Contours of a People: Métis Family, Mobility, and History

SKU: 9780806144870

Brenda Macdougall, Carolyn Podruchny, Nicole St. Onge
Grade Levels:
College, University
Book Type:
University of Oklahoma Press
Copyright Date:

Sale price$40.95


Contours of a People: Métis Family, Mobility, and History presents a far-ranging collection of 14 essays about Métis history and family in Canada that considers issues ranging from Métis rights under Canadian law and how the Library of Congress categorizes Métis scholarship to the role of women in maintaining economic and social networks. What does it mean to be Métis? How do the Métis understand their world, and how do family, community, and location shape their consciousness? Such questions inform this collection of essays on the northwestern North American people of mixed European and Indigenous ancestry who emerged in the seventeenth century as a distinct culture. Volume editors Nicole St-Onge, Carolyn Podruchny, and Brenda Macdougall go beyond the concern with race and ethnicity that takes center stage in most discussions of Métis culture to offer new ways of thinking about Métis identity. Geography, mobility, and family have always defined Métis culture and society. The Métis world spanned the better part of a continent, and a major theme of Contours of a People is the Métis conception of geography—not only how Métis people used their environments but how they gave meaning to place and developed connections to multiple landscapes. Their geographic familiarity, physical and social mobility, and maintenance of family ties across time and space appear to have evolved in connection with the fur trade and other commercial endeavors. These efforts, and the cultural practices that emerged from them, have contributed to a sense of community and the nationalist sentiment felt by many Métis today. Maria Campbell offers the foreword, Charting the Way. Includes maps, archival images, and a helpful index.

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