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Light from Ancient Campfires: Archaeological Evidence for Native Lifeways on the Northern Plains

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ISBN: 9781897425961 9781897425978 9781926836300 Year: Pages: 528 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Added to DOAB on : 2012-03-29 16:37:58
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Light from Ancient Campfires is the first book in twenty years to gather together a comprehensive prehistoric archaeological record of the Northern Plains First Nations. In this important examination of the region’s earliest inhabitants, author Trevor R. Peck reviews the many changes of interpretation that have occurred in relevant literature published during the last two decades. Beginning with the earliest archaeological evidence for people in Alberta, Light from Ancient Campfires covers each period in chronological sequence. Throughout his research, Peck asks the following questions: What defines the cultural entity? How has our notion of it changed with increased information? What is the current state of thought concerning this issue? Light from Ancient Campfires provides a new definition for each archaeological phase, setting previous literature in a new light.

The Importance of Being Monogamous: Marriage and Nation Building in Western Canada in 1915

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Book Series: The West Unbound:Social and Cultural Studies ISSN: 1915819X ISBN: 9780888644909 9781897425190 Year: Pages: 400 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Added to DOAB on : 2012-03-29 16:37:58
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Sarah Carter reveals the pioneering efforts of the government, legal, and religious authorities to impose the “one man, one woman”model of marriage upon Mormons and Aboriginal people in Western Canada. This lucidly written, richly researched book revises what we know about marriage and the gendered politics of late 19th century reform, shifts our understanding of Aboriginal history during that time, and brings together the fields of Indigenous and migrant history in new and important ways.

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monogamy --- aboriginal women

Recollecting: Lives of Aboriginal Women of the Canadian Northwest and Borderlands

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Book Series: The West Unbound:Social and Cultural Studies ISSN: 1915819X ISBN: 9781897425824 9781897425831 9781926836324 Year: Pages: 433 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Added to DOAB on : 2012-03-29 16:37:58
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Recollecting is a rich collection of essays that illuminates 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 individuals—a trader, a performer, a non-human woman. Other essays examine cohorts of women—wives, midwives, seamstresses, nuns. Authors look beyond the documentary record and standard representations of women, drawing on records generated by the women themselves, including their beadwork, other material culture, and oral histories. Exploring the constraints and boundaries these women encountered, the authors engage with difficult and important questions of gender, race, and identity. Collectively these essays demonstrate the complexity of "contact zone" interactions, and they enrich and challenge dominant narratives about histories of the Canadian Northwest.

Imagining Head Smashed In: Aboriginal Buffalo Hunting on the Northern Plains

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ISBN: 9781897425008 9781897425046 9781897425091 Year: Pages: 361 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Added to DOAB on : 2012-03-29 16:37:58
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At the place known as Head-Smashed-In in southwestern Alberta, Aboriginal people practiced a form of group hunting for nearly 6,000 years before European contact. The large communal bison traps of the Plains were the single greatest food-getting method ever developed in human history. Hunters, working with their knowledge of the land and of buffalo behaviour, drove their quarry over a cliff and into wooden corrals. The rest of the group butchered the kill in the camp below. Author Jack Brink, who devoted 25 years of his career to “The Jump,” has chronicled the cunning, danger, and triumph in the mass buffalo hunts and the culture they supported. He also recounts the excavation of the site and the development of the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre, which has hosted 2 million visitors since it opened in 1987. Brink’s masterful blend of scholarship and public appeal is rare in any discipline, but especially in North American pre-contact archaeology. Brink attests, “I love the story that lies behind the jump—the events and planning that went into making the whole event work. I continue to learn more about the complex interaction between people, bison and the environment, and I continue to be impressed with how the ancient hunters pulled off these astonishing kills.”

We Are Coming Home: Repatriation and the Restoration of Blackfoot Cultural Confidence

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ISBN: 9781771990172 9781771990189 9781771990196 9781771990202 Year: DOI: 10.15215/aupress/9781771990172.01 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Subject: Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-09 22:57:52
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In 1990, Gerald Conaty was hired as senior curator of ethnology at the Glenbow Museum, with the particular mandate of improving the museum’s relationship with Aboriginal communities. That same year, the Glenbow had taken its first tentative steps toward repatriation by returning sacred objects to First Nations’ peoples. These efforts drew harsh criticism from members of the provincial government. Was it not the museum’s primary legal, ethical, and fiduciary responsibility to ensure the physical preservation of its collections? Would the return of a sacred bundle to ceremonial use not alter and diminish its historical worth and its value to the larger society? Undaunted by such criticism, Conaty oversaw the return of more than fifty medicine bundles to Blackfoot and Cree communities between the years of 1990 and 2000, at which time the First Nations Sacred Ceremonial Objects Repatriation Act (FNSCORA)—still the only repatriation legislation in Canada—was passed. “Repatriation,” he wrote, “is a vital component in the creation of an equitable, diverse, and respectful society.”We Are Coming Home is the story of the highly complex process of repatriation as described by those intimately involved in the work, notably the Piikani, Siksika, and Kainai elders who provided essential oversight and guidance. We also hear from the Glenbow Museum’s president and CEO at the time and from an archaeologist then employed at the Provincial Museum of Alberta who provides an insider’s view of the drafting of FNSCORA. These accounts are framed by Conaty’s reflections on the impact of museums on First Nations, on the history and culture of the Niitsitapi, or Blackfoot, and on the path forward. With Conaty’s passing in August of 2013, this book is also a tribute to his enduring relationships with the Blackfoot, to his rich and exemplary career, and to his commitment to innovation and mindful museum practice.
“…deeply informative and readable…. An absence of Canadian texts in the museum field and in cultural communication leaves open the mistaken idea that we are mere ciphers for practices from abroad. By making an important Alberta story available in this fascinating and important volume, AU Press has performed an essential cultural service for all Canadians.” —Literary Review of Canada

Visiting with the Ancestors: Blackfoot Shirts in Museum Spaces

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ISBN: 9781771990370 9781771990387 9781771990394 Year: Pages: 232 DOI: 10.15215/aupress/9781771990370.01 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Subject: Sociology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-10-14 21:34:07
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In 2010, five magnificent Blackfoot shirts, now owned by the University of Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, were brought to Alberta to be exhibited at the Glenbow Museum, in Calgary, and the Galt Museum, in Lethbridge. The shirts had not returned to Blackfoot territory since 1841, when officers of the Hudson’s Bay Company acquired them. The shirts were later transported to England, where they had remained ever since.Exhibiting the shirts at the museums was, however, only one part of the project undertaken by Laura Peers and Alison Brown. Prior to the installation of the exhibits, groups of Blackfoot people—hundreds altogether—participated in special “handling sessions,” in which they were able to touch the shirts and examine them up close. The shirts, some painted with mineral pigments and adorned with porcupine quillwork, others decorated with locks of human and horse hair, took the breath away of those who saw, smelled, and touched them. Long-dormant memories were awakened, and many of the participants described a powerful sense of connection and familiarity with the shirts, which still house the spirit of the ancestors who wore them.In the pages of this beautifully illustrated volume is the story of an effort to build a bridge between museums and source communities, in hopes of establishing stronger, more sustaining relationships between the two and spurring change in prevailing museum policies. Negotiating the tension between a museum’s institutional protocol and Blackfoot cultural protocol was challenging, but the experience described both by the authors and by Blackfoot contributors to the volume was transformative. Museums seek to preserve objects for posterity. This volume demonstrates that the emotional and spiritual power of objects does not vanish with the death of those who created them. For Blackfoot people today, these shirts are a living presence, one that evokes a sense of continuity and inspires pride in Blackfoot cultural heritage.

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