The SHSB at your service

La Liberté

The historical society also offers a variety of services to the public. The genealogical services are definitely the most in demand. The SHSB is one of the only places in Manitoba where people can request such services, which have been offered for the past 13 years by certified genealogist Janet LaFrance: “We receive many requests each month…around 100.”

While there are four options available to the public, the most popular is the proof of Métis ancestry. “We look at the maternal or paternal lineage over six to eight generations to confirm the presence of an officially recognized Métis ancestor.” The other three options consist in “tracing the family genealogy by going back 10, 12 or even 15 generations along maternal or paternal lines.”

Given the number of requests received each month, wait times vary: “It takes two and a half months for a Métis ancestry search and four to five months to process family genealogy requests.”

The SHSB’s archival services, managed by archivist Julie Reid, are also kept very busy. Archival records can be consulted or donated.

Says Reid: “Our community archives document things like family, business and religious life. We even have archival documents from architect Étienne Gaboury, who donated them personally.” The archives continue to attract interest: “In 2018, we documented more than 900 requests to consult the archives, including 414 in person.”

In addition to these two services, a reference library is also available. The collection boasts some 11,000 titles, including documents from the Archdiocese of St. Boniface resource library (Bibliothèque nationale de l’Archevêché de Saint-Boniface) and periodicals and newspapers such as Le Manitoba, Le Métis and La Liberté.