Marie Rose Delorme Smith and Isabella Clark Hardisty Lougheed
In Metis Pioneers, Doris Jeanne MacKinnon compares the survival strategies of two Metis women born during the fur trade—one from the French-speaking free trade tradition and one from the English-speaking Hudson's Bay Company tradition—who settled in southern Alberta as the Canadian West transitioned to a sedentary agricultural and industrial economy. MacKinnon provides rare insight into their lives, demonstrating the contributions Metis women made to the building of the Prairie West. This is a compelling tale of two women's acts of quiet resistance in the final days of the British Empire.
About the Author
Doris Jeanne MacKinnon was born on a farm in northeastern Alberta and attended school in the historic town of St-Paul-des-Métis. She has a PhD in Indigenous and post-Confederation Canadian history. An independent researcher and postsecondary instructor, she lives in Red Deer, Alberta.
"[These two women's] individual paths provide interesting parallel stories about Metis women who survived and thrived as the Canadian west transitioned from the fur trade to a more sedentary agricultural economy. Marie Rose's family was French-speaking Metis and a few served as Louis Riel's soldiers. Isabella was from the English-speaking Metis stock. Both were born in 1861 and both married non-Indigenous men in unions that were influenced, or arranged outright, by their families. Both families had a strong history in the fur trade; Marie Rose's were free traders and Isabella as part of the Hudson's Bay Company. Both were community builders who later relied on their influence and circle of acquaintances for support after they became widows and fell on hard times. And the stories of both women showed how the Metis people continued to make significant contributions to the Canadian west even after the fur trade ended, an area of historical study that MacKinnon thinks is rife for discovery...." [Full article at http://calgaryherald.com/entertainment/books/lady-belle-and-marie-rose-new-book-showcases-pioneering-metis-women-in-alberta]—Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald"MacKinnon's book offers readers an in-depth look at the contributions each of the two women made to the growth of Canada's west, but more than that, it is a book about courage, resilience, determination and strength of character. The book was written to tell the truth..."—John Copley, Alberta Native News"The cultural bridging demonstrated by the two women subjects of this book is both evident and significant."—Wayne Holst, Colleagues List II"Whether or not the two women were ever in the same room together, their individual paths provide interesting parallel stories about Metis women who survived and thrived as the Canadian west transitioned from the fur trade to a more sedentary agricultural economyAnd the stories of both women showed how the Metis people continued to make significant contributions to the Canadian west even after the fur trade ended, an area of historical study that MacKinnon thinks is rife for discovery."—Eric Volmers, Strength and Resilience: Documenting how pioneering Metis women in Alberta survived beyond the fur trade"This book deals with the lives of two frontier women - Isabella Lougheed and Marie Rose Smith. They both were Metis but their histories were miles apart. ... The author has found a rich source of history in these two women and offers them in a detailed account of their lives."—Alberta HistorySelf-fashioning is also a focus of Doris Jeanne MacKinnon's Metis Pioneers, as she details the lives of two Métis women born in 1861, during the time when the fur-trade culture into which they both were born transitioned into a new settler-colonial economy.... The book aims to explain how two Métis women fashioned themselves as respectable homesteading pioneers, transforming a birth identity that was increasingly scorned as incoming settlers swamped more inclusive fur-trade sensibilities after the Riel Resistance in 1885." Canadian Literature, November 30, 2018 [Full review at http://canlit.ca/article/first-lives]—Margery Fee
"MacKinnon has written a meticulously researched and engaging account of the lives of two intelligent, resourceful, and strong Metis women."—Donald B. Smith, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Calgary
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