The oral history of my mother’s family has always intrigued me. I wanted to learn more about my French-Canadian ancestors who emigrated from Quebec to Ontario in the mid-1800s. Fertile land was becoming scarce in Quebec and Ontario was encouraging settlement. Very little was captured about their existence in an English-speaking largely protestant province. Other than a census every 10 years, the Roman Catholic church was the keeper of their records – lives condensed into lists of baptisms, marriages, and interments. After building up a family tree, I started my own journey to document the places where they lived. With a simple aspiration to live self-sufficiently, little evidence remained of their existence. Residences and resting places revealed dead ends and dog parks. As my journey continues, I am embracing being drawn to unknown places documenting the land that once held them and searching for whispers of what might remain of their lives.

Common Ground Video

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