Found footage shows a rare look at life at Lac La Ronge All Saints boarding school

“That says more than one image,” Roberts said, noting that he had never seen such images before. “You see people moving and going about their daily lives. Looks like he was just walking. I don’t know if he staged it, but it looked like it was everyday events that he had just filmed at the time.

The first Lac La Ronge All Saints boarding school, which was operated by the Anglican Church of Canada, opened in 1907 but then burned down in 1920. A replacement school was later built and it too was destroyed by a fire in 1947. The space was later occupied by a hospital before becoming an urban reserve located in downtown La Ronge.

Irving’s research shows that the second school was built for 80 students, but it fluctuated as high as 126.

Roberts explained that Library and Archives Canada required that he receive permission from the film’s donor to receive a copy. He contacted a relative of Fisher living in Nova Scotia, who authorized its public release. What Roberts posted online is about half of the images he accessed.

“I wanted to focus on the local people, the life,” Roberts said. “That’s why from the start I put it all in front because there are three ladies who work the moose hide. I wanted to show less of the school and more of the people who were in that area at the time.

Roberts is currently in contact with a photography firm in Winnipeg, who contacted him with an offer to enhance the stills of the images. He mentioned that the goal would be to increase the quality enough in the hope that local people can identify their ancestors.

“It’s probably very important because for a lot of people the knowledge is not known,” Roberts said. “They have the oral history of the students who actually lived there. We have a few survivors of that school living in our territory today.

Public interest has increased in the former Lac La Ronge All Saints boarding school site in 2021. The LLRIB deployed ground penetrating radar there last year and located unmarked graves.

[email protected]

Twitter: @saskjourno

Comments are closed.