A Fatherly Eye


Author:
Brownlie, Robin Jarvis
Grade Levels:
College, University
Nation:
Ojibwe, Woodland
Book Type:
PB
Pages:
204
Publisher:
University of Oxford Press

Price:
Sale price$45.95
Stock:
In stock

Description

A Fatherly Eye: Indian Agents, Government Power, and Aboriginal Resistance in Ontario, 1918-1939 is a recent publication from Oxford University Press by historian Robin Jarvis Brownlie. The book, based on the author's doctoral dissertation, examines two Ojibwe communities in Ontario and their relationship with the local Indian Agents and the Department of Indian Affairs. The communities chosen are Parry Island (Wasauksing First Nation) in the Parry Sound Agency and Wikwemikong in the Manitowaning Agency on Manitoulin Island. Each agency was responsible for several reserve communities but for a variety of reasons relating to sources the author has chosen to focus mainly on Parry Island and Wikwemikong. Brownlie's work looks at the role of Indian Agent as it was manifest in two specific agents. Each agent spent a number of years in his agency in the years between world wars. She also examines the approach to management each agent took and the resulting responses from community members. The relationships between Francis Pegahmagabow, John Manitowaba, and Stanley Manitowaba from Parry Island and their agent are detailed. These are contrasted with the agent from Manitoulin. While styles differed the agents always enforced the government's Indian Act. The agents sought to change their charges and did not represent the First Nation's concerns to the Ottawa bureaucracy. This oppressive supervision was most severely felt during the Depression. First Nation's band councils sought to pressure the agent for assistance and had to use various strategies to achieve their own ends. Issues such as treaty rights, fishing rights, timber licenses, education, medical care, and enfranchisement are described. Band council chiefs faced the unyielding power of the Indian Agent and were often removed from office for their activism. On the whole the book focuses on the role of the agents because the historical record is stacked against First Nations. The author was unsuccessful in interviewing community elders still living at the time of research. As a result the author has had to read between the lines of Indian Affairs archival records. Overall this book adds to literature about Indian-government relations during the interwar period for communities that often receive little attention. The book contains an index, maps, charts, and historical photographs. This book makes an interesting read for anyone interested in First Nations history.

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