Canadian Indian Cowboys in Australia: Representation, Rodeo, and the RCMP at the Royal Easter Show, 1939

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University of Calgary Press, 2006 - Sports & Recreation - 196 pages
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The big new thrill at this year's Royal Show will be the Chuck Wagon Races, with Red Indians in full war-paint going helter-skelter around the arena, chuck wagons swaying and jostling perilously, horse teams urged with wild whooping into a frenzy of speed. - Newspaper advertisement, Sydney, Australia, March 1939.



In 1939, a troupe of eight rodeo riders, accompanied by an RCMP officer, travelled to Sydney, Australia, to compete in the Royal Easter Show. The men were expected to compete in various rodeo events, as well as to sell handicrafts at the fair's "Indian village," where they also camped. International competition in rodeo was very rare at the time, and the team proved to be a popular draw for Australian audiences.



This little-known moment in Canadian history is explored in Canadian Indian Cowboys in Australia : Representation, Rodeo, and the RCMP at the Royal Easter Show, 1939, Lynda Mannik uniquely incorporates five different perspectives of the event: that of the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales; the Canadian government; the eight First Nations men who participated; the RCMP officer who travelled with the team; and the Australian public. These multiple perspectives offer insight into the constructs of identity and visual representation as they are influenced by intercultural, social, and power relationships.

 

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Contents

Introduction i
7
Modernity at the Royal Easter Show and the Accompanying Brochures
17
Economic Depression WWII and the Unspoken Political Motivations of the RA S
30
The Beginning of the Negotiations
36
Schmidts Bottom Line
44
Life on the Reserves in Alberta 1930s
60
The Trip to Australia in 1939
67
Indian Cowboys as Wards of the State
76
The Unique Relationship between First Nations and the RCMP
91
Primitivism Discourse within Constable I eachs Commentary
98
The Australian Audience
115
Press Reports from Australia
121
Conclusions
131
Endnotes
141
Bibliography
171
Index
187

Conclusions
83

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About the author (2006)

Lynda Mannik is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at Memorial University. In 2005, she received the Governor General's Gold Medal for the graduate student with the highest academic standing from Trent University, where she completed her master of arts degree in Canadian Studies and Native Studies. She received her doctorate from York University in 2009.

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