Collection 147 - Tahltan Native Studies Committee collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Tahltan Native Studies Committee collection

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Sound recording

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  • Source of title proper: Title specified by donor.

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Collection

Reference code

147

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • Between [196-] - [198-] (Creation)
    Creation
    Karen J. Clark (Kuil)

Physical description area

Physical description

10 reel-to-reel audio tapes
8 audio cassette tapes
ca. 10 cm. of textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator

([19--])

Biographical history

Karen J. Clark (née Kuil) graduated with a degree in Anthropology and Archaeology and a Teaching Certification from the University of Oregon. After completing her Master's in Anthropology, she accepted a teaching position in the Catholic Residential School of Lower Post (BC, Canada), where she moved in 1964. In 1965, she was hired by the school village to teach Indigenous children from grade 1 to 8 during the week and kindergarten on Sundays. The following year, she was transferred to Cassiar (BC, CA) where she taught the primary grades. In 1966 she was hired as the first teacher at a new school in Pelly Crossing (YT, Canada) where she taught Indigenous children who barely spoke English.
In 1967 Mrs. Clark went back to Cassiar where she married Paul Clark (a mining engineer). She continued teaching in Cassiar and, in 1968, published "Johny Joe" to help Indigenous students getting more engaged with reading.
In 1969, Mrs. Clark moved to Alaska, where she graduated in 1970 with a Master's in Teaching from the University of Alaska. That same year, she was hired at the Two Rivers School (30 miles from Fairbanks, AK, US) to teach grades 1 to 4.
In 1973, Mrs. Clark was awarded Teacher of the Year by Fairbanks and the State of Alaska. That same year, Mrs. Clark and her husband returned to Cassiar, where she was hired as a reading specialist to help teachers of the school district to teach and encourage reading among Indigenous children. In 1975, she published "Sun, Moon and Owl" with a grant from the BC Teacher's Federation.
In 1976, she took a year's leave of absence to gather materials to write a book for the Tahltan children that could be incorporated into the school curriculum. With help from many Indigenous people, she gathered materials from the Telegraph Creek area, resulting in the "Tahltan Native Studies."
In 1977, Mrs. Clark moved to Alberta, where she became the program specialist for the Rockyview school District. In 1984, she published "Language Experiences with Children's Stories" and "Once Upon a Time."
In 1988, she became principal of the Exshaw School, in Exshaw (AB, Canada), where the majority of the students came from the nearby Stoney Reserve.
Mrs. Clark retired in 1989 due to health issues.

Custodial history

Collection was in the possession of Karen and Paul Clark until 2016, when they donated it to the Museum of Anthropology archives.

Scope and content

Collection consists of ten audio reel tapes and eight audio cassette tapes with recordings of stories, obtained by Karen J. Clark and Tahltan community members in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Along with Tahltan Native Studies Committee members, including Rose Quash, Rachel Joseph, Anne Gleason, and Judy Joseph, Karen J. Clark traveled around the Telegraph Creek area to record stories of the Elders and procure photographs. This work became the "Tahltan Native Studies" book, produced in 1976.

Documentation includes a lists of recordings with tape descriptions, a short biography of Karen J. Clark, and letters and documents related to her awards and publications.

Textual materials include three "Tahltan Native Studies" books, two sets of accompanying job cards, one set of activity cards, one set of photograph cards, and a course outline. The collection also includes the three book set "Sun, Moon and Owl" and the accompanying reading workbook and teacher's guide. "Sun, Moon and Owl" was written by Karen J. Clark, with grant funding from the B.C. Teacher's Federation, and published in 1975.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Karen and Paul Clark donated the materials to the archives on October 17, 2016.

Arrangement

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script note

English and Tahltan

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Must have permission from Tahltan Community.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Some terms apply. Consult the archivist for details.

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Accruals

Further accruals may be expected.

General note

Karen J. Clark also donated 12 objects to MOA (clothing, shoes, blankets, etc.) under the Tahltan Native Studies Committee collection. See Alternative Identifier field for the MOA IDs for these 12 objects.

Alternative identifier(s)

MOA Object ID

3203/1, 3203/2, 3203/3, 3203/4, 3203/5, 3203/6 a-b, 3203/7, 3203/8, 3203/9 a-b, 3203/10 a-b, 3203/11 a-b, 3203/12

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Described by Clara Gimenez-Delgado in 2019

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Accession area