An intriguing look at the connections between Alberta premier Peter Lougheed and his Métis grandmother, Isabella Clarke Hardisty Lougheed, exploring how Métis identity, political activism, and colonial institutional power shaped the lives and legacies of both.
Combining the approaches of political biography and historical narrative, The Premier and His Grandmother introduces readers to two compelling and complex public figures. Born into a prominent fur trading family, Isabella Clarke Hardisty Lougheed (1861–1936) established a distinct role for herself as an influential Métis woman in southern Alberta, at a time when racial boundaries in the province were hardening and Métis activists established a firm foundation for the Métis to be recognized as distinct Indigenous Peoples.
Isabella’s grandson Edgar Peter Lougheed (1928–2021) served as premier of Alberta at a time when some of that activism achieved both successes and losses. Drawing on Peter Lougheed’s personal papers, family interviews, and archival research, this book analyzes his political initiatives in the context of his own identity as a person of Métis ancestry. While there are several publications that refer to Peter Lougheed in the context of his role as premier, few of those publications have acknowledged his connection to an important Métis pioneer family and his connection to his Indigenous ancestors.