Sous-fonds 003 - Reader family collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Reader family collection

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of sous-fonds.

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Reference code

CA SWM RG4-003

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • [ca. 1895-before 1973] (Creation)
    Reader family

Physical description area

Physical description

7.0 cm textual records including two oversized textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Joseph Reader and his bride were among a group of English clergymen brought to Canada to assist in the education of the First Nations of the Northwest Territories. Joseph Reader was one for four witnesses to the signing of Treaty at Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan. Joseph Reader was transferred from Touchwood Hills, Saskatchewan, where he had worked as a missionary, to The Pas in 1878. A second son was born en route, while travelling aboard a steamer, S.S. Northcote, for which the child was named. Upon arriving in The Pas, Joseph Reader and his family took up residence in the mission house beside the church, now Devon Park. For the next three years Joseph Reader served as a missionary to The Pas, before resigning. He was appointed ‘Indian Agent of The Pas Agency’; an office he held for fourteen years. Despite resigning from missionary life, Joseph Reader continued his efforts to educate the First Nations. He arranged to have a printing press shipped to Oonikup (at Reader Lake), he copied out Cree syllables for the manufacture of a special font, and when it all arrived, father and sons spent years setting type, printing and binding booklets, almanacs, hymns, portions of the Bible and school lessons in the Cree syllabic. Joseph Reader died in February of 1928. (Source: The Pas: Gateway to the North, 1983, pgs. 399 – 402)
Phillip Boyd Reader was born August 6, 1914 at Gordon’s Reserve near Punnichy, Saskatchewan to Emily May and Northcote Reader. The family later moved to Reader Lake near The Pas where Phil spent several years hunting and trapping. He married Dorothy Viola Parkinson in the early 1930s and they lived in Flin Flon until 1941 when they moved their family to The Pas. Phil worked for The Pas Lumber Company from 1941 to 1943 and joined the Air Force as an Air Gunner during World War II. After the war he joined the Game Branch as a Conservation Officer for The Pas and was in charge of registered trap lines. From 1950 to 1952 he worked for the Department of Indian Affairs as Fur Supervisor, and then was self-employed at his sawmill at Reader Lake. From 1975 to his retirement in 1979 he worked for Manitoba Forest Industries at The Pas. (Source: The Pas: Gateway to Northern Manitoba, 1983, pp. 402 – 404)

Custodial history

All records in this collection were donated by Phil Reader to the Sam Waller Museum. Records PA84.3.1 – PA84.3.2 were donated on the 18th of July, 1984, PA92.3.1 was donated on the 28th of May, 1992, and PA2011.3.1 was donated on the 11th of May, 2000.

Scope and content

The Reader family collection consists of two pen and ink drawings of The Pas and Devon Mission, Oonikup Cumberland House, Moose Lake Grand Rapids, done circa 1895 (possibly by Dunlop); applications to purchase land in The Pas, and a sheet of instructions from Sam Waller to Phil Reader on how to clean skulls.

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Finding aids

Associated materials

2 audio cassette tapes, a community oral history by Phil Reader (PA2000.2.4) and Phil’s ‘Santa Story’ (PA2001.5.1), and a transcript (PA2011.5) for the oral history.
An oral history interview and summary with Phil Reader, RG3: Sam Waller Museum fonds, file 5.2.3.
VHS: Crooked knife (PA2001.5.2), Media collection.

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Description record identifier

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Sam Waller Museum

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Created October 6, 2011

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