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Researching Your Aboriginal Ancestry at Library and Archives Canada

Part I: Researching Your Aboriginal Genealogy at Library and Archives Canada

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Agencies, Districts, Superintendencies and Regional Offices

After Confederation, to help administer its affairs in the regions, the Department of Indian Affairs created field offices variously called agencies, districts and superintendencies. Regardless of the name initially given to these administrative units, they basically fulfilled the same mandate: looking after departmental affairs at the band level and reporting to headquarters. After the Second World War (earlier in British Columbia), the department created a mid level administration called regional offices. From then on, the agencies and districts offices created many of the records in triplicate, keeping one copy in their own files, sending one copy to the regional office and sending the other copy to headquarters in Ottawa. The information contained in each copy might differ slightly, as annotations were added to some documents by staff at each level of administration.

The regional offices also retain some early records of now defunct agencies and districts that were created before the establishment of their respective regional offices. Because of the government policy of retaining records in the region where they were created, many of the regional office records are not kept in Ottawa but in the various record centres of Library and Archives Canada located across the country. Most of the finding aids relating to these records are kept at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa and have not been made available electronically.

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