HISTORIANS ALWAYS DEPEND ON THE HELP AND SUPPORT OF OTHERS—COLLEAGUES, students, archivists and librarians, funding agencies, friends, and family— but as I brought this book to completion, I was struck more forcefully than ever before by the truth of that commonplace observation. I welcome this opportunity to acknowledge, with heartfelt gratitude, some of the debts I incurred over the years of research and writing.
Let me begin by mentioning some especially helpful archivists: Robert Toupin, S.J., of the Archives de la société de Jésus, Canada français; Patricia Birkett of the National Archives of Canada; Johanne Lefebvre of the archives of the diocese of St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec; and Marie-Pierre Cariou, archivist of the city of Landernau, France. I benefited also from the assistance of the knowledgeable staffs of the Robarts Library, Toronto; the University Library, Cambridge; and the Newberry Library, Chicago. Financial assistance from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, as well as a Connaught Fellowship from the University of Toronto, allowed me to travel abroad in pursuit of source materials. A succession of graduate student assistants played an invaluable role in tracking down additional documentation: Carolyn Podruchny, Giovanni Pizzorusso, Todd Webb, Nora Jaffary, Edwin Bezzina, Lynn Berry, Michelle Leung, and Gwen Rice.
In my efforts to gain a better understanding of Tekakwitha’s achievements as a craft worker, I came to appreciate the expertise of ethnographers and museum curators specializing in native material culture. Ruth B. Phillips of the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology and Trudy Nicks of the Royal Ontario Museum helped me get my bearings in this (for me) unfamiliar field, while Carl Benn of the Toronto Historical Board instructed me on aspects of Iroquois costume. The artifact collections and curatorial knowledge I encountered in Europe were a revelation. Jonathan King of the North American Ethnology section of the British Museum and Laura Peers of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, were both of immeasurable