The Turtle Mountain-Souris Plains Historical Association (TM-SPHA) continues to share the adventures of the southwest pioneers from the earliest days of settlement in this corner of our province. 

Most recently, the TM-SPHA completed the project of donating the first 4 books of the Vantage Points book series to families across the region through the public school system in the communities from Boissevain west to the Saskatchewan border. The oldest child attending their community school received a package of 4 books on behalf of their family.  

The 5th edition of Vantage Points has just been released before Christmas and was not included in the 4-book set to students and their families. 

“We were overstocked anyway, and so we thought, ‘How could we best use these books?’ and so that’s what we did,” shares Neufeld. "But, the 5th book was just printed and so we wanted to try and sell those new books to recoup some of the costs of printing."

Getting local history into the hands of local families is the goal of the committee.

“We’re trying to get the attention of families with young children, and of course teachers! So, within this next year we’ll be approaching teachers about curriculum development that will accommodate local history,” he explains, “and we’ve got tons of resources already to offer them, but packaging it so that teachers can use it with no fuss-no muss.” 

“Teachers don’t always have the time to do the researching, and we love to do the researching. We love doing story-telling. So, here’s the material,” adds Neufeld. 

A happy surprise in the classroom would be when a student recognizes a nugget of shared history that is from their own family tree, hearing perhaps for the first time when their great grandmother, or great-great-grandfather, broke land and set up a homestead in southwest Manitoba at the turn of the century! The Vantage Points books bring local history alive for our students! 

For more information on how to purchase your own set of Vantage Points books for your family or classroom, visit