Fonds PR2401 - Pam Barrett fonds

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Pam Barrett fonds

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  • Textual record

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PAA PR2401

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Physical description

7.50 m of textual records

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Biographical history

Pam Barrett was born in Brandon, Manitoba on November 26, 1953, and moved to Edmonton with her family in 1961. She attended Archbishop O’Leary High School and then the University of Alberta, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Economics in 1979. Two years later, she received a Master’s degree in Philosophy from Glasgow University in Scotland. Barrett went on to work for Alberta Government Telephones, Edmonton Telephones, as a contract researcher for organizations such as CBC radio, the Edmonton Criminal Trial Lawyers’ Association, and the New Democratic Party where she was senior researcher prior to her election to the Legislative Assembly.

Pam Barrett was involved with many community organizations such as the Edmonton Tenants’ Association, the Edmonton Voters’ Association, the East Edmonton Business Association, the Canadian Cancer Society and P.A.C.E. (Project Alternative Childcare – Edmonton). She was the founding member of Solidarity Alberta, a coalition of community, church, and labour groups formed in 1984 to address social and economic concerns in Alberta.

Pam Barrett spent 10 years in the Alberta legislature as a New Democratic Party MLA. Barrett was in the legislature representing Edmonton Highlands from 1986 to 1993, and 1997 to 2000, acting as party leader during the latter years. She was responsible for the Social Policy, Multiculturalism, Aboriginal rights, Economic Development and Labour Policy Committees at various times throughout her years with the party, and she gained a reputation as a tough, fiery, politician, earning the nickname "Mighty Mouse."

After leaving politics, Barrett worked as an afternoon radio show host for CJCA until the end of 1993. Later she hosted a daily public affairs talk show on CFRN TV and taught political science at Grant MacEwan Community College. Barrett passed away in Edmonton in January 2008.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of the Highlands (Edmonton) constituency files, legislative issues files, Culture critic and Health critic files, committees files, and New Democratic Party and Caucus records. These records offer a comprehensive account of an MLA’s duties, documenting Barrett’s career as a MLA for the New Democratic party, as the first woman in Alberta to serve as House Leader in 1986, and as an active participant in community affairs.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Pam Barrett donated the records to the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 1994.


Language of material

  • English

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Restrictions on access

Some records are restricted. The records are open, but as per the donor’s request on May 3, 1996, names from the following files may not be published until January 2050: 1 – 785, 787 – 791, 802, 860, 925, 974 – 981, 1013 – 1014, 1034 – 1036.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

Finding aids

An inventory is available.

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General note

Information found in the biographical sketch was taken from Barrett’s curriculum vitae, submitted at the time of donation, as well as from the records, and from an article published by the Edmonton Journal on January 23, 2008, pages A1 and A3.

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Provincial Archives of Alberta

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