If you've been enjoying the stories of pioneer days and the settlement of the Westman Region through the Vantage Points stories, then you'll be excited to learn that a wealth of stories from a larger area will now be included in the list!

The Turtle Mountain Souris Plains Heritage Association (TMSPHA) has welcomed one new region, and one returning region, to their catchment area.

Committee Chair, Jan McClelland says the return of Melita and the newly joined Killarney area are welcome additions.

"We had a fair amount of turnover in the last year but that's because most of our members are councillors and so when things changed up after the elections last Fall, we had new councillors come on board," explains McClelland. "On top of that, Melita rejoined us after several years absence, so now we have Melita people coming to the Board again, and we have Killarney-Turtle Mountain just joined us for the first time ever."

"We're happy and excited about Melita coming back but we're also excited about Killarney-Turtle Mountain joining us because as far as I'm concerned, it completes the Turtle Mountain piece of the Turtle Mountain Souris Plains Heritage Association," she shares.  "I've always thought they were kind of missing so it's great to have them on board.  We're looking forward to see what we can accomplish as a larger area as well."

McClelland says the TMSPHA started the Vantage Points books as a means of telling stories and it was pretty obvious that even when they did the first one, there would be more books, because there are so many stories.  "Somewhere along the way we've realized we're never going to run out of stories!" she laughs.  "So, there will be Vantage Points books coming for many years, I'm sure!" she adds. "There is so much history!"

Next month the TMSPHA will be sitting down to put forth a 5-year plan, to really focus on what they would like to accomplish over the next 5 years, who they want to share this rich history with, and by what means. 

Through their website, geo-caching, printing the 5-book Vantage Points series and gifting sets to families across Westman through the schools, as well as sharing stories through podcasts and videos, as well as CJRB Radio and Discover Westman Online, the organization has shared hundreds and hundreds of stories of our rich heritage to many people!   

More ideas are on the table, and a 5-year plan will put structure to those ideas.

And yes, the Vantage Points 6 book will be coming out - but exactly when is still under discussion!

Please listen to more with Jan McClelland and CJRB's Betty Sawatzky as Jan shares more of how the TMSPHA is raising awareness and more interest in local history within the southwest corner of Manitoba.  McClelland explains how fellow members, David Neufeld and Ken Storie, are reaching out to the indigenous and Metis communities to include accurate renditions of their history as well.