Views From Fort Battleford

University of Regina PressSKU: 9780889772205

Author:
Walter Hildebrandt
Grade Levels:
Twelve, College, University
Nation:
Cree, Metis, Plains
Book Type:
Paperback
Pages:
130
Publisher:
University of Regina Press
Copyright Data:
2008

Price:
Sale price$36.00

Description

The myth of the mounties as neutral arbiters between Aboriginal peoples and incoming settlers remains a cornerstone of the western Canadian narrative of a peaceful frontier experience that differs dramatically from its American equivalent. Walter Hildebrandt eviscerates this myth, placing the NWMP and early settlement in an international framework of imperialist plunder and the imposition of colonialist ideology. Fort Battleford, as an architectural endeavour, and as a Euro-Canadian settlement, oozed British and central Canadian values. The Mounties, like the Ottawa government that paid their salaries, were in the West to assure that a new cultural template of social behaviour would replace the one they found. The newcomers were blind to the cultural values and material achievements of the millennia-long residents of the North-West. Unlike their fur trade predecessors, the settler state had little need to respect or accommodate Aboriginal peoples. Following policies that resulted in starvation for First Nation, the colonizers then responded brutally to the uprising of some of the oppressed in 1885. Hildebrandt's ability to view these events from the Indigenous viewpoint places the Mounties, the Canadian state, and the regional settlement experience under an entirely different spotlight.

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