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Report on the 2014 Colloquium

The Centre for Rupert's Land Studies


2014 Colloquium Report

The 2014 Rupert's Land Colloquium held May at the University of Alberta campus in Edmonton was a quiet success. The meet and greet held at the Royal Alberta Museum was well attended. Along with the opportunity to visit the Syncrude Gallery of Aboriginal Culture, one of the largest exhibits of First Nations' history on the continent, curator Susan Berry gave us a "backstage" tour of the museum's store room for a sneak peak at a recent acquisition of indigenous artifacts that once formed part of a private collection.

Thursday's sessions were introduced with an illuminating and at time, humourous, talk by Scott Stephen on the importance of writing history. Sessions featured presentations on aboriginal spaces, historical research, and material culture. The afternoon also featured poster presentations by Michael Boire, Pat Redhead, and Jim Rogers. Merv Ahrens' historical maps were also featured during the poster presentation. The poster presentation generated some lively discussions. It was great to see how research can be syntesized into a visual medium for quick dessemintation. We certainly hope to see more in the future.

A new understanding of maps, legal history, and historical documents were the basis of many presentations on Friday. Many thanks go to Aisling MacQuarrie who traveled all the way from Scotland to present her paper, '"Under any Form of Law': The Fur Trade, Regional Control and Legal Culture in British North America, 1774-1821." She was one of several student presenters at the event.

The Annual General Meeting was held later in the afternoon. Roland Bohr, the Director of the Centre for Rupert's Land Studies, presented information on finances, books sales, and ongoing projects. Members also discussed where to hold the next colloquium. Winnipeg was suggested, along with the suggestion that in future years, colloquia would alternate between Winnipeg and then another location. Holding colloquia in Winnipeg allows the Centre to save money on facilities every other year while at the same time providing members with an opportunity to visit the Hudson's Bay Company Archives. Having colliquia at alternate locations on a regular basis provides members an opportunity to visit new cities and research facilities they may not normally have a chance to see.

We'd like to thank all those who helped make the colloquium possible particularly the University of Alberta, the Royal Alberta Museum, Victoria Settlement Provincial Historic Site, and the University of Winnipeg Foundation. The Centre would especially like to thank the presenters and displayers who make the colloquium what it is, and the many volunteers who gave their time and energies to ensuring the success of both the colloquium and the Centre.