Heritage centre collecting memories for digital archive project

Published on June 2, 2014
Gordon Pictou, senior heritage interpreter and program manager at the Glooscap Heritage Centre, looks through some of the materials available in Our Voices - Our Stories, an aboriginal library and resource project the centre is working on. Raissa Tetanish - Truro Daily News

MILLBROOK –The Glooscap Heritage Centre and Mi’kmaw Museum is calling on people to share their memories.

The centre is working on a new digital archive project – Preserving Our Past: Stories From Today – and wants residents of the community to share their memories. The project will be used as an extensive bank of collective memories that future generations can draw from to learn how Millbrook was, how it has changed and how it is today. It will also be a genealogical resource to help children more easily research their Mi’kmaw ancestors, trace their family tree, and hear first-hand accounts about their ancestors’ lives, accomplishments and hopes for the future.

The centre has a summer co-op student, Sara D’arcy from Acadia University, to help co-ordinate the project. She will spend the summer as a junior archivist and play an important role in compiling, transcribing and preserving all the information that is shared.

“I am looking forward to gaining a more intimate understanding of Millbrook and the individuals who live there from first-hand accounts of community members,” said D’arcy in the centre’s monthly newsletter. “This experience will help me to gain real-world knowledge on issues and topics, which were discussed in the classroom.”

Millbrook community members 18 years and older are invited to participate in the project. It is completely voluntary and participants are under no obligation to answer questions they are uncomfortable with.

“We’re hoping for a lot of participation from the community,” said Gordon Pictou, the centre’s program director. “I think we have an opportunity to create something really special for our grandchildren and their grandchildren. I wish I could watch a video of my great-grandparents telling me about how they met, what they hoped for and what they learned from their life experience. That is what we have a chance to do here this summer. The greater the participation the more amazing the legacy we leave for the future will be.”

For more information or to participate, contact the centre at 843-3493, or pop by the museum between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.