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Distributed for Athabasca University Press


Lives of Aboriginal Women of the Canadian Northwest and Borderlands

Distributed for Athabasca University Press


Lives of Aboriginal Women of the Canadian Northwest and Borderlands

Recollecting is a rich collection of essays that illuminate the lives of late eighteenth-century to mid-twentieth-century Aboriginal women who have been overlooked in sweeping narratives of the history of the West. Some essays focus on individual women – a trader, a performer, a non-human woman – while others examine cohorts of women – wives, midwives, seamstresses, nuns. The authors look beyond the documentary record and standard representations of women, drawing also on records generated by the women themselves, including their beadwork, other material culture, and oral histories.

432 pages

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


Lifelines: Searching for Aboriginal Women of the Northwest and Borderlands / Sarah Carter and Patricia A. McCormack

Part 1: Transatlantic Connections

1 Recovered Identities: Four Métis Artists in Nineteenth-Century Rupert’s Land / Susan Berry

2 Lost Women: Native Wives in Orkney and Lewis / Patricia A. McCormack

3 Christina Massan’s Beadwork and the Recovery of a Fur Trade Family History / Alison K. Brown, with Christina Massan & Alison Grant

Part 2: Cultural Mediators

4 Repositioning the Missionary: Sara Riel, the Grey Nuns, and Aboriginal Women in Catholic Missions of the Northwest / Lesley Erickson

5 The “Accomplished” Odille Quintal Morison: Tsimshian Cultural Intermediary of Metlakatla, British Columbia / Maureen L. Atkinson

6 Obscured Obstetrics: Indigenous Midwives in Western Canada / Kristin Burnett

Part 3: In the Borderlands

7 Sophie Morigeau: Free Trader, Free Woman / Jean Barman

8 The Montana Memories of Emma Minesinger: Windows on the Family, Work, and Boundary Culture of a Borderlands Woman / Sarah Carter

Part 4: The Spirit World

9 Searching for Catherine Auger: The Forgotten Wife of the Wîhtikôw (Windigo) / Nathan D. Carlson

10 Pakwâciskwew: A Reacquaintance with Wilderness Woman / Susan Elaine Gray

Part 5: Challenging and Crafting Representations 

11 Frances Nickawa: “A Gifted Interpreter of the Poetry of Her Race” / Jennifer S.H. Brown

12 Blazing Her Own Trail: Anahareo’s Rejection of Euro-Canadian Stereotypes / Kristin L. Gleeson


List of Contributors


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