How to Find Camsell Hospital Records (Part 1)

A big part of my search for Joseph has been learning to navigate the official hospital and government records. I’m a trained historian and it’s been tricky and intimidating at times, so I can only imagine what it’s like for former patients or people trying to track down what happened to their loved ones.

I’ve been keeping notes about my process, like breadcrumbs, so I’ve got a sense of how to do this work. My plan all along was to then share a ‘how-to guide’ so all of you out there could have the tools to do it too (and not have to make my mistakes and fall into my research holes).

We’re all fortunate that someone else was thinking along the same lines and got there faster. Melissa Cardinal, a nurse in Edmonton, decided for her MA project to focus on this. And she’s come up with a really great, easy-to-understand website.

One thing she highlights that is a huge boon to all of us trying to figure out these things is that the Province of Alberta has made its vital statistics (birth and death records, etc) available and searchable ONLINE! For deaths, this is just for anything fifty years old or more (so, May 16, 1967 and older, as I write this) for privacy/legal reasons. But still, this will help so many people doing research far away from Edmonton.

Melissa also has a great interactive map on her site to help you figure out if it’s likely you or your loved one was a patient at the hospital (versus one of the other two dozen or so Indian Hospitals in Canada).

As Melissa says on her site, I’m working on a ‘how-to guide’ for people who have checked at the Provincial and local level and want to see what might be available at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. Off I go!

26 thoughts on “How to Find Camsell Hospital Records (Part 1)

  1. Miya Gordon October 2, 2018 / 6:48 pm

    Hi, I was born at this hospital on November 12 1979. I was put up for adoption. I am searching for my birth mother. Please message me back. Thank you!


    • historiandmc October 3, 2018 / 5:09 pm

      Hi! Thank you for contacting me through the site. I invite you to send me an email at if you’d like to discuss this more in a private forum. Best, Danielle


      • Roger Ellis April 12, 2021 / 4:55 pm

        How & where can I get copy of myself being a patient in Charles camsell hospital in 63-64
        My Dr was Romanowski
        I was in hospital for almost 2 years cus I was hit by lightning here in mayo yukon & was medivated to Edmonton Charles campsell hospital


  2. Cecile Richards ( Mandeville ) February 11, 2019 / 9:10 pm

    Hi, I was born in 1965 and my sister and where Charles Camsell Hospital and according to my sister we were there for 5 months and i had an operation on my eyes and my sister was there for TB. I am looking for our records it might have been in 1972.73 or 74.
    Thank you,Cecile


    • historiandmc February 13, 2019 / 3:33 pm

      Hi Cecile, Thanks so much for your comment and visiting the site. Have you checked out the steps Melissa and I outlined in terms of tracking down medical records? I hope they are useful. If you need extra assistance, I’ll try and connect you to the right resources! Best, Danielle


      • Gloria ODonnell February 18, 2019 / 11:55 pm

        My employment records from Jan-May 1973 went missing. I did not find out until I applied for CPP. I get a few dollars less pension because of this.
        Irony is Charles Camsell was under the Federal Government at that time so what on earth did they do with my contributions to CPP as the $ 52.00 they collected was there but not my income. Very strange but no records ever found. I wonder if other employees found the same problem.
        I liked this modern hospital. Very new and where I worked in the Pathology Department was well equipped. I did go on the wards as the laboratory was small so all Med Technologists had to take on call and cover all lab departments. It was very hard work on nights when patients arrived by air and all the work was stat. Sometimes we worked 24 hours. Very tough


  3. Marilyn Fryingpan June 6, 2020 / 1:49 am

    I was a patient at Charles camsell hospital and went to school there too I was sick I can’t remember what year I think it was in the 70’s how would I find out could someone help me with this please and thank you


    • historiandmc June 27, 2020 / 8:00 pm

      Sorry for the delay! Just saw this comment. If you send me an email at info[at] (replace the [at] with @), I will try and point you in the right direction.


  4. Betty Stewart July 13, 2020 / 7:19 pm

    I was a patient in 1978, wishing to find the Dr. I had for surgery hysterectomy


    • historiandmc September 4, 2020 / 3:32 pm

      Hi!I hope the posts on finding records can be helpful to you. If you still have any questions after going through those, please feel free to email me at and I can hopefully point you in the right direction.


  5. Wilbert Papik November 12, 2020 / 7:39 pm

    Are there any photos of patients 1960-1965


  6. historiandmc November 23, 2020 / 2:11 pm

    Yes, there are photos in the Camsell Arrow and Pictorial Reviews from those years and also you can see some at different archives. The ones that I’ve seen are at the City of Edmonton Archives, Province of Alberta Archives, Northwest Territories archives in Yellowknife, and Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.


  7. Liza Mandeville March 19, 2021 / 4:43 am

    hi my name is liza mandeville and i was in the hospital for numerous health problems they said and i was treated really bad, can you help me to get my records. thank you,


    • historiandmc March 22, 2021 / 1:45 pm

      Hi Liza, I’m sorry you were treated badly. Feel free to email me at info[a] (replace the [a] with @) and I’ll see what I can do to support you in finding those records.


  8. Martina Isaiah July 26, 2021 / 5:19 pm

    HI . I was a patient at Charlse Camsell Hospital in the 60s wanting to know more info about .


    • Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail July 26, 2021 / 9:16 pm

      I hope the posts on tracking down records help you find more info. If you need any help along the way, please feel free to reach out and I will do what I can. There’s also a group of Indigenous researchers and volunteers in Edmonton who might be able to assist you and I’d be happy to put you in touch.


  9. PAULINE C DENEYOUA November 8, 2021 / 6:47 pm

    I am a descendant of a Charles Camsell Hospital Patient. My father Baptiste Deneyoua of Fort Simpson, NT was a patient there in the early 70’s I believe when I was an infant. I would like to view his records and any matters relating to his stay. Thank you.


    • Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail November 9, 2021 / 11:05 am

      Have you made an application to view them at the different archives? I’d be happy to connect you with Indigenous researchers who can help you or give you some further guidance myself. Please let me know!


  10. Roger Ellis November 9, 2021 / 3:35 pm

    I was a patient in the old Charles campsell hospital in 1964-65 for 2 yrs before they built the new hospital & my Dr was Dr Romanowski & want my records plz


  11. Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail November 10, 2021 / 1:56 pm

    Hi Roger, Have you tried contacting the different archives to get access to your records yet? If you need help trying to track them down, I am happy to connect you with Indigenous researchers who are doing this work, or I can try and help you myself.


    • Roger Ellis November 10, 2021 / 4:36 pm

      Yessss I would love if you can help find my records of Charles campsell hospital as a patient there in 1963-64


  12. Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail November 14, 2021 / 3:29 pm

    Hi Roger, Here is the link to the Indigenous researchers in Edmonton who are working with former patients as well as Survivors of residential schools. They were given some funding to help pay their costs to assist folks like yourself! If they don’t have the time/funding to help, I’ll see what I can do, okay? And feel free to circle back if there are any hiccups connecting with them. Best, Danielle


  13. Bernice Scobie December 29, 2021 / 11:57 pm

    I am looking for my records too around 1968 at Charles Campsell hospital


    • Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail December 31, 2021 / 5:36 pm

      I hope these resources help and that your access to information requests go smoothly with the archives. If not, let me know and I’ll connect you with Indigenous donation/grant-funded researchers or try and help you myself!


  14. Patricia Jones January 16, 2022 / 1:05 am

    Hi my brother was born 1967 at 6-8 months old he was send to Charles Camsell Hospital , as he was born with TB, he was there until he was just over 4 years old , I believe he came home from there either in 1971 or 1972 . How do we try an get his Medical Records from the time he was there . Thank you


    • Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail January 17, 2022 / 3:51 pm

      Hi Patricia, I’m so sorry he was born with TB and was there for so long at such an early age. If you follow the steps in this blog post and the Part 2, that will hopefully yield medical records. Basically your best bet is getting in touch with Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa and getting the staff there to point you toward an Access to Information Request to do with your brother (or as his next of kin, if he’s deceased). If you hit any walls with this process, please reach back out to me and I’ll connect you with TRUTH YEG in Edmonton who have researchers to do this. Or I’ll try and help you personally. Best, Danielle


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