Saskatchewan Golden Jubilee School Histories 19105-1955 - Saskatchewan Gen Web - One room School Project

Saskatchewan One Room School Project provides an online history for current generations to enjoy, preserve, and experience, our historical educational, architectural, and cultural, heritage.

Saskatchewan Golden Jubilee School Histories 1905-1955

Saskatchewan Provincial Archives Finding Aid Number IR21 ~ Index
A collection of historical school facts

Note: The actual Golden Jubilee School History Booklets are not online as of this date ~ only the index and a few facts gleaned from a sampling of booklets are online. Permissions would be needed from the school district for online publication as copyright is still valid for Canada; copyright length. If any school district wishes to submit permissions granted, then that booklet in the attached index could be put online. ;-)

Saskatchewan Golden Jubilee School Histories 1905-1955

"Since the pupils of our schools should have an active part in celebrating Saskatchewan's Golden Jubilee, the Department of Education, in partnership with the Saskatchewan Teacher's Federation, has planned a social studies unit to make this participation possible." -Department of Education to all schools in the province of Saskatchewan 1944-1945 school year. An outline was sent out, not to be adhered to precisely, but rather used as a guide to follow in order to set out an illustrated and written booklet regarding the history of the school community. All pupils, where possible are encouraged to partake in the project, and the teacher should encourage an student editor to coordinate the several aspects and turnings of the project. Those in the class should return to the appointed editor with interviews of individuals in the community, maps and charts drawn up, and stories written of the history in the area. The teachers were briefed as to which aspects of the standard course curriculum in social studies could be omitted to allow for time to be allocated in school for the historical booklet research. When the booklet is finished the aim is to display the finished result at exhibitions, libraries or other centres for viewing. It was thought that the local newspapers or the community board of trade may desire to use portions of the completed historical booklet in print.

It was directed that the teacher put forward to the school students some considerations in setting forth histories as being "a formal acknowledgement and appreciation of the work of pioneers, organizations and institutions which have developed the community from its beginnings to the present time; as a guide to the future, since a history reviews the successes and disppointments of the past; as a means of placing the community in it larger relation to the province, nation, and world; as a means of showing that history should not be a vaque and remote experience but a real and immediate one in which all the people of a country share, and that no country's history is complete until the little histories of its various parts have been written."

There should be some discussion as to whether a history is presented chronologically, using a "year to year" report, or whether it should utilize a topical arrangement following distinct periods and stages of development within the community. This latter format was thought to have more impact and the aspect recommended by the Department of Education.

Advice was presented as to mentioning individuals by name. The Department noted that there may be those who have been overlooked or not included perhaps due to space allocations. A much safer route would be to perhaps stay with those who have held office and those pioneers who first arrived into the area. A township map ina rural area depicting the earliest settlers would prove to be a good introduction, followed by biographies of these fist pioneers. As the school district developed and evolved, and the topics of the report are delved into, it may be that those citizens who have been influential to the community are recognized. The student historian needs to look at the contributing factors made by the individual/s and "to whom specifically credit is due." So by undertaking such a project students would see first hand history in the making as it occurred in their home community. In September of 1954, the schools received a letter notifying them of this social studies project with the hope that all would participate. The outline suggested would be just a guideline to provide to the project an impetus and a train of thought from which to go forward.

In summary, "...the local historian must consider the role of the inidividual in the community, he must also consider the community in relation to the rest of the world. While his primary interest will be the local one, he must not hinkg that local events took place in a vacuum. He should attempt to relate them to similar experiences elsewhere on the plains and to external influences from beyond the region. Only by so doing will he be able to achieve the perspective necessary to portray the growth of the community in its true setting." The outline and letter has been paraphrased and adapted. All above quotations are from a letter signed by B. Janzen, Director of Curricula. September 1954 to Saskatchewan school districts.

In conclusion, the booklets ~about 2,000 histories~ produced by the students of the Saskatchewan One Room School Districts were as diverse as the school districts and pioneers themselves. Though the schools and teachers were presented with outlines to assist with the report writing, the development of the community, its settlement and economic growth presented unique stamps of character on each separate chapter and finished booklet. If one needs to find history of a certain district in Saskatchewan, perusing these microfilms is well worth it, the students presented a valuable encapusation of time in their reports which should indeed be treasured by future generations.

It is wise to do some groundwork for smaller communities as the Centralization of the one rooms school house came about in 1955 / 1956 with towns and villages housing the Larger School Units, and the one room schools with a small enrolment were closing. The larger consolidated school unit classes writing the reports would ofttimes include the history of these historical one room school houses. As these booklets are still under copyright, they cannot be shared online. It is best to step into the Archives of Saskatchewan and have a look at the microfilms themselves.

Saskatchewan Golden Jubilee School Histories 1905-1955
The Outline Suggested:

  • GEOGRAPHY OF THE COMMUNITY. The evolution of the pioneers and their community and how it relates to the boundaries of the current one room school house district. In this section the students are encouraged to add maps which may show the communication routes, places of the area. Another scale map would serve to place the school district in context with the province as a whole.
  • THE EARLIEST INHABITANTS: Including a history of this area before settlement. The majority of the booklets included the history of the First Nations of the area.
  • THE COMING OF THE SETTLERS: A story would evolve covering where the early pioneers came from, along with stories of their immigration to the new country. The booklets were dependent upon the biographies, and the interviews of the residents. The teacher, themselves, would often be interviewed as well, giving another unique perspective at the history of the community and the school.
  • PIONEER SETTLEMENT: A chart or a map may show the changes in development of the community including population changes and evolution of the district from the earliest days up to the current time in 1954.
    For the next considerations family life is considered. Students could draw from their interviews and research the information about homes and compile the aggregate into one sample family - albeit a fictious one amassing all the experiences. However this amalgamation of experiences from may sources into one fictional pioneer family did not happen.
    These chapters included interviews and submitted biographies from the family ancestors, and the resident submitters were duly acknowledged and thanked for their contributions to the project. At times the residents submitted thsir own family genealogies to the student project. There was also a submission of a Saskatchewan Archives questionnaire filled out by a pioneer resident included in a booklet. The booklets written in the cities focused upon the main historial figures, as compared to the rural booklets which were more apt to encompass the origins of the village and the surrounding school district rural settlers.
    • SHELTER:
      • Interviews of the residents encompassed the types of homes used by the pioneers "materials for building, heating lighting, furniture, utensils, tools.
      • Other buildings were considered whether they are the schools, barns, churches, post offices, stores, livery barns, hen houses, any other outbuildings or residences. Here the stories varied. Often photographs were included in the booklet, and very often write ups about the churches and the congregations, first wedding, first burial, first baptism were recorded in some booklets.
    • FOOD:
      • Types of food available in the community resulted in photos of food items avaiable from local flyers, and in a few cases, recipes were also added. The students at times delved into how the foods changed from early pioneer times to the current era - 1955.
      • Sources of acquiring the food
      • Preperation and preservation of the food
      • Seasonal attire for men and women. The clothing chapters varied, and ofttimes depicted the pages from catalogues, either contemporary from 1955 or historical if an old catalog was available. Some students drew the changes in the clothing.
      • Materials used for clothing and where they are obtained
      • The various methods used to make clothes.
      • Pictures and images.
      • Community clothing influences by the earliest inhabitants.
    • How did the early settlers arrive? Example, Red River carts, oxen, trails, ferries, immigrant trains. Here drawings and photographs sufficed to show the changes in transporation methodologies.
    • What methods were used for communication? Here the examples suggested by the Department of Education and STF were telegraph lines, mail and post offices, delivery services, early telegraph lines. The booklets varied depending on their proximity to telegraph lines and the types of communication available to the community.
  • TYPES OF ACTIVITIES: This outline topic covered a wide variety of area - "Modes of farming, ranching, hunting, trapping, Fishing, recreation, co-operative spirit and shared activities, blacksmithing, harness shops, community services" were given as examples of activities that may be found within the community.
  • HARDSHIPS: Recognizing incidents which have been remembered as being notable within the area, be it "weather conditions, lack of medical care, lawlessness, epidemics, prairie and bush fires, lack of fuel or water, isolation, marketing problems." These hardships were oftimes covered in accounts submitted by mail or by interview to the school by the pioneers themsevles.
  • LAW ENFORCEMENT: The evolution of the arrival of the North West Mounted Police, provincial police, and itinerant judges.
  • THE SCHOOLS: Included in this section would be a concise history of the education in the community. An analysis or introduction to the "first schools, nature of buildings, nature of school equipment, enrolment, attitudes to education, first trustee boards, choice of names for schools, first teachers, how teachers selected, teachers' boarding places, teachers' salaries, visits of inspectors, length of school year, winter vacation, school attendance, nature of texts and curriculum in general, school health conditions, the school as a social centre, outstanding changes." The students had first hand knowledge of the schools, being pupils there themselves. Reports in Consolidated schools, would remember those one room school districts which became part of the larger school unit. One room school houses still in operation would delve into their history singularly. School reports included most times photos of the school, historically and in 1955 when the report was written. A few took photos of all the students in 1955 making it into a rather unique "year book" May class photos were submitted with the students standing in front of the school.
  • THE CHURCH: A short story regarding the local churches. Pupils could cover topics such as; "first services, nature of early church buildings and equipment, the work of early ministers, priests and missionaries, growth of various deonominations, the influence of the church on the community throughout the years, early Sunday Schools, early burial places."
  • A HISTORY OF RECREATION AND SOCIAL LIFE: How did the community socialize, be it through organizations, sports, homemakers groups, hobbies ,dances and the like. This chapter was as often as not a very full chapter encompassing games, cards, championshipds, and athletic accomplishments in addition to the suggested outline topics..
  • THE COMMUNITY IN 'TWO WORLD WARS': Were any ceremonies undertaken on the departure of those who enlisted, or were events planned on their arrival, did the community erect memorials or cenotaphs in honour of those who gave the supreme sacrifice. A look at the war effort and how it affected the community. Students were able to list those who had served in the Great Wars, occasionally with pictures, telegram communications or news paper reports added to the report.
  • CONCLUSION: No points were offered in this portion of the outline which undertakes to summarize the exploration of the communities history and where the research has probed and delved.

Saskatchewan Golden Jubilee School Histories 1905-1955

Finally some caretaking concerns were briefly gone over, such as including a table of contents as well as a table of illustrations. The booklet should be paginated, and have adequate margins on each page. A bibliography should be included in the historical booklet or state the sources of information; where applicable the full and correct names listed of those authorities interviewed. Care should be taken to include the names of the students involved in the project as well as the school district name and the supervising teacher. Any original materials such as photographs should be copied and returned to their rightful owners.

Saskatchewan Provincial Archives Finding Aid Number IR21, Title Saskatchewan Golden Jubilee School Histories has retained these reports on 38 microfilm reels numbers R-3.1 to R-3.3.8. All in all about 2,000 histories were produced by the various schools in honour of the provincial Golden Jubilee celebrations which commemorated the anniversary of Saskatchewan which came into existence Friday, September 1, 1905. All histories were sent to a "Jubilee Sub'Committee on Historic Sites, Maps and Publications, and from there they were microfilmed by the Saskatchewan Archives Board and returned to the respective schools.

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Saskatchewan Golden Jubilee School Histories 1905-1955