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Two-Spirit Oral History Collection

  • CA UWA 22.14
  • Collection
  • 2022

This collection consists of four interviews in total (04hh18mm58ss), conducted by Jenny Foidart and Nicole Murdock, coordinated by Corser du Pont and initiated by the University of Winnipeg Archives.

The objective of the Two-Spirit Oral History Project was to record Two-Spirit histories for future generations by sharing their lived experiences, with an emphasis on Elders and Knowledge-Keepers. The stories of Two-Spirit people have been mostly absent from history owing to white settler colonization and discrimination within communities, including within Indigenous and LGBTQ+ communities. These stories will help to provide source material for new histories, research, and creative works about Two-Spirit people, and they may also assist young people who are struggling to come to terms with being Two-Spirit through these examples.

Sans titre

Wilson B. Brown fonds

  • CA UWA 08.22, 22.09
  • Fonds
  • 1982-2022

The fonds consists of records depicting the career of University of Winnipeg economist and professor Dr. Wilson B. Brown. The 2008 accession includes the Final Report of the University of Winnipeg Fund-Raising Campaign Planning Advisory Group, appendices, and other related materials including memos, contact lists and drafts. The 2022 accession includes correspondence, articles, essays, committee records, class materials, personal records, and a copy of the book "An Economist Writes Poetry" (10 illustrations, 51 poems).

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Interview with Kelly Houle

Oral history interview with Kelly Houle (01hh 04mm 20ss) conducted by Jenny Foidart in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Wednesday 19 October 2022. Records include wav and mp3 recordings of the interview and digital textual records including the interview informed consent form, summary, transcript, index, waiver and consent form, and metadata.

In this interview, Kelly Houle narrates her life story, beginning with childhood in residential schools, then a move to Winnipeg, where she endured abuse at home and in public school. She recounts how as a teenager, Houle began working in the sex trade on Winnipeg's streets. She explains how she transitioned from a client of community outreach services to a provider of outreach. Houle details how her cross-Canada travels lead her to Two-Spirit self-realization, celebration, and continued advocacy for trans and Two-Spirit people, leaving a profound and lasting impact for generations to come.

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Interview with Lorne Olson

Oral history interview with Lorne Olson (01hh 39mm 35ss) conducted by Jenny Foidart in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Friday 14 October 2022. Records include wav and mp3 recordings of the interview and digital textual records including the interview informed consent form, summary, transcript, index, waiver and consent form, and metadata.

During the interview, Lorne Olson recounts his life journey, from the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation in Manitoba to a career in filmmaking, and the personal growth experienced and societal changes witnessed along the way. Important subjects discussed include Indigenous sovereignty in the film industry, his chosen family, access to both male and female perspectives, and Two-Spirit enlightenment.

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Roz Usiskin Interview

Oral history interview with Roz Usiskin conducted by Nolan Reilly, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 2018. The Interview File contains 8 individual interview sessions. All sessions are indexed and have full transcripts. A Related Interview Documents file contains all documentation submitted with the project including: Biographical Questionnaire, a transcript of a 1998 interview with Usiskin, and 30 photographs. Undigitized physical documents include books The Wolodarsky Family: Volume One: A Lifetime of Letters: 1913-1922 and Volume Two: The Legacy Continues, 1922-1979; Uncle Mike’s Edenbridge: Memoirs of a Jewish Pioneer; and Nolan Reilly’s interview notebook.

Roz Usiskin of Winnipeg initiated this professional collaboration with Nolan Reilly, University of Winnipeg. This project explores the life and career of Roz Usiskin from her birth in 1928 to approximately 2018. The Usiskin interviews were conducted in 2018 and focus principally on Usiskin’s life within Winnipeg’s culturally and politically progressive Jewish community, of which she is a prominent member. Themes include family and community life, political activism, feminism, education, multi-culturalism, and historical conservation. The preservation of Yiddish is a prominent theme in the interviews and the considerable documentation accompanying those interviews.

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Katie Bonnell fonds

  • Fonds
  • 2018

The Katie Bonnell fonds includes a newspaper article (2018).

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Jaimi Deleau fonds

  • Fonds
  • 2018

The Jaimi Deleau fonds includes newspaper/magazine articles (2018).

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Interview with Roz Usiskin, Session 7

Oral history interview session (51mm 32ss) with Roz Usiskin, conducted by Nolan Reilly, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 2018. Interview is indexed and transcribed in full.

Nolan Reilly, the interviewer, outlines the objectives and procedures for the interview with Roseline (Roz) Usiskin. Usiskin agrees to be recorded. Usiskin begins with reflections of historical and contemporary antisemitism. A recent, deadly attack on a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh prompted this discussion. She expresses concern for her children and grandchildren. Usiskin also raises her concern with the state of Israeli politics which disturbs her greatly. The history of Zionism and Israel is a subject raised on several occasions in previous interview sessions. She next describes teaching at the University of Winnipeg for a number of years after gradation. However, she preferred to work in the community and left academia to become the first Executive Director of the newly created Multi-Cultural Resources Centre of Manitoba. She describes her extensive involvement with this organization that encouraged cooperation among Manitoba’s ethnic and immigrant communities. It was a very active organization under her direction, and she details much of that activity. Usiskin left this organization to become deeply involved through the Jewish Historical Society in the creation of the Jewish Heritage Centre to be located in the newly founded campus of the Jewish Asper Centre in south Winnipeg. She describes how these decisions reflected significant differences among Jews in Winnipeg about their relationship to the broader community. It also spoke to the different aspirations of many Jews who were moving from the North End neighbourhoods of their immigrant parents to the more affluent areas of south Winnipeg.

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Interview with Roz Usiskin, Session 6

Oral history interview session (51mm 32ss) with Roz Usiskin, conducted by Nolan Reilly, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 2018. Interview is indexed and transcribed in full.

Nolan Reilly, the interviewer, outlines the objectives and procedures for the interview with Roseline (Roz) Usiskin. Usiskin agrees to be recorded. Usiskin begins with a description of personal changes she confronted in the early 1960s with the death of her parents and several other individuals to whom she was close. Her children were more independent by this time and all these changes led her to consider what she might do going forward in her life. She decided to return to school and continue onto university. Her husband supported this decision. The small business they owned was doing well, which meant they could afford Usiskin’s desire to attend university. She describes in detail her experience at university, including the lifelong friends she made there among the students and professors. Usiskin did exceptionally well in her undergraduate years at the University of Winnipeg. She next describes the completion of her MA degree in Sociology at the University of Manitoba. Her research that she describes here focused on the history of the political, religious, and cultural diversity of Winnipeg’s Jewish community, a subject she continues to work on to this day. Usiskin provides a detailed description of being a married woman of thirty-nine with three children attending university with students much younger than herself. The feminist debates of the time led her to reflect on her view of the world. Her generation was politically radical but conventional in their personal lives. Discussions of gender and sexuality, for example, she explains introduced her to new and exciting perspectives. She concludes with a lengthy reflection on the fact that progressive changes are being made on issues of gender and sexuality but they made not be as radical as some think them to be.

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Interview with Roz Usiskin, Session 5

Oral history interview session (01hh 14mm 22ss) with Roz Usiskin, conducted by Nolan Reilly, Winnipeg Manitoba, 2018. Interview is indexed and transcribed in full.

Nolan Reilly, the interviewer, outlines the objectives and procedures for the interview with Roseline (Roz) Usiskin. Usiskin agrees to be recorded. Usiskin begins the session with a description of Sid Bagel, her brother in law, being forced to abandon a doctoral programme in the United States during the Cold War, because Usiskin’s best friend whom he was marrying was associated with the Communist movement. They instead moved to Vancouver where he completed a doctoral programme at the University of British Columbia. Usiskin then provides a detailed description of her marriage to Larry Usiskin. The wedding was small with the ceremony held at the rabbi’s home and the reception at her family home. They initially resided in the home of her parents but moved after several years to a newer house in West Kildonan. Their son Michael was born in 1951. They would have two other boys in the next few years. Roz Usiskin’s father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1950 and suffered greatly until his death in 1965. He was a great letter writer and conversationalist who grew increasingly frustrated with his declining ability to do either because of the disease. Usiskin describes the impact this had upon their family. Her mother died in 1966 from cancer. Usiskin continues the interview with her recollections of raising three boys in a busy household amidst the expectations of their extended families and the society of that era. She describes how her community activities involved many evening meetings, but her husband happily spent time with the children. The interview session closes with Usiskin reflecting on their hopes and expectations for their children as they grew to adulthood.

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