February 26, 2020

OTTAWA, ON – February 26, 2020 – Canadian historical services firm Know History Inc. has been named the recipient of the U.S.-based National Council on Public History’s 2020 Excellence in Consulting Award for the Historic Métis Communities Video Project, done in partnership with the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO).

Through documentary storytelling, this multimedia collaboration brings the voices of Métis knowledge holders from each of the seven historic communities in Ontario into the classroom for the first time. The videos are part of a toolbox designed by the MNO, with financial support from the Province of Ontario, for students in grades six through 10, to support the First Nations, Métis and Inuit enhancements in the Ontario Social Studies and History curricula.

The project shares photographs, maps developed by Know History, baptism and marriage records, petitions, census records and letters in addition to first-person interviews, all in easy-to-access video format. It helps fill a void in the availability of Métis-specific educational resources. All too often, published records, historic books, and internet sources fail to include Métis perspectives in the telling of history.

The videos, which were produced in association with SandBay Entertainment, place Métis at the heart of the story, and collectively represent 350 hours of archival and image research, 28 oral history interviews, and weeks of fieldwork in Métis communities across Ontario. “The end result is a series of videos that are factually correct from a Métis perspective, easy to understand, engaging and creatively approached. Their impacts will reach beyond the classroom when they are released later this year,” says Jennifer St. Germain, Chief Strategy Officer for the MNO.

According to Margaret Froh, President of the MNO, “These Historic Métis Communities videos will make it easier for teachers to access classroom-ready tools that are specific to Ontario Métis.  These videos will allow students, both Métis and non-Métis, to learn the rich history of the Métis in Ontario, and they will support an improved understanding of the past that is necessary for reconciliation in Canada.”

Know History is the only Canadian firm to be honoured by the U.S.-based National Council on Public History, not once, but twice: In 2018, Know History founder Ryan Shackleton received an honourable mention for Excellence in Consulting for his work in public history.

“It is an honour to collaborate with Indigenous governments and organizations like the Métis Nation of Ontario to help them document and share their histories with their communities and with the rest of the world,” says Shackleton. “And we are thrilled to be recognized by the National Council on Public History for doing the work that we love.”

About Know History

Know History is a historical services firm that was established in 2011 and has completed more than 200 projects for clients across Canada. With offices in Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto, the company’s team of highly qualified historians specialize in researching, presenting and documenting Canada’s history through a variety of services. Customized teams provide archival and image research, Indigenous claims support, cultural resource management, oral history interviewing, traditional knowledge studies, historical geographic information systems (GIS) mapping, registries and membership lists, genealogical research and social network analysis. The company is committed to a client-driven, collaborative approach in all its work, and is proud to serve Indigenous organizations, legal advisors, government bodies, museums and corporations across Canada.

For more information about the Métis Nation of Ontario, visit their web site at metisnation.org.

Contact: Connie Wren-Gunn, 613-700-8677, connie@knowhistory.ca

Image credit: Credit: Duncan Cameron / Library and Archives Canada / C-094168