The Three Sisters


  • Anne Lindsay
  • William Osborne


Residential School, genealogical records, archive


Over the past several decades, as researchers we have worked, on and off, with Indigenous individuals and families who have approached us looking for genealogical records that might be able to provide them with answers to questions, or to document relationships with their communities and their families. Peoples’ reasons for wanting to find these records have ranged from personal interest, to being able to access significant health or education resources. Because Indigeneity has been defined by governments in Canada as a biological and genealogical quality, open access to quality genealogical resources for Indigenous people has implications that reach far beyond hobby genealogy. This case study involves the family of three sisters who left their family and their Cross Lake community in the twentieth century, and never returned. 


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Author Biographies

Anne Lindsay

Anne Lindsay’s career has focused on archival primary source research, particularly in areas relating to settler interactions with Indigenous peoples, as well as fur trade-era history. A post-doctoral fellow at the University of Winnipeg under Dr. Mary Jane McCallum, she is currently working on a research guide for families whose loved ones went away to Indian Hospitals and Sanatoria, and never returned.  As well, she has worked and continues to work as a researcher for a number of Indigenous communities, including work focusing on the present implications for educational planning that stem from the colonial history of education in specific communities. 

In addition to this work, she has held positions in archives and research with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba and before that, with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. She is also currently involved in local dialogues around identifying unmarked burials and tracing missing children as a part of honouring Indigenous histories of Residential Schooling in Canada.

William Osborne

William Osborne has a pre-Masters degree in education and counselling. He is a spiritual leader and the former leader for Pimicikamak Cree Nation. He has lived all his life in one of the 4 Pimicikamak communities known as Cross Lake. He is a spiritually-gifted Elder in the Circle of Life teachings, having attained and earned the right of the Elder status through ceremonies.




How to Cite

Lindsay, M. A. ., & Osborne, W. (2023). The Three Sisters. At The Forks, 1(1). Retrieved from