Two centuries ago, many hundreds of Iroquois – principally from what is now Kahnawà:ke – left home without leaving behind their ways of life. Recruited to man the large canoes that transported trade goods and animal pelts from and to Montreal, some Iroquois soon returned, while others were enticed ever further west by the rapidly expanding fur trade.
Recounting stories of Indigenous self-determination and self-sufficiency, Iroquois in the West tracks four clusters of travellers across time, place, and generations: a band that settled in Montana, another ranging across the American West, others opting for British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, and a group in Alberta who were evicted when their longtime home became Jasper National Park. Reclaiming slivers of Iroquois knowledge, anecdotes, and memories from the shadows of the past, Jean Barman draws on sources that range from descendants' recollections to fur-trade and government records to travellers' accounts. What becomes clear is that, no matter the places or the circumstances, the Iroquois never abandoned their senses of self.
Opening up new ways of thinking about Indigenous peoples through time, Iroquois in the West shares the fascinating adventures of a people who have waited over two hundred years to be heard.
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
Maria Mahoi of the Islands
The Life and Writings of Noel Annance, 1792-1869
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