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
John C. Cousins was the son of Thomas Cousins (b. August 17, 1882 in Truro, Nova Scotia - d. March 5, 1914) and Mary Margaret Craig (b. April 14, 1824 - d. April 25, 1903). He married Eunice Eliza Nixon from London Township, County of Middlesex, Ontario. Together they had three children: Eunice M., Eric O. and Kathleen. J.C. Cousins was Reeve of the Rural Municipality of Daly from 1905 to 1910 and Assessor for the Town of Rivers from 1931-1938.
Record was accessioned in 2007 by the McKee Archives. Prior custodial history unknown.
Scope and Content
This document is a rambling memoir of John C. Cousins' recollections of life in the Rural Municipality of Daly from the settlement era in the early 1880s, through to the 1940s. He touches on various themes, including: his family history; the activities of the R.M. of Daly and his role as Reeve; the history of school districts in the municipality (lists names of first teachers and early students); the history of churches in the municipality; tragedies in the municipality; lists members of the Council of the municipality for the years 1885-1946; and the devastating impact of the Spanish Influenza on Aboriginal people in the municipality.
In addition, the memoir includes documentary records, such as minutes and copies of letters. There are also many photographs of both events and individuals (virtually all of the photographs are labelled and names are provided). The memoir goes beyond a simple recounting of facts. Cousins is discursive and thoughtful, often making references to developments happening in other parts of North America and Canada. There is also a link to the Maritimes, from which his family originated.