Fonds OSC-ARC-13 - The Pocket Desert fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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The Pocket Desert fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • 1993 - 1996 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

3 cm of textual records and other materials

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Custodial history

The fonds was donated by Gayle Cornish in March, 2020.

Scope and content

Biographical sketches
Dr. Jeannette Armstrong (b.1948) was born and grew up on the Penticton Indian Reserve. In 1978 she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria in creative writing, and in 2009 she earned a Ph.D in Indigenous Environmental Ethics from the University of Greifswald in Germany. She is a syilx elder, a fluent speaker of nsyilxcn, as well as an author and professor of Indigenous Studies at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus. She is a member of the Board of Directors of En’owkin Centre.

Dr. Geoffrey Scudder (b. 1934) was born at Fawkham, Kent, UK. In 1955 he earned an undergraduate degree with First Class Honours from the University of Wales at Aberystwith, and in 1958 he earned his doctorate in entomology from Oxford University. His postgraduate career was at the University of British Columbia, Department of Zoology from 1958 until his retirement in 1999. He is a founding member of the Osoyoos Desert Society and a member of the Science Committee of the Okanagan – Similkameen Conservation Program.

Gayle Cornish (née Mint, b. 1943) was born in Grande Prairie, Alberta. She and her family moved to Osoyoos, in the Okanagan Valley, in 1949 and she spent much of her childhood there. In 1967, she earned a Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia following which she taught, and then had a brief stint with the National Film Board and did freelance work with the CBC.

Scope and content
The fonds consists of documents and records that would go on to compose The Pocket Desert radio documentary, which aired on CBC Radio’s Ideas, produced by Gayle Cornish, and co-created by Dr. Jeannette Armstrong and Dr. Geoffrey Scudder. The documentary concerns the unique desert climate and ecology in and around Osoyoos, British Columbia, and the significance of the land to Syilx Okanagan people.

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Restrictions on access

Access to source tapes (series 13.1) is restricted pending consultation with individual and community creators and contributors.

The digital recording of the final aired documentary is under copyright of CBC Radio with all reproduction rights reserved by the rights holder.

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Series list available.

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Physical description

Includes 5 cassettes, and 1 photograph

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Rules for Archival Description (CCA)


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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Compiled by Ariel Nicolaides and Paige Hohmann (2021).

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Script of description


Armstrong, Jeannette Christine. (2009). Constructing Indigeneity: Syilx Okanagan Oraliture and tmixʷcentrism. [Doctoral dissertation, Universität Greifswald].
Cannings, Robert A. (2006). “Geoffrey G.E. Scudder: zoologist, conservationist, educator.” Entomological Society of Canada.
Department of Community, Culture and Global Studies. (n.d.). “Jeannette Armstrong Associate Professor.” Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of British Columbia – Okanagan Campus. Retrieved 2021 11 10.
En’owkin Centre. (n.d.) “Governance.”En’owkin Centre – Okanagan Indian Educational Resources Society. Retrieved 2021 11 10.

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