Oral History Project Paulatuk Roman Catholic Mission House and Notre Dame de Lourdes Grotto (nomination as a national historical site)

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: social sciences, oral history, historical site

Principal Investigator: Ouellette, Nathalie (1)
Licence Number: 14624
Organization: Parks Canada National Historic Sites Directorate
Licenced Year(s): 2009
Issued: Nov 14, 2009
Project Team: Lindsay Croken (co-researcher and project coordinator Western Arctic Field Unit, Parks Canada Western Arctic Field Unit), Christopher Hunter (co-research coordinator in Paulatuk, Tuktuk Nogait National Park), Marlene Woski (co-research coordinator in Paulatuk, Tuktuk Nogait National Park)

Objective(s): The goal of this oral history project is to learn about and document the significance of the Roman Catholic Mission House and Notre Dame de Lourdes Grotto in Paulatuk for community members through their experiences and recollections of various events associated with the mission.

Project Description: The goal of this oral history project is to learn about and document the significance of the Roman Catholic Mission House and Notre Dame de Lourdes Grotto in Paulatuk for community members through their experiences and recollections of various events associated with the mission. The Researcher wishes to document all aspects of the mission, related but not limited to subjects such as religious life, social welfare, medical care, social and economic issues and the lasting legacy of some of the missionaries who worked and lived in Paulatuk.

This oral history project is interview based. Potential participants will have been previously identified by the Hamlet of Paulatuk and the Paulatuk Community Corporation. The participants will be people who can speak of the importance of the mission to the community. The researchers are particularly interested in speaking with elders, but would like to hear from anyone who has information or stories to share. The interviews will last between 1 and 1 ½ hour and will take place at the participant’s residence or alternatively in the offices of Parks Canada in Paulatuk. The interviews will be recorded on digital disks so that they can be transcribed. The interviews will be conducted by Nathalie Ouellette. If necessary, an interpreter will be present during certain interviews.

The oral history project, as well as the research project, is a direct result of the community’s request to nominate the Paulatuk Catholic Mission House and Grotto as a site of potential national historic significance. The information gathered in the course of the oral history project will document an important aspect of the history of the people of Paulatuk. It will also provide the participants with an opportunity to recollect past events and share them with their fellow community members. The final research paper will provide the Inuvialuit with an analysis of various archival documents, oral information and academic publications on the Paulatuk Catholic Mission and the role of the Oblates in the Western Arctic. The bibliography will be a source of available information on the subject, for interested community members who may wish to learn more about their history. The designation of national significance could potentially provide an opportunity to funding, direction and assistance that would enable the protection and presentation of the site. The proponents wish to bring the site to its original state and have it set up so people can view it and use it for gatherings. The designation would also raise community and Canadian interest in the heritage of the community of Paulatuk.

Results of interviews: Copies of the digital recordings of the interviews, as well as their transcriptions, will be deposited with a local organization (PCC or IRC * to be determined after discussion with them and with permission of participants). If the participants wish to have a copy of their interview we will provide them with one.

Results of analysis and research project: The results will be presented to the HSMBC in the form of a research paper. Before this paper is presented to the HSMBC, it will be submitted to the PCC (and/or the Hamlet of Paulatuk) and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation for their review. Communications with PCC and the Hamel of Paulatuk could take the form of an oral presentation or a meeting. Comments received from these organizations will be taken into consideration when revising the final version of the paper. A copy of the final version of the research paper will be submitted to the IRC and the PCC. The PCC and IRC will be informed of the recommendation made by the HSMBC after the Minister responsible for Parks Canada has approved the Minutes of the HSMBC meeting. The HSMBC Secretariat will inform them of the decision in writing.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from November 17, 2009 to December 31, 2009.