Nov 042014

Printable/Searchable pdf Version:

Dorinda Sturdy Stonehouse Fonds Description


Dorinda Sturdy Stonehouse Fonds Photos

Rev. Roscoe Chapin Fonds Description

Indian Residential Schools Overview

Title: Dorinda Sturdy Stonehouse fonds

Dates: 1922 – 1924

Extent: 1 annotated photo album

Repository: The United Church of Canada Archives Manitoba Northwestern Ontario Conference and All Native Circle Conference

Historic Note
Dorinda Sturdy lived in a cabin while teaching at the day school at Island Lake in Northern Manitoba. UCCArchivesWpg 124

Dorinda Sturdy lived in a cabin while teaching at the day school at Island Lake in Northern Manitoba. UCCArchivesWpg sturdy 124

Dorinda Sturdy was born in Toronto on August 26, 1894, the 4th of 6 children born to Thomas Sturdy (1854-1935) and Dorinda Vert (1865-1947). Dorinda was on the teaching staff of the Norway House Indian Residential School, in Norway House, Manitoba, (Methodist Church of Canada, later United Church of Canada), in 1921 at least, and a teacher from 1922 – 1924 at the Indian Day School Methodist Church (later United Church) at Island Lake, Manitoba. Both communities are in northern Manitoba.

In the summer of 1922 Miss Sturdy traveled by canoe from Norway House to Island Lake in the party of missionary Rev. Roscoe Chapin, his wife Etta, and his father Roscoe Chapin Sr. along with unnamed Aboriginal guides. The 250 mile journey included 33 portages and took a week to complete.  The journey is meticulously recorded in the Album which also documents her time at Island Lake.

Dorinda married Ernest Albert Stonehouse. They had one daughter, Vera Dorinda Anne (Stonehouse) Saunders who was born October 3, 1930 and died December 31, 2010. Dorinda died January 26, 1982 in Edmonton, Alberta. She is buried at Westlawn Memorial Gardens.


Scope and Content

The surviving record of Dorinda Sturdy is comprised of an album with hand drawn maps, narrative notation and 147 photographs.

The provenance of the photographs is not certain. Some photos in the album are identical to photos credited to Rev. Roscoe Chapin (See Archives of Manitoba ‘Roscoe Tramner Chapin Fonds’). Which of them is the photographer is an unanswered question. There is evidence that Sturdy was a photographer: she is photographed with a camera and there are self-portraits in which she is obviously triggering the camera  (see photo on this page). The more intimate photographs of her bedroom and cabin interior would also suggest she took these images. (See Sturdy fonds 113). There are photos in which Chapin appears and photos in which Sturdy and Chapin appear together (see Sturdy fonds 070), indicating that the collection could include photographs from other sources as well.

All the photos have been digitized. An item description is available. Content in the descriptions includes notations from identical photographs in the Archives of Manitoba Chapin Fonds.

Custodial History

The album was donated by Anne Kennedy of Toronto in 2012. She found it while clearing her mother’s estate.  The Album was unknown to her until that time.  It is believed that her mother was a former colleague of either Dorinda Sturdy or Roscoe Chapin.

Related Material in this Repository

A biographic file is available.   See the Rev. Roscoe T. Chapin Fonds

Language:  The records are in English.

Restriction on Access:  No restrictions apply.

Accruals: No further accruals are expected.