One of the Family: Metis Culture in Nineteenth-Century Northwestern Saskatchewan

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UBC Press, Jan 1, 2011 - Social Science - 320 pages
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In recent years there has been growing interest in identifying the social and cultural attributes that define the Metis as both Aboriginal and a distinct people. The study of Metis identity formation has also emerged as an innovative way to explore cultural encounters and change in North American history and anthropology.

In One of the Family Brenda Macdougall employs the concept of wahkootowin the Cree term for a worldview that privileges family and values interconnectedness to trace the emergence of a Metis community in northern Saskatchewan. Wahkootowin describes how relationships in the nineteenth century were supposed to work and helps to explain how the Metis negotiated with fur trade companies and the Roman Catholic Church while nurturing a society that emphasized family obligation and responsibility.

This path-breaking study offers a model for future research and discussion that will appeal to anyone interested in the history of the fur trade or Metis culture and identity.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Social Landscapes of the Northwest
23
Social Construction of the Metis Family
51
Residency and Patronymic Connections across the Northwest
86
Family Acculturation and Roman Catholicism
127
Family Labour and the HBC
158
Competition Freemen and Contested Spaces
183
Freemen to Free Traders in the Northwest Fur Trade
213
Conclusion
240
Appendix
249
Glossary
259
Notes
263
Bibliography
301
Index of Names
312
Index of Subjects
321
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About the author (2011)

Brenda Macdougall is an associate professor in the Department of Native Studies at the University of Saskatchewan.

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