Historical society president keen on inclusivity

Tyler Clarke
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The Prince Albert Historical Society’s newly-elected president Dennis Ogrodnick is seen next to First World War memorabilia. This summer will see the Historical Museum pay tribute to local contribution to the war in recognition of its 100-year anniversary. 

Already a fixture in the local historical scene, Dennis Ogrodnick was named president of the Prince Albert Historical Society on Thursday.


“I got involved in the Historical Society to make sure that history and culture in Prince Albert is preserved and remembered,” he said at the Historical Museum on Friday.

“Quite often we let things slide or we forget things, and that’s why this society is extremely important to maintain the history of the area.”

An educator for the past 30 years, Ogrodnick said that the importance of history was driven into him early on by a handful of inspirational teachers who taught him to consider “not only what the textbook says but the stories that aren’t mentioned.”

In many cases, the adage that history is “his story” is at many times the case, Ogrodnick said, noting that the Prince Albert Historical Society has always tried to share everyone’s story -- an effort that is improving all the time.

“We’re really trying to show not only the victor or the middle-class white male perspective, but a variety,” he said.

“If we’re talking about our First Nations culture, I want to make sure that our First Nations students are represented in a positive light -- that it’s no longer the massacre by the First Nations, but it’s the resistance -- it’s those types of things.”

The recently taken-down Historical Museum’s sports display is a good example of this, he said, noting that the display featured paralympians, women, First Nations people and as many other segments of the population that they could find.

I got involved in the Historical Society to make sure that history and culture in Prince Albert is preserved and remembered Dennis Ogrodnick

Ogrodnick takes over as society president after past-president Deb Honch stepped down due to work commitments, though she plans on remaining involved with the society.

‘I’m excited to be president, I’m excited to continue the work of Deb Honch to make sure the city properly funds this museum,” he said.

“I just want to see us continue to make our museum a gathering place – which is what this place was when you talk to our Cree elders.”

In addition to furthering the museum’s goal of inclusivity, Ogrodnick said that a primary goal will be ensuring the society continues to receive adequate funding from the municipality to continue its programming. 

This year marks 100 years since the First World War broke out -- a moment in history the museum will feature with an extensive display set to open in May and run until Nov. 12.

The museum will also recognize 70 years since D-Day -- the day of the Normandy landings that began the western allied effort to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during the Second World War.

Organizations: First Nations, Historical Museum, Prince Albert Historical Society

Geographic location: Prince Albert, Normandy, Europe

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