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Edited by Laurie Barren and James B. Waldram. Regina. Canadian Plains Research Center. University of Regina, cl986. 306pp. paper, $15.00. ISBN 0-88977-042-5. CIP

Grades 11 and up
Reviewed by Robert Wieder

Volume 15 Number 2
1987 March

1885 and After is a collection of eighteen papers presented at a conference held at the University of Saskatchewan in May. 1985 on the theme of native and Metis studies. It features essays by well-known Canadian historians such as George F.G. Stanley and Thomas Flanagan, as well as many interesting papers by both native and non-native scholars.

In the first paper. "The Last Word on Louis Riel." by George F.G. Stanley, the author lucidly summarizes his thinking on the various interpretations of the career and personality of Riel, and concludes that Riel may be seen to have four faces: the defender of French language and religious rights, the halfbreed patriot, the first western Canadian leader, and the prophet and visionary. He claims that, even one hundred years after the death of Riel. Canadians will continue to view the true face of Riel from within their backgrounds and frames of reference. Stanley concludes his excellent essay with the comment that this paper will be his last statement on the career of Louis Riel,

In another feature essay, Thomas Flanagan addresses the too-frequently asked question: "Louis Riel: Was He Really Crazy?" He provides a very readable account of definitions of insanity in the nineteenth century and in the present, and traces the medical and non-psychiatric opinions that have been given on the madness of Riel. Flanagan argues that the question of Riel's sanity is not really the important issue in the study of Riel's life, but that the issues arising out of the expanding of civilization into the areas occupied by so-called primitive peoples create more important and relevant questions.

Other papers in the book deal with less frequently addressed problems of Metis and native rights in western and northern Canada. Part I (nine papers) traces the evolution of conflict between natives and outsiders to 1885. Part II is made up of papers relating to native issues after 1885. Among the essays are informative papers on topics such as Indian agents, the scrip commissions, the role of the Northwest Mounted Police in Native affairs, and several papers on the Indian view of historical events and the Northwest Rebellion.

1885 and After is a useful resource book for students and teachers in the areas of Canadian and native studies. Most papers in the collection include extensive footnotes and the book has an attractive cover and is well bound.

Robert Wieder, Glenlawn C.I,. Winnipeg, Man.
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