Project Naming

Project Naming enables Indigenous peoples to engage in the identification of photographs from Library and Archives Canada.

LAC hopes that members of the public will share their knowledge. If you know the names of people depicted in our photographs or have information about an activity, event or place, LAC would love to hear from you.

The majority of individuals depicted in the images in LAC's collections were never identified. Many archival descriptions relating to events or activities are absent or have dated information (e.g. place names, band names or terminology). Or information is based on original inscriptions and captions found on the records, and hence reflects the biases and attitudes of non-Indigenous society at the time.

Since 2002, approximately 10,000 images have been digitized, and several thousand Inuit, First Nations and the Métis Nation individuals, activities, and places have been identified. Information provided by different generations of Indigenous peoples has been added to the records in the database, and made available to the public. The initiative not only enriches LAC records for present and future generations, but also helps members of communities connect with their past and create intergenerational bridges.

Project Naming was conceived by Nunavut Sivuniksavut and began as a collaboration between that organization, the Government of Nunavut and the National Archives of Canada (now Library and Archives Canada). The project started modestly with the digitization of 500 photographs taken in four Nunavut communities. Elders identified 75 percent of the people depicted in those images, exceeding all expectations.

The people in these photographs represent a small selection of individuals successfully identified during the first phase of Project Naming. Visit the photo gallery to see additional photographs that are featured in the Project Naming album on Facebook.

Promote and learn more about Project Naming

Library and Archives Canada has prepared a few resources for people, communities and organizations that would like to promote Project Naming. They can easily be used on websites, ebulletins, newsletters and pinned on billboards! List of material available:

Project Naming on social media

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