Regina man asks for help identifying hundreds of First Nations photos

Andy Miller came across a collection of hundreds of old photographs depicting First Nations people. With a lack of description attributed, He decided to research the photos alongside the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan.

Local professor finds 600 photos dating from 1870-1979

Andy Miller, associate professor of Indigenous Studies at the First Nations University, is asking people to come forward to identify First Nations people in a collection of 600 photos he found. (Brad Bellegarde/CBC News)

Some say a picture is worth a thousand words.

In 2016, Andy Miller came across a large collection of old photographs depicting First Nations people.

Now, he's working to learn their stories. 

With a lack of description attributed to the snapshots, Miller decided to research the photos alongside the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan.

"It just blew my hat in the ditch," said Miller, associate professor of Indigenous Studies at First Nations University (FNUniv). "What do you do with history? You don't keep it in a box, that's what you don't do."

He found about 600 photos dating back from 1870 to 1979 tucked away in the basement of the FNUniv. 

Now, Miller is asking people to come forward if they have any further information about the people and places shown in the photos.

"(We're) inviting First Nations people to view the pictures and to help us fill in the blanks, because there are a lot of names that are missing, a lot of stories that are missing," he said.

The Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan came on-board with the project to offer more context to some of the photos.

"Andy brought us into the project because they realized right away that all of these photographs that they have in this collection came from our collection originally," said Nadine Charabin, who's with the organization. 

"People are walking up and going, 'Oh my goodness, that's my grandmother.' We've had that happen many, many times in the last couple of days," she said. "It's been so exciting and exhilarating to see people's joy."

Everyone is welcome to visit the archives at both Regina and Saskatoon locations. 

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend