Sharing an environmental history of people and places in the Beaver Hills.
Photo: Sand bar beach, Cooking Lake, Alberta. Glenbow Archives NC-6-410 Photographer: McDermid Studio, Edmonton, Alberta, 1912
This project was initiated to study and integrate the human and environmental history of the Beaver Hills in a region designated as the UNESCO Beaver Hills Biosphere, whose natural dimensions are well-documented in comparison to its cultural dimensions. This historical project gathered stories about people and the land to document the longstanding relationships of dwelling in the region’s landscapes both past and present.
Biosphere Stories was a collaborative project to assist the Beaver Hills Biosphere’s communications and outreach efforts to raise knowledge and awareness of the Biosphere by examining the environmental history of the region and actively gathering local, public narratives/stories of the region to better understand landscapes and people as part of environmental history.
The Biosphere Stories project conducted research and produced the following outcomes between 2019 and 2020:
- A Master of Arts thesis study of the origins of Cooking Lake tourism, recreation and leisure landscapes between 1898 and 1938
- A research poster and a video focused on healing and contemporary bison translocation from Elk Island National Park
- Newsletter articles written by trainees and published in the Beaver Hills Bulletin
- An interview suite with 19 oral history interviews and transcripts based on individual recollections and stories of the period between 1950 and 2020, archived online in the University of Alberta Library
- A historical image suite with 109 historical images of the Beaver Hills region between the 1890s and the 1970s, with metadata, gathered from various archives and libraries across Alberta
- A field research suite with selected site observations during rural familiarization tours
- A bibliography of works related to the Beaver Hills region and its regional history including a search for Indigenous history sources for future research
- Applications for research ethics and field activity plans as approved by the University of Alberta
PearlAnn Reichwein Katja Schreiner Jan Olson Beaver Hills Biosphere Mitacs University of Alberta, Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation