of $4.65 were sent to Crowstand School in 1928, by the treasurer, J. Donaghy, marking the official end of the Association.
The Convention programs were largely led by the members of the Association, with a few invited guests, and included: worship, presentations (such as Literature on the Indians, Sanitation and Salvation, The Christian Indian, When is a reserve ready to have a day school?, Indian Marriage and Divorce, Canada for Christ), internal business (such as Nominations and Convention planning), external business (such as recommendations to the Foreign Mission Committee of the Presbyterian Church).
The Association had an Honorary President, President, Vice-President and Secretary Treasurer. They served as an Executive. Membership fees were .50 a year. Records name at least 36 paid members.
Scope and Content
The surviving records of the Presbyterian Workers Among the Indians Association consist of: the Convention minute book (covers 1909 to 1915 Conventions, with a short series of correspondences from 1928 and 1930 regarding the disbursement of residue funds, and a short history written by J. Donaghy, Treasurer); correspondence/survey regarding the 1915 Convention, a list of Indian Workers (no date), 3 pieces of correspondence and proposed program for 1916 Convention and ten black and white photographs, which are described in detail in the Fonds Description. The photographs can be seen here.
All of the documents and photos from this fonds have been digitized.
The provenance of these records is obscure but possibly came to the Archives with the records of Rev. James A. Donaghy as part of a transfer of records around 1970. Donaghy was the Treasurer of the Association.
Relevant items in this fonds related to Indian Residential Schools are included in the United Church of Canada Archives Manitoba Northwestern Ontario Conference and All Native Circle Conference 2014 Index of IRS Related Records and were digitized for submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (Container 293, documents 1 – 6, plus photos)
Language: The materials are in English.
Restriction on Access: No restrictions apply.
Accruals: No further accruals are expected.