The Shuswap Band is busy at work collecting and digitizing photos and negatives from its community. The project is intended to acknowledge and commemorate the Shuswap Band community through the documentation and knowledge of its past and present members.
“This will be done through a photo-sharing initiative that will involve the digitization and storage of member photos and negatives,” Olivia De Brabandere said. De Brabandere works as the Shuswap Band’s culture and heritage coordinator.
The project came about as a result of the Shuswap Band recognizing a need to commemorate past community members and recognize the history of the community in the Invermere area and beyond. “It was decided that photos are a great way to learn about and recognize that history, and that they should be preserved for future generations to learn from as well,” De Brabandere said.
De Brabandere and her team are going about the project by asking community members to bring in their photos and negatives, and to provide some background information on the photos as well.
“Some members only have negatives of their photos, and in some cases don’t know what’s on them. So it will be a way for community members to see photos that they may not have been able to before, and learn more about their own families and community as they go through them,” she said. “It’s a great way to learn more about the community’s history and commemorate Shuswap Band members through the preservation of their own history.”
To De Brabandere, learning about the past is an important aspect of connecting to community and culture. “This is a way to uncover some of that history and for Shuswap Band members to celebrate those that have made an impact on the community,” she said.
As to when the project will finish, De Brabandere is unsure. “It’s hard to say, because this project might expand into developing family trees and other related projects.”
James Rose, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer