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Genealogy and Family History

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Researching Your Aboriginal Ancestry at Library and Archives Canada

Part II: Using the Library and Archives Canada Web Site

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Keyword Searches

Keywords have been developed for many of the archival records that are in electronic format. Not all records in RG 10 have been assigned keywords, but for those that have, a keyword search can be useful. In particular, the keyword searches can help identify the Black Series and Red Series files created between 1872 and 1923 and transferred to Library and Archives Canada.

Keyword searches can be initiated in the ARCHIVED - Government of Canada Files database. Unfortunately, this database does not show when a record created in one classification system (such as the Black Series or Red Series files) was transferred to another classification system, transferred to another physical location or destroyed.

A great number of keywords can be used to identify RG 10 records of interest in ArchiviaNet. Useful keywords include the names of individuals, bands, agencies, districts and treaties, as well as such generic search terms as "annuity pay list$", "interest distribution pay list$", "census", "membership list$", "school file$", "enfranchisement", "Metis", "Inuit$", "Eskimo$", "soldier$", "war", "military", "grant$", "settlement$", "pension$", "allowance$", "land$", "veteran$", "VLA", "enlistment$" and so on. The symbol "$" is a wildcard to replace zero, one or more letters (e.g., "grant$" would identify "grant", "grants", "granted", etc.). Combinations of keywords can be used to obtain more precise search results.

To Initiate a Keyword Search in the Government of Canada Files

  • Go to ARCHIVED - General Inventory database.
    (Note: It is recommended that researchers review the online help pages describing the features available in the ARCHIVED - Government of Canada Files database before beginning a search. To view these help pages, click on the Online Help button on the right-hand side of the ARCHIVED - Government of Canada Files box.)
  • Click on Search the complete database to obtain the database's keyword search screen.
  • In the field labelled "Keywords", type in your keyword or a combination of keywords. It does not matter whether you use uppercase or lowercase letters. You do not need to put commas between the keywordsójust type a single space between them.
  • In the field labelled "Record Group Number", type the number "10".
  • Click the "Submit query" button.

Example: Follow the above steps, using the name "Bigstone" (for the Bigstone Cree Nation) as a keyword. Try the search again, this time using "Wabasca" (the band's former name). Note the varying results because of the name change.

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