Academic journal article Alberta History

Metis and the Medicine Line: Creating a Border and Dividing a People

Academic journal article Alberta History

Metis and the Medicine Line: Creating a Border and Dividing a People

Article excerpt

Metis and the Medicine Line: Creating a Border and Dividing a People

by Michel Hogue. Regina: University of Saskatchewan Press. 328 pp., illus., paper, $34.95.

The theme of this book is that while the Metis created a structured society during the mid-Nineteenth Century, the creation of a boundary line between Canada and United States effectively separated them.

During the fur trade era, the Metis were a vital part of the western economy. They were the hunters, traders, trippers, and voyageurs that made the fur trade effective. But with the establishment of the international boundary, and harsh laws on both sides of the border, the Metis were challenged in their attempts to retain their identity. Metis communities grew up along the border lands such as at Turtle Mountain, Wood Mountain, and Frenchman's Creek, where trade was carried out in both countries. States the author, "The conflicts over Metis trade gave practical meanings of who was American or Canadian, Indians or not. …

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