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Fonds F 16 - Walter E. Smishek fonds

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Walter E. Smishek fonds

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F 16

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  • 1948-1990 (Creation)

Physical description

18.52 m of textual records
28 photographs
1 audio cassette

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Name of creator

Smishek, Walter Edmund, 1925-

Biographical history

Walter Edmund Smishek was born on July 21, 1925 in Sokal, Poland to Andrew Joseph and Mary (Homeniuk) Smishek. He moved to Saskatchewan with his family in 1930 and was raised on the family farm near Hafford.

Smishek worked with a grocery wholesale firm for five years before becoming a representative for the Saskatchewan Joint Board of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union in 1949. He held the position until 1960 and again from 1964 to 1971. From 1960 to 1964 he was executive secretary to the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour.

Smishek was first elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature in 1964 and served as a Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) Member of the Legislative Assembly (M.L.A.) for Regina East (1964-1967) and as a New Democratic Party (NDP) M.L.A. for Regina North East (1967-1982). Smishek served in the Allan Blakeney Government as Minister of Public Health (1971-1974); Minister of Health (1974-1975); Minister of Finance (1975-1979); Minister of Municipal Affairs (Urban) (1979-1980); and Minister of Urban Affairs (1980-1982). He was Minister Responsible for numerous agencies, boards and commissions.

Smishek lost his seat in the 1982 provincial general election to Russell Sutor (Progressive Conservative). After leaving provincial politics, Smishek worked with the federal government in Regina until his retirement. Smishek currently (2009) continues to reside in Regina.

Smishek married Ruth Bernice Schuck on August 20, 1955. They have three children: Mark, Kelly, and Erica.

Custodial history

Walter E. Smishek donated these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in four accessions between 1982 and 1990: R82-135 (April 30, 1982); R82-500 (October 18, 1982); R82-549 (November 24, 1982); and R90-045 (February 14, 1990).

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records created, accumulated and used from 1971 to 1982 by Walter E. Smishek in his political career in the Allan Blakeney Government as: Minister of Public Health; Minister of Finance; Minister of Municipal Affairs (Urban); Minister of Urban Affairs; Minister Responsible for Wascana Centre Authority; Minister Responsible for Public Service Commission; Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation; and Minister for Social Policy Secretariat. It includes records of Smishek as Member of the Legislative Assembly for Regina East (1964-1968) and Regina North East (1968-1982); and as a member of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party. The fonds also includes records of Smishek as the labour representative on the Advisory Planning Committee on Medical Care (1960-1962).

This fonds also includes records created by Gordon B. Grant while Minister of Public Health in the Ross Thatcher Government (1966-1971).

The types of records included are correspondence, memoranda, briefing notes, speeches, diaries, minutes and agendas, publications, reports, press releases, newspaper clippings, legislation, photographs, an audio cassette and maps. This fonds contains public, political and private records.

No series assignment has been applied to the records described in the fonds. The following headings were used in old guide GR 355 for descriptions completed for R-961 in 1985: Appointment Books; Constituency Files; Finance; Health: Alphabetical Series; Health: Numerical Series; Public Service Commission; Saskatchewan Housing Corporation; Social Planning Secretariat; Speeches, 1971-1982; Urban Affairs; Departments and Agencies; and Authorities.

Headings used for descriptions completed for R-1443 in 1994 were: Political Files (Elections; Regina North East Constituency; Member of Legislative Assembly; Clippings and Miscellaneous Leaflets); and Subject Files (Labour; Health; Regina; Subjects).

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The factors determining the arrangement of these records were not documented in the description process.

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Restrictions on access

These records are subject to access restrictions. The guide to the fonds is available for consultation. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

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

Finding aids

SAFA 143 (old guide GR 355) consists of a fonds description and file listing of textual records and is available in paper format. Descriptions of photographs and maps are available in Threshold.

Associated / related material

Related material: Tape R-12798 - Interview with Walter E. Smishek for Oral History Project. Topic: Provincial Elections. See GR 251. Transcript available. R-E4598 - "A Senior Remembers". Article from Regina Sun, December 5, 1991. Additional photographs and moving image records related to Walter E. Smishek are contained in the holdings of Saskatchewan Archives. Consult the photographs card catalogue and Threshold database for descriptions of these records.


No further accruals are expected.

Other notes

  • General note: 5 maps.
  • Alpha-numeric designations: Other codes: Textual Records: GR 355 (R-961; R-1443). Photographs: R-A24774 (1)-(22); R-A32216 to R-A32218 (1)-(4). Maps: R961m.1 to R961m.5.

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