The Toal Commission was a Commission of Inquiry conducted by James Toal at the Prince Edward Hotel in Brandon,MB from 1971-1972. The purpose of this inquiry was to investigage a report published by the Brandon Police Department entitled, "Problem Metis Families, City of Brandon," as well as allegations of police harassment in the City of Brandon from January 1, 1970, onward. The report was prepared by the Brandon Police Department following a petition submitted to Mayor Wilton. The petition, signed by approximately thirty residents of Brandon's East End, requested that the city prohibit the sale of homes in their neighborhood to Native families. A copy of the report was obtained by the Brandon Sun, which generated a considerable public response that resulted in the investigation in question.
Records were ordered from the Archives of Manitoba by Brandon University Archivist Tom Mitchell and Brandon University history professor Jim Naylor in 2013.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records created over the course of the Toal Commission. It includes copies of verbatim transcripts of the Toal Commission hearings, as well as a commission of inquiry, a report on the commission, and indexes, which list the witnesses and evidence presented for each day of the hearings.
Born on February 10, 1924, in Elgin, Manitoba, Audrey Ellen Silvius (nee Honeyman) was raised in Fairfax, Manitoba on the Honeyman homestead. In 1964, she received her Indian name, Blue Star. Silvius completed her high school education in Fairfax before moving to Winnipeg in 1943, to earn her Nursing degree from Grace Hospital. She later completed her post-graduate degree in Psychiatric Nursing at the Brandon Mental Health Centre. Married to Merritt W. Silvius, Audrey Silvius raised four children, David, Kay, Lorna (Downie) and Gail (Campos) while working in her chosen field. In addition to her family and her career, she was also involved with the Brandon Council of Women and the United Church in Brandon. Silvius was the first executive director of the Brandon Indian-Metis Friendship Centre, a founding member of the local branches of the Marquis Project and Amnesty International and initiated a project called Tools for Peace. She was also involved in various other peace and human rights organizations. In 1987, she received the Order of the Buffalo Hunt from the Province of Manitoba in recognition of her work relating to women’s issues. In 1992, she was awarded a Confederation medal for community service.
The records found within the collection were collected by Audrey Silvius from a number of people, including Jean Halliday, Grace Godmaire and Norma Walmsley, involved in various projects with her throughout the years. Prior to their donation to the McKee Archives at Brandon University in October and November 2000, the records were stored at Mrs. Silvius’ home.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of meeting minutes, agendas, speeches, correspondence, newsletters, brochures, written publications and newspaper clippings. Four photographs and one pencil drawing are also included within the collection.
The records deal with the creation, activities, and history of the Brandon Indian-Metis Friendship Centre, as well as the activities of its Board of Directors. In addition, materials located within the collection can be divided into two areas: (1) those that relate to various organizations associated with the Friendship Centre itself, such as the Council of Christians and Jews and the Brandon Council of Women; (2) materials related to projects of important individuals involved with the Friendship Centre, such as the South Western Manitoba Recreation Council and the 4F Club of Minnedosa. Other records deal with general aboriginal issues in Canada during the time frame of the Audrey Silvius collection.
CAIN No. 202607. Description by Christy Henry (2000).
The collection is divided into ten (10) series:
1. The Brandon Indian-Metis Friendship Centre
2. The Scout – Friendship Centre newsletter
3. The Brandon Council of Women
4. Council of Christians and Jews
5. Aboriginal Glee Club/Dancers
6. The South Western Manitoba Recreation Council
7. 4F Club of Minnedosa
8. Miscellaneous Publications related to Aboriginal Issues
9. Miscellaneous Newspaper Clippings related to Aboriginal Issues
10. Photographs and pencil drawing