Preserving Heritage in the Digital Age: The Metis Nation of Alberta’s Digitization Journey


The Metis Nation of Alberta, entrusted with preserving the history and rights of its citizens, faced a significant challenge in managing its archival records. In a move to modernize and enhance accessibility, the decision was made to digitize 40,000 citizen files, a monumental task given the delicate nature of these documents and their importance to the Metis community.

The Challenge

The project was a backfile conversion, dealing with historical records of immense cultural and personal significance. The primary challenge was executing this large-scale digitization during the Covid-19 lockdown, which introduced stringent safety protocols. The need to maintain the integrity and confidentiality of these files, coupled with the logistical hurdles of safely transporting such a volume of documents from the client’s onsite file room, required a meticulous and adaptive approach.

The Solution

Consentia stepped in with a solution that respected both the historical value of the documents and the contemporary challenges posed by the pandemic. The files were carefully collected by Consentia’s couriers, ensuring minimal contact and adhering to health guidelines. Back at the digitization facility, the team employed a combination of advanced scanning technology and manual oversight to preserve the quality and accuracy of the digital copies. This careful balance of technology and human expertise ensured that each file was treated with the respect and care it deserved.

The Outcome

The project’s completion within the four-month timeframe marked a significant achievement for the Metis Nation of Alberta. Not only were the citizen files digitized, enhancing their accessibility and preservation, but the project also set a precedent for how to handle large-scale digitizations under challenging circumstances. The success of this project demonstrated the potential for innovation and adaptability in the face of unforeseen challenges, paving the way for future projects within the Metis community and beyond.

“We found the Consentia staff to be very knowledgeable about and flexible in meeting our specific requirements. During our decision stage Consentia provided examples and options to consider while planning the project. Consentia stepped us through the process and gave us confidence in their ability to deliver the project on time, on budget to our complete satisfaction. Consentia staff planned the filing packing, delivery and return around our schedule.”

Shawn M.
Director of Registry

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