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Métis Matriarchs - Agents of Transition

Métis Matriarchs

Agents of Transition

Paperback : 9781779400116, 336 pages, September 2024
Hardcover : 9781779400123, 336 pages, September 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-09-03
Expected to ship: 2024-09-03


Explores the integral roles that Métis women assumed to ensure the survival of their communities during the fur trade era and onward

Métis Matriarchs examines the impact of prominent Métis women from across Western Canada from the late 19th to the mid-20th century, providing a rare glimpse into the everyday lives of these remarkable figures who were recognized as Matriarchs and respected for their knowledge, expertise, and authority within their families and communities.

This edited collection provides an opportunity to learn about the significant contributions made by Métis women during a transitional period in Western Canadian history, as the fur trade gave way to a more sedentary, industrialized, and agrarian economy. Challenging how we think about Western Canadian settlement processes that removed Indigenous peoples from the land, this collection of stories delves into the ways Métis matriarchs responded to colonial and settler colonial interventions into their lives and livelihoods to ultimately ensure their communities' cultural endurance.


“A nuanced account of the lives of Métis women and their vital roles as they helped guide their families and communities through generations of transitions.” —Michel Hogue, author of Métis and the Medicine Line

Métis Matriarchs is the book we’ve all been waiting for—the authors of these lovingly crafted and researched essays are re-positioning women and bringing them to the forefront of our history, experience, and way of life.” —Brenda Macdougall, author of One of the Family: Métis Culture in Nineteenth-Century Northwestern Saskatchewan

Métis Matriarchs is a thoughtful collection of essays that explore the agency of Métis women, both past and present, in maintaining the cultural and economic survival of their communities.” —Heather Devine, Professor Emerita, University of Calgary

“Richly detailed, deeply researched, and beautifully written portraits of resilient, tenacious, resourceful, and determined women who provided for and protected their families and communities, and who worked to preserve and promote Métis culture, history, and art. They were healers, midwives, artists, farmers, teachers, and more. They were beacons of stability and keepers of memory and culture during years of colonial intrusion and upheaval. They were makers of Canadian history.” —Sarah Carter

“I loved spending time with these magnificent Métis women—subjects and authors alike. We have been waiting a long time to raise up the Métis women icons who have been a vital but often overlooked part of our story. They’re gathered here: listen!” —Kim Anderson, Canada Research Chair in Storying Indigenous Relational Futures and Professor, The University of Guelph