Treasure hunters strike it rich in the oddest places, but none stranger than a document vault at the University of Alberta. There, largely undisturbed for nearly 50 years, were cartons containing the life’s work of reporter Miriam Green Ellis. Inside, gold.
Ellis covered the Prairies for the Edmonton Bulletin and Family Herald and Weekly in pre-war years. Where other journalists sought the reflected glory of the big story – earthquakes, scandals, assassinations – Ellis covered extraordinary events in ordinary lives.
Here is her account of a 1922 steamboat journey through the Northwest Territories: “An Eskimo woman called Laura – since we could not pronounce her Eskimo name – was brought in by the police and is being taken into Edmonton to be committed for insanity. Imagine a woman who has been living along the shore of the Arctic Ocean all her life going into the asylum at Ponoka…”