FSD Logo

Frontier School Division
Social Studies/Native Studies (SS/NS) Department
Skip Navigationals

SS/NS logo based upon artwork by FSD student Roberta Ballantyne, Grand Rapids School, 1995.
Check This First! Early Years Middle Years Senior Years
Fun Stuff Teachers' Zone Home & Community Site Map & Index
Return to Homepage


SSNS Home > Home & Community > Aboriginal Roots

Aboriginal Roots


by Raymond Shirritt-Beaumont


I’ll never forget a comment that Molly Clarke made a few years ago, when we were both enrolled in a Master’s Programme in History at the University of Manitoba. We had just met and were discussing our mutual interest in aboriginal and fur trade history, when she remarked that there was something exciting happening right across the country. Aboriginal people were becoming interested in their roots. I too had made the same observation. It was the 1990s, and aboriginal people were asking many questions about their history and circumstances. At one time, they wanted to know about their European ancestry, now they had become interested in their aboriginal forebears. At least this was my experience. Here in Manitoba, the vast majority of aboriginal people have roots that go back to the fur trade, when Europeans associated with the various companies forged economic and family alliances with the aboriginal hunters with whom they traded. As a product of that history, Molly’s focus was on the impact of such relationships historically, not only to shed light on fur trade history, but also to learn more about her own family.

Molly has been joined now by literally thousands of aboriginal people across this country, all doing research to find out more about their ancestors. We want to help. Click on any of the pages listed below for more information.


  • Research Tips: Many people want to know more about their roots, but they don’t know where to start. This web page will give you some pointers that can help you find those elusive aboriginal ancestors.

  • Frontier Sources: Over the years, the SSNS Department of Frontier School Division has undertaken intensive research to develop curricula that illuminates the contribution of aboriginal people to the history and development of Manitoba and Western Canada. In the process, we have collected much genealogical information that we now want to make freely available to our students, their families, and the community at large.
  • External Sources: This webpage contains information on sources for aboriginal genealogical research in Manitoba and Western Canada.


Last updated: July 27, 2009


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial
-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License

Research Tips
Frontier Sources
External Sources
  Return to Homepage