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