John Diefenbaker fonds [multiple media]
Record Information – Brief
John Diefenbaker fonds [multiple media]
- Hierarchical level:
- 1761-1987, predominant 1888-1987.
- R5770-0-1-E, MG26-M
- Type of material:
- Textual material, Moving images, Sound recordings, Photographs, Art, Objects (including medals and pins)
- Found in:
- Archives / Collections and Fonds
- Item ID number:
- Link to this page:
This link identifies the web page describing this particular record. Unlike the temporary link in your browser, this link will allow you to access, and reference, this page in the future. To link to this descriptive record, copy and paste the URL where ever needed (wiki, blog, document).http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.redirect?app=fonandcol&id=105121&lang=eng
- Context of this record:
Record Information – Details
- Fonds includes:
23 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- 1761-1987, predominant 1888-1987.
- Bilingual equivalent:
- Place of creation:
721 microfilm reels negative and positive.
48.3 cm of textual records.
4 audio videocassettes (2 h, 56 min, 30 s).
4 audio cassettes (2 h, 30 min).
10 photographs b&w.
8 prints photochemical reproductions, watercolours, drawings.
1 medal gold.
- Language of material:
- Added language of material:
- English, French
- Scope and content:
Fonds documents the life and career of the Rt. Hon. John G. Diefenbaker. The fonds includes records relating to both of Diefenbaker's careers; that of a respected defence lawyer and as Canada's thirteenth prime minister. The fonds provides information on all aspects of Diefenbaker's political career, including his work within the Conservative Party, as a Member of Parliament, Leader of the Opposition and Prime Minister. These political records document policy development, program initiatives, such as northern development and the Bill of Rights, as well as international affairs, the cold war and government scandals. The fonds contains extensive records pertaining to Diefenbaker's personal life, and that of his family. Olive Diefenbaker's life as a political wife is also well documented. Diefenbaker's strong desire to preserve material relating to his personal history and that of his family has resulted in a comprehensive set of family papers. In addition to records about the "Chief", the fonds contains a great deal about life in western Canada, particularly Saskatchewan, in the first half of the twentieth century. For example, Diefenbaker's legal records offer insight into the activities of a small town, prairie lawyer in the 1920s and 1930s. The Saskatchewan political scene is captured in these records, and much of the family correspondence depicts the lives of ordinary Canadians trying to build a life on the prairies. Aforementioned textual records have been divided into the following series: Original documents; Series I, Legal series; Series II, Pre-1940 series; Series III, 1940-1956 series; Series IV, Leader of the Official Opposition; Series V, Family series; Series VI, Prime Minister's Office: Numbered files, 1957-1963; Series VII, Reference series, 1957-1967; Series XII, Personal and confidential series; and Series VIII, PMO unnumbered correspondence series. Fonds also contains moving images including a television episode entitled The Homestead Years, from the television series The Diefenbaker Years. The episode deals with stories of the early days of Diefenbaker on the prairie. Photos, drawings and memoirs are woven throughout to tell this story. Also included in fonds are sound recordings documenting oral history interviews of Marjorie Pound, Beatrice Eligh, Archie McQueen and Gordon Heatherington, former staff members in the Prime Minister's office during Diefenbaker's tenure as prime minister. Fonds also contains photographs including portraits of Edna Mae Diefenbaker by Ashley and Crippen, 1929; interior of speakers' chambers, Centre Block Parliament Building, Ottawa, 1926; photo by Louis Jaques of J.G. Diefenbaker speaking in the House of Commons, Ottawa, 1948; children kneeling at the Canadian War grave, Reviers - Bény-sur-Mer, France, ca. 1950; signed official portrait of J.G. Diefenbaker, ca. 1957; signed official portrait of L.B. Pearson, ca. 1963; 27th Parliament, 12 January 1967; and a presentation of a video copy of the television program, The homestead years, to the Dominion Archivist, Dr. W.I. Smith, by J.G. Diefenbaker, in his office at the House of Commons, 18 April 1973. Also included are reproductions of 8 watercolours and drawings related to the early life of J.G. Diefenbaker use in the CTV production of The homestead years (1972). Original works by Eleanor Kish and Rachel H. Beaulieu. In addition, fonds includes an enamelled gold collar and pendant badge of a Knight of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, given with a presentation plaque to Jeffrey, Lord Amherst, March 1761. Included in original fonds were photographs of John G. Diefenbaker, John Einarsson, and Michael A. McMillan in France; Diefenbaker, Canadian Officer's Overseas Draft, Regina, Saskatchewan, 29 August 1916; and a visit of Diefenbaker with Sir Winston Churchill, London, England on 12 May 1960. These photographs were de-accessioned to The Diefenbaker Canada Centre, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, in April 2001.
- Additional name(s):
- Biography/Administrative history:
Diefenbaker, John G., 1895-1979 : Prime Minister of Canada (1957-1963) John George Diefenbaker was born at Neustadt, Ontario, on 18 September 1895, but moved within a few years with his family to Saskatchewan. He earned undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of Saskatchewan. Diefenbaker was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1916, but he was injured while training in England and returned home without ever reaching the front lines. He then earned a law degree at the University of Saskatchewan and began practising in Wakaw, where he served on the village council. In 1924, Diefenbaker moved to Prince Albert. He ran unsuccessfully as a Conservative in the riding of Prince Albert in the 1925 federal election and the 1929 provincial election, and he was defeated in the 1933 mayoral race. In 1934, he became a crown prosecutor as well as the president of the provincial Conservative Party, which failed to win a single seat in the provincial election four years later. Diefenbaker's first electoral success came in 1940, when he was elected to the House of Commons in the riding of Lake Centre. This was followed by unsuccessful bids for the leadership of the federal Conservative Party in 1942 and 1949. He was elected in Prince Albert in 1953 and represented the federal riding until his death. In January 1957, Diefenbaker became the leader of the Conservative Party and unexpectedly won a minority government that June. In the March 1958 federal election, Diefenbaker secured the largest percentage of seats in Canadian history. The Conservatives were reduced to a minority in 1962 and then defeated the following year, though Diefenbaker remained party leader until 1967. As prime minister, Diefenbaker advocated for close ties to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, while aligning with the United States on defence, including joining NORAD (1957), deploying nuclear missiles on Canadian soil (1958) and cancelling the development of the Avro Arrow jet fighter (1959). As a long-time advocate for equality under the law, Diefenbaker enacted the Canadian Bill of Rights (1960), limited the use of the death penalty (1961), established the Royal Commission on Health Services (1961) and removed racial criteria from the Immigration Act (1962). Internationally, he opposed apartheid in South Africa and helped to ensure the departure of that country from the Commonwealth. Diefenbaker's cabinet included the first female (Ellen Fairclough) and the first Ukrainian-Canadian (Michael Starr) members. Agricultural and economic development, including the first wheat sales to China, were spurred by the Agricultural Rehabilitation and Development Act (1961), and the Columbia River Treaty (1961). Diefenbaker was appointed a Companion of Honour in 1976. He married Edna Brower in 1929. She died in 1951, and two years later he married Olive Palmer. There were no children. He died in Ottawa on 16 August 1979, and was buried on the campus of the University of Saskatchewan. Diefenbaker attempted to modify the federal government's systematically racist relationship with Indigenous Peoples, which caused tremendous ongoing trauma, displacement, disenfranchisement and exclusion. In 1958, he appointed James Gladstone, a Kainai (Blood) from the Treaty 7 area of southern Alberta, to the Senate, making him Canada's first Indigenous federal parliamentarian. Diefenbaker established a Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons on Indian Affairs the following year and implemented several of its recommendations. First Nations and Inuit were given the vote in federal elections without losing their treaty rights or status (1960), and section 112 of the Indian Act, which covered compulsory enfranchisement, was removed. Other measures were tabled in the House of Commons, but they died when his government was defeated in 1963. At the same time, Indigenous children were taken from their homes and adopted by settler families in Canada and internationally in what is known as the "sixties scoop." Residential and day schools also continued to operate throughout this period. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, members of the 2SLGBTQ2+ community were actively purged from the federal civil service and the military. The damage done by policies and actions in place during Diefenbaker's time in office have been acknowledged in recent years. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concluded that the residential school system amounted to cultural genocide. The prime minister of the day apologized for residential schools in 2008 and 2017. In 2017, the Ontario Superior Court ruled that Canada had breached its duty of care toward children who had been adopted in the Sixties Scoop. The federal government subsequently reached a $800 million agreement to compensate First Nations and Inuit children who had been adopted. In 2017, the prime minister apologized to 2SLGBTQ2+ Canadians for their historic mistreatment and established a $100 million compensation fund.
Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker Centre : The Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker Centre is located at the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The Centre was built to house the personal effects of John G. Diefenbaker which were bequeathed to the University in his will, prior to his death in 1979. The Centre was completed in 1978 and opened on 12 June 1980. In the mid 1990s the name of the Centre was changed to The Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker Centre for the Study of Canada. It was thereafter renamed The Diefenbaker Canada Centre. The Diefenbaker Canada Centre. University of Saskatchewan website. 15 May 2002. . 1387
- Finding aid:
Textual records (Paper) The finding aid is a list of file titles denoting microfilm numbers, volume numbers and page numbers. MSS1218 (90: Open)Moving images (Paper) Consult AV Collection file for additional information. (Restrictions not set)Sound recording (Electronic) Refer to MINISIS for item-level descriptions. (Restrictions not set)Photographs (Electronic) Refer to MINISIS for item-level descriptions. (Restrictions not set)Artistic material (Electronic) Refer to MINISIS for item-level descriptions. (Restrictions not set)Object (Electronic) Refer to MINISIS for item-level descriptions. (Restrictions not set)
- Additional information:
- General Note:
- Video recording of The homestead years was presented by John Diefenbaker in a presentation ceremony to the National Film Archives, Public Archives of Canada, 1972., Sound recordings were received between 1986 and 1989 from The Rt. Honourable John G. Diefenbaker Centre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan., Photographic material was acquired between 1968 and 1977., Artistic material was received in 1973 from Rolly Productions, Ottawa, Ontario., The medallic object in accession 1961-002 (MED) was acquired in 1961.
- Custodial history:
- The original papers were deposited with the Library and Archives Canada in 1967 and were donated to the University of Saskatchewan in 1979. The papers were sorted, arranged, and microfilmed in Ottawa in 1982-1986 as part of a joint project between the University of Saskatchewan and the Library and Archives Canada. Since 1994, additional microfilming continues to be done at the University of Saskatchewan., The medallic object (1961-002 (MED)) was given to Prime Minister Diefenbaker by H.R. Macmillan of Vancouver, B.C.
- Location of originals note:
- The originals are kept at the Diefenbaker Centre at the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon).
- Subject heading:
- Political parties Saskatchewan
- Lawyers Saskatchewan
- Legal documents - Saskatchewan, 1919-1956
- Law - Saskatchewan - Cases, 1919-1956
- Associations, institutions, etc. - Saskatchewan, 1919-1956
- Law firms - Saskatchewan, 1919-1956
- Politicians - Saskatchewan, 1909-1956
- Elections - Canada, 1911-1979
- Elections - Saskatchewan, 1909-1940
- Prince Albert (Sask.) - Constituents (Political), 1953-1956
- Lake Centre (Sask.) - Constituents (Political), 1940-1952
- Diefenbaker family, 1888-1979
- Brower, Edna May, d. 1951
- Politicians Canada
- Prime ministers Canada
- Premiers ministres Canada
- Political parties Canada
- Civil rights Canada
- Former archival reference no.:
Ordering and Viewing Options
- Conditions of access:
Moving images: Reproduction requires written permission of copyright owner. No donor restrictions.
Sound recordings: Restrictions vary. Reproduction of McQueen interview requires written permission of interviewee; reproduction of Heatherington interview requires written permission of donor. Reproduction of Pound and Eligh interviews require written permission of interviewees.
Photographs: No restrictions on use. Copyright varies. See individual items. Credit: Photographer name / National Archives of Canada / Copy negative number.
Artistic material: No restrictions on use. Copyright held by Rolly Productions, Ottawa. Credit: National Archives of Canada.
Object: No restrictions on use. Copryright unknown. Credit: National Archives of Canada / Accession number 1961-002.
- Date modified: