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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Contact Zones

Aboriginal and Settler Women in Canada’s Colonial Past

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Contact Zones

Aboriginal and Settler Women in Canada’s Colonial Past

As both colonizer and colonized (sometimes even simultaneously), women were uniquely positioned at the axis of the colonial encounter – the so-called “contact zone” – between Aboriginals and newcomers. Aboriginal women shaped identities for themselves in both worlds. By recognizing the necessity to “perform,” they enchanted and educated white audiences across Canada. On the other side of the coin, newcomers imposed increasing regulation on Aboriginal women’s bodies. Contact Zones provides insight into the ubiquity and persistence of colonial discourse. What bodies belonged inside the nation, who were outsiders, and who transgressed the rules – these are the questions at the heart of this provocative book.

320 pages

Table of Contents



Introduction / Katie Pickles and Myra Rutherdale

Part 1: Dressing and Performing Bodies: Aboriginal Women, Imperial Eyes, and Betweenness

1 Sewing for a Living: The Commodification of Métis Women’s Artistic Production / Sherry Farrell Racette

2 Championing the Native: E. Pauline Johnson Rejects the Squaw / Carole Gerson and Veronica Strong-Boag

3 Performing for “Imperial Eyes”: Bernice Loft and Ethel Brant Monture, Ontario, 1930s-60s / Cecilia Morgan

4 Spirited Subjects and Wounded Souls: Political Representations of an Im/moral Frontier / Jo-Anne Fiske

Part 2: Regulating the Body: Domesticity, Sexuality, and Transgression

5 Metropolitan Knowledge, Colonial Practice, and Indigenous Womanhood: Missions in Nineteenth-Century British Columbia / Adele Perry

6 Creating “Semi-Widows” and “Supernumerary Wives”: Prohibiting Polygamy in Prairie Canada’s Aboriginal Communities to 1900 / Sarah A. Carter

7 Intimate Surveillance: Indian Affairs, Colonization, and the Regulation of Aboriginal Women’s Sexuality / Robin Jarvis Brownlie

8 Domesticating Girls: The Sexual Regulation of Aboriginal and Working-Class Girls in Twentieth-Century Canada / Joan Sangster

Part 3: Bodies in Everyday Space: Colonized and Colonizing Women in Canadian Contact Zones

9 Aboriginal Women on the Streets of Victoria: Rethinking Transgressive Sexuality during the Colonial Encounter / Jean Barman

10 “She Was a Ragged Little Thing”: Missionaries, Embodiment, and Refashioning Aboriginal Womanhood in Northern Canada / Myra Rutherdale

11 Belonging – Out of Place: Women’s Travelling Stories from the Western Edge / Dianne Newell

12 The Old and New on Parade: Mimesis, Queen Victoria, and Ca

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