United Church of Canada Living Skies Region Archives
Living Skies Regional Council was originally Saskatchewan Conference, one of 11 regional Conferences established by the United Church of Canada General Council at their inaugural meeting, in June 1925. At its first meeting, in October, Saskatchewan Conference designated the Conference Archives, then located at St. Andrew's College (Saskatoon), as its official records repository and appointed the first Conference Archivist. The Archives remained at St. Andrew's College, through to the 1980s.
In 1982, the Conference signed an agreement to house the growing archival collections with the Saskatchewan Archives Board (later Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan), while still retaining ownership and management responsibilities for the records. The collections were gradually relocated, in the years that followed.
On January 1, 2019, as part of a larger restructuring of the United Church of Canada, Saskatchewan Conference and its seven presbyteries became Region 4. In March, it was officially named Living Skies Regional Council. The mandate and boundaries for the region archives remained more or less the same as the previous Saskatchewan Conference Archives.
The mandate of the Living Skies Regional Council archives program is to acquire and preserve the records of United Church of Canada congregations and presbyteries in Saskatchewan, records of Saskatchewan Conference and its successors, its annual meetings, staff, committees and task groups, and of some related organizations and individuals. Records of Proceedings for the first Saskatchewan Conference (October 20-23, 1925) include the designation of the Conference Archives as the official repository for these records, as well as the appointment of the first Conference Archivist.
Living Skies Regional Council does not operate an archives building but rather works with the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan, to make records available to to the public, via their Public Reference Room.
The archival collection contains records of Methodist, Presbyterian, Congregationalist and Local Union Churches within Saskatchewan prior to 1925, and of the United Church of Canada after 1925. Included are records created by local congregations, such as registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials; historic membership rolls and communion rolls; general membership lists; minutes of church boards, committees, and organizations (including women's groups); printed annual reports of local congregations; congregational newsletters; local church histories; correspondence; and photographs. The collection also contains records created by the constituent Presbyteries of the Saskatchewan Conference and by the Conference itself, its staff, officers, committees, and task groups, as well as the personal papers and manuscripts of some associated individuals.
Much of the collection was formed between 1925 and 1986, with additions continuing though 2023. Some of the early records may have been accumulated and/or acquired prior to the formal 1925 establishment of the United Church of Canada, then transferred to the custody of the new Conference Archives. Further records were added in the years that followed.
Select publications from the United Church of Canada are also maintained for reference alongside these collections, including a continuous run of Year Books from 1926 through 2016.
Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan Public Reference Room (for in-person reference services): by appointment only, Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm -- for details, go to www.saskarchives.com/using-archives. Closed on statutory and civic holidays.
Not all records are open to the public, due to personal information (privacy) restrictions and legislation. Requests for access to records of baptisms, marriages or burials should be sent to the Living Skies Regional Council Archives e-mail or postal address.
Research questions should be directed to the Living Skies Region Archives e-mail or postal address. In-person reference assistance is provided by the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan, through their research room. There are fees for register searches and reproductions of archival records.
Many archival records may be photocopied or digitally copied, via the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan reading room and in accordance with their guidelines and fee schedule. Baptism, marriage and burial registers may not be photocopied or digitally reproduced by or for researchers without permission from Living Skies Regional Council. Transcripts for legal or research purposes should be requested in writing, via the listed e-mail or postal address.