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ACCI flows from the knowledge that Cree culture must be captured, maintained, shared, celebrated, and practiced. Cree Elders have spoken of the need for a central place for the protection of the way, and have developed a vision for Aanischaaukamikw over several decades.

Sep 17, 2013

Nailisa Tanner completes Internship at Aanischaaukamikw

Since June, I have been working as an intern at ACCI in the collections department. As my brief time here comes to an end, I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to come work at ACCI. This spring, I finished my Masters of Library and Information Studies degree at McGill University’s School of Information Studies, and came to Oujé-Bougoumou shortly after. ACCI was a great fit for me because it is entirely community-based, and because it includes so many different facets of what makes up a cultural centre—a library, museum, archive, and educational centre.

Nailisa Tanner at ACCI archives

The two main projects I worked on during my internship were appraising a large donation to the library, and processing two different donations to the archives. Working alongside Annie, ACCI’s librarian, we appraised over 1000 books donated by Dr. Harvey Feit—to read more about this collection, read Annie’s post about the project here 

I tend to pay a lot of attention to design, so one of my favourite parts of this job was seeing the covers of some of old books we appraised. You can come visit the ACCI’s library to see all sorts of questionable graphic design choices of the past!

Harvey Feit’s donation to the library

A government publication from the 1960s, part of Dr. Feit’s donation

Across the room, in the archives, I worked on Dr. Feit’s donation to the archives, which included several diaries of hunters and trappers, dating from the 1960s-80s. You can even view one of these diaries on display in ACCI’s virtual exhibition. In 1973, The Quebec Association of Indians, representing the Eeyou Istchee Cree, sued the government of Quebec and won an injunction that blocked hydroelectric development in the region while the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement was being negotiated. These diaries were used as evidence in the Quebec Superior Court to prove that people were using the land in northern Quebec. I have a special interest in first nations and aboriginal activism, and so it was really fascinating to work with these documents.

Hunters’ diaries in the archive

I am extremely thankful to the Young Canada Works program for providing funding for my internship, and to ACCI for giving me to opportunity to work with them! I look forward to returning as soon as I can.