An Abenaki born in St Francis, Quebec, Noel Annance (1792–1869), by virtue of two of his great-grandparents having been early white captives, attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Determined to apply his privileged education, he was caught between two ways of being, neither of which accepted him among their numbers.
Despite outstanding service as an officer in the War of 1812, Annance was too Indigenous to be allowed to succeed in the far west fur trade, and too schooled in outsiders’ ways to be accepted by those in charge on returning home. Annance did not crumple, but all his life dared the promise of literacy on his own behalf and on that of Indigenous peoples more generally. His doing so is tracked through his writings to government officials and others, some of which are reproduced in this volume. Annance’s life makes visible how the exclusionary policies towards Indigenous peoples, generally considered to have originated with the Indian Act of 1876, were being put in place upwards to half a century earlier.
On account of his literacy, Annance’s story can be told. Recounting a life marked equally by success and failure, and by perseverance, Abenaki Daring speaks to similar barriers that to this day impede many educated Indigenous persons from realizing their life goals. To dare is no less essential than it was for Noel Annance.
About the author
Jean Barman, professor emeritus, has published more than twenty books, including On the Cusp of Contact: Gender, Space and Race in the Colonization of British Columbia (Harbour Publishing, 2020) and the winner of the 2006 City of Vancouver Book Award, Stanley Park’s Secret (Harbour Publishing, 2005). Her lifelong pursuit to enrich the history of BC has earned her such honours as a Governor General’s Award, a George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award, a Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing and a position as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She lives in Vancouver, BC.
Other titles by Jean Barman
British Columbia in the Balance
On the Cusp of Contact
Gender, Space and Race in the Colonization of British Columbia
Living between Indigenous and White in the Fraser Valley
Iroquois in the West
Maria Mahoi of the Islands
The Literary Storefront: The Glory Years
Vancouver's Literary Centre 1978-1985
French Canadians, Furs, and Indigenous Women in the Making of the Pacific Northwest
Indian Education in Canada, Volume 1
Good Intentions Gone Awry
Emma Crosby and the Methodist Mission on the Northwest Coast
Growing Up British in British Columbia
Boys in Private School