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Social Science Indigenous Studies

Metis Pioneers

Marie Rose Delorme Smith and Isabella Clark Hardisty Lougheed

by (author) Doris Jeanne MacKinnon

Publisher
The University of Alberta Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2018
Category
Indigenous Studies, Women, Native American
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781772122718
    Publish Date
    Feb 2018
    List Price
    $49.99
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781772123616
    Publish Date
    Mar 2018
    List Price
    $35.99

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Description

In Metis Pioneers, Doris Jeanne MacKinnon compares the survival strategies of two Metis women born during the fur trade—one from the French-speaking free trade tradition and one from the English-speaking Hudson’s Bay Company tradition—who settled in southern Alberta as the Canadian West transitioned to a sedentary agricultural and industrial economy. MacKinnon provides rare insight into their lives, demonstrating the contributions Metis women made to the building of the Prairie West. This is a compelling tale of two women’s acts of quiet resistance in the final days of the British Empire.

About the author

Doris Jeanne MacKinnon was born on a farm in northeastern Alberta and attended school in the historic town of St-Paul-des-Métis. She has a PhD in Indigenous and post-Confederation Canadian history. An independent researcher and postsecondary instructor, she lives in Red Deer, Alberta.

Doris Jeanne MacKinnon's profile page

Awards

  • Short-listed, Scholarly and Academic Book Award | Alberta Book Awards, Book Publishers Association of Alberta

Editorial Reviews

"This book deals with the lives of two frontier women - Isabella Lougheed and Marie Rose Smith. They both were Metis but their histories were miles apart. ... The author has found a rich source of history in these two women and offers them in a detailed account of their lives."

Alberta History

"Whether or not the two women were ever in the same room together, their individual paths provide interesting parallel stories about Metis women who survived and thrived as the Canadian west transitioned from the fur trade to a more sedentary agricultural economy…And the stories of both women showed how the Metis people continued to make significant contributions to the Canadian west even after the fur trade ended, an area of historical study that MacKinnon thinks is rife for discovery."

Strength and Resilience: Documenting how pioneering Metis women in Alberta survived beyond the fur trade

"[These two women's] individual paths provide interesting parallel stories about Metis women who survived and thrived as the Canadian west transitioned from the fur trade to a more sedentary agricultural economy. Marie Rose’s family was French-speaking Metis and a few served as Louis Riel’s soldiers. Isabella was from the English-speaking Metis stock. Both were born in 1861 and both married non-Indigenous men in unions that were influenced, or arranged outright, by their families. Both families had a strong history in the fur trade; Marie Rose’s were free traders and Isabella as part of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Both were community builders who later relied on their influence and circle of acquaintances for support after they became widows and fell on hard times. And the stories of both women showed how the Metis people continued to make significant contributions to the Canadian west even after the fur trade ended, an area of historical study that MacKinnon thinks is rife for discovery...." [Full article at http://calgaryherald.com/entertainment/books/lady-belle-and-marie-rose-new-book-showcases-pioneering-metis-women-in-alberta]

Calgary Herald

Self-fashioning is also a focus of Doris Jeanne MacKinnon’s Metis Pioneers, as she details the lives of two Métis women born in 1861, during the time when the fur-trade culture into which they both were born transitioned into a new settler-colonial economy.... The book aims to explain how two Métis women fashioned themselves as respectable homesteading pioneers, transforming a birth identity that was increasingly scorned as incoming settlers swamped more inclusive fur-trade sensibilities after the Riel Resistance in 1885." Canadian Literature, November 30, 2018 [Full review at http://canlit.ca/article/first-lives]

Margery Fee

“The cultural bridging demonstrated by the two women subjects of this book is both evident and significant.”

Colleagues List II

"MacKinnon's book offers readers an in-depth look at the contributions each of the two women made to the growth of Canada's west, but more than that, it is a book about courage, resilience, determination and strength of character. The book was written to tell the truth..."

Alberta Native News

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