Fonds F 117 - T.C. Douglas fonds

Signing of cert. for 15,000th mineral claim TV panel discussing government medical care program T.C. Douglas at Hudson Bay Golden Jubilee celebrations T.C. Douglas at Humboldt Frontier Days T.C. Douglas at his desk T.C. Douglas speaking at University Hospital opening Douglas family in their Weyburn home Dean of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Wendell MacLeod with Premier Douglas Aerial view of Uranium City Uranium City Hotel nearly completed
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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

T.C. Douglas fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Sound recording
  • Graphic material
  • Object
  • Microform
  • Cartographic material

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Reference code

F 117

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1944-1982 (Accumulation)
  • 1933-1982 (predominant: 1944-1961) (Creation)
    Douglas, Thomas Clement, 1904-1986
  • 1933-1982 (predominant: 1944-1961) (Creation)
    Shoyama, Thomas Kunito, 1916-2006

Physical description area

Physical description

68.390m of textual records
55 audio reels : 9.5 cm/sec. (52 hr.)
258 photographs : prints, b&w
8 photographs : prints, col.
161 photographs : negatives, b&w
4 photographs : negatives, col.
1 drawing : pen and ink
8 objects
2 microfilm reels
1 map

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas was born in Falkirk, Scotland on October 20, 1904 to Thomas and Annie (Clement) Douglas. In 1910, he immigrated with his family to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Douglas attended elementary school in Winnipeg and continued his education in Glasgow, Scotland, where he and his family relocated during World War I. Upon moving back to Winnipeg in 1919, Douglas apprenticed in the printing trade and worked as a Linotype operator. In 1924, he enrolled at Brandon College to pursue his ambition to become an ordained minister. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1930 and was ordained a Baptist minister in Weyburn. During the summer of 1931, Douglas studied sociology at the University of Chicago but never completed his doctoral thesis. Douglas earned a Master of Arts degree from McMaster University by correspondence in 1933 while serving at Calvary Baptist Church in Weyburn.

Douglas's political career began in the early 1930s, when he helped establish the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). After running unsuccessfully as a Farmer-Labour Party candidate in the 1934 Saskatchewan general election, Douglas was elected to the House of Commons in 1935 and served as the CCF Member for the Weyburn constituency until 1944. In 1941, he was elected president of the Saskatchewan CCF and became the party's leader in 1942. On June 1, 1944, Douglas resigned from the House of Commons to run in the Saskatchewan general election. On June 15, 1944, the CCF was elected into power, becoming the first democratic socialist government in North America. Douglas became the CCF Member for Weyburn, the seventh premier of Saskatchewan and the president of the Executive Council. While premier, Douglas also served as Minister of Public Health (1944-1949) and Minister of Co-operation and Co-operative Development (1949-1960).

Premier Douglas and his government introduced many innovative social and economic reforms. The Crown Corporations Act created numerous publicly-owned agencies, including the Saskatchewan Transportation Company (a provincial bus line), the Saskatchewan Power Corporation (which extended electrical service to isolated rural areas), and the Saskatchewan Government Insurance Office (Canada's first publicly-owned automotive insurance service). During his tenure, The Saskatchewan Bill of Rights was passed and legislation allowing for the unionization of the public service was brought in. A program offering free hospital care to all citizens was also introduced. As well, Douglas's government introduced universal health care legislation in 1961, although the resulting Medicare program was launched by Douglas's successor, Woodrow Lloyd, in 1962.

In November 1961, Douglas resigned from provincial politics to become leader of the newly-created New Democratic Party (NDP), an amalgamation of the CCF and Canadian Labour Congress. Douglas ran in the Regina City riding in the 1962 federal election but was defeated. Later that year, he was elected to the House of Commons in a by-election in the riding of Burnaby-Coquitlam. Douglas remained in that seat until his defeat in the 1968 federal election. He was elected in a 1969 by-election in the riding of Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Islands. In 1971, Douglas resigned as NDP leader but remained in his seat in the House of Commons and served as the NDP energy critic until his retirement from political life in 1979. Douglas died in Ottawa on February 24, 1986.

Douglas received numerous awards and honours, including: the Saskatchewan Order of Merit (1985); a Companion of the Order of Canada (1981); membership in the Queen's Privy Council for Canada (1984); and induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (1998). Douglas also received numerous honorary degrees from Canadian universities. Douglas Provincial Park in Saskatchewan was named in his honor. In 2010, a statue of him was erected in Weyburn.

Douglas married Irma Dempsey in 1930. They had two daughters: Shirley and Joan.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Thomas Kunito (Tommy) Shoyama was born on September 24, 1916, in Kamloops, British Columbia. He earned Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Commerce degrees from the University of British Columbia in 1938. From 1939 to 1945, Shoyama served as editor of the New Canadian, a civil rights newspaper for Japanese-Canadians. In 1946, he worked briefly as a journalist for the Intelligence Corps of the Canadian Army before he moved to Regina, Saskatchewan, to work for the Government of Saskatchewan.

During his tenure with the Government of Saskatchewan, Shoyama was first hired as a research economist. In 1950, he was appointed as secretary to the Economic Advisory and Planning Board. He also served as economic advisor to Premier T.C. Douglas (1950-1961) and Premier W.S. Lloyd (1961-1964).

In 1964, Shoyama moved to Ottawa and became a senior research economist with the Economic Council of Canada. Within the federal government, his appointments included: Assistant Deputy Minister of Finance (1968), Assistant Deputy Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources (1974), and Deputy Minister of Finance (1975). He retired from the federal civil service in 1979 and soon after was appointed as advisor to the Privy Council on economic aspects of the Constitution. In 1980, he became a visiting professor at the University of Victoria in its School of Public Administration and its Centre for Pacific and Oriental Studies.

Awards and honours received by Shoyama included: Officer of the Order of Canada (1978); the Outstanding Achievement Award in the Public Service of Canada (1982); the Vanier Medal from the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (1982); honourary degrees from the University of British Columbia (1984) and University of Victoria (1999); and the Order of the Sacred Treasure from the Government of Japan (1992). The Pearson-Shoyama Institute in Ottawa was partly named in Shoyama's honour. As well, the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, established at the University of Regina in 2007, was partly named in Shoyama's honour.

Thomas Shoyama died in Victoria on December 22, 2006.

Custodial history

The Office of the Premier transferred some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1962: 607 (Photo R) (1962).
Kathy Hayman of the Public Archives of Canada donated some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1983: R83-024 (January 19, 1983).
Donald C. Gunn donated some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1992: R92-306 (November 23, 1992).
Records created by T.K. Shoyama as secretary of the Economic Advisory and Planning Board were identified in the T.C. Douglas fonds at the time of retro-description.

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records created, accumulated and used by T.C. Douglas from 1944 to 1961 during his political career as Minister of Public Health (1944-1949); Minister of Co-operation and Co-operative Development (1949-1960); Premier of Saskatchewan (1944-1961); and Leader of the Commonwealth Co-operative Federation (1944-1961).

The fonds does not include records of Douglas as Leader of the Commonwealth Co-operative Federation (1942-1944) and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Weyburn (1944-1961).

The fonds also consists of copies of: Douglas' Master of Arts thesis from McMaster University, entitled "The Problem of the Subnormal Family", dated March 1933; a filing key for records created by Douglas as Premier of Saskatchewan; correspondence written in 1971 by Douglas to Donald C. Gunn; and oral history interviews conducted in 1981 and 1982 with Douglas relating to his political career.

This fonds contains public, political and private records.

Records described in old guide GR 90 were originally arranged into seven collections: Premier's files; Executive Assistant's files; Cabinet Secretary's files; Economic Advisory and Planning Board files; Ministerial files; Director of Public Relations files; Files of T.K. Shoyama. Two additional collections were not described in old guide GR 90: Index files to Premier's papers; Joke and subject files.

Records created and accumulated by T.K. Shoyama as secretary of the Economic Advisory and Planning Board are included in the fonds.

The types of records included are: correspondence; memoranda; briefing notes; itineraries; speeches; minutes and agendas; publications; reports; speaking notes; press releases; newspaper clippings; petitions; legislation; scrapbooks; photographs and negatives; microfilm; audio reels; objects; a map; a transparency and a drawing.

Notes area

Physical condition

Records are in good physical condition.

Immediate source of acquisition

T.C. Douglas donated some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in two accessions between 1954 and 1982: PL 139 (1954); and R82-634 (December 24, 1982).


The factors determining the arrangement of records in this fonds have not been documented during the description process.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

User copies and transcripts are available for Tape R-8353.1 to Tape R-8406.

Some electronic copies of photographs are available in Archival Digital Storage.

Restrictions on access

These records are subject to access restrictions.
Pre-2001 finding aid is subject to access restrictions.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication and/or reproduction of records are subject to terms and conditions of the Copyright Act and/or a donor agreement.

Finding aids

SAFA 626 (old guide GR 90) consists of a fonds description and file listings of the textual records. Item descriptions of the photographs are available electronically.

Uploaded finding aid

Associated materials

Associated material: Tommy Douglas fonds - Held by Library and Archives Canada. Includes records created, accumulated and used by Douglas between 1944 and 1961 as Premier of Saskatchewan. See CAIN No. 269130. (See Saskatchewan Archives record R-E1465 for a guide to these records.)
Related material: GR 10 Checklist of Records of Executive Council - includes records of Douglas as Premier of Saskatchewan and President of the Executive Council.
GR 330: An Inventory of the Audio Recordings of Thomas Clement Douglas - an artificial collection of recordings relating to Douglas.
Additional textual, photographic, audio and video records related to T.C. Douglas are available.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note


Conservation practices in place at the time of processing were applied to the records in this fonds.

Alpha-numeric designations

Textual records: Old guide GR 90 (R-33.1 to R-33.7); R-33.8 to R-33.9; R-E3760; R-OS 15.
Audio reels: Tape R-8353.1 to Tape R-8406.
Photographs: R-A5717 to R-A5760; R-A8789 to R-A8790; R-A8801 (1)-(2) to R-A8802; R-A8839 to R-A8842; R-A27979 to R-A27981; R-B2849 to R-B2851 (1)-(2); R-B2853 to R-B2921; R-B2926 (1)-(2) to R-B2927 (1)-(2); R-B3881 to R-B3882; R-B4581 to R-B4585; R-D365.
Drawing: R-B2852.
Microfilm: Micro. R-2.218; Micro. S-8.18.
Map: CM-4.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

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Description record identifier

F 117

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Saskatchewan Archives. Archival Description Manual 2004.



Level of detail

Language of description

  • English

Script of description

  • Latin


Content of the fonds.

Accession area